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375 flanged nitro express

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    Posted: January 08 2014 at 2:22pm
Anyone who knows me knows how much I like the movie "The Ghost and the Darkness". I also have a love of vintage hunting rifles and classic cartridges. Now I can add a love of the enfield rifle to the list.

     I see many SMLE rifles sitting on pawn shop shelves with sawn or synthetic stocks and rusty bores. It just breaks my heart. I would like to breathe new life into some of these.

     So, has anyone here ever converted an enfield to this cartridge or otherwise had any experience with it? I plan to use this caliber with heavy, cast bullets.

     In my research, which has yielded little information, I have read mention of an O.A.L. issue in relation to magazine feeding. As this will be a handload-only proposition on my side of the pond (US), this shouldn't be an issue, as the bullet can be seated deeper.

     Does anyone have any reloading tips? Equipment sources? Cartridge dimensions? Load data?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2014 at 11:37am
There is someone here in NZ that has a 375/303 (38 Hawkins - see the 38-303 thread) which is similar.  I could ask him for load data (he only shoots cast though).

Those rusty bores are not lost for someone who wants to fire-lap them and hand craft cast or paper patched bullets.  Paper patched bullets can produce jacketed velocities.  But a 375 seems to me to be just the ticket.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2014 at 1:02am
Cast bullets are right up my alley. Now I just have to find a chamber reamer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2014 at 12:23pm
The 375 flanged nitro express is a sister cartridge to the 375 H&H magnum.  You could just chamber the rifle to the latter.  But as you said, there will be an OAL problem for magazine feeding.  Deep seating might cause a bullet jump problem for cast and seating below the shoulder is not normally recommended for cast.  Then there is the possibility of a factory load being fired in the gun, the same applies for both the belted and flanged cartridge.  It would be doable to wildcat the cartridge, shortening it to fit the magazine but then that brings you back to getting a reamer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2014 at 2:11pm
The sister cartridge to the 375 h&h is called the 375 flanged magnum. It was introduced about 13 years later than the 375 nitro express. It's a different cartridge entirely. It's just a rimmed version of the belted magnum cartridge. The 375 flanged nitro express 2 1/2" is a nearly straight wall cartridge. As far as factory ammunition goes, I've never seen a box on a shelf.

http://www.lee-enfieldrifles.com/nitro.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2014 at 11:36pm
Got a broken link there LB.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2014 at 4:09am
I stand corrected.  

My search for the 375 Flanged Nitro Express yielded the Flanged Magnum Nitro Express which is the sister cartridge, introduced the same year as the belted magnum which as you pointed out was 13 yeas after the flanged nitro express.

Here's an article which mentions the Flanged Nitro Express; http://www.africanxmag.com/375_flanged_nitro.htm It mentiones that Flanged Nitro Express ammunition is no longer produced.  It also mentions that cases can be formed from new Hornady .405 Winchester cases. It sounds like just the ticket for the Lee Enfield.

Just some thoughts; 

To me, having a straight walled case or a long neck is better allowing any seating depth and any length bullet (and perhaps the use of wads).  So if you are going to have to get a reamer made you could consider a longer neck and a steeper shoulder angle for head-spacing against.  Or any combination of characteristics you wish.

Then there is the .405 Winchester for which reamers should be available.

I just happen to know of someone in the US who could likely do a chamber of your choice and possibly sizing dies too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2014 at 9:15am
Kynoch still makes the ammunition. At least they still list it, but my intention is to use it as a cast bullet brush rifle. Kynoch ammunition is rather pricey for my purposes. I won't be going after cape buffalo with it.

I'm interested in that information on the reamers and dies. I appreciate it.

The link worked the other day. Maybe this one will work.
375 flanged 3 1/2"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2014 at 4:48pm
That worked.  Interesting.  Well, factory ammo would be quite safe in a Lee Enfield.  I'd say cast velocities would be about the same and even higher if one were to carefully develop a load.  But there's no need to go higher.  Now a heavier bullet at those velocities would be in order if so desired.

I'll PM you the contact for this fellow.  I recommend him because I know he is rather particular in getting his chambers perfectly aligned with the bore and I know he has made a chamber for his own wildcat cartridge for a No4.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Longbow14 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2014 at 1:53am
the good old brit does pretty well against most animals. I do understand the need to rechamber if the barrel is toast.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2014 at 12:42pm
My plan is to get a No.1 that's been buggered with a scope mount. I'll remove the charger bridge, plug the holes in the receiver, groove the action for a dust cover, install a new barrel, fabricate an express rear sight, and send it off to a friend for blueing. While it's of to the finisher, I'll be hunting down a walnut stock and some checkering tools. This project might span years. If anybody has a reason why any part of this is a bad idea, I'm all ears.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1952musso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2014 at 6:58pm
Hi there can you import actions from Australia LE1* sporter rifles come up reasonably often for around $300.00 Aus it would be much easier than what you are suggesting. I have 2 off them as sporters 1 still 303 the other is .375x56r Steyr both have aperture sights the 303 still has the dust cover but it makes mounting the aperture sight difficult I ended up mounting a Redfield sight on the bolt side.The .375 is built on an 8x56r Steyr case and works very well I think a little more powerful than .375 flanged I will take some photos of the rifles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2014 at 8:22am
I probably could, but, by the time I paid all the fees and jumped through all the hoops, it's cheaper to build it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2014 at 2:43pm
Marble's still makes the express sight
 
Sounds like an interesting project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Long branch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 12 2014 at 5:07pm
I'd really have to make the sight for the rifle in order to make it work right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hybridfiat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2014 at 8:50pm
Ive a friend who has been playing around with wildcats and custom chambers for decades. 20 years ago he showed me a rechambered No1 MkIII that had a .375 barrel and used a cartridge developed from a .303 British necked out to .375 and fireformed to a straight wall.
He used hard cast projectiles with gas checks. I remember they were heavy somewhere around 250gn-350gnHe said they were very effective.
Ill try and contact him and find out his loads and ballistics. He kept records of most of his experiments
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