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.303 to 7.62x54r conversion

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Firehand, May 3, 2006.

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  1. Firehand

    Firehand Member

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    I've read the article on this at JPFO.ORG, and it looks interesting. However, the $160 their linked gunsmith charges seems a bit high for rechambering and modifying the magazine. Has anyone here actually done this?

    If so, how well did it work, and what did it cost you?
     
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    You can buy a reloading kit and a lot of brass, bullets, powder and primers for $160. And not have to worry if your re-worked rifle will feed the new cartridge.
     
  3. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Why in hell would you want to convert a .303 to 7.62x54R?!?
     
  4. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Well, since the 303R is physically longer than 7.62x54R, either they're firing 7.62 Russian in a grossly oversized chamber or the gunsmithing fee includes taking the barrel off, shaving it back, reinstalling the barrel, reaming the new chamber, and setting headspace. If that's the route taken, then $160 isn't such a bad deal (presuming that you see the benefit in doing such a conversion).
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2006
  5. Firehand

    Firehand Member

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    Big attraction to this would be the supply of cheap ammo, some of it of quite good quality. .303 has been getting scarce in milsurp.

    You're right, if he's setting the barrel back that would add to it; my brain is tired today.
     
  6. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    $160 would buy a nice Mosin Nagant AND some ammo.
    Then you would have the .303 as a backup gun.
     
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    If you're shooting a centerfire rifle enough that you care that much about the ammo price, it's time to start reloading.

    That's the rule of thumb used by most, when we finally break down and get a reloading setup.

    Besides, my .303 cost me $100. My 7.62x54R cost me $80. Retail. Why would I ruin an Enfield for $160, to shoot another foreign round?

    Turning a beat-up Enfield into a Jungle Carbine lookalike in .308, maybe I could see, but 7.62x54R?
     
  8. goon

    goon Member

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    I asked about this once too. The answer I got seemed to make sense...
    Something like "There used to be a whole lot of good inexpensive .303 ammo around but it dried up. What happens in 10 years when the same thing happens with 7.62x54? What you would be doing is chambering a rifle for a round that will eventually dry up."
    Speaking from my own experience, the .303 is easier to load for that 7.62x54. I actually think that .303 is the easiest round to load for that I have ever reloaded.
    I suggest you get a No.4 instead of a No1 MkIII because it is easier to deal with loose headspace on the No. 4 (this is usually built into the Enfield, usually doesn't affect safety, and is very hard on brass).
    But yourself the stuff to reload and shoot good handloads from your Enfield for the rest of your days.
     
  9. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    The difference is that 303R is no longer used as a military-issue round and has not been for decades, whereas the Russians are still using new-production 7.62x54R as a LMG round. It's not likely to dry up in any timeframe that would concern us.

    Whether that's a motivator enough to make the conversion is a different story.....

    edited to hide the fact that I'm a mo-ron.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2006
  10. DougW

    DougW Member

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    Usually, the barrel is rechambered for the 54R. Keep in mind that the 54R has a nominal .310 bullet, and the .303 is a .311 to .312. Basically, you would be shooting a slightly undersized bullet, so accuracy could be good or bad. I have some plinker .303 rounds that I loaded with the 125gr sp 7.62X39 bullet (new Winchester). They shoot fairly good, but no real advantage over the 150gr .303's that I normally load. Just an experiment to see how they would do. New brass and components are cheep for the .303. I recomend reloading .303 for the .303.
     
  11. goon

    goon Member

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    rbernie - I think you meant 7.62x54R ?
    Eventhough the 7.62x39 is still in use and there are about a bazillion AK's floating around in the world, we still had an ammo shortage for them for awhile. The same thing will most likely happen with other foreign rounds and even if it doesn't, it could.
    It is something that I don't trust. My guns now pretty much all fire ammo that I can pick up at a local sporting goods store or a Walmart.
    If you are going to enjoy shooting an Enfield (and who wouldn't? :D) or a Mosin Nagant, I think it makes sense to just accept that you are going to have to reload for it eventually and blast with the cheap stuff while you can.
     
  12. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Bwahahahaaaa - yes, I fatfingered that one.

    Good catch. :)
     
  13. Firehand

    Firehand Member

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    Have a #1 and a #4, primarily handload for the #4, it's the one I shoot most. Use a neck-size die only on the cases.

    Personally, would not want to do the conversion. Was just wondering if anyone had tried it and what results they'd had, and their cost.
     
  14. KadicDeshi

    KadicDeshi Member

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    The only reason I've heard for doing this that made sense to me was throat erosion of the original barrel. If the rifling is still good, a smith could then rechamber the barrel to the longer 54R round and you'd have a much better shooter.

    As for how the throat could erode without having completely shot out the barrel is beyond me...

    Barrett
     
  15. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    The 54R isn't longer than 303R - it's shorter. That's my point.
     
  16. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    Sounds like a good conversion to me...Lose the .32 Winchester-like .303 for the .308-30/06 performance of the Mosin round? Sounds like a no-brainer to me...
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The problems are:

    1. For the cost of the conversion, you can buy either an M-N and a lot of ammo, or a reloading kit and plenty of components.

    2. The Enfield is limited -- changing cartridges won't make high pressures any safer.
     
  18. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    What is the CUP of a 7.62x54r?

    There is not much "meat" in the chamber area of an Enfield, especially a No5. What would happen if someone picked the rifle up and chambered a 303 to do some shooting?.....Just buy a Mosin Nagant. They are cheap enough and most likely more accurate than an Enfield.......chris3
     
  19. KadicDeshi

    KadicDeshi Member

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    You're right. After research, I see that 54R is about 0.021" shorter than the .303.

    I think it was this that threw me:
    That and my only hazy rememberance of the article I read about the conversion in.

    My bad.

    Barrett
     
  20. Firehand

    Firehand Member

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    There's also a company that converts Enfields to 7.62x39. Came up with it as a way to use the Enfield with a less-expensive, lighter-recoiling ammo. From what I've read it works well. Problem is, they charge about $300 last time I looked, and their 'kit' for the conversion is about $250.
     
  21. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    The Mosin Nagant round is officially 7.62x54R
    The .303 British is sometimes referred to as 7.7x56R.

    The British case is longer; the Russian case is wider.
    Both take a .311 to .312 inch bullet which is about 7.7mm.
    7.62mm about .308 appears to be a land-to-opposite-groove
    measure, I don't know for sure.

    If quality 7.62x54R ammo was more available than .303 British
    (and that would be subject to locality), that might be a good
    conversion to consider.

    But I have BOTH a 7.62 Mosin-Nagant AND a .303 No.1III* so
    I am covered.
     
  22. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    erosion (second hand info, but seemed reliable):

    British .303 rifles shot extensively with cordite can have serious
    throat erosion but reasonable rifling in the rest of the barrel.
    British .303 rifles shot with nitrocellulose usually have uniform
    wear for the length of the rifling.
    Traditional British cordite powder seems to be more erosive than
    nitrocellulose powders.
     
  23. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Bwahahahahaaa - yes, I fatfingered that one. Meant one thing and wrote it backwards.

    Sorry...
     
  24. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

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    Not quite true there. Canada still uses .303 British for the rangers on patrol, its used by some Indian reserves. Its also seen recent use in the Solomon islands, Afghanistan and Iraq by various forces. The IRA were also rather fond of using them on British troops to go through body armour.

    Commercial .303 British is finally becoming more common which is a good thing, but its still about $8 a box of 20 so the cheapest option is of course the reload or one of the surplus finds.
     
  25. DougW

    DougW Member

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    Here is a pic of some Canadian rangers with their #4mk1* Long Branch rifles.
     

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