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Thread: Lee Enfield No.4 Mk1* and 240gr boolit?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Question Lee Enfield No.4 Mk1* and 240gr boolit?

    I recently acquired a rather tired 1944 Long Branch Lee Enfield No.4 Mk1* (too cheap not to take the chance!) My intention is to shoot cast bullets, initially at 100m. It may see longer range use. This is my first Lee Enfield, and though I cast for other guns, I'm still on the steep part of the learning curve. I've read a fair bit on the Internet (including the CE Harris guide and 303british.com) and on the UKFB forum but can't find an answer to my question about using the 240gr bullet (below), probably just until I find something more suitable (200gr Lyman 314299 or the NOE 314/316 version of it).

    I've slugged the bore but, being a 5 groove, I'm not sure what it tells me (measuring from a land to a groove.) I made a cast of the chamber but not an impact cast, so some contraction will have occurred. The throat measures approximately .311, not allowing for shrinkage of the cast, so probably at least .313?

    Since I have three 30cal molds, I had hoped one might be casting at a big enough diameter to work in the No.4, at least as a short range load.

    Unfortunately, the two molds for gas-checked bullets drop at .311, they are the pointed and flat nose (larg-ish meplat) designs shown below.

    The 240gr bullet is .314 and looks to have a bore-ride section that might work, if I am interpreting my crude tests properly. Needless to say it would be quite a sedate load, presumably with a fair bit of bullet below the neck. This bullet is usually used as a subsonic load in a 300Blackout (at.309)

    These pictures show the candidate 240gr bullet and the 2 (unusable?) designs.

    240gr .314 bullet (BHN 18)


    Gently pushed to ensure rifling engraved a little


    A Rifling marks just visible



    Flat nose GC bullet:


    Flat nose drops in:


    Pointed GC 150gr


    Drops in:



    So, can the wise cast bullet-makers guide me? Can I use this 240gr plane-Base bullet or is it too heavy, long, narrow, etc.

    Perhaps I should just wait for the Lyman 314299, which I have available in next few days.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I don't think the 240-grain bullet will be stable in the ten-inch twist of rifling at velocities you can obtain using a plainbased bullet. But the bumblebee can't read and doesn't know that he can't fly.

    I would try a few on a big target backer at 50 metres and see if you get round holes or keyholes.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
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  3. #3
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    leebuilder's Avatar
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    As we say here. Giv-er, I think the 240 gr will fly just nice or better. For a starting 100m load I would start with baby steps, 13gr of unique or similar loading. The others may be a waste of time to load up and send down range because of a lack of diameter, possibly PC them to get up to .313 or better.
    You will need to expand the necks of the casings for the proper tension and to keep from deforming your boolits upon seating.
    Get an NOE mold!!!

    Be well
    When you read the fine print you get an education
    when you ignore the fine print you get experience

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	216224The pointed bullet looks like a Lee 155gn 7.62x39 which should cast at .312.

    You can 'beagle' moulds to throw a bigger bullet to around plus .003 (see pic)

    You will need to get hold of a roll of adhesive foil tape from your local DIY store.

    To get a better idea of the bore diameter with 5 groove rifling, cut a piece of copy paper, wrap it around the bullet and measure, then take off twice the paper thickness.

    ukrifleman

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Won't guarantee failure but I have never had any luck with cast bullets that stick out below the case neck. The powder charge beats the bullet shank all to heck when discharged.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    The beagling as mentioned helps. Another trick that I have found is to use a good treatment of lube like the Lee Liquid Alox that coats the outside of the bullet. The mold shown made for the SKS should also shoot. My 303 is at 311 or 312 and give little problem with cast. I shot a 200 grain 30 cal Lee bullet out of another one that worked well for deer. As cast. OMe has to play with the different bullets for cast.

