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Goosic View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 29 2020 at 8:54am
I have every intention of hunting Mule Deer and Javelina next year using my Custom No4. I have been collecting reloading data from every source available, be it old or be it fairly modern on the subject of the 215grn RN bullets used in the 303 British cartridges.
Instead of using N202 or IMR4064, I have decided for these particular rounds to use IMR3031 for the powder and magnum primers for ignition. The 3031 is a fairly slow burning powder but is very stable with temperature fluctuations and the use of the magnum primers are strictly for a more controlled burn rate during the ignition process. I have a test load worked up and it will be tested at my next range session this week.
The Test Load: 303 British 
Bullet:  .312  215grn Woodleigh RN
Powder: IMR3031  40.0grns 
Case: Winchester 
Trim to: 2.215"
Primer: WLRM 
Seating Depth: .375"
OAL: 3.025"  + - .002"
Test Rifle: Early No4Mk1 "no star" Savage 
20" barrel, 1-10" RH twist two groove. 
All of the data collected shows either a maximum  CUP of 43,000+ to a minimum of 35,440+ depending on powder preference. At any rate, it is below that of the working 45,000 CUP listed for Enfield rifles. I will update after I have released the Bee's...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2020 at 9:32am
I, for one, will be very interested in the results as I'm contemplating getting some of those. Those just look nasty!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2020 at 11:01am
There are two points of contention here. One: Accuracy out to a minimum 100 yards.  Two: Can the accuracy, if achieved, be repeated and kept consistent.  I have witnessed firsthand the stopping and knockdown power of an original Norma factory loaded 215grn bullet. My initial testing will be for the rifle sighting in. This will be the only ammunition used in this rifle and I need it zeroed at 100 yards. Anything closer or beyond zero can be corrected with the mildots on the crosshairs. In hunting, we all know the,"One Shot One Kill" creedo. I need my rifle to do more than that. If you do a Google Earth search and triagulated the area between Skull Valley, Baghdad , and Ashfork Arizona, you will understand why I need this particular bullet to knockdown and keep down the intended target.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2020 at 12:11pm
"Ashfork Arizona", it got but split as "Ash Fork Arizona". But "Skull Valley, Baghdad" was a wash! Did auto-correct get you because the is a "Skull Valley" to the South West?

Funnily I almost moved to that area, (Paulden), for work some years back.
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 Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2020 at 12:50pm
Skull Valley is Southwest of Ash Fork and almost due east of Bagdad. The actual hunt area is just north of Z Bar Three Ranch and Forest Service Road 65A. 
Paulden was home to Retired USMC Colonel Jeff Cooper and is home to the community of Ruger Ranch and Sturm Ruger Inc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2020 at 3:03pm
Honkytonk.  Here ya go...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2020 at 8:39pm
IMR 3031 is quite versatile, and also quite an old powder.  Many published loads because it’s been around for so long.  It’s one of the faster burning rifle powders in the “medium” burn range, so might be counterintuitive to use with a heavy bullets.  It meters like gravel thru my powder measure, a relatively long grain extrusion.

1970 Lyman Reloading Manual, max charge and velocity with a 215 Jacketed bullet:

IMR 3031  36.0 gr.   2057 fps
IMR 4064  39.0 gr.   1996 fps
IMR 4895  40.0 gr.   2217 fps
IMR 4320  41.0 gr.   2217 fps

The above loads appear to be quite conservative compared to what is in the 1960 NRA Reloading manual for 215 gr and 216 gr bullets (instrumental velocity 20 feet from muzzle): 

IMR 4320  43.5 gr.   2360 fps  44,300 CUP
IMR 4350  49.5 gr.   2432 fps  44,630 CUP

Note the NRA manual loads were tested in a British Government 5 groove pressure barrel described as 26 inch long, .3146” groove diameter, .303” bore.  

All above loads with standard large rifle primers.  Commercial cases. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2020 at 9:27pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

IMR 3031 is quite versatile, and also quite an old powder.  Many published loads because it’s been around for so long.  It’s one of the faster burning rifle powders in the “medium” burn range, so might be counterintuitive to use with a heavy bullets.  It meters like gravel thru my powder measure, a relatively long grain extrusion.

1970 Lyman Reloading Manual, max charge and velocity with a 215 Jacketed bullet:

IMR 3031  36.0 gr.   2057 fps
IMR 4064  39.0 gr.   1996 fps
IMR 4895  40.0 gr.   2217 fps
IMR 4320  41.0 gr.   2217 fps

The above loads appear to be quite conservative compared to what is in the 1960 NRA Reloading manual for 215 gr and 216 gr bullets (instrumental velocity 20 feet from muzzle): 

IMR 4320  43.5 gr.   2360 fps  44,300 CUP
IMR 4350  49.5 gr.   2432 fps  44,630 CUP

Note the NRA manual loads were tested in a British Government 5 groove pressure barrel described as 26 inch long, .3146” groove diameter, .303” bore.  

All above loads with standard large rifle primers.  Commercial cases. 




