.303 British SMLE

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  • Last Post 4 weeks ago
hanover67 posted this 4 weeks ago

I have a 1916 BSA SMLE I would like to try in a cast bullet military rifle match. I bought the rifle through the mail about 1954 when I was 13 years old.

My problem is elevation. I've replaced the battle sight with a Parker-Hale micrometer sight which is fine at 50 yards, but does not have spare elevation to reach 200 yards.  I have not done a lot of development with different loads yet. So far I tried Lyman bullet 311413 over 12.7gr of Unique powder and 311291 over 16gr of 2400 powder (The "200-yard Load") . Both are fairly accurate at 50 yards. My thought is that I could increase range by increasing the powder charge. The question is "How Much?"

I've filed down the front sight until it is only a small nub, and I can't get much more elevation on the rear sight. I'd like to try solving this range issue with load development rather than rear sight replacement.

 

I've tried to post photos of the front and rear sights, but I'm not sure how to do that.

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pisco posted this 4 weeks ago


Hi I use 27 gr  ar2206h behind a 222gr cast bullet just have to find a powder chart and work out what you yanks call it

i can shoot out to 300 y alright with that load

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argie1891 posted this 4 weeks ago

I dont think you will be able to increase velocity enough to go from a 50 yard zero to 200 yards. It is possible that your bullet is not at its mid range trajectory top at 50 yards. i think you should try at 100 yards and see where it is hitting the target at that range. I think you might be better served with a heavier bullet. Lyman 314299 or 311284. I do know many shooters will tell you to slug your bore but i find if the bullet fits the throat it usually will make up for an oversize bore. Your powder charge should give you around 1400 fps not a bad place to start. if you cant get your sight to move up enough maybe make a new base for the sight to raise it. not sure what sight you are using but most parker hale sights i have used have a lot of elevation adjustment. I have a like new number 4 mk1 and have never gotten it to shoot well, i keep looking for the magic bullet, even ordered a mould from CBE in Australia. 

if you think you have it figured out then you just dont understand

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pisco posted this 4 weeks ago

What mould did you order I have a 216 gr mould that through 222gr I g/c I have only used it out to 300y I go alright with my eyes

i have a cbe mould for my martini 303s 245 gr works a treat in the old girls

i have a few cbe moulds you won’t be disappointed 

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Mike H posted this 4 weeks ago

The first thing you should do is replace the front sight ,elevation on Lee Enfields needs to be adjusted by the front sight.The fore sights have a blade the same height and the base below with the dovetail part comes in different heights to allow zero to match the rear sight settings.

Both your loads will get to 200 yards if you get the sights sorted.

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pisco posted this 4 weeks ago

Should have a front sight blade that puts you on at 100y

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JeffinNZ posted this 4 weeks ago

It seems to me you are approaching this from the wrong angle.  If the sight does not have sufficient adjustment then another sight is a the answer.  By chasing a velocity to allow for the use of the current sight you may miss the sweet spot for accuracy in your rifle.  I would be inclined to find the right load then match the sight. 

Cheers from New Zealand

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pisco posted this 4 weeks ago

Now you have done your load work at 50y get back to 100y and try it 

16 gr 2400 should get you to 300y easy 

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hanover67 posted this 4 weeks ago

I appreciate the comments so far. My rear sight is a Parker-Hale PH13. I really need a PH 5A  sight but I can't find one at a reasonable price. The front sight was selected from a group of sight inserts. The lowest profile base was installed and the blade has been filed down to the lowest height I can still see when aiming the rifle. At 50 yards the impact at maximum elevation was about 4" high, so there is some remaining elevation to try at 100 yards, which I will do. I'm tempted to try to find a sight base for a Redfield rear sight and have the receiver D&T'd for it. This rifle looks like it fought in every British battle after it was manufactured in 1916, and I think it cost me $37 when I bought it. So, this project has been on the back burner for many years.

The 311291 bullet drops from my mold at 170gr, the 311413 at 165gr. I wanted to use a gas check bullet to minimize leading in a pretty rough bore. I slugged the bore and it measures .313 as near as I can measure a 5 groove bullet. I have a mold for the 311299, a 200gr bullet, so I'll put that in the mix as well. I'd also like to find some data for rifle powders like 3031. My Lyman reloading books have very sparse info. Ken Waters' Pet Loads does not deal with cast bullets at all. I'll have to do some more research.

 

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Wineman posted this 4 weeks ago

A 311299 going at 1700 fps will be 5" high at 50 yards and POI at 200 yards. Try increases 0.5 grains of Alliant 2400 starting at 16 grains going to 20 grains and see what happens at 50 yards.

 

Dave

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pisco posted this 4 weeks ago

Do a chamber cast and get your throat size the bullet will swage down in the bore

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Bud Hyett posted this 4 weeks ago

An example from QuickLoad and QuickTarget, Your bullet must be five inches above the target at fifty yards to be on at 200 yards. This diagram is for a scope set 1.5 inches above the bore, the iron sights will be lower. Sighting at 25 yards to get a rough zero before going on out to 100 and 200 yards may be a better effort. 

 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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pisco posted this 4 weeks ago

When I do load work with my open sighted firearms it is all done at 50y I can line the sights up for windage once I get the load I then go back to 100y and start working out my elevation

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