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Thinking of taking a leap

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Shamu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 7:25am
Back in the '70's there was a Fad for shooting 7.62 out to 500 yds, then switching to the .303 for the 1,000 yd shots. I remember talk, in the bar after visiting the Wailing Wall, of 303 somehow magically shooting smaller groups at extended range than at closer distances for example.
I never experienced such a thing but I did notice that the dispersion with distance became less at longer range. As in 1"@ 100, 2" @ 200 3"@ 300 out to about 500 but then it was more like 6"@ 600, but only 8 1/2, not 10 @ 1,000.

I think it was more theoretical than a practical difference though.

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Pukka Bundook View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 7:29am
LOL Honks!
 
Can't find the bit I wanted on these old rifles, as the site I saved is kaput.
Saw this V similar bit though, when looking just now;
 

Amongst modern target shooters there is a bunch of skeptics who, like holocaust deniers, refute as balderdash the phenomenon of compensation. In the case of the SMLE, compensation refers to the way muzzle jump variance caused by ammunition velocity inconsistency causes the elevation group to converge at longer ranges. In other words, they seem to group tighter at longer ranges than short.

image: http://www.sportingshooter.com.au/images/dmImage/SourceImage/compensation%201.jpg

compensation1

Imagine that your muzzle rises through recoil (jump) and the faster bullets exit at a point lower in that jump, with slower bullets naturally exiting higher in the jump cycle. At some point downrange, the faster, flatter shooting bullets will converge with the slower, more trajectory-challenged bullets.

In the British War Office Textbook of Small Arms published in 1929, this is explained in greater length and that is where the diagram accompanying this story came from. Anybody who shoots old military rifles seriously should get a copy as it's still in print. It goes on to explain that at the Bisley meeting in 1920. Standard Mk VII ammunition was quite vertically erratic at 200 yards, while at 600 yards, the groups were much better in proportion to the distance.

Comparisons by target shooters through the 20th Century determined that the phenomenon of compensation was real, with the SMLE No 1 MkIII and Mk VII ammunition shooting more tightly between 900 and 1,000 yards. With the Long Lee Enfield (commonly named the Long Tom) and Mk VI ammunition, it compensated best at about 1500 yards. The later No4 rifles, used by the British in WW2, compensated between 400 and 500 yards.

Now I have personally experienced this when competing in the old McIntosh .303 Matches, which used to be held over two days at ANZAC Rifle Range, Malabar. A staunch band of 10 or 12 .303 shooters used to try and mix it with state-of-the-art .308 and .223 target rifles at ranges from 300-800 metres. Over the three matches that I shot, my 800 metre scores were uniformly (much) higher than my shorter range scores and in variable winds, we seemed not to be disadvantage much, if at all, by shootinmg against .308s.

Now I was fortunate enough to attend the Long Range Precision Rifle Shooting course in Canberra a while back and my scoped No4 Savage .303 with handloads was as able to hit stationery clay targets out at 800 yards with as much ease as modern tactical rifles. On another occasion, at Lithgow Rifle Club, I blew a good centre count possible at 800 yards with my No1 .303 on the last shot (an inner just out), probably because I could not believe it was happening. Bernie Doohan is my witness. The elevation group, off the elbows, was about 1.2 MoA for ten shots.

The ironic thing about this from my perspective is that I argue that this phenomenon is really there with my mate Mark Adamson repeatedly and he staunchly refuses to believe in it. Here's the rub - he exerienced his best scores at 700 and 800 metres just like Daniel Cotterill and I did, when fighting it out for the medals. Go figure.

Is it any wonder some of us just love these old clunkers?

Marcus O'Dean

Editor

 


Read more at http://www.sportingshooter.com.au/news/lee-enfields-magnificent-long-range-performers#PMR6ok6lTg83Fwdh.99
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 8:29am
We have some members who take shooting very seriously. Myself, I just do it for fun and as the litmus test for any rifle that I rebuild.

Because I dont do serious target work, I cannot tell subtle differences in bullet or in powder charge other than it hits the gong or it doesnt.

What I heard from the shootists' conversation, it could well have been the difference between a 308 and 303 on the range transitioning between super and sub sonic. There would be a bit of turbulence in flight at that point I would imagine.

