.303 British surplus from Sportsman Guide, observations.


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Exposure
August 16, 2006, 12:24 PM
***MODS*** - If this should go in rifle country I apologize. It just seemed more appropriate here since there is really no rifle discussion in this post.


I just recieved 400 rounds of .303 British in four cardboard boxes packed loose. The first one I opened up was filled with a mix of 1962-1964 dated ammunition. Some of it appears to have been linked at one time and de-linked a long time ago judging from the corrosion on the linking scars. Strangely I didn't think that the British still had any belt feds in the 60's firing the .303??? It was a letdown to see the poor shape of this stuff. I hoped the other boxes weren't as bad.

I opened the second box and to my delight found relatively bright and shiny ammo all dated 1952.

The third box I opened revealed even nicer looking 1941 dated ammo with silver bullets!

And the fourth revealed almost new looking ammo dated 1943 also with silver bullets.

200 rounds of real live WWII ammo!

My curiosity got the better of me and I had to open a couple of rounds as I had never seen Cordite before and was really curious as to what it looked like. First thing I noticed, the Brits crimp those rounds in there HARD!

Once the bullet was out I found a little cardboard wadding on top of the Cordite, I assume to keep it from shifting around and possibly breaking into smaller pieces? :confused:

The Cordite itself looked like uncooked angel hair pasta to me and was packed in there very tight, filling the case.

I dumped it out on the ground and lit it on fire. Finally I could smell "The stench of burned Cordite" as I had read in so many works of fiction. It was kind of a let down. :neener:

Anyway no real point to this post other than the fact that I am kind of excited to have some really cool WWII surplus ammo. Can't wait to load up the Enfield and see how she does with some honest to goodness British surplus. It will be a nice change from the $20.00 per box commercial stuff I had previously bought.

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Trebor
August 16, 2006, 12:28 PM
Assume that it is all corrosive and clean your rifle accordingly.

Chipperman
August 16, 2006, 12:28 PM
Isn't it interesting how slowly the stuff burns when it's in the open?

Dave Markowitz
August 16, 2006, 12:32 PM
Once the bullet was out I found a little cardboard wadding on top of the Cordite, I assume to keep it from shifting around and possibly breaking into smaller pieces?

The wad was mainly to hold the Cordite in place during manufacturing. .303 that was loaded with Cordite had the propellant loaded before the case was necked. After the Cordite and wad was loaded into the brass, the case was necked and then the bullet was seated and crimped.

Detachment Charlie
August 16, 2006, 12:36 PM
I might keep those handy, just incase you don't have garlic, or holy water or a crucifix or a wooden stake -- vampires, you know.:evil:

dracphelan
August 16, 2006, 01:04 PM
It will be a nice change from the $20.00 per box commercial stuff I had previously bought.

My suggestion. Start reloading. When you are talking around $1/bullet, it is definetely worth it.

mustanger98
August 16, 2006, 01:41 PM
If I could find some non-corrosive surplus .303, I'd be interested. It does sound like an interesting find that you have there from a historical perspective, but I just don't want to run corrosive in my nice No.4Mk2 Fazakerly.

If I want to run corrosive, I have plenty of 8mm Mauser and I know I can clean out the bolt real easy on those.

Gun Wielding Maniac
August 16, 2006, 04:13 PM
Hello
I'm glad some other people have felt free to post their observations on the SG .303... Especially considering it is basically the only reasonably priced .303 around.

I've gotten 3 seperate cases of the Brit from them. The first was 1941 dated Radway Green production. The second was 1944 production RG. The last was 1952 Kynoch production. The wartime production had the cupro-nickel jacked bullets and tightly crimped cases as you observed. The Kynoch stuff had a lubaloy coated bullet with a slightly more rounded off tip. The casing showed signs of annealing that wasnt present on the wartime stuff.

So far, it has all been sure fire and reasonably accurate. No click-bangs! I'm happy.

Diomed
August 17, 2006, 12:50 AM
It will be a nice change from the $20.00 per box commercial stuff I had previously bought.

Why are you paying $20/20 when Sportsman's Guide has it for less than $9/20? :scrutiny: Get the Sellier & Bellot, or UMC if you want to try reloading the cases.

If I could find some non-corrosive surplus .303, I'd be interested.

