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  #1  
Old 05-01-2011, 7:50 PM
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Default .303 British Surplus ammo

I went to the range today with some friends and brought along my new RFI No1 Mk3. I had purchased a few boxes of mid 50s British Mk7 surplus ammo and brought some to shoot.

What complete crap.

Although I had no duds, out of the three boxes I shot through I had at least 15 hang fires.
In addition, every single round in every single box shot low. LOW. I was hitting anywhere from 6 inches to 4 feet low at 100 yards. What the heck?


Just a warning to anyone planning on buying Mk7 surplus ammo.


As a side note, I am interested in purchasing other kinds of .303 british surplus if anyone has any for sale.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2011, 8:07 PM
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Stay away from the Pakistani (POF) surplus .303Brit ammo.
None of it is any good.
Lots of hangfires and failure to fires with that ammo.
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Old 05-01-2011, 8:25 PM
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Yeah I already knew to stay away from POF. This Mk7 came in a similar looking box and in 32 round quantities but I figured I couldn't go wrong with British made ammo...wrong.
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:07 PM
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Groan.

No offense but everyone is such whiners when it comes to surplus .303. Yeah the ammo is 40-60 years old, yeah there will be some hang fires, get over it. If you want ammo that shoots reliably, and hits exactly where you're aiming- buy brand new $20/20 box ammo. But If you want some relatively cheap plinking ammo- have some fun with the surplus...



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Old 05-01-2011, 11:16 PM
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^^^second... its been sitting in a warehouse for a billion years... and many of it would shoot LOW straight out of the factory... 4-6 inches low still gets a german in the gut...
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:55 AM
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I like the surplus .303 because of the cordite.
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Old 05-02-2011, 1:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palimino Stripe View Post
Groan.

No offense but everyone is such whiners when it comes to surplus .303. Yeah the ammo is 40-60 years old, yeah there will be some hang fires, get over it. If you want ammo that shoots reliably, and hits exactly where you're aiming- buy brand new $20/20 box ammo. But If you want some relatively cheap plinking ammo- have some fun with the surplus...



-Palimino
But, my .30Carbine and .30-06 surplus ammo from 40-60 years ago does not hangfire and is just as reliable & accurate as current commerical made ammo. Guess, I'm expecting too much.
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Old 05-02-2011, 1:51 AM
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But, my .30Carbine and .30-06 surplus ammo from 40-60 years ago does not hangfire and is just as reliable & accurate as current commerical made ammo. Guess, I'm expecting too much.
You're right- it's a matter of expectations. Some ammo from 1917 still shoots just fine. I guess that means I should just expect all surplus ammo to shoot brilliantly. /sarcasm.

All I'm saying is that people need to just accept some surplus ammo for what it is- and just have fun with it...

I don't know about anyone else- but even if I go shooting one day and don't hit anything I'm aiming at- I still have fun shooting...

Some people and their expectations

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Old 05-02-2011, 11:38 AM
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I like the surplus .303 because of the cordite.

Why would you like cordite, its very erosive.

As far as shooting very low: Unless you have had it shoot POA with other ammo, it sounds like you may need a shorter front sight blade to raise your POI. Remember, these rifles were factory zeroed by a armorer. Troopers were taught to hold over/under and use windage with their rifles. Sight blades were not swapped out for each shooter.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:52 AM
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Not all ammo is made the same. Some will hold up over time, and others will not. It depends entirely on the components, the quality, and the manufacturing process. Generally U.S. made ammo from the 1950's is as good today as it was the day it rolled out of the factory.

As with all manufactures, of all sorts of products, different designs and different materials are tried and produced. What may have worked for a new cheaper priming mixture 60 years ago, (or even in the 1980's as seen on French .50 BMG) may have degraded over the decades to cause hangefires and even duds.

Rather than shooting all the old ammo you come accross, you might want to hang on to it and save it. After all, most of it is being sold as a novelty, and not for actual use.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:55 AM
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Start reloading.
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2011, 12:01 PM
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Isn't the Mk7 made in India? "British manufacture" but not made in Britain.
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Old 05-02-2011, 3:13 PM
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Isn't the Mk7 made in India? "British manufacture" but not made in Britain.
Mk7 or Mk VII describes the bullet type and not the location of manufacture. Mk VII ammo was made the world over. I've noticed the same problem with UK ball from the early 50s, a lot of it is hang fire. Your shooting low problem may be that you are anticipating the shot and lifting your head when you pull the trigger which causes the muzzle to dip. I've done it myself with hangfire ammo. This stuff is great for teaching proper follow through!
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Old 05-02-2011, 9:04 PM
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http://palmettostatearmory.com/303-british-ammo.php

Here. $13.95 is the best I've seen for new production .303 this ammo does not disappoint. I prefer it to S&B as well.
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Old 05-03-2011, 4:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rojocorsa View Post
http://palmettostatearmory.com/303-british-ammo.php

Here. $13.95 is the best I've seen for new production .303 this ammo does not disappoint. I prefer it to S&B as well.
Thats a good deal in todays market.
.303 surplus is scarce at the best of times.

