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szihn
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Reged: 24/06/07
Posts: 1444
Loc: Wind River Valley, Wyoming
Hunting with the 303, please report
      #312853 - 22/02/18 03:33 PM

I am looking for feedback on bullet performance with various bullets on game. Good and bad.
Any brand and weight of bullets but especially Remington 180 grain and PPU 180 grain.

Sierra, Speer Hornady, Barnes Woodleigh, Winchester Norma, any of them!

Please tell me what kind of results you have seen from various bullets on game. Details details.


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Waidmannsheil
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Reged: 19/04/13
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Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: szihn]
      #312858 - 22/02/18 04:00 PM

I have seen very good results form the Woodleigh 215 grain RNSN.

Waidmannsheil.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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eagle27
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Reged: 24/01/09
Posts: 767
Loc: Nelson, New Zealand
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: szihn]
      #312860 - 22/02/18 04:11 PM

One of my first rifles as a teenager was a 303 SMLE Jungle Carbine. I loaded 150 grain bullets, mostly Sierra which are always a good performing bullet on red deer, probably any deer for that matter. Never saw a need for the 180 grain weight, possibly on elk, moose or big bear yes maybe, but the 150 grain at 2700fps MV or thereabouts should do everything required.

The 303 cartridge is often underrated when compared with other more modern cartridges but it performs well today with good bullets albeit the SMLE rifles don't usually have the accuracy potential as others.
Like many early hunters in New Zealand where the 303 has taken thousands upon thousands, likely millions of deer, my father often said that if he had had his BSA Hunter 7x57 and later his Shultz and Larsen 7x61 in his earlier years where he used an SMLE 303, he would have been able to hit and kill a pile more animals than he ever did with the 303. I think this was more a matter of bullets of the day rather than the cartridges themselves and of course scopes. The bullet of the day back then was almost exclusively military hardball with the tip filed or drilled to make a soft point.

Any of the bullets you list will perform well at 303 velocities.


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Claydog
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Reged: 17/08/12
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Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: eagle27]
      #312864 - 22/02/18 05:25 PM

I have shot a few buffalo with my 303 for Dog meat. I buy the cheapest ammunition I can get from my local which is the Highland 150gn. Have had no issue with it and the one in this photo was a frontal heart shot from memory. Only thing is I have to use 2 leaves more on the sights than what I should but that is probably more a regulation issue than the ammunition. Either way they kill fine if I do my part. Sure it is a cheap type projectile but proof is in the pudding as they say.



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93x64mm
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Reged: 07/12/11
Posts: 1177
Loc: Nth QLD Australia
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Claydog]
      #312866 - 22/02/18 06:55 PM

It is a very good calibre for pigs!
I drilled a good sized boar on the run at 30m or so & wondered why I him so far back?
I didn't know that I hit a 7" round gum about 5m or so closer, the bullet smashed off a 4" portion of the tree itself before hitting the boars kidney area & broke its back - it wasn't going anywhere after that!
Another pig I shot on the same day was in excess of 100kgs quartering front on diagonally through, again a spine shot & he was down, anchored well & truly.
Yes both needed a finisher.
My load is 46gn AR2208 (Varget) Remington cases, Federal 210 primer with Speer 150gn spire points/flat base. Sierra equivalent projectile shoots to the same point of aim in my old P14 Winchester.

This load has been chronographed at just under 2700fps with less the 10 fps deviation.
A note of caution must be applied here if using in a SMLE as this would be generally considered too hot & safe only in my rifle.
Can't go wrong with an old .303!


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Daryl_S
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Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17791
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Claydog]
      #312867 - 22/02/18 07:06 PM

Steve - most of the guys around here still using .303's for moose are using the Winchester 180gr Power Points & are very happy with them. This switch was made when the Imperial and/or Dominion 215 KlingKore SoftPoints (RN) were no longer available.

