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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done a bit of research on this firearm. Everything from headspace to wandering zero.

Any other possible problems or issues that you can think of or have first hand knowledge?

It's an Enfield No. 4 conversion to a Jungle Carbine. Work was done by Golden State Arms. It's known as the Santa Fe "Jungle Carbine." The bluing on the barrel and receiver are both in very good/excellent condition as is all of the wood furniture. It doesn't appear to have been shot many times since the first owner bought it in the 1950's.
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Bolt locks at the rear. This causes a lot of brass stretch. 2 or 3 full house loads and the brass is usually toast.
 

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Any other possible problems or issues that you can think of or have first hand knowledge?

It's an Enfield No. 4 conversion to a Jungle Carbine. Work was done by Golden State Arms.
Bloke on the Range knows about these guns. He basically says the wandering group is not a "thing"...but some rifles just aren't that good, and will shoot crap groups. Could be stock pressure, could be whatever.


Gun Jesus says its the lightening cuts on the receivers. So a US conversion that DOESN'T have those cuts may be great.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bolt locks at the rear. This causes a lot of brass stretch. 2 or 3 full house loads and the brass is usually toast.
That can be fixed though. Replace the bolt head to the next size. I'll shoot a few and see if they blow primers or stretch brass.
 
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That can be fixed though. Replace the bolt head to the next size. I'll shoot a few and see if they blow primers or stretch brass.
Don't know that there is anything to be fixed. It's inherent in most any rifle with a rear locking bolt. My beloved 30-30 in a model 94 Winchester will do the same thing. It's just something to keep in mind. FWIW, the problem doesn't exist with the front locking P14 303 rifle.

Nothing wrong with the old "Smelly" it's a fine rifle. And by extension, the Jungle Carbine. I once read that in WWI the Germans fielded the best hunting rifle with the 98 Mauser, the Americans the best target rifle with the '03 Springfield, and the British the best combat rifle with the Short Magazine Lee Enfield. I tend to agree with that.

As far as reloading, just keep your brass sorted. Use once fired brass for your full power reloads. After the second firing, use the brass for cast practice rounds.
 

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A good read on reloading the 303 British and how to handle brass stretch by fire forming using the o-ring method.
http://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=24699&page=4
Never saw much use for the "O" ring method of fire forming. Tried it once with my 6.5 Jap and it's oversized chamber. The brass didn't last any longer that the brass I had been using formed to fit the chamber without using the O ring.

Besides the reason to use the O ring is to prevent case head stretch on the first firing and force the shoulder to stretch forward to fit the shoulder against the chamber wall. Subsequent firings of the cartridge then headspace on the shoulder instead of the rim.

in @GoesBang case, his PPU brass might be new but the other 80 something cases are certainly once (or more) fired cases. So the case head has already stretched. Case head stretch is common in rear locking actions. They just don't lock up as tight as other actions. The trick is to size to your chamber, headspace off the shoulder instead of the rim, and neck size only. You can adjust your FL resizing dies to neck size, but for years I have been using the Lee Collet Dies.

Another option to increase case life is in conjunction with neck sizing only, modify your cases. I do this with my 22 Hornet and 30-30 Winchester by forming them to K-Hornet and 30-30 AI. Cases last more than twice as long.

A final thing to remember in rifles such as @GoesBang MK5 Jungle Carbine and my Arisaka it that the British and Japenese were not concerned about reloading, they were concerned about rifles that worked first time every time.
 
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Never saw much use for the "O" ring method of fire forming. Tried it once with my 6.5 Jap and it's oversized chamber. The brass didn't last any longer that the brass I had been using formed to fit the chamber without using the O ring.

Besides the reason to use the O ring is to prevent case head stretch on the first firing and force the shoulder to stretch forward to fit the shoulder against the chamber wall. Subsequent firings of the cartridge then headspace on the shoulder instead of the rim.

in @GoesBang case, his PPU brass might be new but the other 80 something cases are certainly once (or more) fired cases. So the case head has already stretched. Case head stretch is common in rear locking actions. They just don't lock up as tight as other actions. The trick is to size to your chamber, headspace off the shoulder instead of the rim, and neck size only. You can adjust your FL resizing dies to neck size, but for years I have been using the Lee Collet Dies.

Another option to increase case life is in conjunction with neck sizing only, modify your cases. I do this with my 22 Hornet and 30-30 Winchester by forming them to K-Hornet and 30-30 AI. Cases last more than twice as long.

A final thing to remember in rifles such as @GoesBang MK5 Jungle Carbine and my Arisaka it that the British and Japenese were not concerned about reloading, they were concerned about rifles that worked first time every time.
My 303 brass gets reloaded full power 1 time. 2nd time I dial it back for target shooting light loads. Maybe a 3rd time. I toss them after that.
 

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My 303 brass gets reloaded full power 1 time. 2nd time I dial it back for target shooting light loads. Maybe a 3rd time. I toss them after that.
About what happens to my 30-30 and 22 Hornet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There is a guy on GunBroker selling new nickel plated 303 British brass. The price isn’t too bad.
 

