The .303 British (designated as the 303 British by the C.I.P.[2] and SAAMI[3]) or 7.7×56mmR, is a .303-inch (7.7 mm) calibre rimmed rifle cartridge. The .303 inch bore diameter is measured between rifling lands as is the common practice in Europe which follows the traditional black powder convention.

.303 British
Left to right: .303 British, 6.5×50mmSR Arisaka and .30-06 Springfield soft point ammunition
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1889–present
Used byUnited Kingdom and many other countries
Production history
Case typeRimmed, bottleneck
Bullet diameter7.92 mm (0.312 in)
Land diameter7.70 mm (0.303 in)
Neck diameter8.64 mm (0.340 in)
Shoulder diameter10.19 mm (0.401 in)
Base diameter11.68 mm (0.460 in)
Rim diameter13.72 mm (0.540 in)
Rim thickness1.63 mm (0.064 in)
Case length56.44 mm (2.222 in)
Overall length78.11 mm (3.075 in)
Case capacity3.64 cm3 (56.2 gr H2O)
Rifling twist254 mm (1-10 in)
Primer typeLarge rifle
Maximum pressure (C.I.P.)365.00 MPa (52,939 psi)
Maximum pressure (SAAMI)337.84 MPa (49,000 psi)
Maximum CUP45,000 CUP
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
150 gr (10 g) SP 844 m/s (2,770 ft/s) 3,463 J (2,554 ft⋅lbf)
174 gr (11 g) HPBT 761 m/s (2,500 ft/s) 3,265 J (2,408 ft⋅lbf)
180 gr (12 g) SP 783 m/s (2,570 ft/s) 3,574 J (2,636 ft⋅lbf)
Test barrel length: 24 in (610 mm)
Source(s): Accurate Powder[1][failed verification]

It was first manufactured in Britain as a stop-gap black powder round put into service in December 1888 for the Lee–Metford rifle. From 1891 the cartridge used smokeless powder which had been the intention from the outset, but the decision on which smokeless powder to adopt had been delayed.[4] It was the standard British and Commonwealth military cartridge for rifles and machine guns from 1889 until it was replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO[2] in the 1950s.

Cartridge specifications edit

The .303 British has 3.64 ml (56 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity. The pronounced tapering exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt-action rifles and machine guns alike, under challenging conditions.


.303 British maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters (mm).

Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 ≈ 17 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 254 mm (10.0 in), 5 grooves, Ø lands = 7.70 millimetres (0.303 in), Ø grooves = 7.92 millimetres (0.312 in), land width = 2.12 millimetres (0.083 in) and the primer type is Berdan or Boxer (in large rifle size).

According to official rulings of the Commission internationale permanente pour l'épreuve des armes à feu portatives (CIP), the .303 British can handle up to 3,650 bars (365.0 MPa; 52,940 psi) Pmax piezo pressure.[5] In CIP-regulated countries every rifle cartridge combo has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum CIP pressure to certify for sale to consumers.[2] This means that .303 British chambered arms in CIP-regulated countries are, as of 2023, proof tested at 4,562 bars (456.2 MPa; 66,170 psi) PE piezo pressure.

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) maximum average pressure (MAP) for this cartridge is 49,000 psi (338 MPa) piezo pressure (45,000 CUP).[6]

The measurement .303 inches (7.7 mm) is the nominal size of the bore measured between the lands which follows the older black powder nomenclature. Measured between the grooves, the nominal size of the bore is .311 inches (7.9 mm). Bores for many .303 military surplus rifles are often found ranging from around .309 to .318 inches (7.8–8.1 mm). Recommended bullet diameter for standard .303 British cartridges is .312 inches (7.9 mm).[7]

Military use edit

History and development edit

During a service life of over 70 years with the British Commonwealth armed forces the .303-inch (7.7 mm) cartridge in its ball pattern progressed through ten marks which eventually extended to a total of about 26 variations.[8] The bolt thrust of the .303 British is relatively low compared to many other service rounds used in the early 20th century.[citation needed]

