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ANYONE HUNT WITH A .303 BRITISH?


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Upland_Hunter

Does anyone on here hunt deer or any other big game with a .303 British? I know that this is a British military round that has been adopted for hunting over the years. I believe that I saw a couple of times while in various sporting goods stores and gun shops factory loads for the .303 British made by Remington. Does any other ammunition manufacturer offer factory loads in this caliber?

 

I know that there are several military surplus rifles out there that are available in this caliber. Did Remington, Winchester, Browning, Ruger or any other American arms manufacturer ever offer a hunting sport rifle in this caliber?

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There were an awful lot of African animals of all shapes and sizes that succumbed to a well placed .303 bullet or three.

I had a nice smle mkiv. That I restocked with a herters  stock as a teen. Think I had $11 in the rifle and $12 in the stock. It turned out pretty nice but I never got the $ to cut and crown the bbl an

Glad to help. Hope your buddy gets that gun in the woods this year. 

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Hmmmmnnn.  The only .303 rifles I have ever seen were Brit military rifles converted to a “sporter”. Shot my first whitetail buck with one. 
That was back before the Stone Age.  
 

Not much call for .303 nowadays I suspect. Midway has some fmj from Partizan. A Serbian weapons maker.  
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prvi_Partizan

 

Best of luck!

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Dave in Maine

Popular in Canada.

 

Up at Poulin's auction in June they had a very nice over/under combination gun, 20 ga over 7.7x57R (that is German for .303 British), that went for more than my budget.

 

You may also find some Ross rifles - Canadian straight-pull bolt action - from time to time.  Again, popular in Canada.

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Dad's deer rifle was a sporterized .303 Enfield , had a pretty nice stock.  Plenty for killing deer in the woods of PA.  When he decided on a new rifle it was a Ruger #1 in .270, and Ruger did make a run of that rifle in .303 British some years back.

 

Be careful if you get one of the old military rifles, they often had excess headspace as did my Dad's.  It took a few reloads but he did have a couple cases separate their heads.  This is easily checked with a bent-tip paperclip, it's what I use to detect over-used cases in my rifles.  

 

The mechanism to release the Enfield bolt (at least on Dad's gun) is easily flipped when the bolt is fully rearward, I picked the bolt of his rifle off the ground one day when he slung the gun as we stepped off the road and he was fortunately ahead of me.  Just a caution if you wind up with one.

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My first Center Fire Rifle was a $20 Pawn Shop .303 British SMLE. 

I "sporterized" the stock with a hack saw and a rasp, it wasn't pretty. 

I had a local gunsmith removed the military sight and install a Williams peep sight.

The trigger sucked, long take-up, but it broke clean.

 

In the mid-sixties, there was a lot of surplus ammo available, unfortunately, almost all of it had very corrosive primers which someone warned me about and taught me how to wash with hot water before cleaning in the normal fashion. I "converted" many of the solid point Military rounds to "Hollow-Points" with a drill press and a little Parafin. I shot a lot of rounds through that rifle, killed a lot of Jack Rabbits (they exploded spectacularly when hit with the "hollow-point" rounds, with it, but never took a shot at a deer with it.  There weren't many deer accessible to me in Northern California back then.

 

I sold the gun after I retired from the Navy for $150 as i recall, it always shot pretty good groups, it liked 150 Gr Remington Core Lokt ammo the best as I recall.

I don't see .303 British on the shelf very often anymore.

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2 hours ago, bigjohnsd said:

My first Center Fire Rifle was a $20 Pawn Shop .303 British SMLE. 

 

 

Yep,  I remember those days of $20 rifles. 

 

For Upland Hunter:  Possibly Thompson Contender chambered for  a .303 British and possibly in Ruger #1 but I can't confirm that right now. Somebody here will recall.

Later: found this link to Ruger No. 1 in .303  http://www.classicsportingarms.com/ruger-no-1-rarity-tables/ruger-no-1-caliber-list-and-production-data/

did not find Thompson Contender in .303, but someone else may know.

