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You going to do what!?!?

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Goosic View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 03 2020 at 10:41am
Preface: (This works with the Long Branch and Savage rifles that have a two groove rifled barrel that is not extremely worn.)
I love shooting my Enfield rifles. I also enjoy concocting my own personal reloads for them. One particular load involves a 168grn and or a 180grn  .308 diameter BTHP.  What!? Yes,you read that correctly. Many decades ago a professional competition shootist,who was extremely proficient with an Enfield No4Mk1* clued me in on a topic involving Enfield accuracy using a two groove barrel. He found out after extensive research that the LB and Savage two groove barrels are somewhat tighter in the lands to grip the bullet better while still retaining the standard depth of the grooves. He would start out with FL sized .303 brass and then run 0.020" of the opening into a .308 resizing die.Afterwhich,when everything was said and done,he would put a factory style crimp on his reloads. His personal bullets of choice were the 168grn  Sierra Match King. This had the added bonus of reducing chamber pressures,drag coefficients and fouling upon firing. The accuracy between a factory .311 diameter bullet and his .308 reloads showed a slight favoritism to the reloads during testing.(Possibly due to the Boattail design) I have a Long Branch No4Mk1* with a brand new,unissued barrel. The barrel was gauged buy a professional gunsmith and has a bore of 0.3030" and .314" grooves. I currently have 22 180grn .308 Norma Vulkan bullets loaded into 303B Hornady brass. The basic math here indicates that the .308 is close to .005" larger the .303 bore. I have done this before,however. I will make my tests this weekend and share my results with you afterwards.  One of the photos shows how far the bullet will enter the muzzle and another will show what the measurement is at that point. I had my micrometer recalibrated as indicated by yet another photo in this post.
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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: January 03 2020 at 11:04am
I’m looking forward to seeing the results Goosic.  

The early No. 4 7.62 NATO conversions were done using .303 barrels that had the breech cut back about 1/4 inch and rechambered with a .308 Win chamber reamer.  I’ve got a early 1960’s DCRA instruction sheet on the conversion process.  These rifles shot quite well with good 7.62 ammunition and would have shot even better with match quality reloads.  

Eventually, Enfield and Long Branch made No. 4 service weight 7.62 barrels (I’ve got two No. 4 rifles fitted with these barrels), and later, 4 lb barrels used in the Sniper conversion.   The most accurate No. 4 rifle I have is a conversion with Long Branch made 7.62 service weight barrel which I shoot the 168 gr Sierra MatchKing loaded with 40.0 grains of Varget.  

I can’t recall off the top of my head what rifling was used in the 7.62 barrels. I want to say 4 groove RH 1:10 twist but I may be thinking of the Springfield and M1 barrels.  I know it’s not 2 groove, this was a LB and Savage war time expediency.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2020 at 11:16am
 I am going to use both the Long Branch and the Faux T rifle for comparisons. Ten rounds each of the .308 and .311 just to get rid of the bias with new new barrel on the Long Branch. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trappers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2021 at 6:25am
I've been scouring the net, looking for a thread on someone else shooting .308 in the enfield. I just recently discovered this with a sporter Ishy I have.
 Shoots so good, I have a full wood ishy smle in the mail.lol

I was trying to develop some plinking rounds using some other "30's" I had. 123gr Hornady SST, 123gr PPU SP (pulled from 7.62x39), and some 90gr Hornady XTP's (.309 for Torkarev). They all "grouped", but the XTP's were loose in the brass. I replaced the collet stem with a .308 diameter from my 300WM die, re sized the neck, and now it held the XTP way better, but now.. .308. Tried some 180 Nosler Ballistic tips I had and wow! I've since settled on 165gr Hornady Interlock and IMR4064, shooting 1.38 MOA. I just hope the full wood mk3 has the same problem with shooting .308 very nicely. If I have the same results with my full wood mk3, I'll share my findings as I have bushels of different heavy 308's from my 300WM 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303 Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2021 at 10:31am
I have tried 180 and 220 grain Nosler partitions from my brother’s Lee enfield and haven’t had great success. The 215 grain Woodleigh bullets shot better. I am going to try the .308 170 grain Swift a-frames out of my Lee and see how they compare to the 174 grain .312 inter-locks.
The Lee Enfield is to the Canadian north what the Winchester repeater was to the American west.   Cal Bablitz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2021 at 2:24pm
I’d be surprised if a .308 bullet shot better than a .311 bullet in a .303 barrel.  Perhaps with a tight bore, say .301 to .302 they would shoot just great.  2 groove vs 5 groove also may make a difference because of how the bullet is supported.

