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Thread: .303

  1. #1

    .303

    Hi there ,what is a .303 like on deer please ? I have shot deer with .308,,30-06, and .243 .
    just interested as a second rifle ? Bit of fun ?
    Many thanks
    Tom

  2. #2
    Until recently I used a BSA Lee-Enfield on reds . It just makes the velocity requirement with 174 gr bullets and is more than adequate with 150gr Hornady sps. My rifle had a slightly large bore @.312 and the .313 Hornadys were perfect. 40 grs v v 140 and I was well pleased , grouping was adequate at around 2" and nothing I shot walked away.

    "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!"
    Adolph Hitler 1933

  3. #3
    I once had a lovely Lee Speed retailed by Westley Richards, it was a true classic. I had a scope fitted, but this was superbly done by an Old School Gun maker. He obtained a spare bolt so the original shroud would not be damaged, as the shroud fixing lug had to be worked on. The mounts were silver soldered on so the Lee Speed could easily be returned to original spec and only need be re blacked.
    I used 150 grn Hornady heads and it shot like a .308 and sometimes used the heavier 180grn Hornady R/N heads in woodland stalking.
    A great and very classic rifle and once again one that I wish I still had.
    The ORDNANCE QF 18 pounder Field Gun......I wonder if they will let me have one of these on an open ticket

  4. #4
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    All these military cartridges are always very good on deer. Why? Because a lot of money was spent on researching a calibre and weight and velocity combination that could kill a man out to maybe 1,000 yards. So as a deer weighs as much as a man they work very well.

    I have a friend who shot not only deer but bear with a .303. He actually preferred the earlier loading with the 215 grain bullet but used latterly the 174 grain bullet. Under the velocity requirements that 215 grain load is now illegal and the 174 grain is marginal. That 2,450fps is in fact the velocity of that 174 grain load in a twenty-five inch barrel. So some shorter barrel sporters MAY be illegal by ten or so feet per second.

    But the round is a good killer and you'd not at all be handicapped by it. I guess the ultimate .303 sporter would be not a converted Lee Enfiled, or even a Lee Speed sporter but the few MAUSER .303 rifles that Rigby produced.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 28-02-2014 at 10:20.

  5. #5
    I've used the 303 British to take quite a few deer , whitetails and mulies , moose and the odd black bear . I've mostly used 180 gr bullets , sierra's for the most part , but as Enfield spares mentioned , the old 215 gr bullet had a large following here for yrs. Unfortunately , the 215's are hard to find these days so the 180's are the most popular . The 303 British is a very capable deer cartridge and I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed with it's performance , plus I love Lee Enfield in all their guises.

    As to the Rigby built mausers in 303 , I'd love to have one. Unfortunately , I've only seen one out here and it wasn't for sale , but a man can always hope. That being said , I've seen a lot of very nice sporters built on Enfield P-14's . They're inexpensive and , if in decent shape, are an excellent rifle for the money . I wouldn't turn down a good Lee Enfield No 1 or No 4 based sporter if I came across one either . My favorite deer rifle , and I have a few to choose from , is a Parker Hale sporter built on a No4 Mark 2 action. It's accurate , reliable , takes game cleanly and it's British. What more do you need lol

    AB

  6. #6
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    That's what my friend had the Parker Hale No4 Deluxe Supreme. With a Nikko Sterling 'scope on that P-Hale mount that replaced the standard No4 backsight.

    When he went shooting in Russia in the 1970s, bears, they took him to GUM in Moscow as he needed more ammunition. He thought that it might be a problem. No! When he asked for it the man simply said "Yes sir, 174 grains or 215 grains, what do you prefer?" and pulled out boxes and boxes of the yellow and red Kynoch stuff. He siad he saw more there on the counter than he could ever have hoped to see in one place in England!

    Don't be too disappointed about the Rigby 303 Mausers the one I saw, and was at the time friendly with its owner, shooting it at Bisley had a very worn bore that was, when built, quite generous in its dimensions as really only worked well with oversized bespoke (or that awful word "custom") swaged bullets. Or cast lead bullets. I can't remember which was over twenty-five years ago. But with standard 174 grain Mk VII ball it shot like a shot gun and couldn't hit the side of a barn even when standing inside the barn.

    In fact I think that the rifling, from memory, was of Metford form. Which of course had eroded quite badly. But will stand to be corrected.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 28-02-2014 at 10:24.

  7. #7
    I always think a nice "pair" of sportised P14 & P17s would be nice...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    That's what my friend had the Parker Hale No4 Deluxe Supreme. With a Nikko Sterling 'scope on that P-Hale mount that replaced the standard No4 backsight.

    When he went shooting in Russia in the 1970s, bears, they took him to GUM in Moscow as he needed more ammunition. He thought that it might be a problem. No! When he asked for it the man simply said "Yes sir, 174 grains or 215 grains, what do you prefer?" and pulled out boxes and boxes of the yellow and red Kynoch stuff. He siad he saw more there on the counter than he could ever have hoped to see in one place in England!

    Don't be too disappointed about the Rigby 303 Mausers the one I saw, and was at the time friendly with its owner, shooting it at Bisley had a very worn bore that was, when built, quite generous in its dimensions as really only worked well with oversized bespoke (or that awful word "custom") swaged bullets. Or cast lead bullets. I can't remember which was over twenty-five years ago. But with standard 174 grain Mk VII ball it shot like a shot gun and couldn't hit the side of a barn even when standing inside the barn.

    In fact I think that the rifling, from memory, was of Metford form. Which of course had eroded quite badly. But will stand to be corrected.
    Who would have thought that you'd find Kynoch ammunition in Russia , I can't remember the last time I saw a box . My father used Kynoch 215 's in his Lee Enfield when I was a boy , he swore by them .

    It's funny you mentioned the Rigby with the eroded bore . I remember an article that Ken Waters of Handloader magazine did on one . If memory serves , he had the original barrel re-bored to 375 Waters , basically a 444 Marlin necked down to 375 cal . Apparently it fed perfectly in the slanted magazine of the Rigby .Ballistically , it was pretty much a 9.5X57 Mannlicher-Schoenauer, about 2100 to 2200 fps with a 270 gr bullet . I always thought that it would make a perfect short to medium range large game rifle . I thought about building one , but I bought a Husqvarna Model 46 in 9.3X57 instead , way cheaper and the animals I've taken with it couldn't tell the difference lol.

    AB

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by scrumbag View Post
    I always think a nice "pair" of sportised P14 & P17s would be nice...
    Me to

  10. #10
    A B you do need another Parker hale sporter. "JUST SO YOU CAN SAY YOU HAVE ONE" lol !!

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