View Full Version : Reloading 303
19-05-2008, 06:52 PM
Does anyone here reload 303 for their Lee Enfield?
From my research it seems that the correct thing to do is neck size only to avoid over working the brass. Looking at my fired cases seems to verify this, as they have definitely changed shape slightly about 6mm from the case head end, but they easily rechamber in the rifle.
After a few firings will the neck sized brass begin to get tight in the chamber, or will it remain the same?
So, if I buy neck sizing dies only, will I be fine, or should I invest in a set that includes a full length sizing die?
19-05-2008, 06:54 PM
I only neck size my .223,.243 and .308 (sorry I don't do 303).
Lee say it extends the life of the case 10 fold, plus the brass should fit your chamber perfectly as its fire formed.
You will still need to measure the case length and trim as required.
19-05-2008, 07:31 PM
So you don't find the cases start to get a bit tight after a few reloads, necessitating a full length resize?
I'm a bit new to this - I've just finished priming my first batch of 308, but I haven't fired any of my reloaded ammunition yet!
I'm just putting together another :rolleyes: order to Sinclair for the 223 and 303 parts, not to mention all the other "essential" items that I have now decided that I want!
19-05-2008, 09:01 PM
You can only get a few full power reloads (2-3) out of 303 brass so neck sizing is all you'll need to to do most of the time. If you buy new brass it'll pay to do a full resize for your first load.
19-05-2008, 09:31 PM
i neck size only for the 45/70 use the Classic Lee Loader take it to the range with me after i have finished shooting deprime and neck size there and then.......:)
It depends on the size of your chamber and what model rifle. Many are sloppy to make sure they'd easily chamber any type of ammunition.
If the shoulder blows forward significantly, that can spell trouble. Because the brass in the shoulder's already work-hardened just from forming it, what can happen is that the case stretches at the web instead of the shoulder shifting. Take a gander at your cases, and drag a bit of wire up the inside, feeling for thinning just ahead of the web.
This effect was so severe in my SMLE Mk.III* that I was getting case head separations, sometimes on the first reload. They never produced any leakage - the first I knew was when a case head stub ejected and the next round wouldn't feed. Until I can sort this, I'll only shoot factory in that rifle.
I think mine's probably at the far end of this condition, though. Although theoretically I suppose even the very strong P14 could suffer from overlong chambers, I'd imagine it very unusual.
Normally, neck sizing should be enough, but because the LE action is itself a bit stretchy, you might find the shoulder gets tight because the cases are able to open the action elastically a few thou. Even so, you can usually find an intermediate position between neck and full length resize because even a good chamber is frequently longer than the nominal new shoulder length, so you can push the shoulder back a gnat's for easy feeding, without working the brass on the case body much.
Good luck :)
19-05-2008, 09:53 PM
My rifle is a No4 Mk2 and is virtually brand new, only having had about forty rounds fired through it so far, so I guess the chambers about as good as they get on a Lee Enfield...
I think I'll order a Redding neck sizing die set and see how things go - or do any of you have a particular preference for a different die maker? I was going to get Forster dies, but they don't seem to do a neck die in 303...
Well, I got by nicely on Lee dies, which I'll use again if I get the chamber sorted, or find a better rifle. Your No.4 sounds a good 'un, and I think I'm having to admit that the open leaf sights of the old No.1 don't suit ageing eyesight, so I may try to find one.
With S&B's 180g boattail, I was finding 41 grains of Reloder 15 gave me 2450 fps, a good approximation for Mk.VII ball.
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