Somewhere on this forum I reported results with light .311 bullets, I think they were Lapua 123 flat base.  They shot pretty good in my 5 groove BSA barrel and made a nice light recoil load.  But not as good as the 174 gr SMK. 

I think the best light load plinking bullet for the .303 would be cast bullets.  Even the heavy cast bullets loaded to 1600 to 1800 fps has very light recoil. 

.308 bullets shoot good in .30 Cal/7.62 barrels. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2021 at 2:43pm
Couldn't agree more.
I scrounged some light (125 Gr (ish).311 "AK") boolits.
I had to single load them to get them into the chamber.
Recoil at 2450 Fps was really "mild" though.
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 Doco Overboard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2021 at 4:50pm
Sounds like an interesting project. In Hatcher's book he writes about the M17 barrels being slightly tighter than the 03 in 30 cal because of Enfield form of rifling and the combined width of grooves are three times as wide as the lands of the latter.
Also by applying a firm crimp on the right bullet style with a slightly smaller diameter bullet, the heel of the bullet could be expanded further at peak pressure and just before moving forward becoming "upset"  as supported by information provided to us in the textbook of small arms.
A lead drawn wire of the appropriate hardness, set into the envelope material to allow the heel to expand in a way that provides a nice gas seal the moment before forcement occurs.........powder selection would probably be of help here too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bubba ho tep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2021 at 4:25pm
For 30 + years I have loaded 30 caliber bullets in 7,65 argie , 7,7 Japanese and of course 303 brit. Results varied a lot depending on the rifles. The Belgian and most argentine 7,65 rifles always did well with 30 caliber projos. And always made tracers ignite. The 303 was generally pretty good and always fired up tracers , but some rifles would shotgun patterns. The 7,7 jap was usually not so hot with 30 cal projo's but always good with 303 pulled MkVII bullets or assorted softpoints.
    I've got about 700 rounds of paki 303 ball I need to pull down as it's that typical click maybe bang junk. But the bullets will do fine with modern primers and powder as usual.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2021 at 10:09am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

I’d be surprised if a .308 bullet shot better than a .311 bullet in a .303 barrel.  Perhaps with a tight bore, say .301 to .302 they would shoot just great.  2 groove vs 5 groove also may make a difference because of how the bullet is supported.

Somewhere on this forum I reported results with light .311 bullets, I think they were Lapua 123 flat base.  They shot pretty good in my 5 groove BSA barrel and made a nice light recoil load.  But not as good as the 174 gr SMK. 

I think the best light load plinking bullet for the .303 would be cast bullets.  Even the heavy cast bullets loaded to 1600 to 1800 fps has very light recoil. 

.308 bullets shoot good in .30 Cal/7.62 barrels. 


Speer had a Pinker load using a 100gr flatbased 32cal pistol bullet. It was advised to use some form of batting material or cardboard wad to keep the powder from uncovering the flash hole and creating a flash over scenario when the cartridge was inserted into the chamber.

In my original first post on this topic, I explained why I will use 168grn 308 bullets in my Long Branch or Savage made Enfield with the 2 groove barrels only. A two groove barrel, if in good condition, will hold the 308 projectiles just as well as its 311 counterparts.  The lands are a smidge tighter than the multi grooved barrels. This was told to me by a now deceased NRA/Bisley/Camp Perry/All over the world target shooter that used a No4Mk1* Long Branch with the 2 groove barrel for all his competitions. 
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