Reloading for a Enfield no4 mk1

Dski48

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I've recently refinished a bubba'ed no4 I picked up. The bore of the barrel looks flawless and it has a number 1 bolt head. I'd like to reload for this rifle and see what it's capable of accuracy wise. I've never loaded for a rifle case that head spaced off the rim. Is there anything different or any tricks I need to load for this rifle or is it business as usual?
 

MtnCreek

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It's likely got a ton of clearance between the case shoulder and chamber shoulder. You'll need a plan to keep from stretching the brass out on first firing and then size like you normally would, only setting the shoulder back enough to chamber. Similar to belted cartridges.
 

Dski48

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How do you recommend prepping brass on the first firing to prevent stretching?
 

MtnCreek

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I've never loaded .303.

You could seat a bullet long for a crush fit when chambering. Not sure how much it will help. Or overexpand the neck and use a fl die to form a shoulder in it for tight fit to chamber.

There was a guy (asshole really lol) who had posted something about placing an o-ring in front of the rim. Might try searching bigedp51 He was an expert 303 loader among the many other things he was an expert at.
 

Liberator52

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Most 303 chambers are big. They stretch the cases a lot. I load new brass with a blunt bullet seated long. After first firing , I neck size only.
 

texastonk

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I had some factory loads I shot threw mine. Set my die up to shoulder bump them back a few thousandths. I used the same set up on the new brass. Ive never had an issue.
 

Danger Mouse

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I had some factory loads I shot threw mine. Set my die up to shoulder bump them back a few thousandths. I used the same set up on the new brass. Ive never had an issue.
Hi, I shoot competitively with these regularly. They are very common in the commonwealth countries.

If it is war time production you may have a "generous" chamber. Not a lot you can do about it.

Headspace adjustment is done by swapping out the bolt head, as there are several sizes, marked 0 to 4.
You can still find go/no go head space gauges (303 does it off the rim).

For reloading, you will probably need to size your cases after each firing. 303 has a reputation for being hard on brass, so neck sizing is recommended. I use lee dies, and although my enfield is post war production with better tolerances, I am up to 10 reloads on brass now.

Work your loads up, mine likes about 40 grains ar2208 (or varget, same stuff)with 174 gr fmj. I'm now using sierra 180 gr projectiles as it is the best BC flat base projectile I can find for the weight.

I recently got an OAL guage, and have made a significant change to my seating depth. Fist size groupings at 100 with issued iron sights is well achievable.

If you neck size, make sure you dont use your reloads in another rifle. There is normally variance in chamber size between rifles which can cause problems. If I neck size for one rifle, the bolt wont close if used in the other. Full length sizing stops this.

Enjoy your piece of history!
 

Dski48

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Hi, I shoot competitively with these regularly. They are very common in the commonwealth countries.

If it is war time production you may have a "generous" chamber. Not a lot you can do about it.

Headspace adjustment is done by swapping out the bolt head, as there are several sizes, marked 0 to 4.
You can still find go/no go head space gauges (303 does it off the rim).

For reloading, you will probably need to size your cases after each firing. 303 has a reputation for being hard on brass, so neck sizing is recommended. I use lee dies, and although my enfield is post war production with better tolerances, I am up to 10 reloads on brass now.

Work your loads up, mine likes about 40 grains ar2208 (or varget, same stuff)with 174 gr fmj. I'm now using sierra 180 gr projectiles as it is the best BC flat base projectile I can find for the weight.

I recently got an OAL guage, and have made a significant change to my seating depth. Fist size groupings at 100 with issued iron sights is well achievable.

If you neck size, make sure you dont use your reloads in another rifle. There is normally variance in chamber size between rifles which can cause problems. If I neck size for one rifle, the bolt wont close if used in the other. Full length sizing stops this.

Enjoy your piece of history!
My Enfield is a '43 long branch so I'm sure there chamber is cut roomy. I've heard alot of the Enfields don't like boat tail bullets cause of the 2 groove rifling. Is it best to just shoot the flat tails or should I try something boat tail to see if it'll like them?
 

Danger Mouse

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My Enfield is a '43 long branch so I'm sure there chamber is cut roomy. I've heard alot of the Enfields don't like boat tail bullets cause of the 2 groove rifling. Is it best to just shoot the flat tails or should I try something boat tail to see if it'll like them?

Mine is a 5 groove and doesnt seem to mind the boat tails, but that is part of the reason I switched to the flat base.

Give it a go I guess, the results will tell you what it likes. It might be happy with them.
 

Dski48

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I guess realistically I'm not going to be shooting far enough out with the Enfield that the lesser bc of flat base bullets will matter much. I don't foresee shooting over 300 with it. I think I'd likely load the cheapest bullet that the rifle shoots well
 

texastonk

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Hi, I shoot competitively with these regularly. They are very common in the commonwealth countries.

If it is war time production you may have a "generous" chamber. Not a lot you can do about it.

Headspace adjustment is done by swapping out the bolt head, as there are several sizes, marked 0 to 4.
You can still find go/no go head space gauges (303 does it off the rim).

For reloading, you will probably need to size your cases after each firing. 303 has a reputation for being hard on brass, so neck sizing is recommended. I use lee dies, and although my enfield is post war production with better tolerances, I am up to 10 reloads on brass now.

Work your loads up, mine likes about 40 grains ar2208 (or varget, same stuff)with 174 gr fmj. I'm now using sierra 180 gr projectiles as it is the best BC flat base projectile I can find for the weight.

I recently got an OAL guage, and have made a significant change to my seating depth. Fist size groupings at 100 with issued iron sights is well achievable.

If you neck size, make sure you dont use your reloads in another rifle. There is normally variance in chamber size between rifles which can cause problems. If I neck size for one rifle, the bolt wont close if used in the other. Full length sizing stops this.

Enjoy your piece of history!
I’m running the Sierra 150gr spitzers.
Using IMR 3031. Getting roughly 3” groups at 100. Not sure on the speed but it’s a light load. My rifle is a 47’ I believe. My brass is on its second and third load. I just don’t shoot it much.
Though I do love the gun and enjoy shooting it.
 

Dski48

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I imagine I will mostly use my Enfield for some close in tree stand hunting and plinking every so often on the range. I just want to be able to load good ammo so I don't have to go to the store when I want to shoot lol
 

Danger Mouse

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I’m running the Sierra 150gr spitzers.
Using IMR 3031. Getting roughly 3” groups at 100. Not sure on the speed but it’s a light load. My rifle is a 47’ I believe. My brass is on its second and third load. I just don’t shoot it much.
Though I do love the gun and enjoy shooting it.
I'm going out to 600 and have to be within 174 to 180 gr and 2450fps for service rifle shooting.

I found adjusting seating depth and crimping to be beneficial
 
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Dski48

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Do the Enfields usually have long throats or does loading to mag length usually get you to the lands
 

Danger Mouse

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Do the Enfields usually have long throats or does loading to mag length usually get you to the lands
I have found that they tend to have long throats. When I started playing around with seating depths they were big variations in gettings to the lands with different projectiles even when comparing similar shapes (different spitzers, different round nose). If I recall (not at home currently) in the region of up to 3mm difference.

Magazine length wasn't the limiting factor in my rifle. There was one projectile that when touching the lands, didnt have enough in the case mouth to be held securely.

Your mileage may vary. Noting I cant find a comparator for 303, and I have not played with overall length previously.
 

Dski48

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Good to know. Thanks for the info. I'll do some experimenting