I have a close friend I chambered a .308" groove barrel for, using a .303 reamer with the pilot ground to fit the .300" bore. He wanted this chambering so he could also use factory ammo in it. The factory ammo did not shoot well, nor did the 220gr. Hornady's he wanted to use. Instead he found it a tack driver with Hornady 150gr. Interbonds, loading with full power loads of 4064 and 4320 IMR powders.

We put that barrel on a P-14 action and it now, aside from his 8x68S, it is his favourite long barreled (27") moose, deer and elk rifle - or at least seems so.

He is loading 150gr. InterBOND bullets to 2,750fps and is very happy with them on all 3 animals, taking only one shot each. The Royal Elk was the longest shot at just over 400yards. Keith is an incredible game shot, btw, is more than a bit famous around here for that prowess.
He noted every bullet was perfectly expanded, no breakups and decent penetration. His whitetail and mule deer were closest shots at just over 100 yards.

Good luck. If I was loading for a .303, I would likely use the 180gr. PP if it was available here. So far, it is not.

My only .303 is a Mark 1 #4 Enfield I re-chambered to .303 Express.(necked down .350 Rem Mag case) I have tested some 174gr. Hornadys loaded, and have some 180gr. steel jacketed Normas loaded also for testing.

The 174gr. Hornadys ran 2,940fps and 1 1/2" at 100 meters with the battle sights, however I expect they might be too soft for that speed. The barrel is a new one, but is 2-groove & .315" groove to groove. The rifle was sporterized and sold by Remington.
The 180gr. semi-round nose Norma boat tails might actually do better on most game.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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szihn
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Reged: 24/06/07
Posts: 1444
Loc: Wind River Valley, Wyoming
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Daryl_S]
      #312883 - 23/02/18 03:12 AM

Thank guys.

I am looking for details because on the 2 Lee "Speed" rifles I am making I am installing express sights. They have to be filed to zero at 100,200 and 300 yards. I want to zero each rifle with a load that I know is dependable for the hunter. If I use a bullet that is so-so and the hunter wants to use another he will not have the sights set for that load or bullet.

So this is more then just a passing curiosity for me. I am looking for details on bullet performance so I know the rifles can be used on any game up to elk size and the hunter will not have to change his load.

Bones hit and broken,
Angle of the hit,
Total penetration,
Size of the game,
Retained weight (if the bullet didn't exit)-- and so on, are the kind of details I want.

I would set both for rifles to use 215gr Woodleighs, but they can be hard to get and are extremely expensive, so if I can find another bullet that works well on game up to elk size that is easy to get and/or cost less I will zero the rifles for it. If I use them to zero the guns and 2 years from now the customer can't get them, or can't afford them, I am going to paint myself into a corner.

I want to hear about Remington Core-Lokts and PPU bullets too, if anyone has experience with either one.

The Winchester Power Points get very good feed back, but you can't buy their bullets, only their ammo. At $40 a box most hunters will not buy it around here. but they will load their own. So the Power Point is on my list, but I'd use them to zero only if they were so much better than the bullets I can buy that there was no contest.

Remington makes their 180 gr Core-Lokt now and then, and sometimes you can buy them for reloading, but only about once every 3-4 years. Remington does EVERYTHING wrong when it comes to doing business and now is in bankruptcy, so their 303 bullets may be gone forever. That is a good reason for me to not zero with them at this time. If they were to "pull their heads out" and start selling the bullets again I would probably go with those, but I don't want to file express sights on 2 rifles to zero perfectly with ammo that can't be gotten or can't be afforded.


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Ripp
.470 member


Reged: 19/02/07
Posts: 9826
Loc: Montana, USA
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: szihn]
      #312886 - 23/02/18 03:53 AM

Steve

About 30 years ago, all I hunted with was an open sighted .303 British..using 180 gr Rem Core-lokts on whitetail deer..shot a wagon load of them with that bullet..worked fine on Whitetail but would NOT be my go to bullet for moose or elk..shed lots of weight..even on a 200+ lb deer....think there are better options.. sorry could not be or more assistance..

