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Thread: Enfield revolver loads

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Enfield revolver loads

    Anyone here loading for British Enfield revolvers?

    I recently picked up a 1943 No 2 MkI*, and am trying to find the right load for it, using what I have for molds and components, and I'm wondering how sturdy this gun is, being a top-break design.

    I have a Lee 358-158-RF mold. I don't have the necessary sizing die, but these bullet, unsized and powder coated, come out to about .361", so they seem to work OK. I started out with a couple grains of 700x, and got around 540fps. I had some old factory Remington 38 S&W (146gr I assume) and they clocked around 560 fps.

    Should I stick to these seriously anemic loading levels for this old gun, or can I bump it up a little? I don't want to hot-rod it at all, but it would seem that perhaps something like 700 fps might be safely attainable. I'm making the assumption that the weak factory loadings are because of the millions of really cheap revolvers produced in this chambering in the early 20th century. I also assumed that a British military arm would be at least marginally stronger, but that's a lot of assuming.

    Any thoughts or experiences?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I think the original lead loading for these was right around 630 fps
    They changed to a lighter jacketed bullet that was around 680 fps .

    If you try to push them harder you'll find yourself with a loose revolver pretty quickly .

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    This info may help:

    Ammunition:_____________________Webley Mark IV_____Colt Police Positive
    Fiocchi 146-grain LRN factory load____750 fps, 19 Sd______794 fps, 14 Sd

    Accurate 36-146D, 2.5 grs. Bullseye__710 fps, 16 Sd______756 fps, 11 Sd

    Accurate 36-178D, 2.1 grs. Bullseye__595 fps, 10 Sd______601 fps, 18 Sd

    Ideal 195-grain #358430 1.7 Bullseye_513 fps, 11 Sd_____.362 front driving band would not chamber in Colt

    Accurate 36-201D, 2.1 grs. Bullseye___601 fps, 12 Sd_____612 fps, 20 Sd

    NOE 201-grain Mk2, 2.1 grs. Bullseye__609 fps, 12 Sd_____629, fps 15 Sd
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Interesting. It seems that a 158gr lead bullet at 700 fps would be well in the same ballpark, pressure wise, as military or factory loads.

    I think I'll find a load in the 600 to 650 fps range, and be happy with that. It's not like I'll be shooting it a lot anyhow.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelk View Post
    Interesting. It seems that a 158gr lead bullet at 700 fps would be well in the same ballpark, pressure wise, as military or factory loads.

    I think I'll find a load in the 600 to 650 fps range, and be happy with that. It's not like I'll be shooting it a lot anyhow.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Point of impact low, but accurate in my Aussie Victory Model.
    I load 2.5 grains of Bullseye in the S&W, but only 2.1 in the Webley MkIV.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    My first handgun was an Enfield. I did not cast bullets then but I used a load from the Speer book for store bought swaged hollow based wadcutters. I made an extra front sight blade that corrected the point of impact. The long DA pull really required concentration but I got a lot of mud turtles and a few rabbits and squirrels with it.
    Shooting rabbits at night with a spotlight was amusing because you could see the bullet flying in the light!

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I loaded for cousins Webley with Lyman 358311 158gr at 700fps, I think with Red Dot. For several years he ran 400-500 per summer with no ill affects. Gun was as ugly as when we started.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks everyone! I think I should be able to find a fairly conservative load that shoots well in it. Eventually maybe a proper 178gr to 200gr mold, and .361 sizer, though if this bullet shoots well as is, I'll probably stick with it. I have so many other handguns that shoot well, I don't see myself shooting it a lot. I bought it really because I like surplus guns with some history. The fact that it was a WWII made revolver, in decent condition, in the $300 range was a big selling point.

    I had one friend I showed it to, who didn't want to shoot it at all. He only shoots revolvers in single action, and can't stand the double-action pull. I used to be a bit that way, but for the last few years have really been training myself to shoot double action, and have improved a lot.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    To maybe save you some time. . .

    The NOE clone of the British .380/200 MKI bullet shoots high out of my 1944 dated Webley. Outpost75 claims his 36-178D mold from Accurate pretty well duplicates the in-flight behavior of the MK2z load our sights are more likely calibrated for.
    WWJMBD?

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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    To maybe save you some time. . .

    The NOE clone of the British .380/200 MKI bullet shoots high out of my 1944 dated Webley. Outpost75 claims his 36-178D mold from Accurate pretty well duplicates the in-flight behavior of the MK2z load our sights are more likely calibrated for.
    Correct. The 36-176P also works well.

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    The ENEMY is listening.
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    Keep it to yourself.

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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