303 British Ammunition
History of .303 British Ammunition
The .303 British is a cartridge that was originally a black powder round and was first used by the British military in 1888. Originally chambered for the Lee-Metford rifle, (which later became known as the Lee-Enfield rifle) the .303 British was changed from a black powder cartridge to a smokeless powder, cordite. In its’ 70+ years of service with the Commonwealth, the .303 British cartridge was used in the Boer War, Turkish War of Independence as well as WWI and II.
The .303 British has been used in battle rifles, machine guns and was the caliber of choice for the machineguns used in British WWII fighter aircraft. It has been used in the Vickers and Lewis machine guns, a plethora of bolt action military rifles and civilian rifles such as the Ruger No.1 and Winchester Model 1895 rifles.
The cartridge can be found with bullet weights commonly ranging from 150 to 180 grains. The velocity is from approximately 2500 feet per second to over 2700 feet per second. The muzzle energy ranges from 2400 to over 2600 foot pounds of energy. The most common bullet types available in civilian ammunition are soft point, full metal jacket and hollow point. Several manufacturers continue to make the ammunition, such as: Remington, Federal and Winchester to name a few. For military use, the .303 British have been manufactured in FMJ, armor piercing, incendiary, tracer and a marking type of round that generated a puff of smoke at the point of impact.
This fairly heavy bullet traveling at a high velocity makes it very effective for virtually all North American game to include elk and moose. The military surplus rifles chambered in .303 British are also used in Africa and Australia for hunting a wide variety of game to include a large portion of the spectrum of African game from the impala to the kudu.
Although not at the forefront of the popularity parade, the .303 British cartridge is a solid performer, fairly easily found and, accessible in virtually any corner of the world.
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- POPS said: "I had not had a chance to fire until this weekend. I picked up a 1913 British 303 at a estate sale in very fine condition. Then I was not able it find any rounds so I located yall on the net . I received my rounds very quickly. After firing them the balance and accuracy of the rounds have a very high quality , and the value fell well in range I could buy bher in Texas "