.303-vs-30-06 which is better


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Gun_nut
February 13, 2006, 08:56 AM
What is the best for oregon 200-300yards away and say im hunting elk wich round would perform better with brush and being in a clearcut:confused:

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stoky
February 13, 2006, 09:10 AM
This might get moved to Rifles. I think there was a similar thread recently.
The cartridges are very similar in performance. The 06 has a little edge with heavier bullets, mostly just because the case capacity is greater. Some of the more serious target shooters say the 308 has an accuracy advantage, albeit probably slight. If you are trying to build the lightest weight rifle the 308 can use a short action. All things being equal (which they seldom are) the shorter action could be stiffer, which might enhance accuracy. For the scenario you have described I'd pick the 06.

rocky
February 13, 2006, 09:16 AM
Either caliber should work well. Personally , I would chose the '06 because of the readily avalible ammo of any type almost anywhere.

entropy
February 13, 2006, 10:05 AM
+1 on rocky's answer. Either will do it's part if you do yours, but I'd opt for .30-06 just for the greater options in bullet weight, design, and loadings.

AirForceShooter
February 13, 2006, 10:26 AM
30-06.
period

AFS

MudPuppy
February 13, 2006, 10:32 AM
Their close enough that the shooter is the only real variable. :)

molonlabe
February 13, 2006, 10:36 AM
30-06


You did say .303 not .308

dwave
February 13, 2006, 11:39 AM
I love the .303 round, my favorite rifle is my Enfield No. 4 Mk1, but for hunting I would have to say 30-06 because it is a more verstile round.

Vern Humphrey
February 13, 2006, 11:46 AM
Consider the classic elk load in rifles of this approximate caliber -- the 180 grain Nosler Partition Jacket. The .30-06 will drive that bullet to about 2700 fps. The .303 will barely make 2300 fps. That's a dramatic difference.

rbernie
February 13, 2006, 11:56 AM
The 303R should get a 180gr bullet up to 2400fps (MkVII ball spec = 174gr @ 2440fps), but it's still clearly not in the same class as the 30-06. Moreover, there are far more bullet choices in the 168-220gr range in .308 than there are in .311 caliber.

As fond as I am of the 303R, if you have a choice *and* the choice is free in either case, you'd be well advised to pick the 30-06.

robert garner
February 13, 2006, 12:19 PM
I've shot many deer with the 'o6,,,and one with the 303....
All my deer (so far) have been one shot stops;) some better stops than others.
I couldn't tell the difference except, in my advanced age I do appreciate
the mild mannered 3o3, it seems to work better than its #'s indicate.
My brother in law thought :neener: it was an exit wound when in fact it was hit
twixt neck and left shoulder , the very well mushroomed bullet was recovered imbedded in the hide of the right hind leg having skirted the ham!
Take what you are comfortable with, i've never been lucky enuff to need to re-supply ammo during a hunt! You are in a win win situation
robert

Vern Humphrey
February 13, 2006, 12:24 PM
There's nothing wrong with the .303 -- or the .30-40 Krag for that matter. But given a choice, I would certainly opt for the more powerful and versatile .30-06.

ArmedBear
February 13, 2006, 01:03 PM
For hunting, you don't need to get into reloading.

With a .30-'06, you can buy a ridiculous variety of off-the-shelf ammo, including good elk loads. It wins hands-down.

And if you do want to handload, someone has cooked up and tested recipes for anything you'd ever want in the '06.

Cosmoline
February 13, 2006, 01:09 PM
What is the best for oregon 200-300yards away and say im hunting elk wich round would perform better with brush and being in a clearcut:confused:

If you're using a .303 against Elk I'd suggest working up handloads using the Woodleigh 215 grainer that's designed for the cartridge. However I think you'd be pushing things at 300 yards. It's far easier to buy a heavy .30'06 load with the right bullet off the shelf, and the extra power will give you more range to shoot.

j grimes
February 13, 2006, 04:19 PM
I would go with an 8mm becouse thats what i got . butt im with robert go with what u injoy shooting most.its the romace of hunt we remember most.:)

stoky
February 13, 2006, 08:02 PM
30-06


You did say .303 not .308
dooooooh!..........sorry
:o

Dave R
February 13, 2006, 09:00 PM
Ehhhhhhh, in some loadings the two are ballistic twins.

