.303 British

by Christopher

Out to lunch on your .30-30 as a moose killer north of the 49th! By far the Lee-Enfield No.4 in varied marks has killed more moose, deer and probably black bear than any other caliber rifle - probably all other calibers put together.

Yes, I know they are now getting rare and those are running low on rifling but their record will always stand.

I've dropped 17 White Tails, 5 Mules, 4 Black Bears and 11 Moose during my spotty 54 year effort as a hunter and all but 5 of the above were killed with a Lee-Enfield No.4, Mk.I from the Maltby. Mine is a Mk III SMLE that I kept the fine vernier iron sights on and simply sporterized the stock to my design and needs.

Shamefully, the only animal I ever lost was a White-tail I shot in heavy brush but the small blood trail gave out after 4+ hours of fruitless tracking. Custom loaded round-nosed softies .303 hit very hard as my much-loved and dearly missed German father-in-law could attest to. He was struck by one in a pitched battle with commonwealth troops during the invasion of Greece and was lame the rest of his life from a shattered femur.

Oddly enough, your comment about the Winchester .243 caliber put a wry smile on my face once I read further.

Your comments regarding the Winchester .270 caliber's unsuitability and the codicil that: "... in the right hands it is an adequate cartridge. It is another example of a flat shooting long range hunting rifle.."

That is precisely what I say when asked about my only other rifle, a .243 Winchester-powered Steyr I picked up 2nd hand back in the late 1990s.

In the last few years I have carried this gun to save a few pounds as I am not getting any younger, and claimed my first moose with this .243 in 2006 with a 7x fixed scope from 210 yards placing a 110gr. partition into his brain pan.

I assist my accuracy with an ancient bamboo ski pole I modified into a walking & shooting staff and a fixed 7x scope.

I have also taken 2 Whitetails and a Black Bear with it. I have always preferred a shot to the brain, cervical vertebrae, or heart in that order. I let them go if I cannot arrange otherwise.

Thanks very much for your ideas, views and sharing this site with others.

Comments for .303 British

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Enfield for hunting
by: Anonymous

When I finished university and found myself in northern Alberta as a first job, I wanted to do what all the locals did including hunting. As cash was short and student loans long, a 1919 SMLE for $100 fit the bill. It turned out to quite worn and tumbled 150 grain bullets but kept 180 grains within a 6 to 7 inch group at 100 yards. Within this limitation, quite a few animals were taken with it. It is still a backup gun on hunting trips. The last harvest it did for me was a nice bull moose at 60 yards in 2013. It worked as well as any modern cartridge at this distance. In my opinion, the 303 is still an effective cartridge, but there are less and less rifles available that are not worn out to use it. It would be nice to see a manufacturer build a rifle in 303 British again.

.303 British, still excellent
by: Richard Cloutier

Some hunters would evaluates calibers based on ballistic data like the flattest trajectory and the highest energy. A too high recoil would be their only limit.

Hunters from the previous generation reported that a 303 British is all what you need, for moose hunting, up to distance of say 250 yards.

Both approaches look logical. However, both are biased, which do not mean that they are wrong.

Here is an example of a such bias I have seen.
My friends that used to hunt from a platform in the tree were killng from the platform. My friends that used to hunt from the groung were killing from the ground.
Both groups were convinced of the superiority of their method, until they met each other and realized that the other method was efficient too.

Recently, I read a text on the terminal ballistic science. Although ghoulish, this science is as important as the exterior ballist for the hunter.

Here is the title: "Stopping Power" – The Simple Truth of Terminal Ballistics

This article explains that for certain lead/copper jacketed bulets, the higher the speed, the less the penetration.

It could be the case that, at close distance, a 303 bullet would be more efficient than a 300 magnum bullet.

I bought some 150 grains TSX bullets for my 303 British that I will test for penetration with water jugs. I plan do this test before the next hunting season. I plan to compare the 303 with a 30-06 and a 7mm mag. All these rifles will be shooting copper bullets for the test.

If possible I will keep you in the loop.

Lithgow Arms LA102 in 303 British... YES PLEASE!
by: Bat


If you want to know the feeling of using a factory new rifle chambered in 303 British, then you have to support this petition and make it a possibility.

Currently sitting on 1300 signatures, this is attracting global attention, not just Australian.

303 British
by: Charlie

I hunted for years with my .303. It was and is very accurate ! I took Blacktail , mule deer and moose with this rifle. 200 yard cut off for moose. I rut hunt so I like to bring them in as close as I can. My oldest Grandson used it when he was learning to hunt and he has passed it along to his brother now. I use a number of calibers these days more from want rather than need. With the exception of a coastal Grizzly my .303 is a good round for me. Just use your common sense and practice lots. Bottom line if you can't get it done with a .303 go practice some more ! !

by: Mark - The Mooseman

Thank you for your comments Christopher.

Is it possible you could email in a photo of your two rifles? They would be a great addition to your write up.

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