Propellant edit

The original .303 British service cartridge employed black powder as a propellant, and was adopted for the Lee–Metford rifle, which had rifling designed to lessen fouling from this propellant, which replaced the Martini-Henry rifle in 1888. Some Martini-Henrys were rebarrelled to use the new .303 as the "Martini–Metford"

The Lee–Metford was used as a trial platform by the British Committee on Explosives to experiment with many different smokeless powders then coming to market, including Ballistite, Cordite, and Rifleite.[9][10][11] Ballistite was a stick-type smokeless powder composed of soluble nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine.[11] Cordite was a stick-type or 'chopped' smokeless gunpowder composed of nitroglycerine, gun-cotton, and mineral jelly, while Rifleite was a true nitrocellulose powder, composed of soluble and insoluble nitrocellulose, phenyl amidazobense, and volatiles similar to French smokeless powders.[10][11] Unlike Cordite, Rifleite was a flake powder, and contained no nitroglycerine.[11] Excessive wear of the shallow Metford rifling with all smokeless powders then available caused ordnance authorities to institute a new type of barrel rifling designed by the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, to increase barrel life; the redesigned rifle introduced in 1895 as the Lee–Enfield.[9] After extensive testing, the Committee on Explosives selected Cordite for use in the Mark II .303 British service cartridge.[9]

Projectile edit

The initial .303 Mark I and Mk II service cartridges used a 215-grain (13.9 g), round-nosed, copper-nickel full metal jacketed bullet with a lead core. After tests determined that the service bullet had too thin a jacket when used with cordite, the Mk II bullet was introduced, with a flat base and thicker copper-nickel jacket.[12]

Mark II – Mark VI edit

Longitudinal section of Mk VI ammunition 1904, showing the round nose bullet

The Mk II round-nosed bullet was found to be unsatisfactory when used in combat, particularly when compared to the "dum-dum" expanding bullet rounds issued in limited numbers in 1897 during the Chitral and Tirah expeditions of 1897–98 on the North West Frontier of India.[12] This led to the 1898 introduction of the Cartridge S.A. ball .303 inch Cordite Mark III, basically the original 215-grain (13.9 g) bullet with the jacketing cut back to expose the lead in the nose.[12][13] The Mk III load, however, was almost immediately withdrawn as a result of production issues leading to the introduction of the similar Mk IV hollow-point loading in February of the next year, which was put into mass production in Britain, Canada and New Zealand.[13] Following the pivotal Battle of Omdurman of the Mahdist War, Major Mathias of the Royal Army Medical Corps observed a young man who had been struck twice by Mark IV bullets:

He had a bullet wound of the left leg above the knee. The wound entrance was clean cut and very small. The projectile had struck the Femur, just above the internal condyle; the whole of the lower end of this bone, and upper end of the Tibia, were shattered to pieces, the knee joint being completely disorganised.

He had also been wounded in the right shoulder... The whole of the shoulder joint and scapular were shattered to pieces. In neither case was there any sign of a wound of exit.

The design of the Mk IV hollow-point bullet shifted bullet weight rearwards, improving stability and accuracy over the regular round-nose bullet.[12] These soft-nosed and hollow-point bullets, while effective against human targets, had a tendency to shed the outer metal jacket upon firing; the latter occasionally stuck in the bore, causing a dangerous obstruction.[12] This was addressed by the introduction of a revised Mk V loading later in October (controversially so, as by August the Hague Convention had already made the military implementation of such expanding bullets illegal) identical to the Mark IV round apart from the addition of 2% antimony to the lead core and an additional 1.3 mm in length.[13]