    DEP

  7. #7
    Boolit Master JMax's Avatar
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    I use the NOE equivalent 314299 mold sized to 314 with 12.1 gr of Unique and get 2" groups in my Long Branch with a 5 groove barrel. It was made in 1944. Have fun.
    Last edited by JMax; 03-14-2018 at 11:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a 1944 Long Branch Enfield as well. Great rifles with a lot of history... Congrats.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks everyone. I may experiment with this 240gr boolit but I've re-measured my chamber cast and decided to buy an NOE 316302 after all.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    240gr with a flat nose or round nose is fine but a pointy spitzer? I've shot 260gr round noses that worked. Might I suggest trying it for our benefit? It will probably work fine.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 303Guy View Post
    240gr with a flat nose or round nose is fine but a pointy spitzer? I've shot 260gr round noses that worked. Might I suggest trying it for our benefit? It will probably work fine.
    This, I think, is the point. The length of the bullet is more important than its weight, but in general a sharp pointed one requires a faster spin to stabilise it. Still, if you have the bullets or mould, rifles surprise sometimes, and it is always worth trying out something that doesn't involve laying out cash.

    The fit of the bullet in the throat shouldn't be a big problem. The 10in. twist was originally designed to stabilise the round-nosed 215gr. bullet, and so far as I know all military .303s were throated to accommodate it, long after its disappearance. Besides, all may not be as it seems.

    This picture was taken when people told me round-nosed jacketed bullets were essential for my Mannlicher-Schoenauer, due to its long throat. Clones of the Swedish military bullet were cheap and easily available, while round noses were only available in soft-point, and at that time couldn't be sent direct by mail order, though they can now. They look very different, but they both touched the groove diameter at the same distance from the base.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It is, as Dan Cash says, a good idea to avoid having the bullet protrude into the powder space. It increases the chances of leading, and also may affect pressure unless you allow for the reduced initial powder space. I would much prefer a gas-checked bullet, and that one also makes it more difficult to have a strong card wad or grease cookie behind it.

  12. #12
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    I have 215 gr Woodleigh's that I can shoot in my #4 Mk1 so what you want to do is feasible.

    If your boolits measure .308 from land to groove after slugging then your groove dia. is .313. the bore should be .303 as that is what mine is, and most I have seen have been this way too. Typically Grooves are .005 deep.

    The Lyman 314299 works great in my gun and that is what I shoot for Cast Exclusively. I might try 311299 with PC soon just to see if that will work.

    As long as the barrel is in decent shape the gun should shoot. Do yourself a favor and get a Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die and only neck size the cases. If you F/L size you will get 1-2 reloads and the cases will separate.

    PPU brass works well.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  13. #13
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    This isn't a Lee-Enfield bore, but the three-groove rifling of the Schmidt-Rubin. The measurement you need to determine a good bullet diameter is from real groove to where the groove would extend, if there was one, on the side 180 degrees removed. In this example it is .310in.

    It isn't possible to take a precisely accurate direct measurement from either bore or slug, unless you have something like a three-point hole gauge. But three grooves or five, you are close enough to be useful with a measurement from the clockwise side of one groove to the anticlockwise side of the other.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    I think I'll try the 240gr boolit but this came in the post today:

    Last edited by Bangbangman; 03-23-2018 at 10:26 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    240 is probably pushing it. I can get the NOE 230gr blackout bullet to work in a Mosin, but only subsonic. Shoots great going slow. Not so much with any velocity. Get better results out of a 200gr.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	3 Schmidt-Rubin 1889 bore, alternative with texture.jpg 
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ID:	216393

    This isn't a Lee-Enfield bore, but the three-groove rifling of the Schmidt-Rubin. The measurement you need to determine a good bullet diameter is from real groove to where the groove would extend, if there was one, on the side 180 degrees removed. In this example it is .310in.

    It isn't possible to take a precisely accurate direct measurement from either bore or slug, unless you have something like a three-point hole gauge. But three grooves or five, you are close enough to be useful with a measurement from the clockwise side of one groove to the anticlockwise side of the other.
    Thanks. That's useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tackleberry41 View Post
    240 is probably pushing it. I can get the NOE 230gr blackout bullet to work in a Mosin, but only subsonic. Shoots great going slow. Not so much with any velocity. Get better results out of a 200gr.
    As you may have recognised, my 240gr bullet is the NOE 230gr Blackout bullet; I've only ever used it for subsonic in my 300Blackout.

    The new NOE Mold arrived today and, after a scrub and breaking in cycles, it's casting well. I'm getting some finning around the hollow-point pins but I haven't had a chance to assess them properly yet.


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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check