The reason to prefer the .30-06 is the wide variety of commercial hunting loads available.

If you handload, go with whichever one you want.

Gun_nut
February 13, 2006, 10:18 PM
Would the .303 performe better in brush then the 30-06?:confused:

Roudy
February 13, 2006, 10:23 PM
These two cartridges are so similar that I think you should pick the one that makes you feel better. With such similar ballistics the bullet placement is the most important criteria.....therefore whichever one you "feel" best about will be the one you will be most successful with.

Sometimes we split hairs about which cartridge is best, but maybe we should ask ourselves which rifle do we feel more comfortable with....for cartridges that are similar.:)

rbernie
February 13, 2006, 11:28 PM
Ehhhhhhh, in some loadings the two are ballistic twins. I beg to differ. In every modern commerical load or handload using bullets ranging from 125gr to 220gr, the 30-06 has at LEAST a 300fps advantage. It can't help it - it's got more powder capacity and operates at a higher pressure. The only time that 303R gets close to the 30-06 is when you're comparing modern 150gr 303R loads with M2 30-06 ball specs, and that hardly seems an appropriate comparison.

Would the .303 performe better in brush then the 30-06?I believe that 'bush' performance is really a combination of two factors; the rifle needs to be suited for fast snap shots, and the bullet used needs to be relatively impervious to lightweight brush. A key point here is that NO chambering or bullet shy of dangerous game fodder can plow through branches and twigs as if they're not there. Having said that, round nose or flat nose bullets (in any caliber) seem to be less affected by small brush that would a spitzer of equal weight/caliber.

The 30-06 will have a lot more energy to deliver on target than the 303R, but either can do well if the rifle and bullet is selected for the environment.......

These two cartridges are so similar that I think you should pick the one that makes you feel better. Agree with the premise that comfort with the rifle is at least equal in importance as is the chambering, but I cannot agree that these cartridges are 'so similar'. I've shot and loaded for both for a number of years now, and there is just no WAY that anyone can make the case (based upon actual empirical numbers, not just stating something without proof) that the 303R is on par with the 30-06 using modern loads as the point of reference.

If you have a 303R, make it work for you. If you have a 30-06, use it and be happy. If you have neither and need to choose one, the 30-06 is a more able chambering.

Art Eatman
February 14, 2006, 12:42 AM
Gun_nut, leaving out bullets that will fragment on brush, there is no such thing as a "brush buster". Any bullet, spitzer or roundnose, 25-caliber on up to 45-70 and such, will deflect. The amount of deflection depends on the distance from the branch to the target.

(About every ten or fifteen years, somebody piles up some brush and sets up targets behind it. After a whole bunch of shooting and calculating, they give the same report as I first read back in the 1940s. :) )

Typically, a "brush gun" is one which is handy, is quick to bring to aim and shoot in a snap-shot situation.

Art

j grimes
February 14, 2006, 03:31 PM
AS FAR AS BRUSH GUNS GO WITH AN SKS AND JUST OPEN UP:neener:

MachIVshooter
February 14, 2006, 10:40 PM
The .303 British is a great round, ballistically equal to the .308 Win and just below the .30-06. I have an Enfield and truly enjoy shooting it. In the ealier part of the century, a great many Enfields were brought back to the US and used for hunting with good results (as were a variety of Mausers). That said, the extremely limited selection of factory .303 ammunition and .311" hunting bullets make the .30-06 a far superior choice for most sportsmen.

Roudy
February 14, 2006, 10:54 PM
[QUOTE=rbernie]Agree with the premise that comfort with the rifle is at least equal in importance as is the chambering, but I cannot agree that these cartridges are 'so similar'. I've shot and loaded for both for a number of years now, and there is just no WAY that anyone can make the case (based upon actual empirical numbers, not just stating something without proof) that the 303R is on par with the 30-06 using modern loads as the point of reference.
QUOTE]

The word 'similar' in the dictionary that I am looking at says "nearly but not exactly the same or alike". I did not say that the 303 British and the 30-06 were the same, but similar. I still beleive that for the application proposed in the initial part of this thread that the 303 British is as capable as the 30-06.