The concern about expanding bullets was brought up at the Hague Convention of 1899 by Swiss and Dutch representatives. The Swiss were concerned about small arms ammunition that "increased suffering", and the Dutch focused on the British Mark III .303 loading in response to their treatment of Boer settlers in South Africa. The British and American defence was that they should not focus on specific bullet designs, like hollow-points, but instead on rounds that caused "superfluous injury". The parties in the end agreed to abstain from using expanding bullets.[12] With the use of expanding bullets against signatories of the convention deemed inhumane, the Mk III, Mk IV, and Mk V were withdrawn from active service. The remaining stocks (over 45 million rounds) were used for target practice. The Mark III and other expanding versions of the .303 were not issued during the Second Boer War (1899–1902). Boer guerrillas allegedly used expanding hunting ammunition against the British during the war, and New Zealand Commonwealth troops may have brought Mark III rounds with them privately after the Hague Convention without authorization.[14]

To replace the Mk III, IV, and V, the Mark VI round was introduced in 1904, using a round nose bullet similar to the Mk II, but with a thinner jacket designed to produce some expansion, though this proved not to be the case.[15][16]

Mark VII edit

Longitudinal section of Mk VII ammunition circa 1915, showing the "tail heavy" design

In 1898, Atelier de Construction de Puteaux (APX), with their "Balle D" design for the 8×50mmR Lebel cartridge, revolutionised bullet design with the introduction of pointed "spitzer" rounds. In addition to being pointed, the bullet was also much lighter in order to deliver a higher muzzle velocity. It was found that as velocity increased the bullets suddenly became much more deadly.[17]

In 1910, the British took the opportunity to replace their Mk VI cartridge with a more modern design. The Mark VII loading used a 174 gr (11.28 g) pointed bullet with a flat-base. The .303 British Mark VII cartridge was loaded with 37 gr (2.40 g) of Cordite MDT 5-2 (cordite MD pressed into tubes) and had a muzzle velocity of 2,440 ft/s (744 m/s) and a maximum range of approximately 3,000 yd (2,700 m).[4][18][19] The Mk VII was different from earlier .303 bullet designs or spitzer projectiles in general. Although it appears to be a conventional spitzer-shape full metal jacket bullet, this appearance is deceptive: its designers made the front third of the interior of the Mk 7 bullets out of aluminium (from Canada) or tenite (cellulosic plastic), wood pulp or compressed paper, instead of lead and they were autoclaved to prevent wound infection. This lighter nose shifted the centre of gravity of the bullet towards the rear, making it tail heavy. Although the bullet was stable in flight due to the gyroscopic forces imposed on it by the rifling of the barrel, it behaved very differently upon hitting the target. As soon as the bullet hit the target and decelerated, its heavier lead base caused it to pitch violently and deform, thereby inflicting more severe gunshot wounds than a standard single-core spitzer design.[20] The Mk VII bullet was considered to be in compliance of the Hague Convention as its metal jacket completely covered the cores. The convention only prohibited "the use of bullets which can easily expand or change their form inside the human body such as bullets with a hard covering which does not completely cover the core...".[21] It was noted by German Professor K. Stargardt in December 1914 that the Mk VII bullet would routinely "...disintegrate on the lightest contact with a firm body, such as a bone," resulting in an "explosive effect," and leaving artillery-like fragmentation in the body.[22][a]

The Mk VIIz (and later Mk VIIIz) rounds have versions utilizing 41 gr (2.66 g) Dupont No. 16 single-base smokeless powder based on nitrocellulose flake shaped propellants. The nitrocellulose versions—first introduced in World War I—were designated with a "z" postfix indicated after the type (e.g. Mark VIIz, with a bullet weight of 175 gr (11.34 g)) and in headstamps.[25]

.276 Enfield edit

.303 British cartridges, along with the Lee–Enfield rifle, were heavily criticized after the Second Boer War. Their heavy round-nosed bullets had low muzzle velocities and suffered compared to the 7×57mm rounds fired from the Mauser Model 1895. The high-velocity 7×57mm had a flatter trajectory and longer range that excelled on the open country of the South African plains. In 1910, work began on a long-range replacement cartridge, which emerged in 1912 as the .276 Enfield. The British also sought to replace the Lee–Enfield rifle with the Pattern 1913 Enfield rifle, based on the Mauser M98 bolt action design. Although the round had better ballistics, troop trials in 1913 revealed problems including excessive recoil, muzzle flash, barrel wear and overheating. Attempts were made to find a cooler-burning propellant, but further trials were halted in 1914 by the onset of World War I. As a result, the Lee–Enfield rifle was retained, and the .303 British cartridge (with the improved Mark VII loading) was kept in service.[26]