All my Lees both Metford and Enfield love oversized flat based bullets. Some dont like the boat tailed bullets such as those loaded into the pile of IVI Mk.VIII that I burned through to get the empty brass. 
A good shooting rifle with flat based bullets would shoot wonky or actually keyhole with these boat tails. 
I don't know how well the Canadian Rangers did with this stuff, but apparently the Mk.VIII ammo was loaded wrong, but never adjusted in production.

I dont own a No.4 so I cant compare.

A reader's digest explanation of the barrel compensation in the Sht.LE as I understand it is that as the bullet is travelling down the barrel, the tube behaves not unlike a buggy whip and flexes. Only by thousandths of an inch, but it bends and moves in a predictable manner.

A slow moving bullet takes time to travel the length of the barrel and exit. The barrel length is carefully calculated so that the bullet exits the muzzle right at the moment that the barrel just before is at the peak of its upward whip.

A faster moving bullet takes less time to travel down the barrel and exits as the barrel muzzle is still travelling upwards, exiting the barrel at a lower trajectory. That initial trajectory and the flatter flight of the faster bullet puts point of impact in the same place as the slower arcing bullet. 

I often wonders why they came up with a barrel length of 25.2 inches. Compensation is why.

The spring loaded inner barrel band is part of the compensation package. The upward pressure of the spring loaded shoe in the nose cap is to allow the stock to move due to environmental conditions (as wood does in the warm/cold wet/dry) to keep the pressure constant from shot to shot as the barrel warms and behaves differently to that of a cold barrel.

All very clever stuff and is a scientific study in itself.

The No.4 has a heavier and stiffer barrel, the diameter and taper being identical to that of the MLE long rifle. 

With a decent target peep sight fitted and a well bedded long Lee, it would be interesting to put an MLE up against a No.4 rifle for an accuracy comparison with different ammo.
.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MJ11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 9:06am
Some years ago I was invited to Bisley. My host explained to me that the 303 would tighten up past 300 yards. He called it laying down. An effect of a whip built into the Enfield action. Over the years I have whitnessed it in my own rifles and others.

I have always said that the Enfield is not a hundred yard target rifle and that it comes around passed the 400 yard mark. While many do get sub minute 100 yrd. accuracy it's been turned for it along with the amunition. But then the rifle gives up the advantage at the longer range.

Again your mileage my differ.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 10:44am
I think its a question of semantics here.
"Grouping more tightly" Implies a smaller group at longer range, but what I've experienced is better called " Reduced dispersion".
Let me illustrate.
Grouping more tightly means (to me) you get a group X" in diameter at one distance, but further away you get a group X-y Inches in diameter.
I've never seen that.
But I have seen Reduced dispersion as in:
You get group a which is X" in diameter at Y distance.
At YX2 distance you get a group Xx2" in diameter.
So far so good.
But extend it to YX4 distance & the dispersion is only xX3" in diameter!

I think the critical bit here is this:
"the groups were much better in proportion to the distance."

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 Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 10:46am
Apologies Honkytonk. Re-reading my earlier post it appears I was not clear.

When I was refering to purchasing my No1 rifle from the same vendor; I was meaning the vendor I had previously purchased my no4 rifle from in the UK. That was EFD rifles. I did not mean your gunsmith in Canada.
The point of my post was to be aware that sometimes we can be disappointed by reputable companies. In my case, we did come to an arrangement that was satisfactory to both parties.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 11:08am
I would be interested to try out both No4 and No1 at the longer ranges. I think it will be more complicated to come to Bisley if Britain crashes out of Europe as expected.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 3:34pm
The phenomenon of “compensation” in LE rifles is an interesting topic.  I’m not aware of any scientific measurements that demonstrated the true root cause of this behavior.  I’m not saying that it does not exist, for my own shooting experience seems to prove that the LE is more accurate at longer ranges. And there is lots of evidence out here that proves it is real.  

My Dad competed in DCRA matches at the time the 7.62 No. 4 conversions appeared and also recalls that the 7.62 did not do so well at short ranges.  “Positive Compensation” was credited with improved results at the mid and long ranges.  Compensation of the LE is described in an October 1969 American Rifleman article by Maj E.G.B Reynolds.  He stated that the muzzle of the LE No. 4 rifle with Mk VII ammunition is moving upwards at the time of discharge.  Velocity variations up to 100 fps will demonstrate “positive compensation” and experiments demonstrated the effect showing increasing powder charges results in a lower POI on the target at 200 yards.  Now, I do not know if this is a result of barrel harmonics, receiver flexibility or the fact that the bore centerline is above the butt plate where the recoil is reacted.  