Cosmoline
February 14, 2006, 11:44 PM
No, I think by any measure the .30'06 can be loaded with a serious edge over the .303 at 200 or 300 yards. There's a lot more room in the cartridge and it can run at substantially higher pressures. At its light magnum levels, the .30'06 runs into .300 Win Mag territory.

The .303 is a very different animal, more akin to the .30-40 Krag as a hunting cartridge than the .30'06. And it must be treated differently. If you expect to take big game with the .303 you must load it with large, high SD cartridges that make up for its lack of velocity. A 180 grainer out of a .30'06 may be fine for Elk, but the same weight bullet out of a .303 is marginal for large game beyond short range.

Pesky672
August 25, 2008, 08:48 PM
I don't know if this thread is still being followed but here goes... I have a No 4 Mk 1 Longbranch (303 Lee Enfield) that was my fathers and is a favorite of mine. That rifle saw action in Europe during WWII, has been used in winter in the high Arctic, and (to my knowledge) never let the old man down...or me for that matter. On the other hand...I also have 3 x 30-06's that I am very fond of. Both cals are capable of bagging anything N. America has to offer so my thought is that the choice comes down to the rifle...more than the cal. The Enfields were designed for war and more specifically trench warfare...and as a result were built with very forgiving tollerances. You can drop them in the mud, have debris fall into the action, use them in extremely cold whether snow...sand etc etc. In other words if you are humping through thick bush and expect to be covered in leaves, pine needles etc etc...or out in -40 weather...the Enfield is probably the better choice. In Canada, it remains the standard weapon for our Inuit Ranger patrolers in the far north. The newer fancier rifles just can't take that kind of cold or punishment. Otherwise, I prefer the 06 just because of the ammo choices available and that little bit of extra slap they deliver. Lets face it...most hunter shots are less than 200 yards. Especially in thick bush where the a 100 yard shot would be quite long. Most bush shots are considerably less than that...maybe 20-50 yards. At those distances....ballistics don't really matter all that much and most 30 cal rifles will probably pass through a 10-12 inch spruce tree and still kill the moose on the other side.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 25, 2008, 09:53 PM
^
|
|
Both cals are capable of bagging anything N. America has to offer so my thought is that the choice comes down to the rifle...more than the cal.
This new guy speaks very wisely! Welcome, pesky. :)

seb44jy
February 20, 2009, 04:50 PM
well poweful rifles on go right tru the animals ,, a saw mooses going down faster with a 30-30 winchester that with a 300 mag its too powerful

R.W.Dale
February 20, 2009, 05:04 PM
30-06 simply for the much more modern hunter friendly platforms it's avalible in.

If you don't want a scope the SMLE is fine, but that being said a marlin 336 fills the same role quite nicely with much cheaper ammunition

Bursh gun refers to thew rifle package it's self, there is no such thing as brush bustin cartridges.

Requirements for a brush gun

easy to handle & carry
a finish you don't care about
fast on target and followup
preferable with enough horsepower to not need that second shot and preclude tracking

ken22250
February 20, 2009, 05:43 PM
30-06 deffinatly, if you forget you ammo, its available everywhere, in brush, a 180gr roundnose will do well, in open, a spitzer of the same weight will be exelent
ken

usmc1371
February 20, 2009, 08:54 PM
Having hunted elk in oregon pretty much every year since 1994 with a 30-06 I can say it works just fine and the loads availble to non hand loaders like me mean you can get a good quility 180 grain bullet that will shoot good in your rifle. Elk in western Oregon are BIG, bigger and heavier than eastern oregon by a fair margin. This is thick countyr and hard to fallow wounded game so I say stick with the 06 and a good bullet and keep shooting until it falls down, if it gets up shoot it again. I shoot a 300 win now and haven't noticed any real dif in how the elk die but I haven't shot an elk past 340 yds with eathier and at those ranges I don't think there is much dif. IMHO having killed over a dozen elk in oregon eastern and western.

gga357
February 20, 2009, 09:01 PM
30-06 because it is a more a verstile round. More on the shelf. More components. Can load bullets from 110gr to 250gr. From 3500f/s to 2200f/s.