The reloading data I have showing 40.0grns of IMR3031 gives a fps average of 1996 and 2100 ft/lbs of energy at 100 yards.
As I have stated previously in another thread, this is found on one sheet of text from a Dupont reloading book dated 1955. It gives very specific seating depths starting with the 174grn military bullet  and ending with the 215grn military bullets, with very specific minimum and maximum charge weights, and very specific breech pressures that are measured in CUP 's, according to the text.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 5:27am
Goosic,
While I can't help predict your results with this load, (You'll find out soon enough!)
I can say that a 215 gr round nose will shoot Very well from the .303.
I only use (old ) factory ammo up to now, but find that the 215 gr , either Dominion or Imperial, both produce fine groups at 100 and 200 yards, and are very effective at 300 yards on game and coyotes.
 
One word of caution though;
On deer, you Occasionally get a hole shot clear through where it should be, and the animal may not act shot for a while.
I had a large whitetail do this on one occasion.
He was close, maybe only 50 yards away, and I felt my shot was good, but he jumped and ran off to the west, and out of sight behind hay bales, then, came running back, stopped and looked back, then off to the east.   I began to think I'd missed, but followed his tracks, and found him dead as mutton maybe 75 yards away in the bush.
He'd been shot right through the heart.
 
I will continue to use these bullets though, as they work splendidly on elk, and it only takes one shot, (as it should) to knock over a big bull.
 
When sighting in with this rifle, (old cut down Ishapore)  I found with sights on 100 yards, it was  2 1/2" high at 100 and with sight on 200, it was 3 1/4" high at 200.  Fine for hunting purposes.
 
Looking forward to your results!!
 
Richard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 7:52am
I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, but here goes. My 1995 Hodgdon 26th edition manual has .303 British load data for 215 gr. I realize powders have changed properties, etc since then so I did a little comparison with old data vs the latest electronic Hodgdon data available. The latest electronic data didn't list 215's, so I compared 180's.

The old manual recommended four different powders, but I compared only two: H335 and H4350. All listed are maximum suggested loads, and non appear to approach 45,000 cup.
- H4350... old data; 46gr 2333 ft/sec. New data; 48 gr 2500 ft/sec.
- H335... old data; 41 gr 2323 ft/sec. New data; 39 gr 2449 ft/sec.

Old data lists H4350 for 215 gr projectile max load @ 43 gr 2090 ft/sec. H335 for the same 215 gr projectile max load @ 39 gr 2047 ft/sec.

Please don't use this info as load safe! It is just for information as there seems to be some interest (me included) in perhaps developing a load for the 215 Woodleigh. Thanks!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 12:38pm
I suspect that many of the published loads in reloading manuals are indeed conservative where no pressures are given.  I don’t think all the published loads are pressure tested (where no pressure is given).  The NRA Reloading manual specifically stated the loads were pressure tested in a .303 British Government pressure test barrel.  

I challenged one company (won’t say who) on some load data in their manual and they admitted to me that the pressures were derived by computer program and not pressure tested.

Now, please don’t take this as a reason to exceed published data, if you do, you better know what your basis is to determine chamber pressures.  

I tend to stay well away from max loads, not for safety reasons (although that is a valid reason), but for long term durability of the action and barrel life.  Increasing pressures erodes the rifling leade much faster.  These rifles are not getting any newer and original barrels are hard to find.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 12:51pm
Agree! My comparison was to try and come up with a starter load with one of the four powders listed in the Hodgdon hard copy manual for 215 gr projectiles. Several years ago a a buddy gave me a box of 50 CIL 215 gr bullets which I loaded with H4350 to about 2 grains lower than the listed max in the manual. They shot good and all was well, but I stupidly loaded and shot them all since. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 1:08pm
I have yet to exceed published data on particular weights. Today was a perfect example to not exceed any publushed data. My issue may have been due to over stressed brass though. I got nine shots down range and everything was fine. Average fps chronographed was 2110. The tenth and last round for the day left the rifle with a bigger bang than expected.  I could not lift the bolt handle without tapping it with a small brass hammer i keep with me. The case was shattered inside the chamber, the case head was in two pieces, and when i got the bolt out of the reciever, the small locking lug was chipped and the reciever was cracked just in front of the bolt release. 
I will be pulling all my 215 pills from all 100 cartridges remaining. Honkytonk, PM me if you want some brass fishing weights sent to you...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 1:52pm
Goosic... are you saying you're not going to use the 215 Woodleighs?s?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 2:06pm
No, I am not going to use the the bullets.  I will be pulling them from the cases starting tomorrow morning.  Luckily I did not break the stock, or my face...🤢
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2020 at 2:18pm
Wow. That is something to consider... interesting turn of events. I had emailed Woodleigh in Australia to see about some load data, and just received it after reading Goosics post! They quote five different powders, including H4350. They list it like this;
H4350 42 to 46 gr... 2075 to 2260
Varget 36 to 41 gr... 1900 to 2170
Reloader 15 38 to 43 gr... 2070 to 2250
Reloader 17 42 to 46 gr... 2065 to 2260
Vihtavouri 38 to 43 gr... 2000 to 2260
Please don't quote me on these numbers as they are just from an email. The above is for their 215 gr RN.
Not sure what I'm going to do now. Maybe just be happy with my 174 gr Hornady RN's?


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