Mark VIIIz edit

In 1938 the Mark VIIIz "streamline ammunition" round was approved to obtain greater range from the Vickers machine gun.[27] The streamlined bullet was based on the 7.5×55mm Swiss GP11 projectiles and slightly longer and heavier than the Mk VII bullet at 175 gr (11.34 g), the primary difference was the addition of a boat-tail at the end of the bullet and using 37 to 41 gr (2.40 to 2.66 g) of nitrocellulose smokeless powder as propellant in the case of the Mk VIIIz, giving a muzzle velocity of 2,525 ft/s (770 m/s). As a result, the chamber pressure was higher, at 40,000 to 42,000 psi (275.8 to 289.6 MPa), depending upon loading, compared to the 39,000 psi (268.9 MPa) of the Mark VII(z) round.[28][29] The Mark VIIIz streamline ammunition had a maximum range of approximately 4,500 yd (4,115 m).[30] Mk VIIIz ammunition was described as being for "All suitably-sighted .303-inch small arms and machine guns" – rifles and Bren guns were proofed at 50,000 psi (344.7 MPa) – but caused significant bore erosion in weapons formerly using Mk VII ammunition, ascribed to the channelling effect of the boat-tail projectile. As a result, it was prohibited from general use with rifles and light machine guns except when low flash was important and in emergencies.[31] As a consequence of the official prohibition, ordnance personnel reported that every man who could get his hands on Mk VIIIz ammunition promptly used it in his own rifle.[27]

Tracer, armour-piercing and incendiary edit

Tracer and armour-piercing cartridges were introduced during 1915, with explosive Pomeroy bullets introduced as the Mark VII.Y in 1916.

Several incendiaries were privately developed from 1914 to counter the Zeppelin threat but none were approved until the Brock design late in 1916 as BIK Mark VII.K[32] Wing Commander Frank Brock RNVR, its inventor, was a member of the Brock fireworks-making family. Anti-zeppelin missions typically used machine guns loaded with a mixture of Brock bullets containing potassium chlorate, Pomeroy bullets containing dynamite, and Buckingham bullets containing pyrophoric yellow phosphorus.[33] A later incendiary was known as the de Wilde, which had the advantage of leaving no visible trail when fired. The de Wilde was later used in some numbers in fighter guns during the 1940 Battle of Britain.[34]

These rounds were extensively developed over the years and saw several Mark numbers. The last tracer round introduced into British service was the G Mark 8 in 1945, the last armour-piercing round was the W Mark 1Z in 1945 and the last incendiary round was the B Mark 7 in 1942. Explosive bullets were not produced in the UK after 1933 due to the relatively small amount of explosive that could be contained in the bullet, limiting their effectiveness, their role being taken by the use of Mark 6 and 7 incendiary bullets.

In 1935, the .303 O Mark 1 Observing round was introduced for use in machine guns. The bullet to this round was designed to break up with a puff of smoke on impact. The later Mark 6 and 7 incendiary rounds could also be used in this role.

During World War I British factories alone produced 7,000,000,000 rounds of .303 ammunition. Factories in other countries added greatly to this total.[35]

Pencils edit

Spent.303 cartridges were used to make cases of the bullet pencils includes in some of the Princess Mary Christmas gift boxs given to troops in World War 1.[36]

Military surplus ammunition edit

Military surplus .303 British ammunition that may be available often has corrosive primers, given the mass manufacture of the cartridge predates Commonwealth adoption of non-corrosive primers concurrent with the adoption of 7.62 NATO in 1954. There is no problem with using ammunition loaded with corrosive primers, provided that the gun is thoroughly cleaned with hot flowing water after use to remove the corrosive salts. The safe method for all shooters of military surplus ammunition is to assume the cartridge is corrosively primed unless certain otherwise.