351 WINCHESTER
February 20, 2009, 09:35 PM
Personally, I would take the rifle that I shoot the best. If it turns out to be an enfield .303 that's fine. It will cleanly kill any elk with the right bullet and shot placement. The biggest factor is you're going to give up some range to the 06.

elmerfudd
February 20, 2009, 10:16 PM
The 30-06 is a superior cartridge for most purposes. For the most part it's faster and more powerful. Cartridges are available almost everywhere and with a very wide selection. There is more and better surplus available for it. It's rimless and therefore less likely to jam during feeding and if you reload there is a much better selection of bullets available for it.

IMO, the only good reason to choose .303 over 30-06 is because you really want the rifle that's chambered in .303.

Vern Humphrey
February 21, 2009, 09:31 AM
This is thick countyr and hard to fallow wounded game so I say stick with the 06 and a good bullet and keep shooting until it falls down, if it gets up shoot it again.
Very good advice. In fact, I recommend practicing from the standing unsupported position and always work the bolt from the shoulder. It should be natural to throw the bolt when you shoot -- the rifle reloads itself without you thinking. And if there's still hair in your sights, keep shooting.

I've known more than one guy to have an elk bound away, or jump up after falling -- while he stood there looking at it with a fired case in the chamber.

targshooter
February 21, 2009, 09:47 AM
The British .303 is of the same vintage and power as the old US .30-40 cartridge. The US military adopted the .30-03 and modified it to the .30-06 for enhanced performance based on Spanish-American War experiences. The US did get it right with the 06, it is quite a versatile and capable cartridge with a variety of bullet weights shooting well.

Vern Humphrey
February 21, 2009, 09:52 AM
Old timers used to claim the .30-40 killed better than the .30-06. And they were right.

Using simple cup-and-core bullets, the long, heavy 220 grain bullet launched at 2,000 fps from a .30-40 opened up on anything, and held together to penetrate well.

Similar 150 grain bullets driven at .30-06 velocities would sometimes shed their cores and perform poorly.

Nowadays, of course, with modern bullets, the .30-06 is a much better choice. But the .30-40 and .303 will still do the job.

RAWGUY
May 26, 2009, 10:45 PM
I have used both the 30-06 and the 303....the 30-06 in the 1903 Springfield and the M1 GARAND and I also have and ENFIELD 303 that I have used for about 25 years. I can tell you that you will see very little difference out to about 400 yards with either weapon. Beyond that the 30-06 retains more energy through the 500 yard mark.

I have also spent much time using the 308 winchester or (7.62mm NATO) round in the M14 military rifle. There is very little difference inside 500 yards between the 30-06 and the 308 and in depends on the projectile weight and load. After 500 yards with a 180 grain projectile the 30-06 will deliver more energy than either the .308 or the .303.

I like the all the afore mentioned weapons and am quite fond of the .303 in a one shot one kill hunting senario. I would certainly choose the GARAND or the M14 over the .303 ENFIELD in battle due to the semi-auto fire power etc. I would also choose the 1903 Springfield as a sniper weapon for the energy and accuracy delivered at a grater distance.

NOTE: If you have a .303 please do use it, you will NOT be disappointed with it's performance. You may have problems finding the loads that you desire as opposed to the 30-06 or .308 but then one can always prepare their own loads. I have managed to find the appropriate rounds for my .303 over the years,(in the U.S.), without difficulty, (last purchase was a month ago..off the shelf), but then no one knows when this may end so get them while you can.

Good Hunting,

RAWGUY

Coyote_Hunter_
May 26, 2009, 11:02 PM
.30-06 and don't look back...

jpwilly
May 27, 2009, 12:11 AM
Ought 6 has a little more zip and way more ammo and bullet selection. Both are very capable.

sarduy
May 27, 2009, 12:12 AM
30-06 with 200gr bullet

FlyinBryan
May 27, 2009, 01:34 AM
[i would prefer the 06, but then again im a garand man.

