A bit disappointed in my .303 British loads . . .

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A bit disappointed in my .303 British loads . . .

Postby Lufbery » 02 Oct 2021 19:02

I loaded some .303 British with my new-ish Lee Loader as shown in this photo:
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I used Remington once-fired brass from the same rifle that shot them as factory loads.

I finally got to shoot the reloads today and, at 100 yards off the bench out of my Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk. 1, the group was more like a shotgun pattern. I exaggerate slightly. Five of the ten that we shot were in the black, and the others were low, just off the paper. Still, with factory ammo, I can get 3-4 inch groups from this rifle easily and often a bit better.

I have 15 rounds from this batch left, so my plan is to move back to 50 yards and get it sighted in a bit better. However, the fired cases were a bit sooty and 42 grains is the minimum charge with that powder. That's what the scoop that came with the kit gives, but I have a Lee Perfect Powder Measure and a Safety Scale, so that's what I used. I also plan on trying various charge weights up to the max. I wonder if the charge was too low.

I also plan on making sure the action screw is really tight. That's a huge deal with these rifles.

By the way, I weighed every three to four loads from the powder measure and I noticed that the weight of the charge kept creeping up. The manual for the powder measure says to let a whole reservoir full of powder go through the measure one time to coat the inside with graphite to prevent the charges from increasing as you use the measure. I did that, but it still happened. I wonder if Win760 simply doesn't meter well or if my powder measure technique is bad.

I've loaded a whole bunch of rounds with my Lee Loader for .38 Special with Trail Boss and it was a lot easier to get good results than with the .303.

So it was a disappointing first 10 rounds. I have some work to do, but I'm not discouraged.
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Re: A bit disappointed in my .303 British loads . . .

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 02 Oct 2021 20:16

As I recall 760 is a Ball powder. Ball powders and I have used a number of them, can do odd things in powder measures. The best results I have had lately have been with my Lee drum measure, not the auto drum but the bench top model. They seem to do okay in my Gen6 Lyman dispenser so far.

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Curt.......makin' smoke and raising my carbon foot print one cartridge at a time +guns +guns
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Re: A bit disappointed in my .303 British loads . . .

Postby RBHarter » 02 Oct 2021 22:17

I don't nor have I in the past had a 303 Britt .

I have read often that they often have not only over sized grooves but that the chambers bear little resemblance to the Factory ammo . Bullets selected for dia leaning more towards .313 that .310 will help your groups I'd bet .
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Re: A bit disappointed in my .303 British loads . . .

Postby Ranch Dog » 06 Oct 2021 06:30

I'm a 303 British reloader. My first question would be, how did those factory rounds shoot?
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Re: A bit disappointed in my .303 British loads . . .

Postby Macd » 09 Oct 2021 16:50

Did you full size brass? I have found that a middle of the road load best in my LE. Sooting would tend to indicate failure of the brass to full expand to seal chamber.

Here is a link from an old post. It has some good info on reloading the Brit.

https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=24699
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