Care must be taken to identify the round properly before purchase or loading into weapons. Cartridges with the Roman numeral VIII on the headstamp are the Mark 8 round, specifically designed for use in Vickers machine guns. The best general-purpose ammunition for any .303 military rifle is the Mark 7 design because it provides the best combination of accuracy and stopping power.[citation needed]

Headstamps and colour-coding edit

.303 British Cartridge (Mk VII), manufactured by CAC in 1945
Five-round charger ready to be loaded in a Lee–Enfield No. 4 Mk 2 rifle
Headstamp ID Primer annulus colour Bullet tip colour Other features Functional type
VII or VIIZ Purple None None Ball
VIIIZ Purple None None Ball
G1, G2, G3, G7 or G8 Red None None Tracer
G4, G4Z, G6 or G6Z Red White None Tracer
G5 or G5Z Red Grey None Tracer
W1 or W1Z Green None None Armour-piercing
VIIF or VIIFZ None None None Semi-armour piercing (1916–1918)
F1 Green None None Semi-armour piercing (1941)
B4 or B4Z Blue None Step in bullet jacket Incendiary
B6 or B6Z Blue None None Incendiary
B7 or B7Z Blue Blue None Incendiary
O.1 Black Black None Observing
PG1 or PG1Z Red None Blue band on case base Practice-tracer
H1Z None None Front half of case blackened Grenade discharger
H2 None None Entire case blackened Grenade discharger
H4 None None Case blackened 34 in (19 mm) from each end Grenade discharger
H7Z None None Rear half of case blackened Grenade discharger (v.powerful load)

Japanese 7.7 mm ammunition edit

Cutaways of the five types of ammunition produced in Japan

Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service adopted Ro-Go Ko-gata seaplane armed with a .303 MG in 1918, and the calibre was common on surplus Entente aircraft acquired by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service after WWI, so its usage continued during the Interbellum, and on naval aircraft even throughout WWII. Japan produced a number of machine guns that were direct copies of the British Lewis (Japanese Type 92 machine gun) and Vickers machine guns as well as ammunition for them. The 7.7 mm cartridge used by the Japanese versions of the British guns is a direct copy of the .303 British (7.7×56mmR) rimmed cartridge and is distinctly different from the 7.7×58mm Arisaka rimless and 7.7×58mm Type 92 semi-rimmed cartridges used in other Japanese machine guns and rifles.[37]

  • Ball: 174 grains (11.3 g). Cupro-nickel jacket with a composite aluminium/lead core. Black primer.
  • Armour-piercing.: Brass jacket with a steel core. White primer.
  • Tracer: 130 grains (8.4 g). Cupro-nickel jacket with a lead core. Red primer.
  • Incendiary: 133 grains (8.6 g). Brass jacket with white phosphorus and lead core. Green primer.
  • H.E.: Copper jacket with a PETN and lead core. Purple primer.

Note: standard Japanese ball ammunition was very similar to the British Mk 7 cartridge. The two had identical bullet weights and a "tail-heavy" design, as can be seen in the cut-away diagram.

Civilian use edit

The .303 cartridge has seen much sporting use with surplus military rifles, especially in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and to a lesser extent in the United States and South Africa. In Canada, it was found to be adequate for any game. In Australia, it was common for military rifles to be re-barrelled in .303/25 and .303/22. However the .303 round still retains a considerable following as a game cartridge for all game species, especially Sambar deer in wooded country. A petition asking Lithgow Arms to chamber the LA102 centrefire rifle in .303 as a special edition release has attracted considerable attention both in Australia and worldwide. In South Africa, .303 Lee–Enfield rifles captured by the Boers during the Boer War were adapted for sporting purposes and became popular with many hunters of non-dangerous game, being regarded as adequate for anything from the relatively small impala to the massive eland and kudu.[38]

Commercial ammunition and reloading edit

Commercial soft point .303 British loaded in a Lee–Enfield five-round charger.
Civilian soft point .303 ammunition, suitable for hunting purposes.