Joe Demko
May 27, 2009, 01:55 PM
The .30-06 is a more versatile catridge, no doubt. That versatility is important only if you plan to exploit it. Do you?
If not, I would go with the rifle I like better and not look back. Those old time cartridges killed lots of animals and the critters don't know it's the 21st century.

Reid73
May 27, 2009, 02:22 PM
My own choice is the .30/06 but I would certainly not feel undergunned with a .303. BTW, Lee still makes its "Classic Lee Loader" in .303, if you want to reload on a budget.

I suspect that most posters who have categorically asserted that the .30/06 is better than the .303 for hunting at 200-300 yards likely don't have much, if any, experience with the .303. For practical purposes, there is little to choose between the two cartridges.

While the .30/06 is a better performer and has many different bullet weights available, the advantage is largely theoretical. For actual hunting the .303 is quite capable, which is why it continues to have a wide following in Australia, Canada, N.Z. and South Africa despite the availability of other, more 'modern' calibres.

USSR
May 27, 2009, 02:29 PM
But there were key differences in the M1917 from the original Enfield. They switched over to the .30-06 cartridge because it was ballistically more in line with the design of the rifle. They also moved the sights to the rear. The rifle sent to GB was known as the P14 which still used the .303 cartridge. At the time this cartridge still used black powder too. So there's little wonder the US switched to the .30-06 platform.

Nope. They switched to the .30-06 for the M1917 because that was the cartridge for U.S. service rifles at that time. The peep sights for both the P14 and M1917 are located in the same place: at the rear of the receiver. And, the .303 British cartridge used smokeless powder (Cordite) and not black powder.

Don

ArmedBear
May 27, 2009, 02:32 PM
It seems to me that the .30-06 has been the subject of more experimentation than any other cartridge used for big game.

I'd say that the modern .30-06 is "better", just because it's been worked with so much by so many.

But maybe I'm just ignorant of what the Commonwealth types have done with the .303 over the years.

Reid73
May 27, 2009, 02:34 PM
Don is correct. Although the .303 was originally a black powder cartridge, it used cordite well before the P-14 was introduced. General information available here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.303_British).

Interesting article: "The All-African .303" (http://www.tfhj.co.za/index.php/Hunting/Volume-11-%7C-Issue-4-%7C-Aug/Sep-2008/the-all-african-303-by-johan-van-wyk.html).

Dr.Rob
May 27, 2009, 04:35 PM
The .303 was used all over and it might still be far more common in Canada than the US. But you're in Oregon, you might as well take advantage of the wide variety of off the shelf cartridges available in .30-06.

Now if you SHOOT the .303 better, by all means its no slouch. I hunted witha guy that used a .303 in Colorado chasing elk, and noone ever complained that the round wasn't capable. Thing is the GUY wasn't all that familiar with his sporterized Enfield and iron sights and missed a shot a relatively close range.

Whatever you choose, practice with it as much as you can before setting off on your hunt.

Maverick223
May 27, 2009, 07:37 PM
Although the .303 was originally a black powder cartridge, it used cordite well before the P-14 was introduced.True I have one of the cordite rounds, it's odd because you can shake and not hear the powder (b/c there is none). I don't know if it's worth anything but I keep it for a conversation piece. The .303 has evolved over the years and I think it will be around for a lot longer, but I like the '06 a bit better.

Maverick223
May 27, 2009, 07:38 PM
Dang...just noticed this thread is ancient...almost as old as the .303Brit.

USSR
May 28, 2009, 08:30 AM
KG,

The P14 is NOT a SMLE! The P14 is a completely different (mauser-based) design than the SMLE, and from it's introduction had a peep sight. Because of the immediate need for alot of rifles for the U.S. armed forces, the U.S. gov't simply stopped production of the P14 at Eddystone, Remington, and Winchester, and retooled to produce the rifle in .30-06. The P14 and M1917 are functionally identical. Look at photos of SMLE's and P14/M1917 rifles and you will see that they are completely different.

Don

SaxonPig
May 28, 2009, 09:01 AM
Similar performance but the advantage has to go to the 06 due to increased availability, selection of factory ammo, bullets for reloading, and the rimless case is really a better design for a magazine fed rifle.