The Paki POF stuff is rubbish. The British stuff is hit or miss.

Depending how the ammo was stored in to OP's case will reflect on how it shoots , or if it shoots at all.

Unless you can find some of the 70's HXP Greek .303 , avoid the surplus altogether and use the privipartizan new loads.

Your shooting will be better and you'll enjoy your Enfield/Bren/Vickers a lot more.

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Old 05-03-2011, 6:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rojocorsa View Post
http://palmettostatearmory.com/303-british-ammo.php

Here. $13.95 is the best I've seen for new production .303 this ammo does not disappoint. I prefer it to S&B as well.
That stuff is the best! It makes great brass for reloads as well.
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Old 05-03-2011, 9:35 PM
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Surplus .303 Brit ammo is notoriously unreliable when you compare it to similarly old surplus ammo, especially 7.62 Russian.

Just buy the newer stuff - plus, it's not corrosive. If you want to shoot milsurp rifles for cheap, get a Mosin.
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Old 05-03-2011, 9:46 PM
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Surplus .303 Brit ammo is notoriously unreliable when you compare it to similarly old surplus ammo, especially 7.62 Russian.

Just buy the newer stuff - plus, it's not corrosive. If you want to shoot milsurp rifles for cheap, get a Mosin.
Yes. good cheap .303 seems to be gone. Enfields are interesting rifles however, it might be fun to have one, even at sixty cents a round.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:38 PM
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More like 80 cents a round when shipping is factored in, but whatever.

I've been thinking of ordering more. Hopefully I can amass a good quantity of brass after some time so I can reload it in the future.

BTW, AIM surplus also sells this for the same price. IDK about their shipping costs and I don't buy from them because "I'm not 21." PSA doesn't care.
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Old 05-04-2011, 6:46 AM
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It is an easy reload. I used a handloader for ages, before I got a press and 2-3 rounds a minute is easy. Just keep your brass segregated by rifle and you do not have to full length resize. On some of my Prvi brass, I am up to 5 reloads per case, with no failures yet.
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Old 05-04-2011, 7:08 AM
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Originally Posted by paul0660 View Post
Yes. good cheap .303 seems to be gone. Enfields are interesting rifles however, it might be fun to have one, even at sixty cents a round.
I love my Enfield. Got it from a Calgunner. So accurate. I don't shoot it as much as some of my other milsurp, but it's always a blast.

I did get dies to reload .303 Brit, but haven't done any yet.
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Old 05-04-2011, 4:53 PM
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M1A Rifleman: That's what I thought at first, but I pulled out a different box of Canadian WWII surplus and that stuff shot just fine. Not a tight group, but consistent and on target.

SMLE-Man: That would explain the low round with the hangfires, but not every shot was a hangfire. And I've shot rifles long enough to not do it on my own.


Rojocorsa: Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.


And as for you Palamino Stripper... Don't take out your bad day on my thread. This post was a warning to people who were considered MkVII ammo to purchase.
If you think you'd have fun going shooting even if you didn't hit anything, I'll pull the primers from every single round you take shooting next time and see if you like it.
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Old 05-04-2011, 7:28 PM
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And as for you Palamino Stripper... Don't take out your bad day on my thread. This post was a warning to people who were considered MkVII ammo to purchase.
If you think you'd have fun going shooting even if you didn't hit anything, I'll pull the primers from every single round you take shooting next time and see if you like it.
First of all- I had a great chuckle from that.

Second of all- I'm not pissed off or anything. I know what you were trying to convey, and I appreciate the heads up (for others). But at the same time I've never really had any truly bad experiences with surplus .303. I've got a ton of 1967 Pakistani that shoots great (aside from the occasional hangfire). Maybe I've just been lucky.

In any case- please accept my apology if I dumped on your thread.

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Old 05-04-2011, 9:34 PM
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FWIW the S&B ball has been amazingly accurate in my .303 rifles. The cases aren't worth crap for reloading even though they are boxer but the accuracy is fantastic.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:50 AM
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Crusader, what did you pay per round, how much did you get, and do you have any left that you want to releave yourself of? PAX
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Old 05-05-2011, 3:34 PM
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I recently bought three 50 round boxes of Kynoch brand Mk 7 ammo, with "patented cordite" propellant. Haven't shot any yet, but it was pretty pricey at $20 a box of 50. When I showed it to another guy I shoot with he mentioned he had 140 rounds of commercial (Remington and PRVI) he wanted to sell. bought that up and have been working my way through that with good results.
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Old 05-05-2011, 8:19 PM
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Palamino: I'm sorry for snapping. I don't take kindly to people calling me a whinner, especially after the kinds of days I've had lately.

