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FMJBT Bullets for reloading 303

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303N5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 28 2022 at 6:05pm
Started reloading for a No.5 and have tried using PPU .311 174 gr FMJBT in PPU brass and 37.5 gr IMR4064. That load gave a 5-round group at 100 yards of 1.7-inch mean radius, and 3.9-inch max radius.  The problem is that the PPU .311 174 gr FMJBT has a bit of variance in weight.  From 200 bullets, most of the bullets were between 174.2 and 174.7 gr. Mean was 174.3 +/- 0.45 gr.

Has anyone had any experience using Hornady .3105 174 gr FMJBT ? I do not want to have to weigh and sort PPU bullets and was thinking that the variance in weight would be better with Hornady. However, the diameter seems to be slightly smaller, so not sure how that seats in the PPU brass after neck sizing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2022 at 8:04pm
That's a pretty good group for a No5 at 100 yards. They aren't known to be tack drivers. If you have a No4 Lee Enfield with a full length barrel in decent shape try that bullet out of it. It sounds like a good combination and may just be the No5 is giving you all its got in regards to accuracy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2022 at 2:57am
A +/- 0.5 grain difference in bullet weight will be undetectable at 100 yards.  You might be able to detect it at 1000 yards with a match rifle.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2022 at 4:18pm
^^^
This!
think of it this way a grain is 1/7000oz.
1/2 a grain is 1/14000 oz.
I really wouldn't be concerned under 300 yds.
I use Sierra Matchkings in mine & it holds about the same as that.

You can test if you like. do a one shot weighing of a bunch of bullets, say 30.
have several big post its on a bench weigh each one, note the weight scribble it on the post it & sit the the bullet on it.
Every bullet with the same weight sits on it too.
Pick whichever weight you have the most of.
Reload them, exactly as you've been doing all along & shoot a group.
How did it work, better, worse or the same?

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 303N5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2022 at 9:41am
Thanks, all for the great advice and inputs. I will try it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 2:57am
Originally posted by 303N5 303N5 wrote:

Started reloading for a No.5 and have tried using PPU .311 174 gr FMJBT in PPU brass and 37.5 gr IMR4064. That load gave a 5-round group at 100 yards of 1.7-inch mean radius, and 3.9-inch max radius.  The problem is that the PPU .311 174 gr FMJBT has a bit of variance in weight.  From 200 bullets, most of the bullets were between 174.2 and 174.7 gr. Mean was 174.3 +/- 0.45 gr.

Has anyone had any experience using Hornady .3105 174 gr FMJBT ? I do not want to have to weigh and sort PPU bullets and was thinking that the variance in weight would be better with Hornady. However, the diameter seems to be slightly smaller, so not sure how that seats in the PPU brass after neck sizing.

Your expectations of accuracy are maybe a little high - these are the actual accuracy requirement that the rifles had to meet before they could be shipped to the military.

SMLE TESTING
For the SMLE All rifles were tested for accuracy by the Small Arms Inspection Department at 100ft, and 10% were also tested at 600 yds. All rifles were fired from a special mechanical rest, known as an Enfield Rest, and a special Telescope layer was used for laying an aim. The Enfield Rest was designed to simulate the conditions under which a rifle would be held when fired from the shoulder, and was provided with hand wheel adjustments for laying an aim. Trial shots were first fired and, if necessary the foresight was adjusted laterally, or replaced by one of a different height, until the shots on the target were within the required limits. At 100 feet, Five rounds were fired, and four of the five shots had to be contained in a rectangle 1 inch broad by 1½ in high. Rifle which failed this test were rejected. At 600 yds 10 shots were fired, nine of which had to fall within a 2 foot circle.