The fact that you don't see Remington, Winchester or Ruger selling new rifles in 303 ought to be a clue.

Maverick223
May 28, 2009, 12:31 PM
Similar performance but the advantage has to go to the 06I agree, but neither is a bad round. Take the '06 if given a choice.

tactikel
May 28, 2009, 09:30 PM
The .303 has killed every big game animal on the AFRICAN continent, while I would favor my .30-06 the .303 it certainly capable for elk.

Martini_Henry
April 29, 2010, 07:07 PM
6 of one half a dozen of the other, my experience with remmington's .303 softpoints have been dissapointing, the accuracy doesn't seem to be as good as the fmj.

Al LaVodka
April 29, 2010, 07:58 PM
.303 takes a tea break often and actually calls dinner "Tea" -- I'd have to go w/.30-06 Ackley Improved.
Al

saturno_v
April 29, 2010, 09:10 PM
Whoever says that the 303 British and the 30-06 are very close in performance has never read any ballistic table nor the tech specs about these 2 rounds otherwise he/she would never make such ridiculous statement.

You are comparing a 45.000 psi cartridge with a 60.000 psi one and with more case capacity on top of that.

That said, can a 303 Birtish drop an elk?? Sure it can but that doesn't mean that is equal to a 30-06 in performance.

According to the Hodgdon reload data center a 30-06 (24" barrel) can drive a 180 gr. bullet up to 2800 fps where the 303 cannot even reach 2500 (out of a 25" barrel)

It is like saying that the 30-06 is almost in the same power class as the 300 Weatherby Magnum.....:rolleyes::scrutiny::uhoh:

USSR
April 29, 2010, 10:25 PM
According to the Hodgdon reload data center a 30-06 (24" barrel) can drive a 180 gr. bullet up to 2800 fps where the 303 cannot even reach 2500 (out of a 25" barrel)

I've been driving 190SMK's at 2900fps out of my 26" barreled .30-06 for the past 10 years.:)

Don

Vern Humphrey
April 29, 2010, 11:31 PM
my experience with remmington's .303 softpoints have been dissapointing, the accuracy doesn't seem to be as good as the fmj.
Well, my .303 is a Canadian M1905 Ross. Those rifles failed in the trenches in WWI, and one attempt to make them work was to deepen the chamber -- which was done to mine.

Ejected cases look like .303 Epps! To reload, I use a Lee Collet Die, and put washers on the shell holder, so as to resize only some of the neck -- anything else would destroy the case on the second firing.

Lots of SMLEs were also "hogged out" like that and fully sized cases (like new ammo) will not shoot well. In addition, Enfield bores vary greatly from rifle to rifle. I think Remington bullets are a bit on the small size, and if you have a slightly oversize bore they won't shoot well.

kurra_hunter
May 28, 2010, 02:45 AM
The .30-06 is more fast and powerful, but does that make it better? To me no it doesn't, to some others yes it does. I would bet that more high-velocity loadings in .30-06's have shattered more hams and ruined more edible meat on running shots and such than the .303 has ever done...

I vote for the .303, but then again I'm in Canada and Enfield's are everywhere here, as is the ammo. I call it the "Commonwealth Special" and have used them in other Commonwealth countries as well with great success on game...The .30-06 has never really appealed to me, and anything over the 7x57 and .303 power range I feel is overkill anyways, don't need more velocity... The .303 kills well and I'm satisfied with it. I think the Enfield rifle and the ballistics of the .303 brit and similar moderate velocity rounds like the 6.5x55SE and 7x57 Mauser suit some people better than a modern Rem 700 in .300 win mag or .30-06. Also one person here mentioned the reliability of the Enfield in rough weather conditions. But more than that, I just plain enjoy carrying an Enfield .303 in the bush and watching that 180 gr Winchester power-point blast through at 2400 fps (not explode at 2900+), penetrate like she always does and make the kill...

