303 for boar? H

Territory Hunting

jimbo1984

Well-Known Member
Hi gents a friend of mine is looking for a rifle specifically for boar and the odd deer he has a 7mm 08 as hi everyday rifle but fancies a 303 Parker hale or suchlike I was just wondering if anybody has used this round for boar ? I think it will do fine personally
many thanks
​jim
 

Bill Wapiti

Well-Known Member
It'll be fine, get a nice heavy bullet that shoots well and tell your mate to get amongst the boar......the 303 has accounted for many thousands of pig in NZ where it is liked for its reliability and stopping power......absolutely nothing wrong with the 303 ! Cheers
 

reiver

Well-Known Member
Last year in Croatia one of our group had a .303 with him not sure how he got on with it though after it fell out of the mini bus every time they opened the back doors just as well it was in a hardcase.
We in the other mini bus never got tired of laughing at it falling out the back doors even after about the 10th time of happening:doh: .
The .303 in a smle/no4 sporter will work just fine for pigs though .
 

alberta boy

Well-Known Member
The 303 Brit has taken literally thousands of moose , bear and elk cleanly for about a century in this part of the world. I'm pretty sure it'll kill a pig.


AB
 

Brithunter

Well-Known Member
Steve Redgwell in Canada was making 200 and 215 grain hunting bullets for the 303 and has load data for them.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
A member of my club, now in his seventies, used a Parker Hale No4 Supreme for years for stalking large red and, in other countries, for shooting bear in Russia before the Iron Curtain fell. He used the standard 174 grain soft point loaded by Eley-Kynoch although says that he would have used the heavier 215 grain loadings if he could.

One "word of warning" as it were.

When the only sporting bullets that you could get for re-loading a lot of people for both sporting AND target use used Speer's 180 grain soft point round nose. IT HAS THE BALLISTIC PROFILE OF A BRICK. So the "drop" was far, far ore than the equivalent 174 grain spitzer (pointed) profile bullet. Be aware with the Speer that they will not shoot the same sight settings as a spitzer shape bullet of the same weight.

Also as chamber dimensions vary greatly you must totally full length re-size if the cases are to be shared between different rifles. This is a cartridge that will not chamber if you don't from one rifle to another.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
I have a Mk4 no2 303. I have used it in Africa on some species of plains game with 180g bullets. As many have mentioned the 303 has been used to take all manner of big game around the world, especially in Africa, and it was commonly used for Elephant when it first appeared on the scene.

For Wild Boar it will have no problem coping with them.
 

Brithunter

Well-Known Member
A member of my club, now in his seventies, used a Parker Hale No4 Supreme for years for stalking large red and, in other countries, for shooting bear in Russia before the Iron Curtain fell. He used the standard 174 grain soft point loaded by Eley-Kynoch although says that he would have used the heavier 215 grain loadings if he could.

One "word of warning" as it were.

When the only sporting bullets that you could get for re-loading a lot of people for both sporting AND target use used Speer's 180 grain soft point round nose. IT HAS THE BALLISTIC PROFILE OF A BRICK. So the "drop" was far, far ore than the equivalent 174 grain spitzer (pointed) profile bullet. Be aware with the Speer that they will not shoot the same sight settings as a spitzer shape bullet of the same weight.

Also as chamber dimensions vary greatly you must totally full length re-size if the cases are to be shared between different rifles. This is a cartridge that will not chamber if you don't from one rifle to another.


Hmmm Interesting. I must be very ...................................... very lucky as even though at one time I was reloading for Eight .303 rifles I have never had a case head separate or partially separate and cause a gas escape and yes the cases were fully resized. Yet if one believes what is so often posted on the web one cannot reload the 303 cartridge without getting case head separations after a couple of reloads on a case.

I have had partial case head separations with old surplus ammunition one first firing though but none with hand loaded ammunition.

The majority of my reloading for the 303 was done using HXP 69 brass which I think is part of the success and it was excellent brass made to the correct dimensions which sadly is not the case with an awful lot of commercially produced brass. Winchester and R.P are undersized in the web area by at least 0.005" and are often undersized in the rim as well.

The Portuguese FNM brass has also proved to be good for reloading in my experience.

Now Hornady's 174 Grain RNSP proved itself to be very good in performance and grouping something which I did not find with the Speer 180 grain bullet. For deer the Sierra 150 grain spitzer was excellent although I would have thought that it's a bit light for Boar!

I was lucky enough to find and purchase a couple of boxes of original Kynoch 215 grain Soft Point bullets. One box was unopened the other had about a dozen missing from it. I also found a box of 50 Speer grand Slam 200 grain .303 bullets but sadly 50 is not a lot of use really. I had hoped to find more but it seems someone else had the same idea and when i went back for more after payday they were all gone :cry: in hindsight I should have asked them to put them aside for me.

I am not sure exactly when "enfieldspares" is talking about but I for one never found trouble is acquiring bullets for reloading the 303 cartridge. For target shooting I normally used FMJ types of course Mountain & Snowdon provided their 174 Mk V11 type FMJ's at a good price and suplus ammunition was cheap and plenty full. I bought two cases of HXP 69 and later acquired a fair quantity of HXP 80.

Interestingly I noticed that when sighted in for Surplus MkV11 ammunition hand loads with the Hornady 174 Grn Soft Point grouped either high right or high left depending upon direction of rifling twist. Those with Enfield LH twist hit high left and the American barrelled P-14 sporters, Century Arms "Centurion" rifles with new Six grooved barrels, they grouped them high right. Despite the fact they had new manufacture barrels fitted the bore dimension was well over size in both land and groove. One of the pair I was working with shot well and would hold good ammunition like that Greek HXP 69 in the Bull at 600 yards. The other was not so good and the chamber was so tight that it was not possible to size any case not fired in that chamber to fit it. We tried Four different die sets from three different makers to no avail.