No 4 RIFLE TESTING
For the No 4 Rifle, the accuracy test was the same at 100ft ten per cent of all rifles were then fired at 200 yds when six of seven shots had to fall in a rectangle 6in x 6in , the point of mean impact having to be within 3 inches of the point of aim in any direction. Ten per cent of rifles fired at 200 yds were again fired at 600 yds when 6 out of seven shots had to be in a rectangle 18 inches x 18 inches the permissible deviation of point of mean impact being 9 inches up or down, or left or right. Two per cent of rifles were fired from the shoulder, ten rounds being fed into the magazine by charger and fired rapid to test “feeding up” and ejection. After these tests the barrel was inspected to ensure that there was no expansion in the bore or chamber and that it shaded correctly from end to end. (Was not bent)

No 5 TESTING
The firing test to which the No 5 rifle was subjected was the same as that for the No 4 at 100ft. It was not tested at 200 yds but 10 per cent were tested at 600 yards when the acceptance was ten out of ten shots contained in a rectangle 36 inches x 36 inches. Two per cent of the No 5 rifles were also submitted to the same functioning test as the No4 rifle. 


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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 9:54am
1.5 inches at 100 feet is 4.5 MOA (max allowable vertical extreme spread of 4 out of 5 rounds).  Not a very high standard for sure.  But, remember, this is with the Mk VII ball service ammo, I doubt they prepared special ammunition for these acceptance tests.    

If your getting a "maximum radius" of 3.9 inches at 100 yards, that's nearly 8 MOA extreme spread. That does seem a bit much, even for a No. 5.   I would think for 10 shots, an extreme spread with good handloads should be under 5 MOA, and perhaps better.  A lot depends on your own ability.  The minor bullet weight variance is not an issue here.  

For a No. 4, I would not be satisfied with anything higher than 3 MOA for 10 shots, I typically will look for rifle issues if less than 2.5 MOA.    

It's usually easier to just measure the extreme spread (center to center) of the widest shots.  Depending on how you are calculating the "maximum radius", it could be more than 2x the center to center extreme spread.  



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 10:09am
I have always used the 174gr PPU for service rifle competitions and saved the more expensive (almost twice the price here now!) 174gr Sierra MK for SR"b" competitions.

There are virtually no SMK's to be found in the UK at the moment, so I had to resort to using the PPU for a competition on the 22nd of Oct; we shot two prone, 2 & 15 at 600 yards and I was pleased to come away with a 61.5 ex 75.15 on my first shoot followed by 51 on the second shoot by which time my 71 year old body was trying to tell me it was time to go home! 

The upshot of this is that I have just ordered some more 174gr PPU's and will not ignore the cheaper options in the future; although I will qualify that by telling you the worst bullet I ever bought was a pack of 500x .308 - 168gr PPU's! 

Foot note:
Has anybody ever tried the .308 PPU 150gr FMJ? 
There are none that I can find in the UK at the moment and I have just picked up a new build No.4 in 7.62mm, (pictures and story to follow in the appropriate forum) 


  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 12:14pm
Mick, can you explain the scoring "61.5 ex 75.15"; is that mean you scored 61 with 5 shots in the x (or v) ring out of a possible of 75 (so a bull is 5 points?).  

What's the diameter of the bull (5 ring) and the v (or x) ring at 600 yards?  I'm curious how that compares to our NRA Mid-Range (MR) Target. 

We typically shoot 20 shots prone slow fire in modern military service rifle matches, it darn near kills my back and neck by the time I'm done. By the time I get to shot 15, I just want it to be over!  That's why I prefer our vintage service rifle matches, only 10 shot strings.

I think the only PPU ammo I've ever shot was in .30-06 for the M1.  It shot fairly decent, I think it was a 150 gr bullet mimicking the .30 Cal M2 Ball load.

PPU do make good .303 cases tho...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 1:27pm
Geoff, ever replied to a thread and then wished you hadn't? 

Bisley targets for full bore rifle differ from yours so let me try and explain them.

Scoring for NRA Target Rifle:

V Bull (centre of bull used for tie breaks) = 5.1
Bull = 5
Inner = 4
Magpie = 3
Outer = 2

The target rings vary in size dependent on distance.