Every large game animal I have shot with the .303 was killed with one shot. 2400-2500 fps from a 180 gr bullet is just perfect for me. I like that bullet weight (and the 215 gr), speed and recoil and power...don't need anything more powerful than that, and I don't care for the modern rifles or calibers much, or rimless cartridges for that matter...the Enfield with it's cock-on-closing and 10 round mag is big medicine for any moose or bear in Canada...it's been killin em dead for over the past 100 years...the .303 has a very long proven track record in Africa, Australia and Canada with regular, consistent kills on all the largest game in the bush in those countries...It will still take the biggest critters out there.

natman
May 28, 2010, 03:14 AM
The 30-06 is better in every way. Plus they still make new rifles for it.

SlamFire1
May 28, 2010, 09:06 AM
I understand Ruger is offering the #1 in 303 British. With that stiff action, you won't have the case stretching issues of a Lee Enfield, and I have no doubt that someone could safely push the 303 must faster than current factory loadings.

The 303 pushed a 174 grain bullet at 2550 fps. That is not was fast as a 30-06, but that is plenty good. That is the velocity of 308 White Box match. It is faster than a 30-30.

The round shot down enough Junkers 88's, ME 109's, and Stuka's. It must have something going for it.

nathan
May 28, 2010, 09:59 AM
A lot like 180 gr SP when hunting the .303 Brit. The old LEe Enfield rifles were designed for heavier 174 gr FMJ so its about right to use close to that one. Now the SP ammo are not as cheap , almost close to magnum prices per box.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=224779


If you want more velocity , the 150 gr SP just as kills faster.


http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=779097

flakbait
May 28, 2010, 10:07 AM
Despite more than 16 million Lee Enfield .303 rifles produced in the British Empire, this ammo is difficult and expensive to obtain in the USA versus the 30'06 which is available everywhere on the planet for cheap. No commerical company currently loads these rounds with premium bullets i.e. just FMJ and standard Soft points (not that premium bullets are always needed for hunting...but that's another topic altogether).

If you don't reload, you are stuck with expensive soft points or FMJ bullets to feed your pre-1950 .303 Enfield.

I have an old sporterized Enfield .303 Mark III that my father-in-law brought home to the US when he was stationed in West Germany in the 1950s. Since I am not willing to pay more than $30 bucks for a box of 20 cartridges, I am currently trying to reload to feed this old war relic. I recently shot a 100 lb Hog at 170 yards (not bad for a worn out rifle which shoots 2-4 MOA on a good day).

I saw documentery on the history or military channel (forgot which show) that said the British were contemplating replacing the SMLE in the 1920's and 1930's but the great depression slowed them down, and they never got around to doing so when WWII began. The Brits only replaced it when everyone standardized on the 7.62 Nato catridge in the 1950's.

30'06 is definately a big improvement ballistically on the .303, and I really don't see any reason to pick the .303 unless you happen to own or desire an old war relic like the one I own. A .303 will get the job done for sure, but the slow velocity of its bullets (less than 2400 fps) limits your hunting range to about 200 yards unless you are a master at holding over your target.

It is the fastest cycling military bolt action rifle every produced (its as smooth as butter) but rapid fire really has not place in hunting unless your woods are inhabited by zombies. Even with the fastest bolt action rifle in existance, I was only able to get two shots (only one aimed) on a group of Hogs. You really need a a semi-automatic rifle like my AR to take multiple shots on pest like hogs---but that's another topic.

nathan
May 28, 2010, 10:14 AM
The .303 is like a beefed up brother .30 30 , mild recoil and mild velocity. I see it shine in distances of 200 yds or less in hunting scenario. A great brush gun for that matter with a lot of history.

Eb1
May 28, 2010, 02:05 PM
There isn't anything on earth that a 30-06 has killed that a .303 hasn't done the same.

The .303 back in the day was the go to Elephant gun. Shooting 215-220? grain bullets.

Pick which you like. If you go .303 you will have a harder time finding ammunition unless you live in AUS or CANADA. I love my no1mk3. I shoots just fine, but I go to a 25-06 to kill my meat.

