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Thread: 303 British and privi partizan 7.62R ammo information Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-18-2019 12:11 PM
teenahlake this is probably the best explanation about rimmed cartridge headspace/oring fireforming
10-13-2019 12:51 PM
goat daddy My 303 and nagants shoot cast just fine. that makes shooting enjoyable and cheap. I have been told enfields tend to stretch the case due to rear locking lugs. Not sure if that is true. I full length as I have multiple rifles and can't dedicate to just one rifle. I also picked up a lot of military ammo back when it was less expensive so I shoot that. I bought some Privi ammo and shot the 22-250 to sight in my new rifle and generate brass to reload, I have not reloaded it yet. Of note, when my son encountered the mountain behind the barn, he grabbed an enfield to carry on his walks. I loaded some cast ammo as lions are not hard to kill. Now the lion is gone but a black bear has moved it. I guess I'll grab a box of soft points for him, just in case
10-13-2019 11:50 AM
Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post

Every so often a .318 bullet mold shows up on ebay. They would size down to that .314 range to work in a .303....
My Canadian No.#4Mk1* Long Branch was made in 1943. It has a 2 groove barrel and is typical of its type. NOE #314299 drops as-cast in wheel weights + 2% tin at .315” diameter, a wee bit smaller than ideal for my rifle. With Hornady gas-check, crimped non in a .316” die, leaving the bullet unsized, loaded with of a full-charge, about 30 grains of IMR4064, it is utilitarian. My barrel is .304" on the lands and .316 in the grooves, with chamber neck diameter .346.” NOE 316-299PB and Accurate 31-215B drop .316+ on the bands and .306” on the nose and are a much better fit.

The prime objective of .303 owners wanting to shoot cast bullets is getting a mold which casts bullets that “fit.” Mass-market molds seldom do. A custom mold is highly recommended and worth the money if acuracy means anything to you. Before ordering a mold you must know the chamber dimensions of your rifle.

Take a soft-lead factory .38 Special round-nosed bullet, drop it into the chamber, and then use the Brownell’s .38/9mm Squibb Rod to pound it into the chamber neck until the .35” diameter of the squib rod comes to a hard stop against the shoulder of the chamber. Tapping the slug back out you capture the neck diameter, case mouth transition, throat diameter and origin of rifling, which is all you need to know to order your custom mold to fit from Accurate, CBE (Aus) or NOE.

In my 2-groove No.4 the width of grooves is .115." A full of bullet circumference is displaced by the lands and either distorted into the grooves, or extruded longitudinally towards the base as the bullet travels down the bore. This can result in ill-fitting plain bullet bases emerging out the muzzle out-of-square. GC type bullets used without the gas-check up to 1400 fps and are more forgiving than a plain, flat-base and are easier to seat straight.

Hornady .30 cal. GCs don’t crimp on consistently onto the Lyman #314299 in a .316” sizer. If bullets are cast from a typical Lyman mold and sized .314 with Hornady gas checks in a common .314” die, bullets will be too small to seal the throat properly in most wartime rifles. My NOE clone of #314299 has a slightly larger GC heel so the bullets can be gaschecked and securely crimped at .316, leaving the bullets unsized at .315, which works well.

Most milsurp .303s need larger than .314" bullets. Best is to make a chamber cast and measure the diameter of the unrifled portion of the chamber ahead of the case mouth and before the rifling starts. You want bullets to fit or be about 0.001" smaller than this section.

Most .303 factory cartridges have nearly 1/16" clearance from the shoulder of the chamber. This ensures that rifles will function under adverse combat conditions of mud, sand, or dust. Because the .303 British headspaces on the rim, this shoulder clearance is inconsequential to headspace. But it does result in the case shoulder being blown forward upon firing. When fired brass is fired, full-length resized, reloaded and fired again, cold working and repeated fire-forming elongates the case body ahead of the solid web, causing case head separations, usually by the second or third reload.

Best case life in reloading .303 British requires that fired brass be partially resized. I back off my RCBS full-length resizing die so that a US 10-cent coin is pinched firmly between the press ram at the top of its stroke and the sizing die, to avoid setting back the case shoulder.
10-12-2019 09:47 PM
teenahlake O ring your case for the first fireform, then neck size only
10-10-2019 07:26 PM
charliemeyer007 I have never tried powder coating. If you cast hard bullets (drop them in water) use good lube, sized properly for the bore and keep the velocity under control then leading isn't an issue. I'm sure someone sells proper cast bullets, have you looked at

Every so often a .318 bullet mold shows up on ebay. They would size down to that .314 range to work in a .303.

