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30-303 Book

Copyright 2019 - Stephen Redgwell

30-303bookcover.jpg

$20.99 US on Amazon
$25.99 CDN if ordered from me - autographed

Amazon USA

Or search for - Stephen Redgwell - in your local amazon store.

I’ll bet you thought about fixing up your old Lee Enfield, but figured it was too expensive. Maybe you didn’t know where to find any accessories. Don’t put it off any longer!  I had an old, five groove Long Branch that was in desperate need of repair. Most of it was cosmetic, but some parts had to be replaced – including the barrel. But I didn’t want another 303 British. It would be reborn as a 30-303.

This is what happened.

In 1984, I bought a No 4 Lee Enfield for $50 at a local gun show – and probably paid too much! The rifle had already been sporterized and was in rough shape. ‘Hacked up’ would be a better description. Nevertheless, I had a soft spot for No 4s, so I took it home.

I should have taken a few pictures of it that first day. The metal needed re-bluing. Someone used a file and a hacksaw on the trigger guard and action. The trigger was filed to make it a single stage pull. There were grinding marks on the barrel in a few places, and the wood had been cut back. It took three months, but the trigger, trigger guard, rear sight and fore stock were replaced. There was no way that this rifle could be fully restored, but I did the best I could.

I shot it for about 15 years as a 303 British. The first modification from the original was rechambering it to 303 Epps. The Epps was a good cartridge, but the rifle still needed work, and the air force was keeping me busy travelling. As a result, it found its way to the back of the gun safe and stayed there for longer than I care to admit. In 2015, I decided to rebarrel it. At the same time, I figured the metal should be Cerakoted to restore the rifle’s dignity. I sent it to John Rempel, owner of JR Gunsmithing, where it would become a 30-303.

It took about a year to finish because John was injured in a car accident, but within a few days of its return, I had it at the range. No one noticed anything unusual. Two guys remarked it was nice to see someone shooting “an old 303”. I let them in on the secret and they left impressed. The following were some of the questions and comments.

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It must be expensive to rebarrel.

No. It is the same price and time in the shop as any other rebarreling.

Was it worth the bother? Those two-piece stocks aren’t any good.

Is that old wives tale still floating around? The No 4T was a sniper rifle! Yes, it was worth it!

The reloading equipment is custom, right?

No. You use standard 303 British dies with one inexpensive modification.

Reworking the cases will be time consuming.

No. You just resize the case like any other cartridge. One pass and you’re done.

Why bother fixing it up?

It’s a classic, full wood rifle that will be more accurate and live another 100 years!

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Introduction

30-303 Cartridge Specifications
Rechambering My No 4 Rifle
A Tired Rifle!
Understanding Headspace
The Reamer

A Tour of My Rifle
The Stock
The Scope Mount
• Commercial Mounts
• The Indestructible Scope Mount
The Magazine
Refinishing the Metal – Cerakoting

Notes on Reloading the 30-303 Cartridge

Conventional Reloading Dies – Changing the Expander
Lee Collet Die – Changing the Mandrel
Redding Body Die
Case Neck & Bullet Run-out
LE Wilson Case Gauge
The Lee Enfield Magazine and Bullet Seating
The Lee Factory Crimp Die
- Clean Your Die Before Using It!
Bullet Notes – Selecting a Hunting Bullet
Is It Worth the Bother to Crimp?

30-303 Load Data
Preface to the Load Data Section

Hunting Loads -- FB – Flat Base, BT – Boat Tail

1. 125 gr. Sierra Spitzer (FB) – 2120
2. 150 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip Hunting (BT) – 30150
3. 150 gr. Remington PSP (FB)
4. 160 Hornady FTX (BT) – 30396
5. 165 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tip Hunting (BT) – 30165
6. 180 gr. Rem PSP Core Lokt (FB)
7. 200 gr. Speer Spitzer (FB) – 2211
8. 220 gr. Hornady RN (FB) – 3090

Target Load

9. 168 gr. Speer BTHP – 2040

Cast Bullet Load

10. 173 gr.* Lyman LFN – GC 31141
Sometimes, Things Go Wrong

Parting Thoughts

Quick Reference Definitions
Just One Shot: Blood Rage