Echo1: I don't have any left. After verifying the ammo's quality, I simply blew the last 50 rounds or so attempting a Mad Minute. It truely is interesting watching someone attempt a mad minute with hang fires, that's all I'll say on how it went.
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Old 05-06-2011, 1:38 PM
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I have a mix of 300 rounds, Iraqi and British Radway .303 British ammo both at least 40+ years old or more. They've shot well. The Iraqi ammo crimping looks a little deep but all of them fired fine. I got lucky I found these on Craigslist for sale - $30 per 100.
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Old 05-06-2011, 2:21 PM
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I have about 400 rounds of 1953 Kynock I inherited. From what I've heard cordite burn considerably hotter than standard smokeless powder and therefore wore out barrels sooner. The Brits probably would have switched sooner but they were tooled up for cordite production and the threat of a German invasion probably had something to do with it too.
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Old 05-07-2011, 8:30 AM
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I have about 400 rounds of 1953 Kynock I inherited. From what I've heard cordite burn considerably hotter than standard smokeless powder and therefore wore out barrels sooner. The Brits probably would have switched sooner but they were tooled up for cordite production and the threat of a German invasion probably had something to do with it too.
Cordite erodes the barrel throat which is why Lee Enfields will be found almost smooth bore an inch in front of the chamber but good rifling at the muzzle. .303 was made with more conventional stick powder by non UK manufacturers as supplimentary wartime production and by UK manufacturers when cordite production couldn't keep up with demand. Those rounds have a 'z' designation and due to their different ballistic properties had restrictions on firing over the heads of friendly forces. Back in the day heavy machine guns would fire long distance barrages over the heads and in front of emplaced troops so you didn't want to have any rounds with unexpected trajectories!
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Old 05-07-2011, 9:02 AM
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ReLoads best for C&R and wallet
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Old 05-07-2011, 2:00 PM
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I've been using POF early 60's stuff in my aussy NO 1 MKIII*. I have the regular hang fire but haven't had a misfire yet. The price for surplus was to good to pass up, 1K for $80.00! It was such a good deal I went and bought another 1K. Now surplus 303 has all disappeared.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:04 PM
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forget the surplus junk and just buy some cheap commercial stuff, then reload it. keep in mind, if it's .303 and actually goes bang, you're not doing too bad. hit's low? so what? it's an enfield, you're lucky to hit the ground with it anyway. i had Iraqui surplus that was alright but i got a hold of a bunch of commercial, some reloads, and some brass and got rid of all my surplus. that crap is more corrosive than pouring acid down your barrel. save your gun and reload, seriously.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:32 AM
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Enfields aren't that inaccurate...
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Old 05-10-2011, 1:46 PM
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ReLoads best for C&R and wallet
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...ber=1601392128

I have to agree. I think you could buy 100 rounds of brass, a Rockchucker, dies etc & be loading 303 British cheaper than you could buy a 1000 rounds of the same brass.

Not to mention the better results & satisfaction of shooting your own reloads.
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Old 05-10-2011, 2:20 PM
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Enfields aren't that inaccurate...
My No.4 is one of the most accurate rifles I own, and I'm including commercial rifles. Some of the wartime No.4's are beat all to hell and back with terrible bores, but the post war ones are very nice. My 1948's bore is a mint 5-groove, very accurate.
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Old 05-10-2011, 4:54 PM
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My No.4 is one of the most accurate rifles I own, and I'm including commercial rifles. Some of the wartime No.4's are beat all to hell and back with terrible bores, but the post war ones are very nice. My 1948's bore is a mint 5-groove, very accurate.
Ditto. My 1945 No.4 Mk.I* Long Branch has a mint 5-groove barrel and is more accurate than me.
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Old 05-10-2011, 7:17 PM
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Very nice! My 1955 Mk2 will shoot quarter sized groups at 100yds with quality ammo. A Lee Enfield with quality ammunition and in good condition is the equal of any military bolt action rifle.

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Old 05-10-2011, 7:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip View Post
Start reloading.
Old surplus .303 is an excellent source of old surplus .303 brass...
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Old 05-10-2011, 9:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smle-man View Post
Very nice! My 1955 Mk2 will shoot quarter sized groups at 100yds with quality ammo. A Lee Enfield with quality ammunition and in good condition is the equal of any military bolt action rifle.

Beautiful finish on that Enfield. Factory or you? Tung oil?
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