.303 British "The Load"

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  • Last Post 26 September 2016
Scottyp99 posted this 21 September 2016

Hello, everybody! I've been a lurker for quite some time, but now I have become a member of this forum so I can address a question specifically to Ed Harris, the discoverer of “The Load", 13 gr of Red Dot powder in a .30 caliber case (generally).

Anyway, my question is this: I am thinking of trying a load for my .303 British Lee Enfield No4 Mk1 rifle. It's made by Savage, and has a two-groove barrel.  I pounded a piece of buckshot into the chamber end of the barrel, and near as I can tell, the throat diameter is .315". My plan is to use neck-sized Prvi Partizan brass with 10-13 gr of Red Dot under a .312” diameter 123 gr plated bullet from Xtreme bullets. Here's a link to the specific bullets:

http://www.xtremebullets.com/7-62X39-123-FP-p/xc762x39-123fp-b0500.htm

I'll be using a Lee Loader to build the cartridges. I would like Mr. Harris to give me his opinion on this load, and perhaps expound upon if he so chooses. Of course, any others may feel free to express any questions, comments, concerns or reservations. See ya!

Scott

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Ed Harris posted this 21 September 2016

The jacketed 123-grain bullets for the 7.62x39 will perform well in the .303 with the Red Dot load. I use them all the time.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Scottyp99 posted this 21 September 2016

Will my plated bullets act much different than jacketed bullets in this load? I don't know much about plated bullets except that they are “neither fish nor fowl", so to speak. I'm confidant that these bullets should work well, after reading the following review on Xtreme's website:

"Took a chance and ordered some for my Enfield No5 Jungle Carbine (1945), even though the diameter is a bit small for some .303s.  Very nice reduced power loads over 11-13 gr of Unique, Herco, and Universal.  Accuracy is better than the rifle's peep sights or my eyesight.  Feeding is not as smooth as the long spitzer bullets the gun was designed for, so no “Mad Minute” with these, but seat them as far out as possible, crimp lightly, and they will feed nicely.  The batch I got measure 0.3135."

These round are intended to just be cheap plinkers, nothing more, but it would still be interesting to know what sort of hunting niche these would be good for. I have a feeling they will fit into the “Not enough for a deer, but too much for a rabbit” category. Also, thank you for your promt reply, Mr. Harris. :dude:

Scott

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Ed Harris posted this 22 September 2016

I've no experience with the plated bullets in rifles, but in revolvers they needed lighter loads as used for lead, raher than treating like jacketed. I would avoid max loads.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Wineman posted this 22 September 2016

Scott,

Welcome! As Ed says “The Load is no popgun". Even cheap plinkers need to be accurate. I would back off two or three grains for the plated 0.312 bullets and see where you are. If they scatter maybe less powder. The Lee Enfields are notorious for needing fat lead. I had a Mosin Nagant M91/30 which had 304/316 bore/groove. The issue is the throat does not let you chamber something fat enough to shoot well. I would start low (9-10 grains of Red Dot or Promo) and see what shakes out. Pulled bullets from either the big or small Russian round should work well with The Load though. I don't hunt deer, but heavier (200 grains) would be the direction I would choose if I went lead vs jacketed.

Your LEE loader will size the neck too far down (made for jacketed bullets) to seat cast properly. See if the plated bullets will seat in a fired case with some tension. If they go in but will not turn you should be good to go. Single shot may be what you have but I'll bet the accuracy will be better.

Dave

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gpidaho posted this 22 September 2016

Scott: My experience with fat thirty's pretty much mirrors Dave's. Good advice he's given you. I can see why your tempted to use plated bullets for plinking. After several moulds, neck turning and powder coating I have bullets that fit my Nagant and Brit only to find that the worn out old rifles are just minute of five gallon bucket anyway. Well, they don't lead and they're a great platform to learn how to overcome adversity. Welcome to the forum and good luck with your loads. Gp

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Scottyp99 posted this 23 September 2016

What I was looking for was, “I've tried exactly what you're talking about, and they work great! Best cartridge I ever made!” No luck there, I guess. Well, I guess I'll give it the old college try and see how she goes. I'll make a small batch using 10 gr of Red Dot, with the bullet seated as far out as I think I can get away with. Any suggestions for that? Rule of thumb says seating depth should be at least the bullet's diameter, but we could probably get away with a little less than that, ya think? Right now, the rectal database says .250” and see what happens. Remember, it has to feed from a magazine into the chamber, so the bullet may see some forces acting upon it, depending on how one works the bolt.

Scott

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Wineman posted this 24 September 2016

If your neck tension is not too great (you found a way to size just enough, think the three bears...) seat out so the drive bands engage the rifling. If you have issues pushing the loaded cartridge into the chamber (make sure the neck is not the source of resistance) with your thumb and seating with the bolt is firm but not needing a 2x4 you should be good to go. A magic marker coating the bullet will show where it is hitting and give you more information. If your thought process is big 22 LR vs lead only is a lot less expensive than a jacketed bullet, you will be miles ahead. Seat the plated bullets out, don't push them too fast and have your sights set on 400-500 and you should be paper plate or better at 50 yards. I shot at the Military Nationals this year and had a great time. Most of my groups had issues (and I should have known better) but some were very competitive.

Have fun!

Dave

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JeffinNZ posted this 26 September 2016

A two groove barrel will need a bullet of .316 inch to work best over even larger. My 2 groove barrel is .317 in the groove. The grooves were made deeper on purpose to allow for the reduced number of rifling grooves and to help the bullet metal displace.

Look up NOE moulds. Al has a lot of oversized .31 moulds. I suggest you consider the 316299.

Cheers from New Zealand

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