303Brit thinking lead/casting lots of questions????


July 10, 2014, 09:50 PM
Hey Fellas.
Loading 303brit for two rifles one w/#3 bolt chamber nice and tight other is my favorite a loosely chambered j/c so neck sizing is not the direction i want to go.
The 500+ cases I have are quickley wearing out, so thinking slowing things down. Only shooting 100yds or less, thinking lead and that brings up a ton of new questions.
First off size thinking .312/.313 (slugged the j/c a while back think it was .311 have the slug stashed away)150 to 174gr. Not sure what would work best for accurate plinkers.
Then how fast?? Do I need gas checks. Can I buy cast with gas checks.
Thinking about casting for this.
As you can see lots to think about.
Any input would be helpful.

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July 10, 2014, 10:19 PM

The .303 British cartridge is easy to load with cast bullets. Since there is considerable variation between the rifles so chambered and even individual rifles, you will need to do some measurements and research. Slugging the 5-groove barrel's land/groove measurement is critical and difficult to do correctly. A "throat slug" will be easier to measure and that is the most important measurement to get lead to shoot accurately.

One of the best articles I have seen about shooting cast bullets in the Lee Enfield is: http://www.303british.com/id37.html

Steve Regwell is a former Canadian military armorer and his site has a lot of valuable information.

July 12, 2014, 07:39 PM
My Long branch LE has a two groove barrel that the bore and throat measure .315 but are like brand new.
I have a NOE .311 198 gr Spire point mold that works great, and I just ordered a NOE .316 - 202 Gr RN mold
My other LE's with .311 and .312 bores shot exceptionally well with the 198 grainer, and even with the Lee 175 grain bullet.
My 198 gr mold is two cavity and one is Gas Check, and the other hole is Plain Base.
The Plain base shoot well at lower volocites with out needing Gas Checks if I use Lyman #2 alloy or LinoType Lead and they dont lead the barrel.
If you cast with Wheel Weights, I suggest you use Gas Checked bullets.

July 12, 2014, 08:17 PM
jeeptim, I shoot cast.311 with air soft/ cool whip powder coat, no sizing that brings the size up to .315 so it fits in my 7.65mm mauser barrel that slugs at .313 ,2400 fps no leading.

July 12, 2014, 08:23 PM
just google surplus 303 british brass and see what comes up.black hills shooters supply has new brass

July 12, 2014, 08:29 PM
LAGS thank you now I have another question.
I have slugged the barell for the most part just pounded a chunk of lead down the muzzel felt tight to the action.
So how did you slug only the bore near or at the action???

July 12, 2014, 10:18 PM
Are you shooting the same brass in both rifles?

July 12, 2014, 10:26 PM
Yeah that's kinda of a problem I know but I have about 500 good cases and like to batch load all the same. I have a few different work ups that work well. And with the amount I load I only go through this every two years or so.

July 12, 2014, 11:52 PM
@ Jeeptim
To slug the throat, you can pound a slug in from the chamber end about 1" into the throat, and then back out the way it went in.
But I Cast my chambers with Cerosafe, and then measure the casting.
I also Cast the Muzzle end to see what the last 2" of the barrel look like, because that is where the most Damage is done on MilSurps that were not cleaned properly , someone used a Steel cleaning rod from the muzzle, or that is the part of the barrel that is most exposed in long term storage.
You can slug just the muzzle end also by driving the slug into the Muzzle end of the bore only 2" and then back out from the chamber end.
Then compare it to a slug that has passed all the way thru the bore.

A chamber casting will also tell you how sloppy or pitted your chamber is.
Then you can decide if you only want to Neck Size your cases, like I always do for each rifle.
Neck sizing a fired case, will make the reload specific to That Rifle, and potentially more accurate.
It also makes your brass last longer, especially if you have an odd sized chamber.

July 13, 2014, 01:49 AM
Good call on the casting! I think that will br tomorrows project.

July 13, 2014, 02:19 AM
@ Jeeptim.
What do you mean " Tomorows Project " ?
What is wrong with Tonights Project ?
You are an Hour ahead of me, you still have time to get some work done , before it is tomorrow . LOL

July 13, 2014, 12:28 PM

As the 303 Brit started life as a 215 grain jacketed black powder load (70 grains of compressed BP) to get 18hundred and some FPS, proper lead loadings can do well.

After reading the entries above, I have two comments. The link posted by 'Curator' is excellent material. And 'think' powder coating.

I too have two S.M.L.E.s (Short. Medford, held the patient. Lee, a Yank that designed the action. Enfield, generally the deeper rifling when compared to the shallow Medford rifling.)
One of mine was pulled out of Hiroshima Bay by my dad. It has salt water etching on all exterior surfaces but the action and bore are excellent, a Mark III* from the First War. The second is a Lithgow Mark III that dates from 1940. It was 'sporterized' before my dad bought it, circa 1950. Both are very shootable :)

To yours. I would suggest two things. Load separate cases specifically for each weapon, neck size or minimally size to prolong case life.
And powder coat. A heavy coating or second coating will add diameter and make for a good seal. I'm pushing powder coated cast lead to 2550 FPS out of a 03A3 (30-06) with good results (shoots better than I can see with my eyes). LEE makes a 155 gain GC bullet mold that is cheap.

All of the military ordnance switched over from round nose to some type of pointy nose for a reason. The only hunting rifle round in great use with flat or round noses are that way because of action/feeding systems. Don't get me wrong, a flat/round nose bullet does a good job, but every little bit helps.

Just more to think about.

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