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New Enfield SMLE - I need schooled (Warning, tons of photos) Login/Join 
half-genius,
half-wit
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quote:
Originally posted by M1Garandy:

Also, if memory serves, many Enfields like flat base bullets vs. boat tails.

Something you won't know until you get to the range.


Flat base bullets all the way to about 600 yards, then the boat-tails. That's the way the bullet was developed in the fust place.
 
Posts: 10713 | Location: UK, OR, ONT | Registered: July 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I literally bought this gun, worked all weekend, then left for family vacation. I've been stuck in Gulf Shores Alabama all week in an overcrowded condo with a bunch of sick people (my family and in-laws...not covid, thankfully, just some kind of head-cold crud with lots of drainage) and haven't been able to do anything with it at all, and it's driving me nuts! My son and I spent 2 days driving all over southern Alabama (a good excuse to get out of the petrie dish that this condo has become)...I think we hit every gun shop south of I-65 between Mobile Bay and Pensacola, FL. There's no factory .303 ammo to be had anywhere. On the upside, I did discover a few good shops to add to the must-visit list the next time we come down here.


We did score a neck sizing die set on clearance at one shop, and a bag of used brass at another. The brass is all commercial, boxer primed. There were 15 cases that look brand new and unfired in there, about 30 that look like they'll be serviceable, and about 20-25 that look like they may be about to come apart at the base. I need a paperclip to check...but that's going to have to wait until I get home. Add the good ones from this batch to the boxer-primed stuff I have at home, and I think we'll be ok on brass. I may even be able to save the Krag brass I ordered for when I finally get a Krag!

There are also no .30 cal bullets larger than .308 to be had anywhere. At least I have the ones we can pull from the old surplus ammo I got from my buddy, and a small quantity that I was able to order from Grafs. It should be enough to at least get us through a few range sessions. Has anybody tried shooting powdercoated cast bullets through a .303? It seems to me that the velocities may be a bit high for that, but it's the only way I can think of to reliably source a steady supply of bullets for this thing. I don't want to lead up the bore, though. If anybody has had success with casting your own, could you recommend a mold?
 
Posts: 5345 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Some available here:
https://www.grafs.com/retail/c...gory/categoryId/922?

I get them for my Mosin-Nagant rifles.

PC
 
Posts: 1084 | Location: NW Wyoming | Registered: November 23, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by PCWyoming:
Some available here:
https://www.grafs.com/retail/c...gory/categoryId/922?

I get them for my Mosin-Nagant rifles.

PC


Yep, those are the ones I ordered from Graf's. I'm just not sure how long they'll be in stock, and I'm not ready to place a huge order at this point...at least not until I know the gun shoots well and likes that particular bullet.
 
Posts: 5345 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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92fstech. If you use properly sized cast bullets you won’t lead the bore. As for molds and bullets I have had good luck with Lyman’s 314299. It is a classic cast design that works in about everything. Works well in 7.65 Argentine and 7.7 Japanese as well. Another company that makes very good molds is NOE.

The nice thing about shooting cast is you are not beating the old girl up or yourself for that matter, and you use less powder. Also, and important in a .303 British, shooting cast doesn’t work your brass as much. The Enfields have a reputation for stretching brass causing the reloader/shooter to buy brass more often.

Shoot me an email. I will send you some bullets to try out.
 
Posts: 3536 | Registered: January 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, if you go full power loads, your brass won’t last very long. Rear locking lugs make for more stretching of the brass.

Back in the early 1990s, there was a gun shop right beside the armory. We’d skip over on a drill weekend and browse guns. One day I bought a No.1 for $60 and a 600 round case of British surplus ammunition for $80. The next month, I went over and bought a M1 Garand for $289, a No 4 for $66, and another No 4 still in the cosmoline paper, new-old stock from the factory unwrapped, for $125.

Wish somebody would have told me that I was in the “good old’ days” back while I was still in it. $900 for a No1Mk3? I need more insurance. I’m living atop a gold mine, apparently. Glad you got yours for half that. Congrats.



Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well. -Epictetus
 
Posts: 7425 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wish somebody would have told me that I was in the “good old’ days” back while I was still in it. $900 for a No1Mk3? I need more insurance. I’m living atop a gold mine, apparently. Glad you got yours for half that. Congrats.


You and me both! I remember those days...or days not long after them. Sadly I was a broke college student and then a broke newleywed and then a broke young parent...even cheap guns were expensive at that point in my life. The return on investment would have been epic, though...I saw a couple of SMLEs on my gun shop forays last week in AL listed at $1000. Eek

After we got home from vacation last night, we loaded some ammo using some new-looking brass that I scored at a gun shop in FL, and pull-down bullets from the rusty old mil-surp rounds I got from my buddy. They're 174gr, I think bi-metal (have kind of a silver-ish finish) and measure at .311 with my calipers. They came out of cases labeled MK VII 1941, and they were crimped and Berdan primed, so I'd say it's legit original surplus. I loaded them over 37.0gr of H335, because that was one of the few powders I had on hand that the book had a recipe for.

We took it to the range today, and the first round was a squib. The primer popped, and the bullet lodged in the barrel. When we extracted the case, un-burnt powder naturally went everywhere. I didn't have a rod with me, so we had to leave the range, drive a mile down the road to Lowes, bought an oak dowell, and popped the bullet out. It wasn't stuck in there very far.

I cleaned the chamber as well as I could, and tried chambering another round, but the bolt wouldn't close on it because there was still too much loose powder in the chamber. I decided at that point that the rifle was done for the day. As I was putting stuff away, I started playing with one of the rounds, and discovered that I could push the bullet back into the case with thumb pressure. Not good. I tried another one...same thing. Not enough neck tension...which explains the squib.

After we got home, we pulled them all down and ran them all through the sizing die again...this time with the expander ball removed. We re-charged and re-seated the bullets...plenty of neck tension now. Sadly I'm busy tomorrow, so we'll have to wait until Wednesday to get it back to the range to see if the problem is resolved.
 
Posts: 5345 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, the saga continues. We got out to the range with it Wednesday. It was 14 degrees with 40mph wind gusts....wind chill of -4. But we were gonna shoot this thing, darn it! Big Grin

We got through 7 of our new, properly neck-tensioned .303 rounds, loaded over H335. The 8th was another squib. So we packed it up and called it a day. We're done with H335 in these. It's either the neck tension, the extreme cold, or too much air space in the case with a powder that's hard to ignte (I'm leaning towards the last one), but it's not igniting. I use that powder all the time in .223 and it's an incredibly reliable load...but there's nowhere near as much empty space as this .303 recipe leaves in the case. I loaded up 15 rounds with my meager and precious supply of IMR 4064, and we went back Thursday and all of them fired just fine. It was only a couple of degrees warmer, so we were in no condition to test it for accuracy. But it was ringing steel at 100 off-hand just fine, and more importantly, no squibs!

So I got home and neck sized the brass. Well, my neck sizing die isn't getting the necks small enough for these bullets, either. I measured them again, and it looks like they're only .310, so that may be the issue. I have never encountered such an obnoxious cartridge to reload as the .303 Brit! .357fuzz graciously offered to send us some of his cast bullets for the .303...I think I'm just going to wait until those get here and see how they fit. Light cast loads may be the way to go with this thing...at least until components start to re-appear.
 
Posts: 5345 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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