303 British Ammo

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by GunnyUSMC, Aug 1, 2019.

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  1. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Midway USA Has POF 303 British ammo in stock for $0.41 a round. They have it $40 for 96 rounds.
    I know that it's not the best surplus ammo out there, but it's the cheapest.
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1021569944?pid=290772&utm_source=military-surplus&utm_medium=email&utm_content=main-image-link&utm_campaign=surplus-saturday
    The biggest problem with POF is hang fires. You can reduce this by letting it sit in the sun or shooting it on a hot day.
    The only other Surplus 303 ammo I know of it at SG Ammo. They have MEN (German made) 303 from the 80's for $12.95 a box of 20 ($0.64 a round) or $300 for a 500 round can. ( $.60 a round)
    https://www.sgammo.com/product/303-british-ammo/20-round-box-303-british-surplus-ammo-174-grain-bi-metal-fmj-1980s-vintage-

    Compared to new manufactured ammo which will cost you about $0.80 a round, surplus ammo is still a good deal.
     
  2. khegglie

    khegglie Member

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    Thanks for the tips Gunny.
    I have some old 303 that is prone to hang fires.......will try the sun trick.
     
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  3. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    From what I have read some (at least) of the POF .303 sports chlorate primers, so (pre)clean accordingly.

    I have never read a bad review of MEN milsurp, any caliber.

    FWIW ... :)
     
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  4. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Hang firing ammo is good to see how bad you flinch.
     
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  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    What's a little hangfire between friends?

    byVhtos.jpg

    What is in the picture is POF 303 British. Old military surplus was removed from inventory, and sold to you, because the originating agency found it was too dangerous to issue to their men, or that is was too dangerous to keep in inventory. Joyous American buyers think that they are getting a bargain on "day old bread". Well it is bargain as long as it does not blow up your gun, or yourself. The guys who sold it to you, they know you don't know any better, and that just makes them ecstatic. They will sell you some magic beans too, just give them an email address.

    There is a reason it is cheap. Shoot enough of it and you will find out why.
     
  6. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I bought a mess of it years ago. Got sick of the hang fires and cleaning so stopped using it. Got a deal on some recent surplus that was not corrosive. Shot that up and most recently purchased 500 new brass. These days l take the bullets out of the POF ammo and reuse in the new brass. Then l sell the corrosive primed brass on line for someone that wants to bother to mess with it.
    With the disclaimer some will be hangfires.
     
  7. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    If it were still REALLY cheap (which it is not), I would buy it just for the bullets.
     
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  8. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    I had a bunch of it I bought from a old guy about 10 years ago cheap. I used it for awhile but got sick of counting one Pakistani, two Pakistani so I pulled it down for the bullets.
     
  9. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    For plinking, Wolf Classic Steel, https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/wolf-wpa-military-classic-303-british-fmj-174-grain-20-rounds?a=2055457 45 cents per round in boxes of 20, buy 280 rounds, 39 cents a round. I've been meaning to try some but haven't been to the range with my Enfields in awhile due to medical issues.

    Not crazy about Wolf but not corrosive and present day loaded 174 gr. ammo. Wolf also has liability insurance if something goes South.

    Me, I shoot Prvi at about 70 cents per round and use the brass to reload at least several times if you neck size.
     
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  10. fpgt72

    fpgt72 member

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    I really see nothing that old corrosive ammo brings to the table.....I know everyone does not reload, but if you want to really shoot these things you need to....if you are just going to shoot a few boxes a year....just buy new.....it just ain't worth the pain......and I was talking the pain of cleaning after corrosive....not losing your thumb over it.
     
  11. JohnB-40

    JohnB-40 Member

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    I gave up on surplus and factory rounds a while ago. I roll my own using new PPU brass,Hornady 3130 (.312") bullets and Varget or H4895 powder. My #5 Enfield loves those flat based projectiles.
     
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  12. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Don't think that's gonna buff out.
     
  13. Bang!

    Bang! Member

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    Hard to look at that crack in the old rifle.
     
  14. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    The problem was that he only waited 10- to 15 seconds before opening the bolt. It is common practice to wait 30 seconds before ejecting a dud round.
    You are wrong in that ammo was sold on the surplus market because it was found to be too dangerous to be issued.
    Most of it was sold off as surplus because weapons were changed and the ammo was no longer needed or it had passed it's shelf life to be considered 100% reliable for military use.
    Now has there been some bad surplus ammo that has been sold on the market? The answer is yes. A few years back there was some South Korean 30-06 that was found to be loaded to hot.
    But with all surplus ammo, you need to inspect it to be sure that it is in good shape. I have about 1000 rounds of 8mm Mauser that is questionable. These rounds are being pulled for components.