Have not used it for much in a very long time other than taking it to the range and practicing shooting off hand on the steel plates at extended ranges..

Fantastic caliber.. IMHO..

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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szihn
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Reged: 24/06/07
Posts: 1444
Loc: Wind River Valley, Wyoming
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Ripp]
      #312887 - 23/02/18 04:01 AM

Thanks Ripp
That's one I'll cross off the list. I need something that will do for both deer and elk.
So I will look at other options.


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Iowa_303
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Reged: 22/03/13
Posts: 841
Loc: Iowa, USA
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: szihn]
      #312941 - 24/02/18 01:33 AM

Good morning Steve,
I have been using my .303 British, Ruger #1 for whitetails since 2010.
My favorite bullet is the Hornady 174 grain round nose. These are readily available and inexpensive.
I have had complete pass throughs from all angles regardless of the size of bones that were hit.
In testing these bullets expand well, hold together and retain 80%+ weight.
Most deer drop within 20 yards.
I picked up some of the Remington 180 grain Corelocks but have not shot any yet.
Sierrra 180’s are designed to expand at velocities higher than the 303 can produce so I have not tried these.
150 grain Hornady bullets also work for deer but the meat damage is greater and are not as accurate as their 174’s so I do not use them for large game any more.

--------------------
Matt
"Once your reputation is ruined you can live your life quite freely."

"Enkelkinder über alles"

"Politicians must be allowed to panic. They need activity. It is their substitute for achievement."


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Daryl_S
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Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17791
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Iowa_303]
      #312955 - 24/02/18 04:54 AM

TKS for the report on the 174's, Iowa 303 - very interesting.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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szihn
.400 member


Reged: 24/06/07
Posts: 1444
Loc: Wind River Valley, Wyoming
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Daryl_S]
      #312962 - 24/02/18 05:38 AM

Thanks Iowa303.

I posted my inquiry on other forums too, and I have now heard 2 times about the good performance of the Hornady. I may go that way. The guns will not be ready to zero for about 3 weeks so I still have time to get feedback on 303 bullet people have used. So far the Hornady seems to get the best reviews of any of the American .311"s but Speer also gets some good reviews. Woodleighs get the best reviews so far, but are too hard to get at times, and too expensive for many shooters to make practice ammo with. I want these rifles to be heirlooms that will get some good use in the fields, and no one can learn to use any rifle artfully unless they practice with it quite a lot, which most shooters cannot do if the ammo costs well over $1 per shot


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prairie_ghost
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Reged: 19/07/08
Posts: 45
Loc: casper, wy
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: szihn]
      #313011 - 24/02/18 05:21 PM

$1 per shot...Ditto that. Unfortunately any off the beaten path cartridge falls into this crevice. When you get it sorted out buy all appropriate reloading supplies for your heirs, they will be needing it and also be thankful for the foresight.

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CarlsenHighway
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Reged: 19/03/09
Posts: 123
Loc: Port Chalmers, New Zealand
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: prairie_ghost]
      #313091 - 25/02/18 10:05 AM

Having shot all red deer and fallow with a .303, I also favour the Hornady 174 grain round nose, and would not hesitate to regulate my sights on a custom .303 for this bullet, as a general all purpose load.

--------------------
If you carry a cat home by the tail you will receive information valuable to you for the rest of your life.
Mark Twain


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Rule303
.416 member


Reged: 05/07/09
Posts: 2887
Loc: Woodford Qld
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: CarlsenHighway]
      #313093 - 25/02/18 10:31 AM

I have taken many pigs over the years with a No.5 Jungle carbine. 150grain and 174/180 grain bullets. mainly Rem Core Loks, some Speer and Hornady I think. I would not use the Rem's now for the reasons you mention and in recent years the Core Loks have been failing, quality control does not appear to exist.

have not hunted with the Jungle Carbine for years due to eye sight but have used the Ruger No.1 in 303. I managed to pick up some Bertram 174 grain pointed soft points. Same maker as Bertram cases. break bones and stop somewhere on the far side of a pigs body.

