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Old December 13, 2002, 02:14   #1
MikeC
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.303 British ballistics??

Just wondering, where does the .303 ball ammo fall in terms of ballistics? I don't have any of reference books handy. Is it close to 7.62x51? Less powerful? Thanks
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Old December 13, 2002, 04:04   #2
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My data shows the ballistics for the .303 MKVII service cartridge to be a 175 grain .311 bullet at 2440FPS with a little over 2300 Ftlbs of energy. Handloads are tricky to match factory ammo speed but you can get to 2400, something about the funky cordite propellant that GB used for all those years...


the 7.62 stacks up with a 147 gr. .308 bullet at 2750fps with about 2500 ftlbs of energy. The .308 can be handloaded to 2900-3000 with a 150gr yielding 2800+ ftlbs of energy so the 7.62x51 does possess superior ballistics.
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Old December 13, 2002, 18:55   #3
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If you are talking about long range balistics, the 303 wins hands down. They still shoot matches in England at 2400 yards with them, and they still beat most everything else.
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Old December 13, 2002, 20:56   #4
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Mr. Hagar, when you say they beat everything else, what exactly is everything else? While I agree a 174gr bullet may perform better than a 150 at long range, .303 is far from a favorite with the bench rest shooters , at least here in Pennsylvania. If you showed up with a .303 for a BR competition, you would be laughed off the range. 2400 yards aimed fire with a .303 sounds like a stretch. I know guys who shoot 1000 yard competition and none of them are using .303's. If memory serves me correctly, the US military did a study on the best possible accuracy for a .30 cal bullet at 2000+ yards. I believe 40 some plus inches was the best group attained with 40lb + specialized benchrest rifles. I would be happy to eat my words if I am wrong (not to mention the fact that I just got done drinking my birthday fishbowl of beer), but I just can't agree that .303 is better than even a .308 for competition out to 1000 yds.

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Old December 14, 2002, 11:15   #5
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Try lugging that 40# rail-gun out to the field!


In practical terms, the 7.7x56R/.303 has the following at 1000 yards (2440 fps MV/174 grain):
BC: 0.480
Over 1100 fps
Over 480 pounds feet
527 inches of drop
457 inches drift in 10 mph wind

and for the 7.62x51/.308 at 1000 yards (2600 fps MV/168 grain):
BC: 0.405
Over 1059 fps
over 415 pounds feet
516 inches of drop
462 inches drift in 10 mph wind

I calculated this using a Sierra MK for both, at the nominal velocity of 2440 for the 7.7, and 2600 for the 7.62.

Interesting to see this though: Push the .311 to 2600 fps. Here are the results:
1183 fps
540 pounds feet
458 inches drop
396 inches of drift in 10 mph wind

Now, use the 175 grain MK in .308 (2600 fps MV/175 grain):
BC: 0.485
1191 fps
552 pounds feet
455 inches drop
393 inches drift in 10 mph wind

I'd say that ALL possible factors being near-equal, that the bullets perform nearly identically. Barrel quality, and shooter skill, probably have more impact then the actual bullet.
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Old December 15, 2002, 10:38   #6
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Ted, excellent info, thanks. And I agree, your last two examples would be statistically identical.

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Old December 15, 2002, 10:51   #7
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If you want some real fun with that Lee Enfield, get into bullet casting. I used to cast the RCBS 30-180 FN out of wheelweights, then patch it with 5 wraps of teflon tape. I can't remember my exact load data, but I used DuPont 4350 and pushed it to 1900 fps. This load shot better than any that I ever came up with using jacketed bullets.

Lee Enfields have oversized groove dimensions (most will go about .316") and they're an excellent candidate for shooting patched cast bullets. Just cast a typical .308 diameter bullet, then wrap it with teflon tape until you get the OD of the bullet up to the size of the barrel groove.

I really got involved with those things for a while. I made up a set of loading dies that would flare the case mouth, and then gently close it around the patched bullet,.. even made up a whirlygig apparatus for wrapping the tape around the bullet.
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