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Shooting a Lee Enfield to 1000 Yards

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britrifles View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 23 2021 at 5:58pm
Had a fun day today at the range.  Even a bad day at the range beats a good day at work!

Went to a range near Spencer, TN which has electronic targets from 100 to 1000 yards.  The targets are NRA High Power military type targets, Short Range (SR) at 100 and 300 yards.  Mid Range (MR) at 600 yards and the Long Range (LR) target at 800 and 1000 yards. 

I wanted to shoot my UF56 No. 4 Mk 2 DCRA conversion out to 1000 yards.  PH 5c rear sight fitted.   I loaded up 50 rounds of 175 gr. SMK’s with 40.5 gr IMR 4064.  It’s a bit “light in the pants” for a .308, but I’m trying to minimize bore wear and keep the load on the action down.

All shooting was done on my belly, prone in sling, no support under the rifle.  A bit of a shifting wind from 8:00 to 9:00. 

At 600 yds, this load really performed holding the 10 and x ring fairly easily.  I’ve shot this rifle numerous times at 600 but never further until today.  

Moving out to 800 yards, my first shot was a 9 at 2:30.  Added 2 MOA left windage, my second shot was just out of the 9 ring at 9:00.  Too much adjustment.  Came back 1 MOA right windage and next two shots in the 10 ring. 

What impressed me is the elevation spread was only 1.5 MOA.  That’s pretty darn good for a Lee Enfield with aperture sights.  Windage spread was more because I fiddled with the rear sight windage setting.

 The photo below shows the 800 yard target monitor showing the mean velocity (at 800 yds) as 1295 fps and a standard deviation at 10 fps.  Pretty respectable SD.  The rifle can shoot quite well at 800 yards.



Then on to 1000 yards.  Had to crank up the rear sight elevation to nearly 40 MOA.  First shot, no indication on the monitor, nor the second nor the third.  Well, crap.  The bullet is traveling too slow to register on the electronic target, it needs to be going above the speed of sound, over 1100 fps.  So, I took aim at the 24 inch steel plate.  That 24 inch plate looks like a tiny white speck at 1000 yards. I could barely see it.  The RO watched thru his spotting scope and said I kept nicking the edge of the plate, scarred the crap out of it.  

Here is the rear sight elevation for 1000 yards.  The .308 with 175 gr Sierra MatchKing has a slightly flatter trajectory than the Mk 7 .303 service bullet, note the range scale on the aft side of the rear sight base is aligned to 900 yards



If you look all the way down the range, you will see a white streak of the 1000 yard target line.  My biggest problem was figuring out which target was mine, I could not see the numbers on the number boards because my shooting glasses are set to focus on my front sight.  





A lot of fun, I’ll definitely be going back.  But, I don’t think I’ll be able to pump the loads up enough to get above 1100 fps to register hits on the 1000 yard targets.  




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 23 2021 at 7:17pm
congrats on getting access to such a great range , there is only one range in our area with 1000yds , it is members omly with a really long waiting list - also a snobish membership im told , 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 23 2021 at 10:39pm
   [britrifles quote: "But, I don’t think I’ll be able to pump the loads up enough to get above 1100 fps to register hits on the 1000 yard targets.]
The M852 Match  round will register hits on the 1000 yard target.
I've researched this load and can reliably say that from my own tests.
The FPS 8 feet from the barrel chronographed at an averaged 2658. At 300 yards, the bullets were still running above 2000 FPS. At 600 yards, the FPS dropped to 1825. At 1000 yards, the bullets contacted a metal plate placed directly behind the chronograph with an averaged FPS of 1221. 
168grn/10.9g BTHP 
41.7grns/2.7g of IMR4064 
GM215M primers 
OAL 2.2755.5"
The Piezo Scale of this round is right at 39,223.6 PSI 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 5:13am
Gossic, the RO’s at the this particular range told me that the .308 doesn’t have enough velocity to work on their 1000 yard targets.  He said that 1295 FPS I was getting at 800 yards was “marginal”.  So apparently, the target need a margin above supersonic velocities to work. 

Are you shooting this from a Lee Enfield 25 inch barrel? 

The Sierra 168 gr starts to get unstable before it gets to 1000 yards.  It is not used by the military or in competitions beyond 600 yards (it was designed for 300m international matches).  The M852 Match was developed with this bullet for shooting the National Match M14 out to 600 yards with a Muzzle Velocity of 2535 FPS at 78 feet from the M14.   

The 7.62 mm Special Ball Long Range Mk 316 Mod 0 cartridge was developed for military sniper rifles using the 175 grain Sierra MK and remain supersonic out to 1000 yards (a design requirement for the Special Ball cartridge).  This round replaced the M118 Long Range round which also used the 175 gr Sierra.  The Mk 316 Mod 0 load is 41.7 gr IMR 4064. 

I would need a muzzle velocity of 2720 FPS to get 1221 FPS at 1000 yards with a 175 gr SMK.  Too high a pressure in the No. 4 for my liking. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 8:10am
I contacted the range, they recommended a minimum velocity of 1200 fps for reliable electronic target function.  Based on my Strelok program, I would need a muzzle velocity of 2680 fps with the 175 gr SMK to get to 1200 fps at 1000 yards.  

 The muzzle velocity of my current 175 gr SMK load with 40.5 gr IMR 4064 is 2460 fps, which feels about the same as my .303 match load with the 174 gr SMK.

 I don’t have my Sierra Reloading manual with me at the moment, but 2680 fps muzzle velocity must be near max for the .308 Win.  That makes me nervous shooting in a No. 4 action.  Not that the gun will blow up, but it’s going to take a pretty hard pounding.  




