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Thread: Mounting a scope on a 303

  1. #1
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    Mounting a scope on a 303

    Hey all, newbie here

    I'm wanting to chuck a scope on my ol trusty No.1 mk 3 sporter till I can afford something a little nicer and looking for some worldly wisdom

    Wanting some advice for a rail solution. From what I've heard the 'no smithing' setups are just not that great, so wanting to know the best solution here; Where best to find a rail, and someone to chuck it on (If it's a complex smithing jobbie)
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  2. #2
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    Just swap it for my scoped no4 mk1

    Sent from my SM-G935U using Tapatalk
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  3. #3
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    For the cost of a rail and scope and possible gunsmith costs involved, you are better off buying a 303 rifle that's already scoped. Quite a few pop up on Trademe from time to time for a reasonable cost.

    Since your SMLE isn't scoped, you might find it more financially beneficial to sell it off to someone who wants it as is for restoration.
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  4. #4
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    Yeah most of the mounts i see arn’t all that solid ether so you’ll probably spend more time chasing holes arround paper than you will hunting with it

    I would suggest saving the 300or more you would spend
    Shoot with open sights for a bit its a good skill to have
    And at 50-100m really all you need for hunting put a shotgun clay up at 100 and when you can reliably hit that your good to go hunting
    The vitals on a deer ir goat are much bigger than that but better to be too good than not good enough

    The 300 you would save gets you almost halfway to a decent rifle you can pick up something pretty nice like a howa etc in 308 7/08 6.5 243 etcetc for $700 Second hand
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  5. #5
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    As said above keep it as is that marlin that just got listed here would be perfect
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  6. #6
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    It a "trusty " rifle so have you had it for a while and dont mind spending a few dollars on it? It looks like it hasn't had much use or the metalwork has been restored with nice phosphorising ?
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  7. #7
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    The best thing to do with it is find the correct furniture for it return it to military spec and sell it there are plenty of .303 collectors that will
    pay silly money for a .303 in military uniform, most .303's are a waste of time their barrels are stuffed from 70 year old mil spec ammo
    the triggers are not very good to be honest they are crap, They are not a good rifle for a first centre fire sell it and buy a nice .243 or .308
    if you are not experienced with centre fire go for the .243 it has less recoil than the .303 or .308 is much easier to shoot well and you are less likely
    to develop a flinch,
    I am not down on .303's I have a BSA sporter .303 and I sell a heap of cast bullets to .303 shooters but there are much better rifles out there
    for the first or third gun leave the .303 for a project further down the track
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispyman View Post
    Hey all, newbie here
    I'm wanting to chuck a scope on my ol trusty No.1 mk 3 sporter till I can afford something a little nicer and looking for some worldly wisdom
    Wanting some advice for a rail solution. From what I've heard the 'no smithing' setups are just not that great, so wanting to know the best solution here; Where best to find a rail, and someone to chuck it on (If it's a complex smithing jobbie)
    Buy a 140mm aluminium picatinny rail from ebay, one with a slightly curved underside. Get in there with the file and do a cutout to accommodate the left side of the SMLE charger bridge, to allow you to put it against the left side of the receiver, takes some time. Get someone to dril and tap and mount it using some chemical metal thrown in too. Also do a curved cutout in the picatinny rail to go flush with the thumb cutout on the left side of the receiver (for when you use the charger bridge and stuff them down at the end).

    With a set of low mounts it will be a left mounted scope, but fine, especially as it does not interfere with using the stripper clips / chargers. (The no-gunsmith mounts ruin that facility, and it's plain undignified to be seen loading the old smelly girl one round at a time).

    The 1" or so left-off-axis is not a problem at all, given at 100 metres the typical SMLE groups 2" or more.

    Agree with @shooternz's comments on the SMLE, it is not a beginner's rifle, certainly not a long range rifle. Beyond setting it up for a good two stage pull as per Peter Laidler's instructions online, I also put a cable tie on the back of the trigger guard, locking piece forwards, trimming the tab just until you can pull off a shot, to eliminate trigger over travel. Set with epoxy. Helps, lightweight, and completely reversible.
    Last edited by Cordite; 05-03-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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  9. #9
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    I have a similar gun and a number 4 Mk 1/2, which have scopes. Both have a Parker-Hale rail, clearly designed for the application. If you could find one second hand, you'd be on your way, though genuine rings to fit aren't cheap. I was lucky to get a Parker-Hale Mk III Lithgow, which already had the rail, for $50 (quite recently). It's far too nice to butcher for parts but shows that a bit of patience can get you there. My experience differs to the poster above, in that both my scoped .303s produce reliable groups, tighter than I would have expected from a perfect gun, given my less than perfect skills! My open sight 1917 version, on the other hand, took some time to put a hole into an A4 sheet at 50 yards...
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  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I think for now I'll save up the extra and look for something else a little more versatile.

    I do still enjoy hitting targets with the ol girl, groups pretty well so far, trigger (to me) doesn't feel terrible and barrel definitely still has a bit of life left in it.
    It was my first rifle so still a little sentimental about letting it go or wrecking the top with new parts, I'll keep practicing targets with it in the meantime and keep my eyes peeled for something else
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  11. #11
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    first time ive seen the pic on the computer phones to small that's a nice looking 303 id keep an eye out for a full wood set for it as above
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by northdude View Post
    first time ive seen the pic on the computer phones to small that's a nice looking 303 id keep an eye out for a full wood set for it as above
    Yep, if she shoots well as a sporter, she'll shoot better properly set up with full wood. No point doing up a dog.
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  13. #13
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    In NZ in the 1970s, many 303s had a special small bridge screwed on which took parker hale rings. This is an authentic kiwi mod. Nowadays many of the PH rings have stripped their threads and the only currently available replacement is a CZ brand set with 19mm dovetail but the scope mounts higher than with the old PH.

    303 ammo is hard to reload for, with relatively few projectile options. It's an enthusiasts project really. You are right to look for another working rifle to mount a scope on. Personally I'd go for a full sized round like the 270 3006 0r 308. If you can shoot the brass butt SMLE comfortably those will be fine.
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  14. #14
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    Got a Parker Hale bridge here you can have free.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyp View Post
    Got a Parker Hale bridge here you can have free.
    Could be worth a try, will send you a pm

 

 

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