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.303 Brit surplus ammo

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by marktx, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. marktx

    marktx Well-Known Member

    Been looking around at the .303 British surplus and there really doesn't seem to be a whole lot of selection around. Several places are selling the POF stuff but it seems to get mixed reviews. One or two places have UK manufacture ammo but there doesn't seem to be very much. Is it just getting to be that there is not much .303 surplus left or am I missing something?
  2. mukluk

    mukluk Well-Known Member

    That's pretty much the state of things. Unless you luck into some good South African or Greek HXP you're pretty much stuck with POF and WW2/Korean era surplus.

    If you plan on shooting .303 Brit with any regularity and don't want to fork out $1+ per round then I highly encourage you to reload your own ammo.
  3. rodregier

    rodregier Well-Known Member

    A lot of the past surplus .303BR was soaked up in the Afgahanistan/Russian conflict years ago, so less would be appearing on the market today.
  4. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    The only reasonably priced surplus stuff I've seen for a long time is the Pakistani "click....bang" ammo.
  5. everallm

    everallm Well-Known Member

    The L1A1 was issued to the British Army from 1957 onwards, rapidly phasing out the Lee Enfield .303.

    After 50 years of no manufacture is it so surprising that .303 mil surp is running out?
  6. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    I have 18 rounds of 1950s era Brit surplus that came with my rifle...still have it. Reloading is the only way to go!
  7. aka108

    aka108 Well-Known Member

    If you run across any Greek HXP get it. It is boxer primed and non-corrosive. Save the cases for reloading. You can extend the life of the brass by neck sizing the cases and identifying the reloaded ammo to a specific rifle.
  8. Dienekes

    Dienekes Well-Known Member

    +1. I have some HXP and I treasure it. Best way to get decent case life out of a .303 is to neck size as much as possible and only FL size it when absolutely necessary.

    The old Lee Loader, crude as it is, does this well. I have very good results with Speer 150 gr. SP.

    Decent old caliber but quirky.
  9. rodregier

    rodregier Well-Known Member

    You can also get a Lee neck-size only die too. Given the rather long headspace on many .303BR rifles, good way to minimize working of the brass for maximum reloading life.
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    That's what I do - get many mediem and light loads per case.
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    I read a Wall Street Journal Article about what is going on with surplus ammunition. Our “Friends” in the White House, along with European Governments have a fully taxpayer funded program where they go out and buy cheap old surplus ammunition. And then destroy the stuff. The “excuse” is that they don’t want the stuff ending up in Africa. The fact that it raises our costs is not a consideration. Especially as ammunition companies don’t want cheap ammo competing with their product, and they make campaign contributions.

    I have met buds who had to destory warehouses full of old French, German, British ammunition in Iraq.

    And then there is the White House funded arms program for Iraq. The Journal article described how hundreds of millions are being given to companies who are out there buying old surplus ammunition and supplying the stuff to the current Government in Iraq. So you have these two tax payer funded groups, each trying to outbid each other for old ammunition, one to destroy, the other to give to the Government in Iraq, and it is no wonder that prices have gone sky high.

    All thanks to our "Friends" in Congress and in the White House.

    I could not find the WSJ link, but this Congressional hearing was about this very topic.

  12. marktx

    marktx Well-Known Member

    What would a good price be for '40s vintage UK manufactured ammo? The Pakistani stuff seems to be going for 22 cents a round and new Prvi Partizan is going for 55 cents a round. I'm guessing that 60 year old UK stuff is probably still a little better than 40 year old Pakistani stuff but perhaps I'm wrong?
  13. nambu1

    nambu1 Well-Known Member

  14. CBS220

    CBS220 Well-Known Member

    Samco has it on sale, $0.17 a round, I think. I bought 800 rounds a good while back and it came out to around 150 or so shipped.

    The ammo is crap, its been stored poorly, its corrosive, and its very, very click bang. I've had at least 10 click bangs, each less than a second in duration (Just enough to ruin the shot!) If no one told you and you didn't look at the headstamps, you would never know that it wasn't POF ammo. Its also almost always mixed headstamp with varying different years of manufacture and bullet weight, and much of the brass is somewhat corroded (not too much, though).

    However, there is no reason for it to be unsafe, and I shot it. It is loaded with cordite, which is pretty cool (not sure if the POF is or not). At close ranges the ammo made for good practice. Also, the recoil is very light with this ammo, too.
  15. Fred West

    Fred West Well-Known Member

    Surplus .303 dried up about a year ago in the UK. The last batch I bought was 1943 manufactured Winchester. I think I paid about £20/100 (40c each). I've still got one box left which I'll keep forever.
    Prvi Partisan is currently about £40/100 and rising.
    Reloading is the only way to go.


    Attached Files:

  16. DougW

    DougW Well-Known Member

    +1 to everything I have read here. Reloading is the way to go, even if you have to buy new brass. I am on reload #5 on some of my commercial Remington brass. I keep the 700 rounds of SA for a rainey day, and shoot my reloads.

  17. bigjohnson

    bigjohnson Well-Known Member

    There's a post on Jouster's Enfield board about a click-bang that went REALLY bad. The shooter fired the rifle, the round didn't go off, so the shooter waited 15 seconds and then opened the bolt. With the bolt about halfway back, the round detonated, blowing the magazine downward, splitting the forestock, cracking the receiver at the forward edge of the magazine well, and seriously mutilating the shooter's left thumb.
    The ammo he was using was....you guessed it! Pakistani.
    The posting on Jouster has pictures galore. Including several shots of the mutilated thumb. Not pretty.

    So everybody repeat after me.
  18. oneshooter

    oneshooter Well-Known Member

    I have been shooting some 1944/45 RG today. Only 2C-B's out of 40 rounds fired.
    Corrosive, and it smells funny!

    Livin in Texas
  19. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Doug, nice pic. I did something like that - 303 on British chargers, in Mosin pouches, on an American leather belt.

  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    is PMP still loading .303?

    i haven't bought any in a while, got a couple of cases awhhile back. it was accurate, clean and reloadable

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