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Read about how the Brits do it. They have no issues getting 6,7 or even 10 loads out of .303.
Make sure your headspace is right. That’s the first key. If you are loose, but still pass the go checks, and you can’t get a different bolt head, or if the chamber is loose, the o-ring trick will prevent that annular pressure ring on the first firing, which is what kills brass.
Then, second key...anneal the neck, and neck size only.
Third key...don’t load max loads. Load accurate loads in the middle of the node in the middle of the charge spread.
No need for the o-ring after that first time, as the brass will be formed to your chamber.

Those guys shoot for real. They are very accurate, and they can’t buy cheap new ammo either, so reloading matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I ordered a Forster headspace gauge.
 

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I've done a bit of research on this firearm. Everything from headspace to wandering zero.

Any other possible problems or issues that you can think of or have first hand knowledge?

It's an Enfield No. 4 conversion to a Jungle Carbine. Work was done by Golden State Arms. It's known as the Santa Fe "Jungle Carbine." The bluing on the barrel and receiver are both in very good/excellent condition as is all of the wood furniture. It doesn't appear to have been shot many times since the first owner bought it in the 1950's.
View attachment 70563
Reload with Trail Boss or Black Powder and you'll get slower (subsonic) rounds that you can use (200 yards and less) that wont beat on you OR the rifle.
 

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Reload with Trail Boss or Black Powder and you'll get slower (subsonic) rounds that you can use (200 yards and less) that wont beat on you OR the rifle.
I'd stick with Trail Boss, since Holy Black tends to corrode brass AND is a major pain to clean from both cases and rifle. Used to use it in my 30-30 for reduced lead loads - still do sometimes - but TB is easier to deal with IMHO.
 

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Trail boss is horribly inefficient in rifle cartridges. Let’s look at a couple of cartridges I load for to illustrate. I will list pressures for book minimum loads to book maximum. These are from my Hodgdon reloading manual.

30-30 Win with a 160 grain cast
Trailboss lists velocities from 997 FPS to 1195 FPS. Pressures run from 20,500 to 29,100 CUP

H4895 lists velocities from 1351 to 1562 FPS. Pressure runs from 15,200 to 23,100 CUP

45-70 Govt with a 405 grain cast

Trail Boss lists velocities from 971 to 1007 FPS. Pressures from 24,500 to 25,600 CUP

H4895 list velocities from 1424 to 1645 FPS. Pressure runs from 14,900 to 18,900 CUP


I like Trailboss very well in pistol cartridges, where it performs admirably. But in rifles? Nope, nada, no way. Why subject my Trapdoor Springfield to over 24,000 cup pressure when I get better performance with less pressure, less than 15,000 cup, and that’s comparing minimum loads to maximum loads of Trailboss.
 

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Trail boss is horribly inefficient in rifle cartridges. Let's look at a couple of cartridges I load for to illustrate. I will list pressures for book minimum loads to book maximum. These are from my Hodgdon reloading manual.

30-30 Win with a 160 grain cast
Trailboss lists velocities from 997 FPS to 1195 FPS. Pressures run from 20,500 to 29,100 CUP

H4895 lists velocities from 1351 to 1562 FPS. Pressure runs from 15,200 to 23,100 CUP

45-70 Govt with a 405 grain cast

Trail Boss lists velocities from 971 to 1007 FPS. Pressures from 24,500 to 25,600 CUP

H4895 list velocities from 1424 to 1645 FPS. Pressure runs from 14,900 to 18,900 CUP

I like Trailboss very well in pistol cartridges, where it performs admirably. But in rifles? Nope, nada, no way. Why subject my Trapdoor Springfield to over 24,000 cup pressure when I get better performance with less pressure, less than 15,000 cup, and that's comparing minimum loads to maximum loads of Trailboss.
ALCON, I recommend Trail Boss Powder for older or rifles that tend to kick (IE The Enfield Jungle Carbine) and because it is easier on the rifle. If you have a '03 (that may or may not have been properly heat treated) and are concerned about frame stretch, Trail Boss is the powder for you.

Is it low powered, yes. But that's the point. Low pressure on the rifle and less kick on you.

It's perfectly fine to drop something or someone, especially in a bolt gun.
 

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ALCON, I recommend Trail Boss Powder for older or rifles that tend to kick (IE The Enfield Jungle Carbine) and because it is easier on the rifle. If you have a '03 (that may or may not have been properly heat treated) and are concerned about frame stretch, Trail Boss is the powder for you.

Is it low powered, yes. But that's the point. Low pressure on the rifle and less kick on you.

It's perfectly fine to drop something or someone, especially in a bolt gun.
Your confused about low power vs low pressure.
 

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Is it low powered, yes. But that's the point. Low pressure on the rifle and less kick on you.
need to rethink that.

in the example I gave above with the 30-30 160 grain cast shows using a minimum load of Trailboss and a maximum load of H4895, the 4985 load is putting LESS pressure against the bolt face. 5,600 CUP Less pressure than Trailboss.

You will feel less recoil because you are moving the 160 grain bullet slower, but the Trailboss powder is producing more pressure.

Unfortunately I have no pressure data to share using Trailboss in the 303 Brit. My load manual does not list that combination, but research will show that Trailboss is inefficient in rifle cartridges.
 
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