   

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My older brother has my father's deer rifle, a sporterized .303Br. (One of these years I need to borrow it for a season). Pretty sure Winchester, Federal and Sellier & Bellot still offer factory loads. Yes, Ruger did a limited run of .303 #1s. 

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There were an awful lot of African animals of all shapes and sizes that succumbed to a well placed .303 bullet or three.

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If I recall correctly the .303 britt. is  rimmed and the enfield rifle cocks on opening. The cocking on opening can be converted to cocking on closing easily. It is a decent ,inexpensive deer rifle. I was offered a 1917 Eddystone  in .303 ,sporterized just the other day for $100.00 and turned it down.

Might go back and buy it.

 

 

 

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Snipeaholic

My best friend’s grandfather “sporterized” a good many according to family lore. Don’t know anything about ammo for it really but do remember shooting it probably 40 years ago and it kicked like a mad mule. Took it out for a pic and back in the safe it goes.

9BBF41ED-E738-4FBB-B6C5-34D99DD68641.thumb.jpeg.6a8ee2e9a758c3e110baa8d5dde0b37b.jpeg

F19E1DFC-7DC1-4D7D-B4B8-EDB07CAF236D.thumb.jpeg.cff112c7adda1571249f760ec55aeef2.jpeg

 

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Upland_Hunter
21 hours ago, Snipeaholic said:

My best friend’s grandfather “sporterized” a good many according to family lore. Don’t know anything about ammo for it really but do remember shooting it probably 40 years ago and it kicked like a mad mule. Took it out for a pic and back in the safe it goes.

9BBF41ED-E738-4FBB-B6C5-34D99DD68641.thumb.jpeg.6a8ee2e9a758c3e110baa8d5dde0b37b.jpeg

F19E1DFC-7DC1-4D7D-B4B8-EDB07CAF236D.thumb.jpeg.cff112c7adda1571249f760ec55aeef2.jpeg

 

This is awsome!!

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Snipeaholic

@Upland_Hunter Apparently the 1917 Eddystone is a Pennsylvania history story which I did not know until I Googled it after seeing this thread. Click This link to check it out if interested.

 

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I had a nice smle mkiv. That I restocked with a herters  stock as a teen. Think I had $11 in the rifle and $12 in the stock. It turned out pretty nice but I never got the $ to cut and crown the bbl and replace the sights and eventually sold it. I wish I still had it as the finish was very good leading me to believe it was post war production. I never shot anything with it except rocks and stumps. 
My friend is somewhat of an Anglophile and when Ruger made a limited run of #1s  In .303 he immediately bought one, it has proven very effective on whitetails with both soft point  and cast bullets. I have seen ammo from privi , remington , and seller and bellot. The s&b ammo was loaded with.308 dia. bullets and shot poorly but the brass was pretty good to reload.

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The .303 British is in the same "ballpark" power level as the 30/06, .308, 8mm Mauser, 7mm Mauser and 7.62x54.  Game up to the size of elk probably wouldn't care with which of these cartridges they were shot - they would be equally dead.  As mentioned earlier in this thread many African (Canadian, Australian, and other) animals were taken with this cartridge.

 

As a rimmed cartridge it would not be my first choice for any rifle with a box magazine because you must be careful to load with the rim of each upper cartridge in front of the cartridge below or it may jam on loading.  For a break action rifle it is a quite suitable cartridge.

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drummer's stump

During the days of the Empire some rifles were barrel with a .318 bore to aid in effectively dealing with larger game of the dark continent. The most notable was the Lee Speed sporter, if you ever get a chance to handled one they are truly something special. After I watched the movie Ghost and the Darkness I had to know what rifle Patterson was using, and I can say that moment right cemented my love of sporter rifles, and dangerous game. I will say that mechanically the Mauser was and still is the superior action, but the buttery smoothness of a worked up Speed is something else. 

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