 In an effort to improve the short range accuracy of the 7.62 converted No. 4 , an experiment was undertaken to stiffenen the action with a reinforcing strap brazed to the receiver.  The experiments on compensation of the 7.62 converted No. 4 with stiffened actions showed less vertical displacement at 200 yds as powder charge increased As compared to the standard actions.   Mauser actions showed no displacement difference.  So, clearly, the behavior is real, although the exact cause of this may be unknown.  Action flexibility seemed to be a factor.  

My own experience tends to confirm that the No. 4 rifle shows a lower vertical dispersion in MOA at 600 yards as compared to 200 yards.   I’ve shot numerous 600 yard prone (off the elbows) 10 shot groups at 600 yards that are just over 1 MOA. I don’t shoot 600 yards often, but I can say that of the hundreds of 10 shot groups at 200 yards, a 1 MOA vertical dispersion is rare at 200 yds using a peep sight.

My own theory is that the poor grouping of the No. 4 7.62 NATO converted No. 4s is likely a result of poor bullet symmetry of the issue 7.62 ammunition of the day.  I have found that a good quality match bullet performs every bit as good in 7.62 as it does in .303.  I think Gossic has also proven this as I’m sure others have.  Yes, if you push the velocities up too high, the No. 4 action flexibility shows up on the target.  But at reasonable velocities, the 168 grain .308 match bullet is exceptionally accurate at 600 yards, as it is at 200 and 300 in the No. 4 conversions with standard service weight barrel.  But remember, the Bisley SR shooters had to use issue ammunition, and here is the real source of the problem.   The British NRA improved the results by introducing a 4 lb barrel which became legal for SR(b) matches but they could have equaled, or surpassed, the .303 accuracy with a better bullet even in the standard service weight barrel. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2019 at 7:47pm
Very good Brit, and well put.
 
Thanks for sharing your experience of this..
It is very much in keeping with others findings.
 
R.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shiloh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2019 at 3:07am
Good read. I was never a serious target shooter as much as I was/am a varmint shooter.
Back in the `80s my gofer gun was a No4 Churchill sport, hand rolled 174gr bullets, my best shots were always way out past 500yrd, rarely hit much inside of 200, thus considered it a waist of ammo.
The rifle of course was scoped.
Back then I knew nothing of which you speak, but was often told can`t beat a 303 for distance.
shoot em if you got em
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2019 at 5:30am
Is the furniture on a No1 MkIII the same as the No4's? Beech or some other hardwood? The ones I've seen look quite dark, but that could just be the hue of aged linseed oil. I was cleaning my No4 MkII yesterday in the sun and noticed it has achieved the colour I wanted! Took about a year and a half, oiling it regularly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2019 at 6:06am
Mostly walnut in the British & Canadian rifles.
The Aussies used Coachwood or Maple a lot because the climate didn't favor walnut trees.
Most of the heavy, black almost, darkening is oxidized Linseed oil.
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 Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2019 at 6:16am
As Shamu says, H-Tonk.
 
The first Lithgows were built using imported walnut, and rest the coachwood or Queensland maple.
 
Later (WW11) and dispersal British rifles may be stocked in beech, but earlier ones were walnut.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2019 at 7:14am
Thanks guys. Pukka, I hope my furniture comes looking like yours! Beautiful!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2019 at 12:37pm
I'm an Aussie living in Chicago and I learned to shoot with an Enfield 303 in the Australian Army Cadets (Aquinas College unit).  40 years later I would like to add an Enfield to my collection - ideally a rifle with Australian provenance, from the early days of the unified Australian Army, e.g., Boer War, or a WWII edition as this is likely what i was using in '80s.  There is a lot of great information here, and good to see many Aussie's active on the board.  I would like to occasionally shoot it in addition to displaying it.  Thank you in advance for my your assistance - I look forward to my exploration!
Geoff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2019 at 3:21pm
Welcome from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada!
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