The .303 British is one of the few (along with the .22 Hornet, .30-30 Winchester, and 7.62×54mmR) bottlenecked rimmed centrefire rifle cartridges still in common use today. Most of the bottleneck rimmed cartridges of the late 1880s and 1890s fell into disuse by the end of the First World War.

Commercial ammunition for weapons chambered in .303 British is readily available, as the cartridge is still manufactured by major producers such as Remington, Federal, Winchester, Sellier & Bellot, Denel-PMP, Prvi Partizan and Wolf. Commercially produced ammunition is widely available in various full metal jacket bullet, soft point, hollow point, flat-based and boat tail designs, both spitzer and round-nosed.

Reloading equipment and ammunition components are also manufactured by several companies. Dies and other tools for the reloading of .303 British are produced by Forster, Hornady, Lee, Lyman, RCBS and Redding. Depending on the bore and bore erosion, a reloader may choose to utilise bullet diameters of .308–.312 in (7.8–7.9 mm) with .311 in (7.9 mm) or .312 in (7.92 mm) diameter bullets being the most common. Bullets specifically produced and sold for reloading .303 British are made by Sierra, Hornady, Speer, Woodleigh, Barnes and Remington. Where extreme accuracy is required, the Sierra Matchking 174-grain (11.3 g) HPBT bullet is a popular choice. Sierra does not advocate the use of Matchking-brand bullets for hunting applications. For hunting applications, Sierra produces the ProHunter in .311 in (7.9 mm) diameter. The increasingly popular all-copper Barnes TSX is now available in the .311 in (7.9 mm) diameter as a 150 gr (9.7 g) projectile which is recommended by Barnes for hunting applications.

With most rifles chambered in .303 British being of military origin, success in reloading the calibre depends on the reloader's ability to compensate for the often loose chamber of the rifle. Reduced charge loads and neck sizing are two unanimous recommendations from experienced loaders of .303 British to newcomers to the calibre. The classic 174-grain (11.3 g) FMJ bullets are widely available, though purchasers may wish to check whether or not these feature the tail-heavy Mk 7 design. In any case other bullet weights are available, e.g. 150, 160, 170, 180 and 200 gr (9.7, 10.4, 11.0, 11.7 and 13.0 g), both for hunting and target purposes.

Hunting use edit

The .303 British cartridge is suitable for all medium-sized game and is an excellent choice for whitetail deer and black bear hunting. In Canada it was a popular moose and deer cartridge when military surplus rifles were available and cheap; it is still used. The .303 British can offer very good penetrating ability due to a fast twist rate that enables it to fire long, heavy bullets with a high sectional density. Canadian Rangers use it for survival and polar bear protection. In 2015, the Canadian Rangers began the process to evaluate rifles chambered for .308 Winchester. The Canadian Department of National Defence has since replaced the previously issued Lee–Enfield No. 4 rifles with the Colt Canada C19 chambered as evaluated in 7.62×51mm NATO/.308 Winchester.[39]

Rounds developed from .303 edit

Pre-WWI sporting rounds edit

During the 1890s, Scottish gunsmith Daniel Fraser developed a rimless version of the cartridge known as ".303 Fraser Velox" or ".303 Fraser Rimless", loaded with a bullet of his own oblique ratchet design to enhance expansion which was patented in 1897[40][41][42] The bullet was also used in a proprietary loading of .303 British marketed as ".303 Fraser Flanged".[43]

Proprietary loadings of .303 British include the ".303 Marksman" by Eley Brothers from before 1908.[44] and ".303 Swift" from before 1911.[45]

In 1899, the British service round was lengthened and necked-out to create the .375 Flanged Nitro Express hunting cartridge for single-shot and double rifles. Around 1905, it was necked down back to create .375/303 Westley Richards Accelerated Express.[citation needed]

Post-1917 military experiments edit

In 1917, design work started on a more powerful military cartridge of the same calibre and overall length.[citation needed] In 1918 it was planned that the new round, also retaining the old rim diameter, would be used in rechambered P14 rifles with AP rounds to defeat German targets on the battlefield of WWI as well as in the RAF in modified Lewis gun. The cartridge was "produced in quantity" but not adopted formally. The case was 62mm long with the bullet (a Ball Mark VII or Mark VIIW) set deep within to keep overall length down. The ordinary round was designated "Cartridge S.A. ball .303 inch Rimless" despite the fact that it retained headspacing on its rim and was semi-rimmed.[46] It's better known[citation needed] today under names like ".303 Lewis Semi-Rimmed".

