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.303 British


Gettin' loaded

History
Why Reload .303?
Case Preparation
Primers
Powder
Bullets
My Recipes












History



The .303 is British military cartridge with roots in the black powder era. Introduced in 1888,
it spans an enormous range of time and use. The ammunition types and headstamps is a study unto
itself. The availability of many surplus rifles for this caliber has renewed interest and helped
keep this historic cartridge alive. As I am somewhat new to reloading and using the .303, here is
a more in-depth source. (Click)
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Why reload .303?



.303 ammunition can be expensive if you don't have access to surplus. Surplus can be corrosive.
Many types of bullets can be used that you might not get with factory loads.
(Top)


Case Preparation



Unless I have new brass I will want to neck size only. Many surplus rifles have too much head space. This
is a function of reliability since troops didn't reload; you just want it to function even if dipped in the
mud. Full length sizing each reload will cause case head separation much sooner. I check cases carefully. I
then resize the neck and decap the case.
(Top)


Primers



First I put on my eye protection. Priming is simply a matter of seating large rifle primers in the
primer pockets. I make sure I have no loose primer pockets or protruding primers.
(Top)


Powder



Since the case was originally designed for black powder, smokeless powder can have low loading densities.
I take extra care not to over-charge any cases. If I need long range accuracy, I charge by hand.
(Top)


Bullets



After double-checking my powder, I begin to seat a bullet, moving the seater plug down in small increments
until I reach the desired depth. I lock my calipers at this measurement and pass each round through them
after seating. I then set my crimp die in my press. Some reloaders might disagree on the necessity of crimp
but I feel it is helpful in necessitating full and consistent ignition of the powder. A look at any reloading
manual tells me that a phenomenal range of bullet weights can be used from 100gr to 215gr and .313 diameter
down to .308. (if your barrel is tight enough)
(Top)


My Recipes



USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 36.0gr Alliant Reloder 7
Bullet: 55gr fmj .224 bullet in a .308 Sabot
OAL: 2.815
Very soft load.

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 35.7gr Hodgdon H335
Bullet: 110gr RNSP Speer .308dia.
OAL: 2.718

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 45.0gr Hodgdon H335 OR 36gr Alliant Reloder 7
Bullet: 123gr SP Hornady .311dia.
OAL: 2.906
For plinking; these bullets don't stabilize well.

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 45.0gr Hodgdon H335
Bullet: 150gr SP OR FMJ Hornady .311dia.
OAL: 3.03

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 29.8gr Alliant Reloder 7
Bullet: 150gr SP Hornady .311dia.
OAL: 3.03

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 45.0gr Hodgdon H4350
Bullet: 150gr SP Hornady .311dia.
OAL: 3.035

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 21.0gr Alliant Reloder 7 OR 17.0gr. IMR4227
Bullet: 160gr Lead gas-checked tumble-lube .311dia.
OAL: 2.875

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 43.50gr. Hodgdon H4350
Bullet: 174gr FMJBT Sierra .311dia.
OAL: 3.075

Case: Remington
Primer: WIN LR
Powder: 34.3gr Hodgdon H335 OR 37.8gr Hodgdon H4350
Bullet: 215gr RNSP Woodleigh
OAL: 2.915
(Top)



Last Modified: Friday, 09-Oct-2009 02:45:33 EDT







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