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Thread: Military surplus ammo

  1. #1
    Member Magnus's Avatar
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    Military surplus ammo

    Hi guys,

    Recently aquired a nice old Lee enfield no4 mk1 full wood.
    Been looking around for some deals for ammo for it,

    This is my first rifle I've owned that is more then twice my age lol, I'm wanting to know what ammunition is ok to put through it. Obviously the new stuff like prvi and the likes but I see Gun shitty has some Greek ex military ammunition at a reasonable price and there's some Australian ex military stuff on trademe also. I haven't delt with ammo that is that old before so im just a bit wary about it.

    Has anyone shot any of the above? If so what was it any good?

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Regards Magnus

  2. #2
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Do you reload at all? of you do, soft reloads shouldn't be much of a problem to make.

    Also if you're in the market for PRVI, take a look at Ammo Direct.
    timattalon likes this.

  3. #3
    Member Magnus's Avatar
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    Reloading no. That was gonna be my next thread as its something I really need to look at doing. Right you are with Ammo Direct they seem to be the cheapest around for factory loaded ammo for the ol 303.

    Has anyone had any experience with that Greek HXP military stuff going around atm?

  4. #4
    ebf
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    Several of the guys turning up at WSRA have used the Greek stuff. It's pretty nasty - lots of corrosion on the outside, misfires etc.

    If you plan on reloading, grab some PRVI, and you score good brass at a "cheap" price.

    Alternatively buy some club ammo. Have a chat to the secretary.
    csmiffy and Magnus like this.
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  5. #5
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    Of all the surplus .303, CAC Mk VII of the 1950's is the best you can get (if you can find any). Privi Partisan is OK, cheap enough, and will give you a good source of brass for reloading. You don't want to be mucking about with misfires and hangfires if you value your rifle and your extremities! Go for clean and bright surplus if you can find it, or go commercial and get some good brass.
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  6. #6
    Member Magnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebf View Post
    Several of the guys turning up at WSRA have used the Greek stuff. It's pretty nasty - lots of corrosion on the outside, misfires etc.

    If you plan on reloading, grab some PRVI, and you score good brass at a "cheap" price.

    Alternatively buy some club ammo. Have a chat to the secretary.
    Thanks I won't bother with the Greek rubbish then. I'm looking at coming up the next WSRA shoot which sounds like February? Il definitely make myself known so come say hi if your there, Keen to meet as many friendly people as possible

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    I will probably be firing some of the Greek stuff tonight....as far as the brass goes it is not rubbish the Greek HXP ammo is some of the very best brass I have ever come across for reloading,beats the hell out of any commercial brass.....have found Winchester commercial .303 brass the absolute worst regards quality,would never buy any again not the empty brass cases anyway.The Canadian DZ marked brass is also very good for reloads.Privi .303 ammo is pretty decent and about the best value out there at present,for new commercial ammo.
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  8. #8
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus View Post
    Thanks I won't bother with the Greek rubbish then. I'm looking at coming up the next WSRA shoot which sounds like February? Il definitely make myself known so come say hi if your there, Keen to meet as many friendly people as possible
    Greek "rubbish" shoots fine, great brass as already pointed out, Winchester setup and owned the HXP factory (made .45acp and 30/06 for the USArmy, .303 forUK cadet forces into the 1980s), non erosive ball powder, non corrosive boxer primed. But not great in many two groove No 4 Lee Enfields. Shoots straighter than I can shoot unsupported at least in my H barrel No 1 mk iii. Definitely worth 1 dollar a bang! Agree though it is a bit naughty of GC to tumble the corrosion off the ammo before sale.
    Last edited by Cordite; 05-01-2019 at 05:52 PM.
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  9. #9
    Member Magnus's Avatar
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    So I maybe a bit premature calling it rubbish. All I'm worried about is the corrosive factor and keeping my face.
    So it may shoot OK in say a 5 groove barrel?

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    Poorly stored ammo shows tarnishing and corrosion, and this is cause to be wary of misfires and much worse, hangfires! If using ammo of this kind and you get a misfire, slowly count to ten before opening the bolt, and keeping the rifle pointed downrange. Hangfires usually go off within a couple of seconds so you have a safety margin before opening the bolt. If one goes off just as you get the bolt unlocked then you can suffer serious (possibly fatal) injury. The alternative is to pull the ammo and save the powder and projectile, reprime with fresh primers, and reload the components. The powder is usually OK, the problem lies in the primers.

  11. #11
    res
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    I bought a bunch of the greek stuff when it first came in and was on sale for $0.50 a round, with new powder and primer and a pin tumble for the brass and a cobb tumble for the bullets its still cheep 303 shooting with no wories and your still left with brass that I have been selling for $0.50 a case once fired after another tumble
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  12. #12
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Most two groove rifles (long branch and savage) dont shoot to their potential with boat tail bullets as they require a flat base to mash out to fill the grooves. With flat based bullets mil surplus eg CAC mk 7 they shoot very well easily as good as a 5 groove will.
    Out of interest who made your no 4 some pics would be appreciated.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus View Post
    So I maybe a bit premature calling it rubbish. All I'm worried about is the corrosive factor and keeping my face.
    So it may shoot OK in say a 5 groove barrel?
    Yes, I would expect it to do fine in a 5-groove Lee Enfield.

    Don't listen to the worry pots talking about a 'weaker' bolt than on a Mauser. It is not weaker, as the rear lugs just mean it had to be kitted out with a stronger receiver, but a stronger receiver it did get! It is entirely fit for purpose and you can shoot it safely with factory loads and recommended reloads.

    Rear locking lugs and the 60 degree rather than full 90degree lock are a deliberate design which gives the Lee rifle certain advantages - including not having to lift your head out of the way to save your right eye whenever you extract a shell, or having the sight picture obstructed by a bolt handle between shots.

    Addition of charger clip loading (post Boer war experience) was however required to bring it to a par with the Mauser rifle, possibly beyond it in some ways. The LE is not a sharpshooter's rifle, rather it's rather an unpretty agricultural tool originally designed to assault a lot of people in quick succession. We don't often hear stories of how Joey took a deer at 650 yards with granddad's Lee Enfield. Many of them have shot out barrels to different extents. If you have a good barrel, don't shoot WW2 or even 1950s ammo as Cordite burns too hot and so especially erodes the barrel throat (first part where rifling begins), never mind those corrosive primers.
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  14. #14
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundoc View Post
    Poorly stored ammo shows tarnishing and corrosion, and this is cause to be wary of misfires and much worse, hangfires! If using ammo of this kind and you get a misfire, slowly count to ten before opening the bolt, and keeping the rifle pointed downrange. Hangfires usually go off within a couple of seconds so you have a safety margin before opening the bolt. If one goes off just as you get the bolt unlocked then you can suffer serious (possibly fatal) injury. The alternative is to pull the ammo and save the powder and projectile, reprime with fresh primers, and reload the components. The powder is usually OK, the problem lies in the primers.
    Name:  303.JPG
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    This appears to be the stuff in question.

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    I know I blamed the rifle when I initially tried out my model E project with the greek ammo, but my gut feel is that I didn't like it.
    Didn't put a lot down range as it wouldn't have proved anything other than it was likely my rifle, but I still recall thinking they didn't all recoil the same. First shot felt like my 243.
    Others just seemed like they recoiled more.
    Bolt wasn't always the easiest to lift but no issues with the primers and no funny marks on the cases either.

 

 

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