Post-1945 Australian wildcats edit

After WWII, Australians founds themselves with quite a few .303" service rifles but at the same time new legal restrictions on military ammunition, which led to development of many wildcat rounds,[47] the best-known of which are .303/25 and .303/22.[citation needed]

Post-1945 South African developments edit

In parallel to Australia, the same wildcatting was happening in other countries of the Commonwealth, and in 1969 Pretoria Metal Pressings started factory production of a .303 necked down to 6 mm (.243") under the name of 6 mm Musgrave.[48]

.303 Epps edit

Canadian Ellwood Epps, founder of Epps Sporting Goods, created an improved version of the .303 British.[when?] It has better ballistic performance than the standard .303 British cartridge. This is accomplished by increasing the shoulder angle from 16 to 35 degrees, and reducing the case taper from .062 inches (1.6 mm) to .009 inches (0.23 mm). These changes increase the case's internal volume by approximately 9%. The increased shoulder angle and reduced case taper eliminate the drooping shoulders of the original .303 British case, which, combined with reaming the chamber to .303 Epps, improves case life.[49] The .303 British case was also used as a parent case for the South African designed 6mm Musgrave cartridge that was billed as a cheap surplus alternative to the popular .243 (6.2 mm) Winchester.[citation needed]

Firearms chambered in .303 British edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ This performance is very similar to many more modern military bullet designs, such as the 5.56mm M193 bullet, the 5.56mm M855 bullet, the 5.56mm M855A1 bullet, the 7.62mm DM111 bullet, and the 7.62mm M80A1 bullet, which are designed to break apart at the crimp cannelure and fragment.[23][original research?][24] The M855A1 and M80A1 bullet designs have a dual core construction.[24]