Also the loading for the M1 30-06 is what? A 145 grain at 2500 fps? Everyone raves over this gun and bullet. I am not anti '06. I love the caliber. Think there is none better, but put the bullet where it is suppose to go, and stop thinking that one is better than the other for practicle hunting situations.

pete f
May 28, 2010, 03:22 PM
I vote for the .303, but then again I'm in Canada and Enfield's are everywhere here, as is the ammo. I call it the "Commonwealth Special" and have used them in other Commonwealth countries as well with great success on game...The .30-06 has never really appealed to me, and anything over the 7x57 and .303 power range I feel is overkill anyways, don't need more velocity... The .303 kills well and I'm satisfied with it. I think the Enfield rifle and the ballistics of the .303 brit and similar moderate velocity rounds like the 6.5x55SE and 7x57 Mauser suit some people better than a modern Rem 700 in .300 win mag or .30-06. Also one person here mentioned the reliability of the Enfield in rough weather conditions. But more than that, I just plain enjoy carrying an Enfield .303 in the bush and watching that 180 gr Winchester power-point blast through at 2400 fps (not explode at 2900+), penetrate like she always does and make the kill...

Every large game animal I have shot with the .303 was killed with one shot. 2400-2500 fps from a 180 gr bullet is just perfect for me. I like that bullet weight (and the 215 gr), speed and recoil and power...don't need anything more powerful than that, and I don't care for the modern rifles or calibers much, or rimless cartridges for that matter...the Enfield with it's cock-on-closing and 10 round mag is big medicine for any moose or bear in Canada...it's been killin em dead for over the past 100 years...the .303 has a very long proven track record in Africa, Australia and Canada with regular, consistent kills on all the largest game in the bush in those countries...It will still take the biggest critters out there.

Read this again for effect, faster and louder does not kill any better....Once you decide that you are man enough to admit that having the biggest gun doesn't make you the manliest, dropping down a very small amount gets you an awful lot more in the end result, modest rifle at modest velocity with a heavier bullet kills game dead.

flakbait
May 28, 2010, 04:22 PM
Yes, a 45-70 black powder rifle firing a 405 grain bullet at 1394 fps will probably kill anything on the planet with modest recoil 1,748 ft-lb . However, it is extremely limited to short range due to the ballistic profile.

The more modern 30'06 (1906 vs 1895) has a marginal improvement in speed over the .303 enabling slightly longer range without much additional recoil. It is a better choice for hunting big game if you had to pick a new rifle today, i.e. that's why there is a ton of factory loads available.

If you already had a .303 Enfield or are just particular towards that rifle, you can't go wrong...just more limited, pricey ammo selection and slightly shorter range.

USSR
May 28, 2010, 06:59 PM
Also the loading for the M1 30-06 is what? A 145 grain at 2500 fps?

Not even close. 152gr bullet at 2800fps. Quite a bit more zookum than any .303 Brit. load.

Don

natman
May 29, 2010, 03:38 AM
Winchester offers the 303 in one loading:

180 grain Power point @2460 fps.

They offer the 30-06 in a similar load:

180 grain Power point @2700 fps.

So the 30-06 is clearly more powerful.

Winchester offers 30-06 in nine different bullet types. Not loads, kinds of bullets. They offer 16 different loads.

So ammunition selection is vastly in the 30-06's favor.

Plus you can still buy a large selection of new rifles in 30-06. Not so in 303.

So by any objective criteria the 30-06 is by far the better choice, the rich history of the 303 notwithstanding. How this is open to debate amazes me.

Beetle Bailey
May 29, 2010, 04:28 AM
Other than the already mentioned Ruger #1, are there any current production rifles made in .303 Brit? I don't know of any in the US, but how about Canada, UK, or Austrailia?

natman
May 29, 2010, 07:01 AM
Ruger isn't offering the No. 1 in 303, at least not according to their online catalog:

http://www.ruger.com/footer/catalogViewer.html

pages 39-41.

In fact, according to the Ruger website's history section, Ruger has never offered the No. 1 in 303:

http://www.ruger.com/service/productHistory/RI-No1.html

I am amazed by the people trying to defend the 303. Nobody has said it's not a useful round, because it is. But the question at hand is which round is better. In the real world the 303 can't hold a candle to the 30-06, either in terms of ballistics or ease of ownership. Period.

Art Eatman
May 29, 2010, 08:23 AM
Enuf. This will come up again, I'm sure...

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