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clayberg 10-20-2008 10:39 PM

25 303
 
This is a new calibre to me and I see it's been around for a while in oz. I live in canada and have a ready supply of 303 But I like the idea of a little more zip and a little less recoil for varmints.

so I've seen some velocity info but am curious as to load info as well as what steps are required to convert. It looks like maybe a p14 action would do the trick ?

can you use a standard P14 action and just rebarrel?

If so would a canadian be able to source a barrel from oz or would I be better to just have one custom made?

If you were having a barrel custom made would it make sense to make it longer for more velocity?

What twist rate is apropriate for this calibre?

whould someone be able to find me a source for dies for this calibre?


I know there is probably better 25 cal cartridges out there but I like unique stuff not to mention lee enfields

Steve D 10-21-2008 02:19 AM

Re: 25 303
 
I'm certainly not the expert you are looking for, although I'm sure there will be some answers forthcoming soon.
I can't answer all of your questions, but the easy one first. If you have a P14 action that was originally made in 303, you're in luck. Rebarrel and shoot away. The magazine and bolt head sixe should not need any alteration, in the same way a Mauser 98 works for all of the calibers based on the 8mm Mauser, 30-06 and 308. The only issue is length of the cartridge fitting in the magazine.
You could probably get a barrel from Oz, but I'm sure there are barrels closer to hand. I have one barrel from E R Shaw with which I couldn't be happier. You could order the barrel pre-chambered and threaded, or just send them the action and they could mount it. I don't know what the specifics would be sending from Canada and you may even have barrel makers in Canada that could provide you with what you are looking for. I just know my experience with Shaw.
Barrel length may be a matter of personal preference. I don't know what pressures and thence what kind of velocities you can expect. Sometimes a longer barrel is useful in getting the powder burned if there is a lot compared to the bore size. You will have more answers from others that will help with that.
A source for dies may be tricky. I know that Hornady has a reputation for being able to supply custom dies without charging an arm and a leg (plus first born, etc), and I suspect they have the specs for this cartridge, but you will have to check with them. Lee precision would do it too, but I don't know what they charge for custom built dies.

This sounds like an interesting project. Good luck and I hope to hear how it goes.

Brithunter 10-21-2008 03:34 AM

Re: 25 303
 
Hi There,

Well in Canada I would contact Epps Gunshop. Epps did a whole range of wildcats and Improved cartridges based on the 303 case and using Enfield actions. Ellwood is gone now I believe but someone in the family still runs the shop I understand. I also understand that trading with the US is a problem now due to stupid regulations :Banghead: so dealing with a company in Canada will probably make things much easier for you.

gitano 10-21-2008 04:29 PM

Re: 25 303
 
Welcome to THL.

Quote:

so I've seen some velocity info but am curious as to load info as well as what steps are required to convert. If by "convert" you're referring to necking the case down from .30 cal to .257, then I would recommend that you anneal the necks first, and use an intermediate die like .284 or .277. Depending on how tight the neck of your new chamber is, you may need to thin the neck walls, as they will thicken as you reduce the neck diameter from about 0.330" to 0.287".

It looks like maybe a p14 action would do the trick ? You bet.

can you use a standard P14 action and just rebarrel? Yes.

If so would a canadian be able to source a barrel from oz or would I be better to just have one custom made? Can't answer that one for ya, as I don't know what a Canadian can do.

If you were having a barrel custom made would it make sense to make it longer for more velocity? This question is not simply answered. Length - to a point - adds muzzle velocity. This thread http://www.thehunterslife.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3050 should shed some light on the subject for you. In general, it is more difficult to get a longer barrel to shoot as straight as a shorter one. The longer the barrel, the more the weight, if that matters to you. Personally, I'd go for a shorter, but fatter barrel. Especially if I was building avarmint rig. HOWEVER, that's just a personal preference. Do whatever you like, and we'll both be happy as clams. :)

What twist rate is apropriate for this calibre? Depends mostly on the bullet(s) you choose to use, and to some degree the muzzle velocity you intend to achieve. The heavier (longer) the bullet, the faster the twist rate needs to be. In general, 1:10 will stabilize most commonly available .257 bullets up to 120 grains. If you intend to go upwards of 130 (not exactly "varmint" class, but...), you might need something on the order of 1:8.

whould someone be able to find me a source for dies for this calibre? Hornady was a good recommendation. If they have them 'on the shelf' (which they might), htey'll cost between $50 and $65 US plus S&H. If they are custom form Hornady, they'll run about $150 US delivered.


I know there is probably better 25 cal cartridges out there but I like unique stuff not to mention lee enfields. I'm not sure I would agree that there are in fact "better" .25 caliber cartridges "out there". There are certainly other ones, but the .25-.303 should be a great North American cartridge, and one you should be able to do pretty much whatever you want with regard to big game hunting barring elk, moose, and brown bears.
Best of luck, and keep us posted here at THL.