References edit

  1. ^ ".303 British" (PDF). Accurate Powder. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2008.
  2. ^ a b c C.I.P. TDCC datasheet 303 British
  3. ^ "SAAMI Drawing 303 British" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b David Cushman. "History of the .303 British Calibre Service Ammunition Round".
  5. ^ "CIP - 303 British" (PDF). Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  6. ^ ANSI/SAAMI Velocity & Pressure Data: Centerfire Rifle Archived 2 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, Rifle-Pistol, Third Edition, Hornady Manufacturing Company, 1980, 1985, pp. 253–254.
  8. ^ Temple, B. A., Identification Manual of the .303 British Service Cartridge - No: 1 - BALL AMMUNITION, Don Finlay (Printer 1986), p. 1. ISBN 0-9596677-2-5
  9. ^ a b c Chisholm, Hugh, Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Co., Vol. 23, (1911) p. 327
  10. ^ a b Sanford, Percy Gerald, Nitro-explosives: a Practical treatise Concerning the Properties, Manufacture, and Analysis of Nitrated Substances, London: Crosby Lockwood & Son (1896) pp. 166-173, 179
  11. ^ a b c d Walke, Willoughby (Lt.), Lectures on Explosives: A Course of Lectures Prepared Especially as a Manual and Guide in the Laboratory of the U.S. Artillery School, J. Wiley & Sons (1897) pp. 336-343
  12. ^ a b c d e f Ommundsen, Harcourt, and Robinson, Ernest H., Rifles and Ammunition Shooting, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co. (1915), pp. 117–119
  13. ^ a b c "MISSILE INJURIES – Over a century of service: the .303 projectile and its wounding capabilities- a historical profile 1". Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  14. ^ A Way Forward in Contemporary Understanding of the 1899 Hague Declaration on Expanding Bullets -, 7 October 2013
  15. ^ "Rejected Mark IV. Bullets", Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), vol. 91, 21 March 1901
  16. ^ "Dum Dums". Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2008.
  17. ^ 8x50R Lebel (8mm Lebel)
  18. ^ "Rifle, Short Magazine Lee–Enfield". The Lee–Enfield Rifle Website. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
  19. ^ The Vickers Machine Gun Range Tables
  20. ^ "The Box O' Truth #37 - the Deadly .303 British and the Box O' Truth". 13 June 2014.
  21. ^ Zaken, Ministerie van Buitenlandse. "Declaration concerning the prohibition of the use of bullets which can easily expand or change their form inside the human body such as bullets with a hard covering which does not completely cover the core, or containing indentations". Archived from the original on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  22. ^ Stargardt, K (1915). "The English Infantry Bullets and Their Action". BMJ Military Health. 24: 601–604.
  23. ^ "Reading Gunshot Patterns". National Institute of Health. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  24. ^ a b LIBERTY AMMUNITION, INC., v UNITED STATES, 11-84c (2011) ("Similar to the M855A1, the projectile of the M80A1 EPR employs a steel penetrator, copper slug, and reverse copper jacket that ruptures upon striking a soft target.").
  25. ^ "The .303 British Cartridge". Lee-Enfield Rifle Website. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
  26. ^ Williams, Anthony G (25 September 2010), The .256 Inch British: A Lost Opportunity, archived from the original on 6 June 2013
  27. ^ a b Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), p. 40. ISBN 978-1-884849-09-1
  28. ^ .303 inch Ball Mark VI to VIIIz & L1A1
  29. ^ Dunlap, Roy F., Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), ISBN 978-1-884849-09-1 p. 40: There appear to have been two distinct loadings of the Mark VIII cartridge: one small arms expert serving with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps at Dekheila noted who Mk VIIIz ammunition he examined had a claimed muzzle velocity of 2,900 ft/s (884 m/s), furthermore, primers on MK VIIIz fired cases he examined looked "painted on", normally indicating a pressure of around 60,000 psi (413.7 MPa).
  30. ^ The Vickers Machine Gun 1939 Range Tables
  31. ^ Temple, B.A. Identification Manual on the .303 British Service Cartridge No.1 - Ball Ammunition.
  32. ^ Labbett, P.; Mead, P.J.F (1988). "Chapter 5, .303 inch Incendiary, Explosive and Observing Ammunition". .303 inch: a history of the .303 cartridge in British Service. authors. ISBN 978-0-9512922-0-4.
  33. ^ "The Brock Bullet Claim" (PDF), Flight, 1919, retrieved 12 August 2018 – via
  34. ^ The Battle of Britain - Excerpts from an Historic Despatch by Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding,Flight, 19 September 1946, p323
  35. ^ Featherstone-Haugh, JJ. (1973). "Appendix VII, page IV, "British Military Output WWI"". Home Front - Untold Tales of British Workers during the Great Wars. OUP.
  36. ^ Barry, Martin N (September 2022). "Bullet Pencil". 'A Box of Conflict Memories' - Materiality, Memory and Princess Mary's Gift Box 1914-2020 (PDF) (PhD). University of Bristol. pp. 69–72. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  37. ^ Walter H.B. Smith, Small Arms of the World, Stackpole Publications.
  38. ^ Hawks, Chuck. "Matching the Gun to the Game". Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  39. ^ Here it is – the new Sako rifle for the Canadian Rangers
  40. ^ McCaa, L.D. (27 December 2016). "Down Goes Fraser".
  41. ^ Montgomery, Hubert (November–December 2021). "Undisputed-Daniel Fraser of Edinburgh".
  42. ^ GB 189704971A 
  43. ^ "303 Fraser Flanged".
  44. ^ "The Other .303 Cartridges".
  45. ^ "303 Swift".
  46. ^ ".303 inch Rimless". British Military Small Arms Ammo.
  47. ^ "Cartridges based on the .303 British".
  48. ^ "6mm Musgrave".
  49. ^ "303 Epps - Notes on Improved Cases". Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2018.

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