Woodleigh would be my preference in 174 grain if they shoot to the same point of impact as a cheaper bullet for practice.


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NitroXAdministrator
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Reged: 25/12/02
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Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Rule303]
      #313094 - 25/02/18 10:43 AM

Our feral pigs here in Australia especially further South though do tend to be smaller, lighter and more easily killed. Compared to a true wild boar. A lot of people used to and still do hunt them with .222's, .223's, .22/250's etcc . Even .22 RFs and >22 Mag RFs which is pushing it.

A .308 or .303 was big medicine!

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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coll416
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Reged: 19/02/12
Posts: 64
Loc: Central Queensland
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: NitroX]
      #313111 - 25/02/18 04:36 PM

A mate I hunted with used 150gn Sierra's very successfully on wild pigs up 80kg. He also used 180gn Sierra's which sailed through pigs. I think these might be what you desire Steve. The Woodleigh 174gn PP (no experience) would be my first choice based on my experiences with Woodleigh PP in 4 other calibres,shame they are hard to get over there.

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Cjdawe
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Reged: 07/04/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Newfoundland and Labrador
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: coll416]
      #313154 - 26/02/18 09:29 AM

Piles of Moose and Caribou shot here in Newfoundland with the .303 and most use the Remington or Winchester 180 loads ...there was a batch of bad Winchester that came here when that CXP
2 etc stuff first came about ...I personally lost my first only animal to it , it seems was very underloaded- basically flesh wounding... there were many reports of the same performance and lost animals ...All that aside it was and still is a big favourite here and a good performer

I'm actually building a sporter on my late Fathers #1 Mk III,should post some pics I geuss

Edited by Cjdawe (26/02/18 09:35 AM)


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Daryl_S
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Reged: 10/08/05
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Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Cjdawe]
      #313161 - 26/02/18 01:55 PM

Welcome, Cjdawe - yes - by all means, pictures! - or - you know, it did not happen.
I should talk, I no longer have a picture-uploading site.
I have not heard of those bullets out here, on the West coast.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Jim_C
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Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Daryl_S]
      #313164 - 26/02/18 02:49 PM

I had a couple weeks free last summer, got to go to Texas and do some more "work" with a biologist and some ranchers down there. I can now pull a pig's tooth and get a sample of lung tissue with the best of them, and I was getting pretty good at getting samples from goats too. For the most part, this was control shooting, so unless I was curious I didn't put much effort into recovering bullets.

From previous experience I knew I didn't want to take a Mauser, magazine is too small. I arranged to borrow a sporterized jungle carbine (with a decent recoil pad). Ammo was loaded with the Privi 180 grain soft points. The rifle's owner loaded the ammo, I can get further load data if you need it.

The bullets worked fine on small pigs, but most bullets will. One (about 250# was shot head-on, bullet was recovered from one of the hind quarters, nicely mushroomed and weighed about 160 grains. I got five or six hogs that were >300 pounds, no problems with them. All the shots I took on larger hogs were aimed on a line through the chest at the off-side shoulder, and if I didn't hit the shoulder the bullets exited. Two bullets hit shoulders and were recovered, weights were about 145-155 grains.

I was asked to take a few other animals: a particular wildebeest, goats (they looked like a cross between meat goats raised by farmers and the Catalinas that hunters want), an impala if I saw a good one, any of the longhorns I thought were a threat, and don't shoot the camels. (I asked why the camels were there, but never got a straight answer.)

The bullets worked fine on the impala. I wound up taking 2, one shot each. One bullet exited after taking out the off-side shoulder, the other was through-and-through the chest.

No bullets were recovered from the goats. No matter what angle I hit, the bullets exited; the goats were just too-lightly built to stop them.