Wow not cheap

As kid I shot the 30-40 krag bullet 196 gr as cast, fingered lubed. Did ok considering we only paid $5 for the SMLE. I got tired of single shotting it so I spent $10 on a magazine.
10-10-2019 07:18 PM
7.5x55 Swiss Hydraulic decapping works wonders for berdan primed cases and will be easier to do than tracking down a specific tool.

Just use water and a nut driver that fits snugly in the case with a hammer.

Here's a tutorial

10-10-2019 06:58 PM
DisgruntledPatriot I'm thinking maybe powder coating cast bullets to reduce fouling. For now I am stuck with commercial projectiles.
10-10-2019 01:40 PM
charliemeyer007 Depends on the chamber. Some are out of round enough that the lumps in the case that develop, (in the neck sized only cases) makes chambering the round really hard after a few firings. Then you need to full length size the cases to correct the problem.

I generally don't keep firearms with bad chambers. Drop a fired case back in the chamber, if it doesn't spin freely - then the chamber is out of round. When I have one with a large chamber, I load a cast bullet - seated out to the riflings to fire form it centered. Sometimes you need to center the base too.

You will save a few grains of powder on every light load of regular rifle powder. I shoot a lot of cast bullets with shotgun/pistol powder in my rifles. That results in about 3 times as much ammo per pound and way cheaper projectiles.
10-10-2019 01:24 PM
Originally Posted by barnetmill View Post
My limited experience with a long branch 303 was an oversize chamber that looked like it had been done with hand drill wielded by a 10 year old. Cases did not look good after extraction. If I were to reload such cases I would only size it enough to work in the gun.
Pretty much my plan is to neck size only, and load lighter than military pressures. It will lengthen case life and extend my supply of powder.

Hopefully I will be able to use the same powder for both Mosin and Enfield. It is almost too much to hope for that they both like the same bullet.

Mosin has a twist rate of 9-1/2-1 with a twenty inch barrel. other mosin has a twenty four inch tube. Enfield has a twenty five inch tube and likes the 174 grain boat tails. Enfield has a (I believe) 1-10 left hand twist

In generalized experience, do you folks out there think the 1/2 inch difference in twist between the two guns would demand different bullets, they both use .311 projectiles. Just experimenting here.
10-10-2019 11:23 AM
My experience with the SMLE is short case life if you load on the hotter end.
My limited experience with a long branch 303 was an oversize chamber that looked like it had been done with hand drill wielded by a 10 year old. Cases did not look good after extraction. If I were to reload such cases I would only size it enough to work in the gun.
10-09-2019 09:09 PM
charliemeyer007 PIA to reload Berdan cases but can be done, if you can fine the primers.

My experience with the SMLE is short case life if you load on the hotter end. Would pay to have extra brass on hand IMHO. I shot away about 1000 216 gr Norma match bullets that I got for less than a nickle each - no one wanted them. I also swaged some of them down to .308 and up to 8mm .323.

These look like a good price.
10-09-2019 08:53 PM
Outpost75 Canadian milsurp DA, DC, DAC, DAQ, IVI is boxer.

WW2 Lend-Lease of US manufacture by Rem-UMC, WRA, WCC is boxer.

I load the Hornady 150-grain .312" diameter spire-point flatbase for my No. 4 Long Branch with 50 grains of IMR4350, or 48 grains of H414 or W760 for 2600 fps. Alternately you can load 42 grains of IMR4895 or Varget.
10-09-2019 05:36 PM
303 British and privi partizan 7.62R ammo information

Anyone out there know if the Canadian military surplus brass cased 303 is boxer or berdan?

For the cost of those brass cases it might indeed be worth it to find a berdan decapping tool in that caliber, once I get more in depth with my reloading equipment.

any information is great, guys.

(Nomad 2nd, I'm almost positive you know)

Also, anyone know what load I could use to replicate privi 7.62x54R 150 grain soft point in their blue box rifle line? My carbine, I have found, loves the stuff. So do I, never again steel cased Mosin ammo for me. Brass is where it's at.

Remember, every time you share reloading information, a democrat cries.

Make it rain.

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