    If cleaning after shooting corrosive ammo is a pain, your doing it wrong. All that is needed is to punch the bore with two wet patches, then a dry patch and then an oil patch. After that it's just like cleaning any other gun.
     
  15. Bitrclngr

    Bitrclngr Member

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    Hangfires seem to be a common issue with old .303. Most are only a split second. I personally have not had a hangfire longer then a couple seconds and I've fired ammo that was MUCH older then POF 303. Try 1920's British Kynoch 8x50R Lebel. They can be dangerous if one is ignorant of proper firearms handling. Always wait at least 30 seconds before removing the cartridge. Even with MODERN ammo.

    I've pulled some questionable stuff apart and just fired the primer. The primers smolder. They become components at this point. I've fired hundreds of rounds of POF 410 Musket ammo through my Enfield musket. Some of them hangfire but it really doesn't affect accuracy much since it has no rifling!

    As for surplus, I stocked up on the Excellent MEN stuff before they ran out. I personally don't even look at the old cordite loaded 303 unless its super cheap, which at 40 cents per round plus shipping It's not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  16. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    What this country needs is a good 5 cent cigar and a good 6 cent milsurp round.
    I had 7x57 Mauser ammo back in the 70's that was made in 1919. I wound up pulling the bullets and fertilizing the lawn with the rest of it.
    Better to stay above the grass than tempt fate.That is why I sold my Mauser.
    The days of good cheap surplus are over.
    New restrictive laws have choked some of my pistol ammo. What can you do?
     
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  17. Lycidas Janwor

    Lycidas Janwor Member

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    I thought a Hang Fire was a song from the Rolling Stones, am I wrong?

     
  18. commygun

    commygun Member

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    I clean up the SMLE with automatic transmission fluid after shooting POF and have never had a hint of corrosion. The two-beat hangfire is a bit disconcerting but also a little comic.
     
  19. Bitrclngr

    Bitrclngr Member

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    I've never seen a Curpo nickel jacked bullet loaded in POF ammo. Link to full thread?

    Military ammo is not sold as surplus because its to "dangerous" to give to their troops. Some of it is obsolete like 303 and 8mm Mauser or for weapons that nation no longer uses. ( 7.62x54R and 7.62x39 Former Warsaw pact nations for example) Some military's sell off ammo after it reaches a certain age because they feel it's" no longer reliable enough"for military use. I believe NATO countries practice the la tter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  20. commygun

    commygun Member

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    Gunny,

    Why does warming the ammo reduce misfires?
     
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  21. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    When you hear a "click", you might want to wait a full minute before opening the bolt.

    I learned this on an Enfield forum about seven years ago, when the "LE bug" bit me. Consider any old gun or old surplus ammo only after at least a few hours' of reading.

    You won't have this bad risk of a rifle if using modern Wolf .303, and Also won't need to pour a water-based liquid down the bore, scrub it, dry it, and also clean the bolt-face. This got old every time I got home after shooting my Mosins, Enfields, and Yugo Mauser.
     
  22. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    I bought my first Enfield back in 2007. At the time POF was plentiful and dirt cheap. Other members on Surplus gun forums advised that hang fires were common with POF, but if warmed up by sitting on the dashboard of your vehicle of just out in the sun would reduce or eliminate hang fires.
    When I went to the range, I set a box out in the sun and started shooting another box. About every third or fourth round I got a click, bang. I then fired rounds from the box that had been in the sun and got no hang fires.
    My next trip to the range, I set half a box in the sun and started shooting the cold rounds. I got the same results as before.
    The last few times I have shot POF I have had a few hang fires. Most are very stile, none more then a second.
    I have fired more then 2000 rounds of POF over the years and can only recall 3 or 4 rounds that were duds.
    Another classic example of someone doing it wrong. There is no need to pour a water base liquid down the barrel. Now need to scrub. And the only time you need to do more then wipe off the bolt face with a wet patch is if you had a ruptured case, or blow back from the chamber.
    When I started shooting Surplus ammo back in 1984, when I bought my first surplus rifle, I was taught by an old fart how to clean my rifle. I thought that it was going to take a lot of cleaning, but I was wrong.
    He told me that the rifle I had had most likely seen combat and the men that used it didn't have access to fancy cleaning stuff. He said that they were issued oil and patches and some got bore cleaner of some type. He said that bore cleaner was used when he wanted his rifle cleaned for inspections. He said that the primer leaves a salt in the bore that will attract moisture, and all that is needed is a couple of wet patches to remove the salts. He showed me that by punching the bore with two wet patches and then a dry one was all that was needed. After the dry patch, an oil patch is needed and then it will be just like cleaning any other gun.
    Miss information can cause people to come to the wrong conclusion about things, like this guy.
    DUpyj.png
     