The wildebeest took two shots: one side-to-side through the chest but too high for a heart shot, the a stopper that hit the shoulder on my side. Core was still snug in the jacket, weight was about 140 grains. Other than a couple of coyotes, that second shot was the only one I took past about 125 yards.

All in all, I thought the bullets performed OK. They did as well as I would have expected from y limited past experience with Hornady's and Remington Core-Lokts. I'm still trying to acquire ownership of the rifle.


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NitroXAdministrator
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Reged: 25/12/02
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Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: szihn]
      #313175 - 26/02/18 05:35 PM

Quote:

Thank guys.

I am looking for details because on the 2 Lee "Speed" rifles I am making I am installing express sights. They have to be filed to zero at 100,200 and 300 yards. I want to zero each rifle with a load that I know is dependable for the hunter. If I use a bullet that is so-so and the hunter wants to use another he will not have the sights set for that load or bullet.





So Steve,

Any idea what the customers want to shoot? Could make a difference between say a 214 gr, 180 gr and a 150 gr.

A different idea. Is it stupid or has it been done before? A different leaf for a different bullet? Say a lower one for 180 gr and a higher one for 150 gr?

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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szihn
.400 member


Reged: 24/06/07
Posts: 1444
Loc: Wind River Valley, Wyoming
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: NitroX]
      #313200 - 27/02/18 04:20 AM

Thanks Jim C. That's the kind of information I am looking for.

John I don't have a customer lined up yet, so can't ask. If I knew the rifle was going to be used for deer sized game only I might go with the `150 grain bullets. But I live in Wyoming and the "common game" here is elk, so I want to zero for a load that is good form them. I do expect to sell the SMLE "Speed" to someone in Wyoming just because there are many men and a few women here that are "rifle lovers" and is seems that about everyone in Wyoming hunts. I don't have to mess around with any federal regulation either, if I sell it to a Wyomingite.
Not that I would not sell to someone somewhere else in the USA, but I won't advertise it outside Wyoming at first. If Ic an't find someone in Wyoming that wants it in the first 3 months or so, I may "put the word out" in the rest of the USA.

If anyone here on this site is interested, please contact me before I finish the zeroing, if you have other preferences. I can do it any way I am asked to, but I am taking a guess as to what would be best.

I think that because the 3 balde rear sight will have zeros at 100, 200 and 300 yards, there should not be any disadvantage for the hunter of smaller deer. You simply flip up the sight that is closest to the range and hold dead on. An "elk load" kills deer ok. So other then a heavier kick, I see no down side to using a 170 to 180 grain load.

Your thought?


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Daryl_S
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Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17791
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: szihn]
      #313202 - 27/02/18 05:23 AM

Those Privi's seem a cracker for all "eating" game here.

If the Win. PP's were available for loading, those are what I would use, however the 174 Hornady also seem satisfactory.

The local wholesale Sports that closed down, had a whack of different calibres of WW PP's in plastic bags, WW logo, but no .312" 180's.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Cjdawe
.224 member


Reged: 07/04/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Newfoundland and Labrador
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Daryl_S]
      #313223 - 27/02/18 11:49 AM

Well here it is ...The last time I hunted with it it didn't look like this ...like any of my personal projects it sits and gathers dust ...Stock is English Walnut ,im cutting and welding mags to the 5 shot belly style ,it has a trapdoor buttplate for extra cartridges ,horn tip and Leupold QR mounts that im custom fitting to the bridge and receiver ring ...I also have a vintage Lyman peep that I may or may not install ...I hope to have it ready for Caribou in a year or so

https://ibb.co/dwiwQx

Edited by Cjdawe (27/02/18 11:53 AM)


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szihn
.400 member


Reged: 24/06/07
Posts: 1444
Loc: Wind River Valley, Wyoming
Re: Hunting with the 303, please report [Re: Cjdawe]
      #313240 - 27/02/18 03:15 PM

I like it Cjdawe.
It's quite similar to the ones I am making. I am going to keep one of them and sell the other.


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