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 9:40am
britrifles. 
You will do as you wish by finding out what works for you and that is a given. 
I have for myself, researched this particular cartridge for my particular setup going on 5 years now. I have made repeated chronographed charts shooting between 100 through to 1000 yards while using a bullet drop compensating chart as well.

...and yes, I am using my No4Mk1 with the unmolested, full length, military contoured, 7.62mm Canadian Arsenal 6 groove barrel.

I granted you with my findings and can do no more than that. Merry Christmas to you britrifles...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 9:51am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:


 I don’t have my Sierra Reloading manual with me at the moment, but 2680 fps muzzle velocity must be near max for the .308 Win.  That makes me nervous shooting in a No. 4 action.  Not that the gun will blow up, but it’s going to take a pretty hard pounding.  

You should see the starting FPS of a .308/7.62mm using a 130grn SP and the starting charge weight of 46.0grns of Varget.  2892 FPS. At the Max grain load of 50.0+ "Compressed Load" that bullet leaves the rifle traveling at 3174 FPS. That is sure to set off that ranges electric target system at the 1000 yard mark.
The above information was taken from a very compliant and safety oriented reloading manual...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 10:53am
A 130 gr SP bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3174 FPS slows down to about 800 fps at 1000 yds due to the low ballistic coefficient.   The Long Range 7.62 sniper and commercial match ammunition use the 175 gr BTHP bullet because of the high BC and very good stability out to 1000 yards.  The 155gr Sierra Palma MatchKing bullet might work (these were designed for the Palma matches which are shot at 800, 900 and 1000 yards.  I’ll run a Strelok calculation for that bullet and see what it can do. 

I might do 20 rounds near or at the max published data for .308, but I don’t think is a good idea to shot a lot of this, significantly higher pressures than the .303 Mk 7 service loading which will take a toll on barrel erosion and the action.  




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 12:01pm
Do you readily plan on shooting out to 1000 yards on a regular basis?
If so then ,forego the 308 and get something more suited to getting the job done.  For awhile, the 30-416 was a great all around choice for 1000 yard plinking. 
I personally chose the 168grn HPBT in conjunction with 41.7grns of IMR4064 because it works well between 100 and 300 yards for target shooting and is a perfect hunting round, especially for Mule Deer and Antelope hunts. The C.I.P. is well under 40,000 with felt recoil below that of the Mk7 service load for the Enfield. 
I only have 575 documented rounds through my Faux L8A5T and the rifling still looks brand new so, not much barrel erosion going on that I can see.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 12:08pm
Yup, a 155 gr Sierra Palma MatchKing will be just the ticket.  It’s got a very high ballistic coefficient at .504 at 2700 fps (0.47 between 1800 and 2700 fps).  Launched at 2700 fps, the velocity at 1000 yards is about 1224 fps and zips out there in 1.6 seconds.  

I think I’ve got some of these bullets.  Varget might be good, H4895 or IMR 4064.  Will see what gives best velocity with lowest pressure. 

I can’t remember what the Long Branch 7.62 barrel twist rate is, I think 1:12.  It was intended for the 147 gr NATO boattail bullet.  The 155 Palma match should do one I expect.  Less recoil too. 






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 12:16pm
Yes, I agree, the 168 gr is a great bullet out to 600 yards.  But won’t work for me at 1000.  

I don’t plan to shoot much at 1000, but I want to find out what I and the No. 4 7.62 conversion rifle are capable of with iron sights at that distance.  And I want to do this with minimal wear and tear on the barrel and action.  





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 12:36pm
The twist rate on my 7.62mm barrel is 1-10". Perfect for 168grn projectiles. Lapua recommended I try out their 167grn Scenar boattail for comparison studies. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 3:49pm
A good part of it is to NOT zero @ 100 yds for a 1,000 yd shot.
If you do you'll need insane amounts of drop calculations.
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: December 24 2021 at 4:23pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

A good part of it sis to NOT zero @ 100 yds for a 1,000 yd shot.
If you do you'll need insane amounts of drop calculations.
The last time I had to make a 1000+ yard shot to target, I had to aim 6 feet up and 4 feet to the right. I had three different wind directions going on at the same time and 5 different rises and falls in elevation. The target was making itself difficult to acquire as well. The first shot proved worthless. The second shot showed promise with the third and final shot hitting the target just left and down of center. I still have my note pad with those calculations jotted down in my file cabinet somewhere...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 5:07pm
My Long Branch (CAL) 7.62 Barrel is 1:12 twist, which should work fine with a 155 gr bullet.  

Interpolating the Hodgdon reloading data, 44.5 grains of Varget should get me 2800 fps out of a 25 inch barrel at 42,000 CUP.  That’s only 0.5 grains above the starting load for .308 Win.  I’m quite comfortable with that load in the No. 4.  Strelok predicts 1200 fps with this load at 1000 yards so it will work on the electronic targets.  

Shamu, you really need to have a short range zero first, preferably at 300 yds, then work your way out to Mid Range at 600, Long Range at 800 and then 1000 using the estimates of elevation change from a ballistic program.  Otherwise, you will likely have clear misses if you first try to hit the 800 or 1000 yard target.  Or worse, you will damage the expensive electronic sensors if you hit them, the range owners frown on that.









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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 24 2021 at 5:22pm
My goal is to hold a 10 shot group within the 30 inch diameter 9 ring on the NRA Long Range Target at 1000 yards, I’d be happy with a score of 95 (five of the ten shots in the 20 inch 10 ring).   Prone in sling, aperture sight, just as they do in the Palma Matches. 

To make that happen, it will have to be a calm day, or very steady winds!  

If you’ve ever seen the Palma Match rifles, you will probably think I’m crazy trying to do this with a No. 4 with a service weight barrel.  A score of 95 may be a very unrealistic goal.  


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