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Really? I can say with confidence that total quantity of munitions, and the reasons why a half million tons of US munitions are in the queue to be demilled, are totally unknown to you.

    qTKdEtd.jpg

    In a 2008 article, DoD was budgeted $2 Billion a year to demill its stockpile, and that amount of money was insufficient to decease the quantity of dangerous munitions accumulating every year. The stockpile of munitions requiring demilling was actually increasing every year. It costs big money to monitor, collect, ship, demill the stuff before it gets to be so unstable, it explodes in place

    I highly suspect that you probably only think of small arms cartridges as military munitions, but there are around 7000 DODIC numbers, this Marine Corp Yellowbook shows some of the items and their associated numbers. I don't have a break out of the percentage of the stockpile that are small arms ammunition, but I have read in other presentations, that by weight, it is a significant amount. At least 50%.

    As I wrote earlier, the cost of demilling is very expensive, and second world countries like Pakistan don't have that money. I am certain you are unaware of any blown Pakistani ammunition dumps, but there have been some big ones. Pakistan, like most second and third world countries don't have the money to demill their old, dangerous, munitions. Ammunition dumps in these poor countries have the unfortunate habit of exploding due to the instable state of their deteriorated munitions But, some nation states have found that you, the American consumer, will happily buy this stuff. The consumer does not know better, doesn't want to know any better, assumes that it is good, that it is perfectly safe, because that's what they want to believe. I am going to state that neither of us were in the decision loop when the Pakistanis removed these from inventory, but you came up with your own reasons, based on the story theme that "it has to be good because it is cheap"! Have you considered it was removed because of the problems due to reduction-oxidation of nitrocellulose? I am going to claim the Pakistanis removed these from their inventory because they finally decided it was too risky to keep in storage, and you, were willing to pay cash for the stuff.

    I reject the idea that ammunition that hangfires is not dangerous to the user. American civilians are free to blow themselves up in any way they want, and the cost of their repair is going to come out of their own individual pockets. The costs will be settled between you, the hospital, and the insurance company. And if your insurance sucks, you are going to find out that hospitalization is incredibly expensive. Nation states have the liability for caring for their soldiers. That is, it costs them money, its part of the social compact. I am going to claim that issuing 303 ammunition that has a known hangfire problem is going to injury someone at some time in the future. I had no idea the standard for hangfires was 30 seconds. Where did that come from? Why is 30 seconds good, but 15 seconds bad? Was 30 seconds picked because the guy whose gun blew up waited 10-15 seconds? Was that the basis? What about 29 seconds? Why is 29 seconds to open the mechanism bad, but 30 seconds good?

    You think that maybe if that stuff was fired in an automatic weapon, that maybe ammunition that gave hangfires might explode as a soldier ejects the round? Will every Soldier wait 30 seconds, not 29 seconds, to eject a misfire? There are some automatic weapon designs, like rotary weapons, that keep on going even if the round hangfires. That could cause problems. In fact, I read this as a risk for advanced primer ignition mechanisms. The Oerlikon was the most popular 20mm machine cannon of WW2, and ammunition stocks were kept around til Vietnam, and it was an advanced primer ignition weapon. A hangfire would probably blow the breech mechanism, and do so in front of the user.

    I just found this, and it was interesting, don't dismiss the stuff about munitions instability and deterioration.

    Logistics: An Explosive Cold War Scandal
    https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlog/articles/20180603.aspx#foo

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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  24. dh1633pm
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    dh1633pm Contributing Member

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    Never purchased surplus for the Enfields. Did purchase some 308 surplus from India. The QC was poor at best. The loads varied by as much as 5 grains. I pulled all the power and the bullets. Loaded it up with IMR4895 and put the bullets back on top. Shoot nice. Brass was boxer and cleaned up nice. Its nice to have cheap ammo, but its still a cost/benefit ratio. Thanks for the info Gunny.
     
  25. Bitrclngr

    Bitrclngr Member

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    I don't have a break out of the percentage of the stockpile that are small arms ammunition, but I have read in other presentations, that by weight, it is a significant amount. At least 50%.

    I would like to see the breakdown of what percentage of the above is small arms ammunition. I would still like to see the link to the Enfield thumb accident as well. Deterioration of high explosives does not pertain to this conversation.

    Small arms ammunition is defined here. http://www.weaponslaw.org/weapons/small-arms-ammunition

    Some surplus ammo is indeed dangerous but you are painting with a very broad brush.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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