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Hunting with the 303?
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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

I really like the 303 British cartridge. However, it is not glamorous, and it is not one of those eargesplitten loudenboomer magnums. But, IMO, it gets the job done. No muss. No fuss.

I want to hear from guys who have used it or do use it for big game.
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

I haven't hunted with the .303 yet but I've read that the original 215 grain bullet was a terrific load for medium game. I'm not sure where you'd find those these days except from Woodleigh Bullets.

Here is an interesting article on the .303 cartridge >> www.cybertorpedo.com/a...fle_01.htm

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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

Gidday FALPhil.

The .303 was a very common hunting rifle in Australia from the early 20's on...simply because there was a glut of them available after both WW I and WW II, and it was a rifle that most were familar with because they had carried it into battle for a number of years.

I've fired many .303 rifles and I don't know how many rounds, but never as a hunting rifle. I've never heard any complaints from the old guys, that did use them for hunting, about the ability or accuracy of the rifle and calibre, especially for those made in the Lithgow factory here in Australia.

The rifles and ammo made in India did not have a really good reputation out here in Australia as hunting rifles because of perceived inferior materials and production of both the ammo and rifle.

The Australian Army was still using the .303 Lee Enfield as a sniper rifle up into the 60's when they rechambered them for the 7.62mm NATO round. It has only been since the mid, late, 80's that they moved onto the Parker Hale in 7.62mm NATO as a sniper rifle. The Australian Army didn't dispose of its .303 Lee Enfields until the mid 80's at which time they sold them as job lots. I believe that a lot were bought by an Asian country. They also gave aussie soldiers the option of buying a "piece of history" in the form of a .303 and my brother got one for $50, complete with canvas bag, bayonet and cleaning roll...all with matching numbers.

In Australia it is still common to find both full wood and "sporterised" Lee Enfield rifles in .303 calibre in gun shops, although the price is starting to climb a bit because of the collectors value of some of the models.

I have a collection of various .303 rounds with the earliest being 1917 with a round nose nickel (?) jacketed bullet up to some from fairly late manufactured.

I'd be happy to carry one if that was all I had available.

Cheers, Vince

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

Vince,

That about sums it up for Canada as well. Many were allowed to purchase their Enfields after the war and many others bought surplus rifles. It's said that the 303British has killed more game then any other round in Canada because of this.

Sporterized Enfields can be had for 200-300$ while un-Bubba'ed Enfields are going for 450-600$ with the Irish contract new never fired still in wrap ones starting to hit the 1,000$ or more mark. Smile

Spacedone a member here, hasn't posted in ages did/does most of his hunting with Enfields I believe. Smile

Dimitri

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

I started hunting deer with a .303 British rifle in 1958 when I bought a 1916 No. I Mark III for $15.88. There have been a lot of .303 rifles since then and I still us it them deer. Within its limitations, it is a fine cartridge. My preference is a 150 grain bullet ahead of a moderate charge of IMR4895. All the best...
Gil

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1895ss
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

My first deer hunting rifle was a 303 British and I paid $18.00 for it. It and the other two I had after that first one were very inaccurate I found. I fired off enough ammo at deer every year to fight a small war before finally bagging my deer. I sold them and bought my Parker Hale in 30-06 in 1974 that I still have today.

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Wicky
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

The old 3oh was my second centrefire - The Northern Territory used to have a 2000fps and only above 32 calibre law before we became enlightened, then our Prime Minister decided we could't be trusted anymore!
I have used my 303 for rabbits, before you ask - why not Laughing , dogs, donkeys, horses, camels and pigs. Never took it up north for buffalo, maybe one day.
I sporterised mine , as you do when you are young and stupid but I managed to pick up a couple more to keep as is and to use in our military shoots. I have been using 150gn projectiles for everything and am just working on 180gn cast for something different.

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tracker
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

I never had the problems with accuracy with them that 1895 mentioned, quite the contrary. Best moose rifle I've ever owned.

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1895ss
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

tracker wrote:
I never had the problems with accuracy with them that 1895 mentioned, quite the contrary. Best moose rifle I've ever owned.

Yep a number of people I know would agree with you, I just didn't seem to have any luck getting a good one I guess. The three I had were refurbished and sporterized. My brother had one that shot quit well. Smile

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

Thanks FALphil for initiating this thread. The 303, along with other older cartridges, still gets the job done and has the lineage and history to back it. I own another rifle in this catagory, the 30-40 Krag.
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

Now you've done it! Guess I'm going to have to break out the No. 1 Mk III and work up a hunting load... Wink

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whittling
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:28 am    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

My brother has 2 Enfields .One is in .303 and its a decent gun but it only gets 5'' groups@50- yards

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happycamper
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

Dimitri wrote:
Vince,

That about sums it up for Canada as well. Many were allowed to purchase their Enfields after the war and many others bought surplus rifles. It's said that the 303British has killed more game then any other round in Canada because of this.

Sporterized Enfields can be had for 200-300$ while un-Bubba'ed Enfields are going for 450-600$ with the Irish contract new never fired still in wrap ones starting to hit the 1,000$ or more mark. Smile

Spacedone a member here, hasn't posted in ages did/does most of his hunting with Enfields I believe. Smile

Dimitri
here in pa
you can buyem sporteriaed for 30.00
at the gun actions
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Hunting with the 303? Reply with quote

Wow, wish they were that cheap here. I'd have to buy a new gun safe to store all of them. Smile

Dimitri

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