.303 Capabilities

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by uncle curt, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. uncle curt

    uncle curt Member

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    I own a 1941 MK1 Long Branch .303 British. I got the gun from my grandfather, which was his deer rifle. The gun is in good shape and shoots respectively well. Was just curious if anyone can tell me if this gun has any long range potential. I am planning on reloading in the near future and want to get a new scope for it eventually. Im not planning on spending too much into this gun. I would like to get something in the lines of a .243, and spend it into there. Any info on this gun and what it is capable of, would be greatly apreciated.
     

  2. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    I collect Enfield rifles so I can give you some advice, if the Enfield has not been cut down or sporterized I would leave it it in its military configuration just for its collectors value. You can get a Stevens 200 in 30-06 for around $300.00 and have a flatter shooting cartridge. The majority of factory loaded .303 British is loaded with round nose flat base ammunition, and the pointed spitzer bullets are boat tail and shoot poorly in the Enfield rifle.

    The second thing not in your favor are the wooden military stocks on the Enfield which were hot dipped in raw linseed oil when new and required monthly re-oiling to keep the stock hydrated. In other words you may have wood shrinkage and bedding problems with your fore stock if the wood was not kept oiled.

    I have many Enfield manuals if you wish to learn more about your Canadian made Enfield rifle and if it is sporterized I can help you get it in shape for hunting. The .303 British is approximately the same as the 30-40 Krag ballisticlly.


    Below are No.4 Enfield manuals I donated to the website below.

    Milsurps - 1991 No.4 (All Marks) .303 Rifle Manuals (Complete Set)

    Milsurps - REME Precis No. SA/Rifles/3 (Zeroing of No.1, No.3, No.4, No.5 Rifles)

    Ed Horton
    ehorton@comcast.net
     

  3. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

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    Awsome! I know that when you reload it you will need to use .311 cal bullets.

    I went through something similar, my little brother picked up a 1868 Springfield 30-40 Krag Carbine. It had been sporterized. Found out later, my Great uncle had bought it for $2.98, and did the stock himself. My unclse had it before my brother. My uncle lent it out so a kid could go hunting with his dad, the guy that borrowed it had a scope base mounted, and the smith drilled through the ser# and markings. Would have been a $900+ rifle with the right stock and missing rear sight, without the extra holes in the receiver. As is barely worth $200.

    I read and article in '80 or '81 Gun Digest, where an Afghan shot down a Hind Helicopter with a 303 Enfield MKIV.

    Ballistically a 30-40Krag loaded right can out distance 308Win.
     
  4. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    uncle curt

    One thing to conceder before drilling and tapping your Enfield receiver is the "value" of your Canadian Long Branch rifle. You have an early model or a Mk.1 and not a Mk.1* with the bolt release cut out in the receiver guide rail. This makes the rifle rare and worth more to collectors and at todays prices might even pay for a new rifle. If you have the older style button head cocking piece your rifle would be worth even more.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. uncle curt

    uncle curt Member

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    Sorry i wasnt very clear. i actually have a scope already mounted. Grandpa had it done. But the gun does have a different stock as well. Dont know if the barrel has been cut though. How long should a factory barrel be? Ill post some pics soon so you guys can see it. So what would my max accurate distance be? Ish?
     
  6. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    You asked what the maximum distance you could shoot your Enfield rifle

    The standard Mk.1 rear sight on the No.4 is adjustable from 200 to 1300 yards, and at Bisley England the Enfield rifle was used in 1000 yard competition in British NRA matches. The No.4 Enfield had a barrel length of 25 inches

    A good link below for Enfield information.


    The Lee-Enfield Rifle

    Below is the manual for sighting in the Enfield rifle I donated to Milsurps.com


    Milsurps - REME Precis No. SA/Rifles/3 (Zeroing of No.1, No.3, No.4, No.5 Rifles)

    [​IMG]


    Below is a good book on Enfield history and accurizing.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  7. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    One of my uncles in northern Ontario Canada has a Enfield#1 and has killed more Moose than he can remember, Caribou, Deer and bear..as for a hunting rifle he could have bought a new Remington or Winchester long ago, but would never change.
    He loves this old girl. he has owned this rifle for over 50 years and now my cousen uses it.
     
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Nothing wrong with the .303 as "hunting" rifle.

    However, it is not a very good platform to build a LR hunting rifle on for many reasons.

    It will not take high PSI rounds, type of receiver, etc etc.

    BH
     
  9. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    The biggest problem you will run into with the Enfield rifle is dried wood and wood shrinkage. After manufacture the stock was hot dipped in raw linseed oil and allowed soak for a given time. After the rifle was issued the Armourers during the yearly tear down inspection would dip the stock in a tank of linseed oil again and the troops were to oil the stock monthly also.

    If the stock is not re-oiled on a regular basis and kept hydrated the wood will shrink which effects the receiver and barrel bedding and accuracy goes out the window.

    Below are 50 yard targets shot by the same Enfield rife before and after tightening up the bedding caused by wood shrinkage. Proper bedding and a tight fitting fore stock is very important for accuracy.

    Below a loose fore stock caused by wood shrinkage, the rifle is stringing its shots vertically from lack of up pressure at the fore end tip.

    [​IMG]

    Below after re-bedding the fore stock and having the correct up pressure at the fore end tip.
    (please note I only had two flyers) :rolleyes: Note to shabby for a 67 year old war horse. :)

    [​IMG]