Silent .303 - Neat toy!!


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Spinner
September 12, 2004, 08:03 PM
I saw a cool toy on Sunday and even got to play with it a little. I think I want one!!

It was a SMLE .303 - sorry don't really know what it started life as other than a Lee Enfield pattern .303 military bolt action (quite possibly ex- New Zealand Army). Anyway, it had come a long way from its military days.

It wore a monte carlo butt stock and a scope and the rest of the wood had been seriously cut down. It had an 18" barrel which was threaded to accept a sound moderator (a seriously large can which screwed onto the barrel) and the owner had developed some subsonic loads for it. He suggested I fire it underneath his house (into a bullet trap he'd built including some seriously thick steel plate backed by a lot of soil).

The rifle balanced well, was light and was amazingly quiet. It sounded like an air rifle ... and the recoil was almost non-existant. It was like shooting a .223.

The trajectory on something like that is probably a bit of a rainbow, and I don't necessarily need to have a subsonic centrefire, but damn, it was a fun thing to play with.

"Sporterised" .303s are easy and cheap to come by in these parts and it'd be fun to have one of these to play with ... Hmmmmmm, maybe just because I can it'd be nice to build one. Could be really good for eradicating a mob of goats .... particularly gun shy animals that know about hunters. I don't really have a need, but it'd be kinda cool ... a great rifle for newbies to use - little noise, little recoil.

Please note, sound moderators are not a problem in this country ... don't bother flaming my about BATFE and taxes and such. In New Zealand we're allowed sound moderators .... just not military styled semi-autos or handguns (go figure!).

Spinner

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Black Snowman
September 12, 2004, 08:33 PM
Bolt guns make great quite rifles since there's no action working or ports to leak gas. I think it would be a fun project and something I wouldn't mind having myself, but I'd have to jump through hoops for mine ;)

It's easier to get a powerful subsonic load with a heavier bullet. In the USA heavier bullets are more readily available for the .308 caliber than the .303 (.311 diamater) calibers. So when shoppng for a gun to base the project on you might take that into consideration. If you could find something in 7.62x39 that wouldn't be a bad option either since you wouldn't have as much extra case volume messing things up with down-loaded rounds.

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