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Thread: loading 303 in old lee enfield

  1. #1

    loading 303 in old lee enfield

    Hi has anyone got any recommended loads for a Lee E , 303, Im planning on using vhit , I have n135 and N140 , planning on using a "standard " 174gn bullet ( I think) I'm only going to use it on the range, 300 / 600 and occasionally 900 (when my ego is well beyond my talent ) and any other advice that may help, Id like it accurate but I'm not going to be paranoid about it cheers guy

  2. #2
    Sorry but none with Vhit powders. I used Hodgdons H4895 or Reloader 15 when I had mine.

    42.0 grains of H4895 worked well behind a 174 FMJ Mk7 bullet.

  3. #3
    I suppose all .303 Enfields are "old", but is this a No.1 MkIII or a No.4? ( I consider First World War vintage as "old". Looking at a 1916 BSA .22 Trainer, myself. )

    The reason I ask is, it sounded as if you were looking for a mild load, but if you want it to shoot to the sight markings, and especially out to 600 yards, you will have to load it to original specification of 174-gr BT at 2,440 FPS, which is about 39,000 PSI with the appropriate powders.

    For a mild load, you could load a 150-gr bullet to the same 2,450 FPS neighborhood, or a 123-gr bullet ( for the AK-47).

  4. #4
    Hi Southern, good point Mk4 , mid 1940' on the basis its about 70 years old, and I dont know how many rounds have been through it in that time, or whether its been refurbished, although barrel looks good and action seem fine( for a 70 year old lee enfield) , I would like to get it up to about 2500 ish, I think I will check up the tables and start at about 2300fps, and work it up. For up to about 300 meters I would think as long as its stabilised I should be fine.

  5. #5
    Check to see if it has a stamp, "FTR", for Factory Through Repair.

    My No.4s have the really nice dial elevator rear sights, and they shoot right to the marks with S&B 174-gr FMJ. Remington 180-gr RN ammo shoots to the same spots, out to 200 yards, then starts falling off from the 174-gr BT. The furthest I have shot it is 600 yards, just plinking at cantalopes. So I would try replicate this S&B load or some UK or Canadian load which shoots to your sights, using your VV powder.

  6. #6
    On the No4 if it has been through refurbishment there would be markings on the left wall of the action. Was looking at a sporting conversion that had been refurbed before being converted the left wall had No4 Mk1/2 faintly etched into it. Of course the polishing for the blacking possibly made the markings more feint. Military barrels are usually date marked I think you will find.

    Std velocity for the 174 grain bullet is about 2450 fps if I remember correctly.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by plumber01 View Post
    Hi has anyone got any recommended loads for a Lee E , 303, Im planning on using vhit , I have n135 and N140 , planning on using a "standard " 174gn bullet ( I think) I'm only going to use it on the range, 300 / 600 and occasionally 900 (when my ego is well beyond my talent ) and any other advice that may help, Id like it accurate but I'm not going to be paranoid about it cheers guy
    according to the Vhit manual
    N140 38.4gns 2379 fps max load 41.7gns 2566fps with 174grn bullet
    as to the longer ranges, just learn your hold offs and shoot the beast my K31 manages to 1000 yrds although I tend to use factory for that, up to 600 its always been hand loads.
    "Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement"
    "'The matter is under consideration' means we have lost the file. 'The matter is under active consideration' means we are trying to find the file."

  8. #8
    I used the popular shooters vhit recipe of 39-40 grs of 140 in my 1909 smle with 174 fmj and up to 42grs in my No4.
    Both are great loads for old war horses.
    "a man does good business when he rids himself of a turd"

  9. #9

  10. #10
    At least with the N140 loads, I've found Vhit's velocity figures to be a bit on the optimistic side. In my own testing, 42grn N140 under a PPU 174grm FMJ BT, gives about 3370fps.
    Steve Regwell, in his book Relaoding for the 303 British (available as a Kindle download), shows a load of up to 44grn N140 with that weight bullet, and his quoted velocities seem more "real world".
    You can't say muntjac without saying, Mmmmmm.

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