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303 reloading question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hershmeister, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. hershmeister

    hershmeister Member

    So i ordered some hornady 303 bullets but they are .3105.

    Im reloading for enfield/Bren/Arisaka

    Should I return these for the .312 bullets or will they be ok to use for plinking?
  2. Curator

    Curator Well-Known Member

    Many bullets made for the .303 british are .3105. I suspect these are the 174 grain boat-tail. Hornady does make a 174 grain round nose soft point that is a true .312. In most cases the .3015 bullets shoot OK since they are made with a soft, thin jacket and the 2-groove and 5-groove rifling designs aid in the bullet "slugging up" to fill the grooves. You can try them and see how they shoot. Generally, the closer the bullet is to groove diameter the better it shoots.
  3. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Well-Known Member

    The very first bullets I shot from a brand new, never fired No4 MKII were Remington 180 grain RN that mic'd .3105", driven to a measured 2412 fps avg. Plinking was all this rifle saw, and accuracy out to 200 yards+ seemed plenty good to me. Never did slug the barrel, but if given a choice I'd always go with .311"/.312", especially so for a wartime production rifles from both sides, or ones with a ton of use.

    Really would be very helpful to slug any barrels you can, and be on the lookout for loose bullet fit should your expander be generous, coupled with the .3105" diameter. As mentioned in the other post, maybe give the bullets a try, see how they fly and go from there. FWIW, .3105" could be very useful shot in some Fin M39 rifles chambered for 7.62x54R.
  4. A Historian

    A Historian Well-Known Member

    +1 on slugging.
  5. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    I use these same Hornady bullets in 303 and 7.62x54R. Some guns like them and some don't. I have a No. 1 Mk III that shoots tiny groups, and a No. 5 jungle carbine that keyholes targets with them.

    The .312 diameter bullets seem to be more consistent across the board. I haven't found a good supply of FMJ bullets in that diameter though.
  6. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Well-Known Member

    Or cast and load some Lyman 314299 bullets that work great in almost every enfield! :D
  7. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

    Standard Enfield ammunition was a flat base 174 grain bullet loaded with cordite powder. Cordite powder was an early smokeless double base powder that burned hot, and this caused throat erosion. Unless you have a brand new barrel close in size to your boat tail bullets they will not be as accurate as flat base bullets. A flat base bullet when kicked in the tail when fired will fill the bore, a boat tail bullet will not. A boat tail bullet will be more likely to be deflected with a worn muzzle.

    Rule #1, Infield rifles like flat base bullets. ;)






    The .303 Mk.8Z machine gun ammunition was loaded with a cooler burning single base powder and a rebated boat tail bullet to better seal the bore and for better accuracy.


    Bottom line I shoot Hornady .312 bullets only in my Enfield rifles and I'm more than happy with the results.

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