Author Topic: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo  (Read 10486 times)

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« on: September 29, 2015, 01:28:49 PM »
I have come into possession of sporterised No. 5 Enfield .303 British. I'm interested in folks opinions about which brand/model of factory ammo is most consistently accurate. (180 gr. bullet)

Thanks for the suggestions.

Offline Cylon

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2015, 06:29:31 AM »
Highland ammo sucks balls. Just saying....

Offline Carl

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 07:40:29 AM »
Besides my loading (I no longer load for others) the NORMA .303 British was consistently most accurate for my 303 guns.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 09:16:08 AM »
I am at a loss as to how to tell which would be best.

The Enfield is often not the most accurate platform and never was.  Out of all the models the #5 had a reputation for being least accurate.

I own two Enfields and shoot mostly Remington factory 180 out of them.  Neither one will do much better than dinner plate at 100 yard accuracy, even the scoped one, so I really do not worry about it. 

I just work to keep my shots inside 100 yards.

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 05:24:15 PM »
Well, I haven't had any experience with an Enfield, but save for a few detractors most folks seem to think it is fairly accurate, although not a modern competition rifle by any stretch. I have seen videos (which I suppose could be faked) of folks shooting 2-3" groups with No. 4s. One guy was even relating a news story about Taliban fighters with Enfields who kept a group of Marines pinned down from 500 yds (Could be BS, I haven't corroborated the report anywhere). Again, I have no personal experience however. I do realize that the No. 5 was the least accurate, but I was hoping to keep it under 6" at 100yds. I guess I will find out this weekend how mine shoots.

Anyway, I thank everyone for their suggestions. I went with a couple boxes of 180 grain Federal Power-Shok as they got the best reviews on the various sites I found that had them in stock. Even though I am not far from the Canadian border, .303 seems to be a little scarce.

Offline armymars

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 06:24:13 PM »
  MY friend Ken use to shoot Enfields. He had one that would shoot surplus ammo well, but not any factory or hand loads at all. He took apart some surplus loads and found they were hollow base. He guessed that the groove diameter varied from gun to gun and the British solved the problem with the hollow base. Years later I found some Russian ammo did the same thing for the 7.62 X 54R. You might want to try some bullets with a little bigger diameter.

Offline Cylon

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2015, 05:06:45 AM »
I can hit a man sized target consistently with my mk4 no1 and I suspect that if I hit someone with a 303 even at that range would mess them up....

Well, I haven't had any experience with an Enfield, but save for a few detractors most folks seem to think it is fairly accurate, although not a modern competition rifle by any stretch. I have seen videos (which I suppose could be faked) of folks shooting 2-3" groups with No. 4s. One guy was even relating a news story about Taliban fighters with Enfields who kept a group of Marines pinned down from 500 yds (Could be BS, I haven't corroborated the report anywhere). Again, I have no personal experience however. I do realize that the No. 5 was the least accurate, but I was hoping to keep it under 6" at 100yds. I guess I will find out this weekend how mine shoots.

Anyway, I thank everyone for their suggestions. I went with a couple boxes of 180 grain Federal Power-Shok as they got the best reviews on the various sites I found that had them in stock. Even though I am not far from the Canadian border, .303 seems to be a little scarce.

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 02:00:47 PM »
All I could find in my area was some Winchester Super-X, 180 gr. I ran through a 20-round box and for now, at least, the ammo is more accurate than I am. This was my first time using this firearm, or any Enfield for that matter, and I was a little surprised it had such a robust recoil. I used to have a Remington 7600 .30-06 and the recoil on the No. 5 is about the same. I will need to build up some shoulder resiliance to improve my marksmanship with this rifle.

Offline trekker111

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 10:46:23 PM »
For accuracy in a 303, you need to start by slugging the bore. Basically you take a pure lead slug, slightly over bore diameter, and with a strong bore rod, push/pound it through the bore from the chamber to the muzzle. Then measure the lands and grooves.

US factory ammo is loaded to the SAAMI specifications for 303 British. These specs can differ from the British ordnance specs, as well as what was actually produced.

If factory ammo is showing bad accuracy there are only 3 real options.

1 - Slug the bore and handloads ammo with the appropriate sized bullets. This problem is common enough that die manufacturers offer dies with alternate size expanding balls.

2 - Put a new barrel on it.

3 - accept it as inaccurate

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.saami.org/pubresources/cc_drawings/Rifle/303%2520British.pdf&ved=0CBsQFjAAahUKEwjYnouE08PIAhWJ8j4KHVrBDuc&usg=AFQjCNFaA2_KcEij7IZ7sOJv43eJOA4C5g&sig2=2Jb43_AguHjzlwNueG8L_Q

Offline Gulo gulo

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2015, 01:12:02 AM »
One guy was even relating a news story about Taliban fighters with Enfields who kept a group of Marines pinned down from 500 yds (Could be BS, I haven't corroborated the report anywhere).

Once upon a time (as late as the soviet invasion), the Afghan rifleman was a greatly feared opponent. Probably not a bs story. Seems that handing him an AK and saying "point and shoot" has been the undoing. I've heard reports that some AKs were captured with the sight leaf in a vertical position, apparently the hapless operator assumed one used the same principle as the enfield's ladder sight. Not as funny as the Zimbabwe guerrillas thinking "if setting the sight to 100 is good, 1000 must be even better!" (Might be some veiled racism in that anecdote).

Offline David in MN

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2015, 08:59:52 AM »
I can't speak for .303 specifically but in general I've liked Prvi Partisan ammo for European surplus guns. It's my go to if I don't want to shoot corrosive ammo in my Mosin or if my needs don't warrant a fresh can of "spammo".

Part of the fun with old guns is goofing off with different ammo to find the best fit.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2015, 12:11:11 PM »
I have also found that the Privi Partisan also shoots to the sights on my MN rifles.

I have not used their .303 so I can not verify that caliber.

I use the PP soft points for hunting with the MN.

I have never had good luck with the Enfield design.  Anything one can do to destroy accuracy in a rifle was engineered into the device.  And in spite of the historic claims of training and user abilities, an Enfield was considered sniper quality and part of the accuracy batch if it got 2 MOA.

The design and cartridge were due to be scrapped at the turn of the century (20th century) for a better rifle with a better cartridge.  That was due to the Boers in South Africa eating the Enfield toting Tommie's lunch at long range with 7mm Mausers during the Boer War.

The P14 and P17 Enfield were the result of that quest, and a much better rifle.

WW1 us the only reason the SMLE survived for another 40 years use.  They built so many of them they could not scrap them until they were so obviously obsolete they were a hazard to the troops.

Offline armymars

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2015, 08:01:02 AM »
Some Enfields have 5 grove barrels. This requires a 72 degree fixture to measure grove dia. I used a bullet re sizing dies to measure the slugs in my 1971 Eddie Stone which had a 303 barrel on it, I found out.   

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2015, 04:50:50 PM »
I've shot two boxes (40 rnds) over the past two weekends, one box of Winchester, one box of Federal Power-Shok. I have found the Federals to be more accurate. It could also be however, that I am just improving with regular practice. I am at about 8-9" groups right now, but keep shooting to the left. I haven't quite adjusted the rear sight far enough to the right yet. I should probably just crank it at this point until I start shooting to the right and then work my way back. Although I am still outside the bullseye, I do think this rifle has the potential to bring things tighter at least another two or three inches. I do like the Federal ammo though and I am going to stick with that.

Offline armymars

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Re: Most consistently accurate .303 British factory ammo
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 07:48:25 PM »
  Not always being sane I would try two or three rounds loaded with .318 bullets and reduced powder charges.