Paul

sakorick 10-21-2008 05:36 PM

Re: 25 303
 
Well, Paul, BH and Steve stole my thunder. I say this is a worthwhile project and very very doable. CH4D has your dies for $78.25 and I can attest to their perfection. The hard part will be, as Paul said, getting the 303 Brit necked down that far....I will do some research and report any findings. Please keep us informed on your progress. Regards, Rick.

kombi1976 10-21-2008 08:58 PM

Re: 25 303
 
Right, the gurus have had their say.
Now, as someone who actually owns a 303/25 (as we call 'em in Oz), I'll fill you in on the best way to go about it.
My 303/25 is built on a 1914 Short Lee Enfield action (basically the same as a SMLE No1 MkIII) which limits its performance, although it is still a great cal.
But a P14 is the perfect action use for 303/25.
The mag doesn't require modification and all you need to ensure it that the smaller cal bullet will feed, which is easy enough.
If you want a rifle which is as flexible as the cartridge can be you need to get a barrel with at least a 1:10" twist.
The mistake made here on many SMLE 303/25s (and indeed by Weatherby on their early 257 Wby Mags) was to only have a 1:12" bbl twist and this effectively limits one to 100gr.
The 1:10" twist will allow you to use everything right up to 120gr.
In a P14 action it will allow you to push chamber pressures up to and a little past 50,000psi and this will eclipse a 250 Savage and be at the heels if not equal to a 257 Roberts.
You can easily get 3000fps from an 87gr pill and this makes an excellent medium game load.
A 75gr HP or VMax can be launch significantly quicker and is sudden death to varmints and predators.
And good 110gr and 117gr pills should be good for deer and antelope.
Cases can be formed using a 270 neck die for the first step.
If you then anneal them and do the final step with a 303/25 FL sizing die it should be fine.
If you aren't worried about losing the odd case just gently take it straight down with the 303/25 FL die.
I'd recommend NOT using Remington cases as I have found they split quite quickly, some after the first firing.
Winchester are ok though we've found the best were PMC and Prvi Partizan which are probably not as ready available for you.
If you have anymore questions feel free to ask.

clayberg 10-22-2008 12:55 AM

Re: 25 303
 
thanks guys that pretty much answers what I needed to know It looks to me like a doable thing

I was sorta concerned about getting dies as I hadn't heard of the 303/25 before, but apperently that doesn't look like a problem if I can source them at hornady or lee.

Why I was asking about barrel length is because thinking along the lines of 25/06 which is a overbore calibre typically seen with a longer barrel to maximze burn and gain velocity right?

So if I go to the trouble of building this on a p14 action it would be nice to see just what she would do and maybe a longer barrel would help?

I live in the prairies and long shots can be the norm so I'm thinking bipod coyote gun, and longer range deer. I also have a few spots where you can try gophers as far away as you want so weight and length arn't an Issue I just want to do whatever will perform well and most Importantly accurate!

clayberg 10-22-2008 01:04 AM

Re: 25 303
 
o.k. just read the barrel length versus velocity thing and that's that apparently!!!

Guess the next thing to do is get pricing on a barrel, Kombi what length of barrel does your 303/25 have? and do you Know if it has that length for any particular reason?

kombi1976 10-22-2008 02:20 AM

Re: 25 303
 
My rifle has a 25.5" bbl but then it was made in the 50s and I suspect it was that length so it would just screw onto a standard 303 rifle without stock alteration.
A 26" bbl may screw a little more speed out of the cartridge but a nice 24" heavy bbl is probably quite adequate for the case size.
Most 303s are happiest using moderate powders like H4895 or Varget and 303/25 is the same so you don't need a long bbl to make the most of long burning powders.
But hey, go for the 26" bbl if want.
If it turns out just to be too long you can always have an inch or 4 lopped off it but you can't add another couple to a 24" bbl.

clayberg 10-23-2008 12:01 AM

Re: 25 303
 
so talked to gunsmith he said 300 to 400.00 For blank 300.00 to 400.00 To chamber thread blah blah blah.... So for that I could Purchase the nice m77 .257 roberts thats been calling my name..............

Well I think this project might have to wait. IT's funny I was on this austailain site called the gunsmiths and they had a 303/25 for 400.00 bucks!! Granted it's a used gun and I'm kinda comparing apples to oranges here but It is looking like the thing to do is look for one of those 303/25 Epps improved according to my gunsmith he built them like I was thinking P14 action rebarrel Tada!!!!!!!!!!! I Think to build a custom one is reinventing the wheel....?


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