Finally when I was left with the rifle after settling the nephews storage fees :mad: I had the chamber reamed to 303 AI which solved that little problem. Oh yes and for the "Lee" haters my 303 dies are RCBS ;) .

If one is a mind too do so there are some very good suitable weight 303 calibre hunting bullets available form Australia but of course this does mean private importation.
 

Brithunter

Well-Known Member
I have a Mk4 no2 303. I have used it in Africa on some species of plains game with 180g bullets. As many have mentioned the 303 has been used to take all manner of big game around the world, especially in Africa, and it was commonly used for Elephant when it first appeared on the scene.

For Wild Boar it will have no problem coping with them.


Ahhh what we tend to forget is that the new 303 and the .256 Mannlicher were seen as so powerful back then. I have a book on Big Game hunting published in 1905 which says just this although it does suggest that one of the new 450 Nitro cartridges and rifles would be better for stopping charges by large beasts such as Elephant. It makes the comparision with the old huge bore Black Powders guns used previously for such game.

The book of course has no mention of the American 30-06 as of course it had not been introduced at that point and it makes not mention of the previous 30-03 which I find interesting. It however does suggest a .44 Marlin for Bustard and camp kettle fodder.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Maybe BRITHUNTER was lucky....or was re-loading 303 in the 1980s. But from my recollection in the middle to late 1970s there just wasn't any availability of factory 303 bullets FOR RELOADERS.

Nobody was importing as components the 174 grain Mk VII type FMJ bullet and the last stocks of Kynoch bullets made either by Kynoch or by Norma had evaporated. Fred Carr the predecessor to John Longstaff had sold them off. And Mountain and Sowden were not yet on the scene.

So the only bullets were these Speer 180 grain soft point.

The need to re-size is not from any headspace issue but to do with the fact that as some chambers appear more generous than others you may find that neck sized only cases won't chamber in a rifle with a close to minimum specification chamber. Sticking, usually, at the last 1/4" immediately before the rim.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Ahhh what we tend to forget is that the new 303 and the .256 Mannlicher were seen as so powerful back then. I have a book on Big Game hunting published in 1905 which says just this although it does suggest that one of the new 450 Nitro cartridges and rifles would be better for stopping charges by large beasts such as Elephant. It makes the comparision with the old huge bore Black Powders guns used previously for such game.

The book of course has no mention of the American 30-06 as of course it had not been introduced at that point and it makes not mention of the previous 30-03 which I find interesting. It however does suggest a .44 Marlin for Bustard and camp kettle fodder.

I also have a reasonable collection of big game books some dating prior to 1890, I also used to curate a huge collection and have read many, and the old 303 was used in many instances to kill most of the African game.

I have also hunted and killed a rogue Elephant and took the shot at 20yds with my 375HH having also taken Buff and many species of African game a few with a 303. I can say that it does exactly what it says on the tin! with a 303, but then again as with any calibre its where you place the bullet.

The 303 along with the 30.06 has taken, I would think all the game of Africa and many other parts of the world, and over took the old black powder weapons, which did not have the impact or muzzle velocity of the 303 or 30.06.

In the past local African people even used converted landrover steering columns as shotguns, and compressed Coka Cola tins as slugs!!! Not that I would recommend going up against dangerous game with such a weapon.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Bell....mostly thought of today in the same breath as the 7mm Mauser...in fact shot more elephants, I believe, with a 303 than with his 7mm Mauser chambered Rigby. Although I'll stand to be corrected with the actual figures.
 

jimbo1984

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies gents , I've passed them on and he's looking at a rifle , to be honest after seeing all the glowing reports im
thinking of picking one up myself , just trying to think of a " good reason " for my FLD
 

Brithunter

Well-Known Member
Bell did indeed use a pair of .303 rifles then due to ammunition weight switched to the .256 Mannlicher. It was only after the 2nd Boer war that I understand did Bell switch to the 7mm Mauser. As they walked out shooting as they went and burying the ivory for collection on the return ammunition weight was of importance.

As for reloading supplies it seems that where one lives matters hugely with this. Some places are lucky in having shops that carry lots and a wide range where as others have a very skimpy selection. I was lucky I suppose as F.A. Anderson of East Grinstead was only a short drive.

Meanwhile a few 303 accessories:-

14564820.jpg


The two adjusting tools have been passed on to people whom needed them.

This is an example of a poorly cut chamber:-



It came out of a Belgian manufactured .303 Martini. Notice the poorly defined shoulder. I set aside some new brass of a commercial make for use in this one rifle which was not shot that often. This is what they should be like:-

29382451.jpg


29382431.jpg


​A defined shoulder.

Of course one could develop a load using soft paper patched lead bullets which would be suitable for Boar. The are those whom frequent "Cast Boolits" who are versed in this to good effect and with the correct cast bullet decent velocities can be obtained without the paper patch I understand.
 

welshwarrior

Well-Known Member
Always thought a double in .303 with 174gr would be mustard for boar myself...

This is my plan and I've been looking at for one for a long time now. So I'm thinking a project a good 20 ble action as a donor then build a set of barrels on a monoblock and then fit a POW stock and etc. and Roberts your mother brother
 

alberta boy

Well-Known Member
I'm trying to get my hands on a Ruger No. 1 in 303 as we speak. Its not an English falling block, but its about as close as I'm likely to get. Its spoken for at the moment, but the current owner has been waiting for payment for over 6 months and is getting tired of waiting, but he is a man of his word. I've got a couple of hundred Norma 215 gr round-noses that will be perfect for Moose in October. If it falls through I'll load them up in my Parker-Hale No.4.

AB
 
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