Now the confusing bit; the NRA (UK) along with the HBSA (Historical Breech Loading Small arms Association) introduced new targets in 2016 for historic competitions which are the same as those used back in 1971 after the changeover to 7.62mm from .303. 
Both round bull and tin hat have the same size scoring rings.

The shoot I refer to was shot on an HBSA/NRA Tin Hat target at 600 yards and the scoring ring sizes are:
V Bull = 10" (7.8")
Bull = 15" (13")
Inner = 36" (26")
Magpie = 48" (39")
Outer = 72"   (52")

The inches in brackets show the size of the modern Bisley Target Rifle face used at 600 yards for comparison. 
HBSA/NRA targets are generous in size and well suited to give the historic shooter a decent score using an older rifle like an SMLE.  

Here's a link to the plot sheets we use. 

Mick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 3:25pm
Mick, thanks for that!  And yes, I have responded to some posts and later wish I hadn’t Smile.  

Sorry for the next question, but does the V- Bull actually score as the integer value of 5.1 or is that just a way to identify a score of 5 with one count in the V ring?  If the former, then ten shots in the V bull would have a score of 51, is that correct? Here in the US, we would score this as 50-10x. Ties are broken based on how many shots in the X ring. 

Our US MR target at 600 yards is fairly comparable to the modern Bisley Target, slightly smaller score rings:

X Ring    6”
10 Ring 12” 
  9 Ring 18”
  8 Ring 24”
  7 Ring 36”
  6 Ring 48”
  5 Ring 60”

We don’t have different targets for the Vintage Rifle matches, but these are shot at 200 yards only on the Short Range Target (or on the SR-1 short range target reduced to 100 yards).

I’ve probably posted this before, but below is the 600 yard MR target shot with my No. 4 Mk 2 DCRA 7.62  conversion, prone in sling with PH 5c rear sight.  This has a Long Branch made 7.62 barrel of standard service weight (not the later heavy barrel used on the L39 and L42 rifles). 

The decimal number you see here following the score ring number does not count towards the score sum, it represents how far the bullet POI is across the score ring.  So, a 10.9 means a score value of 10, and the hit is 90% across the width of the score ring, nearly on the X ring line.  Dead center shows up as a X.9.  The score below is represented by 100-4x, ten shots within the 10 ring and four of those within the X ring.  I’ve gotten close to this with my .303, but not quite, a few hits just outside of the 10 ring. 



I shot this target before I read what the Armourer said about the PH5C sight with the short backsight attach bolt only going thru the left axis pin lug allowing the action to flex open and giving inconsistent shooting.  Now that’s going to “get in my head”. 

I’m hoping to get to the 1000 yard range with the No. 4 DCRA over Christmas break, and try not to think of the action flexing…






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 3:41pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

I shot this target before I read what the Armourer said about the PH5C sight with the short backsight attach bolt only going thru the left axis pin lug allowing the action to flex open and giving inconsistent shooting.  Now that’s going to “get in my head”. 




SORRY - It wasn't all my fault - it was info given by (probably) the last living UK Armourer who actually did his apprenticeship when LE's were still used 'in anger', and who has written a number of books on the subject.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 3:44pm
No worries Armourer!!!

BTW, I don’t often shoot a “clean” 600 yard score with my AR (score of 100) and it has a heavy barrel and 4x scope, easily capable of sub-MOA accuracy.  I’m quite sure that I’m the limiting factor in the scores I get on my No. 4 rifles, they are indeed capable of holding the 10 ring on the SR and MR targets, and I suspect also on the LR (Long Range) Target.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Strangely Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 4:46pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

Mick, thanks for that!  And yes, I have responded to some posts and later wish I hadn’t Smile.  

Sorry for the next question, but does the V- Bull actually score as the integer value of 5.1 or is that just a way to identify a score of 5 with one count in the V ring? 

Geoff, the 0.1 isn't added up as a fraction, had I got them all in the V bull I would have scored 75.15. 
Mick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2022 at 5:06pm
OK, that makes sense Mick, much like the way we score here.  
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