It's out there, but hard to find and not cheap. Greek and South African.

mustanger98
August 17, 2006, 01:09 AM
Diomed Quote:Quote:
If I could find some non-corrosive surplus .303, I'd be interested.


It's out there, but hard to find and not cheap. Greek and South African.

I've been hearing about Greek and from what I understand, guys who've shot Greek a lot are having a time finding any more of it.

Right now, my preferred factory sporting load is South African PMP 174gr SP. This is, as I understand it, loaded to MkVII ball spec. From some of my sources, PMP loaded a lot of MkVII ball for the Brits. Just haven't foudn the PMP surplus in a while. Wonder what the chances are of finding it on clips.

Diomed
August 17, 2006, 03:12 AM
I've been hearing about Greek and from what I understand, guys who've shot Greek a lot are having a time finding any more of it.

Yeah, the story as I understand it is that it can't be imported anymore. Or more correctly, can't be exported - the packaging doesn't meet EU standards or something, it's too expensive to repack, so it just sits in Greece.

Of course, the CMP doesn't seem to have trouble getting the clipped HXP in, so who knows. (Or are they just sitting on a mountain of old stock?)

Right now, my preferred factory sporting load is South African PMP 174gr SP. This is, as I understand it, loaded to MkVII ball spec. From some of my sources, PMP loaded a lot of MkVII ball for the Brits. Just haven't foudn the PMP surplus in a while. Wonder what the chances are of finding it on clips.

I haven't been able to find any new PMP! Do you have a source you can share? I have some of the surplus, but the only ones on chargers are old (early '60s) and probably corrosive.

ScottsGT
August 17, 2006, 08:14 AM
RE: Silver Bullets

I might keep those handy, just incase you don't have garlic, or holy water or a crucifix or a wooden stake -- vampires, you know.


Oh man, are you tactically in trouble. Those silver bullets will have NO effect on a vampire! Those are for Wearwolfs! Man, I hope you don't have to cover me when we go into the dark fantasy world! :neener:

mustanger98
August 17, 2006, 10:44 AM
I haven't been able to find any new PMP! Do you have a source you can share?

I bought some from Cabela's two or three years ago and then they quit carrying it. Then I found out Sportsman's Guide has it. They listed a hunting load and a match load. This is the SP hunting load that I get.

dm1333
August 17, 2006, 04:19 PM
Im just curious why you wont shoot corrosive ammo through your rifle? I own two Enfields, both of them have been very well used and I have been shooting corrosive ammo through them, and both have bores in good shape. One is a Savage Enfield with a two groove barrel and the bore is beautiful even though it has obviously seen a lot of hard use. I just spray some cleaner or ammonia through the barrrel at the range after I'm done shooting and then give the weapon a normal cleaning back at home.

Don

mustanger98
August 17, 2006, 08:52 PM
Don, I have a Mauser I do shoot corrosive ammo in. I clean it with a 50/50 mix of amonia and water followed by the usual stuff. The Mauser '98 bolt and the Enfield bolt are built differently making the Mauser easier to clean. You do have to clean the bolt because the corrosive part is the primer and you will get some blowback. The Enfield's bolt appears to me to be a little more aggravating to flush out. The bore (of either rifle) is the least of my worries as I can swab them out with amonia easily. As has been noted many times, we all have thoughts that range from slightly different to vastly different. To each his own.

Diomed
August 18, 2006, 01:20 AM
I bought some from Cabela's two or three years ago and then they quit carrying it. Then I found out Sportsman's Guide has it. They listed a hunting load and a match load. This is the SP hunting load that I get.

Ah, gotcha. They haven't had FMJ in I can't remember how long, and I don't normally buy SP.

I am reminded I need to get some UMC. That's the closest to the Mk VIIz load I know of, unless Prvi Partizan is making the cartridge rims rounded like they're supposed to. (SAAMI has a lot to answer for.)

The Enfield's bolt appears to me to be a little more aggravating to flush out.

How so? As long as the firing pin hasn't gotten frozen into the cocking piece, the bolt can disassemble in less than two minutes. I find it far and away easier than a Mauser-type to strip.

dm1333
August 18, 2006, 09:31 AM
I was just curious, that's all. I enjoy shooting mine because of the smooth action and great triggers and it has become a habit to give my weapons a really thorough cleaning right after the range. I would hate to see any corrosion in my Savage Enfields bore.

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