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Thread: .303 British

  1. #1

    .303 British

    Is it still used a lot in the UK or has it really passed into the realms of the enthusiast?
    Does anybody here use it for their stalking?
    What expiriences do people have with it?
    I havn't actually managed to fire of a shot whilst out yet, I mainly use shotgun
    for the type of animal I shoot. But have the chance again this autumn.

  2. #2
    I don't know if my opinions are valid here as I live in the US, but I do shoot .303 British in the field and own several sporting rifles chambered for the 303 as well as a dozen or so military rifles. There are many 303's still in the field in the US and Canada because there was a time when the rifles were very inexpensive. I remember going into a hardware store when I was a kid and seeing bins of them for $12 each. I have bought full military rifles for as little as $40 each in the last two decades. (Tho prices are going up geometrically right now) The low price causes many hunters to buy them for deer rifles and ammo makers like Winchester and Remington began producing some fine ammunition for them as well in both 150 and 180 grain loadings.

    The Winchester 150 grain SP is a fine deer round that will take deer to 200 yards with a good rifle. It delivers just under 2800 fps. The Remington load I favored was the 180 grain round nose that I believe traveled at 2550 fps. It was a good deer load for the usual distances found in South Dakota river-bottoms.

    I currently shoot cast bullets through my Brits as I can achieve maximum accuracy by matching the bullet diameter to the throat/groove diameter of the individual rifle barrel by making my own bullets and I have found that cast bullets work fine on deer. I am currently working on a Pattern 14 Enfield sporter that I will scope. I am certain that a 200 yard shot will be made with as much ease as with a more "modern" rifle.~Muir

  3. #3
    I have a .303 SMLE 1908 sporterized and rebarrelled by Parker-Hale back in the 1960s so i have being told and use it for foxs and on roe some times just for a change now and again it is fitted with a sporter style stock and has a parker-hale scope base which is fixed to the left hand side of the reciver .It also has the 10 shot mag and a 5 shot mag with it.It shoots ok 2" at 100 yards useing 150 gr reloads which is good enough for were i shoot . I would like to take it driven wild boar shooting but as i am a left hander which slows down the rifles fast reloading propertys( 15- 30 + aimed shots a minute by a trained squadie)
    I think if you fitted a red dot and used 180Gr bullets it would still hold its own against more modern rifles on a driven hunt which is not bad for a 100 year old rifle.

  4. #4
    I have an Enfield Mk4 which when I got it about 10 years ago was brand new and had never been fired, it was still in the grease and brown paper. I even have the frog and bayonet to go with it.

    Light beech stock, and a lovely looking old lady she is too vintage 1954. I was lucky as I managed to buy a light beech comb stock new from an old shop in Birmingham, that I believe no longer is there. Cant remember the name of the shop, but an old lady owned it. Bought the new stock for 35 happy days.

    I have a Burris tube variable scope on it, and it shoots a treat. I have taken Red, Roe and Fallow with it. I have also shot it in Africa, and it didnt take any prisoners. A joy to shoot, although a bit heavy to lug around. Nothing wrong with the 303 as a sporting round........................ and please lets not have any comments about 303 versus a 243 for pitys sake or why and where it falls down as a sporting round, as I am not interested.

    I will try and take a photo of the old girl and put it on the site.

  5. #5
    the deer cullers in nz back in the 50s 60s shot thousands of deer with them

  6. #6
    Very true Irishgun, and it was also a popular calibre in Africa as well, even taking Elephant.

    In fact I seem to remember reading somewhere that when the Germans first encountered the 303 they thought the British forces had issued machine guns to all the troops as the rate of fire was so overwhelming at times. I even have some 215g heads that some old chap gave me who used to shoot a great deal. I have never tried them yet, probably drop like a brick after 100yds

  7. #7
    As a kid I stood next to an old farmer who emptied his magazine at a kudu bull crossing a dirt track at speed. Two 303 rounds hit and he dropped maybe 80yds on. I remember the copper bits in the heart.
    The 303 was the standard in South Africa back then and worked well.

  8. #8
    .303 is still popular in New Zealand.
    If you look on which is like e-bay to us they sell on there for very cheap money.

  9. #9
    Ah! 303 shooters! Does my heart good to see them. I forgot to mention that my 1900 dated Lee-Metford sporter shoots the Hornady 170 grain Round Nose to the point of aim at the distances marked on the express sights when I load it over a medium charge of IMR 4350. Very pleasing accuracy, too boot. These are .312" diameter bullets. I believe that the best 303 loads using jacketed bullets (like the Winchester) utilize .312" bullets. Too many use .310" bullets and accuracy is only fair in many instances.~Muir

  10. #10
    When I got to know people out here I just couldn`t beleive how many people had a 303 in the cupboard, everyone seems to have one, I think it must be law or something

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