BrianBM

Long Island gunshops

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I spent a pleasant couple of hours today at the Brookhaven Town range on Middle Country Road, firing a nicely-preserved SMLE IV, in .303 British (made here by Savage, oddly, as a part of Lend-Lease).

I don't know if the rifle ever saw action.  It looks awfully clean, to my very non-knowledgeable eye.

 

I want to locate a gun shop with very knowledgeable people. Benson's was recommended to me, and it's close to home, and stocks .303.  Anyone know them well enough to have a comment on the store, pro or con?  

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Thank you.  

 

I posted a comment on my experience with the .303 and with Benson's in the Enfield Forum. 

 

I was surprised, going on line, to see how widely .303 is manufactured. Remington, Federal, Hornady, Prvi Partisan, etc.  Most of it is hunting ammo at 150 gr., soft point.  Hornady does make a 176 gr. BT target round, which is supposed to duplicate the performance of the military rounds originally made, but the old milspec PP stuff I was shooting today has a substantial recoil, so I'll make do with a lighter bullet.  

 

I suspect that most .303 rifles in circulation have seen enough use to no longer be optimal for fussy target work. They're good hunting rifles, if you want or need a thirtysomething, but minute of deer is less demanding then minute of accuracy. No doubt the soft nosed rounds will be more accurate then I'll ever be, anyhow.

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Hey Brian,

 

Campsite in Huntington, LI Ammo inside Karps Hardware in Northport are the 2 I frequent the most. Might also want to try a local LI website; "Long Island Gun Club" lots of good info and great people there.

 

Stu

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19 hours ago, BrianBM said:

I was surprised, going on line, to see how widely .303 is manufactured. Remington, Federal, Hornady, Prvi Partisan, etc.  Most of it is hunting ammo at 150 gr., soft point.  Hornady does make a 176 gr. BT target round, which is supposed to duplicate the performance of the military rounds originally made, but the old milspec PP stuff I was shooting today has a substantial recoil, so I'll make do with a lighter bullet.  

 

.

.303 is still very widely used up in Canada.  When I was in Newfoundland a dozen years ago, it was in every hardware or other store that sold any ammo at all; they might not have .308s or 7mm Rem, but they had .303.  So it's worth it for the big companies to pump out quite a bit.

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Foxtrapper, that's the right time.  I was there with my buddy Pab-Eye.  

 

My eyes, alas, cannot see the dark blade of the front post against the black of a standard target.  I moved my target to 25 yards, and I still couldn't see the blade.  I'm going to touch it very lightly with reflective gold paint, and see if that helps.  If not, I'll have to look for a scope and mount.

 

Of the stores mentioned, I know Camp-Site, from fly fishing.  The guys at Benson's seem very knowledgeable, too.  I've been in Dark Storm, just sniffing around.  

 

CWitek, it's interesting that the 150 gr. soft point is so widely produced for hunting.  .30-06 is produced in a huge number of bullet weights, and there can't be much difference in the potential of .303 for varied weights and that of  .30-06.  I wonder if the preference for a standard, lighter bullet comes from the substantial recoil of the military round at 176?

 

Go down just three grains to 147 and you're at the standard weight for the 7mm-08, which is probably a lot easier to shoot.  I can't see a 3 grain difference as significant.  

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Yep look like you were having fun! I was there with my daughter she was practicing with her 1894 p 44 mag. We are headed to Tennessee for a Bison and boar hunt. She's taking the Bison! Lots of good eatin there ! Lol Jeeze I remember in the late eighties and early nintes that those smle's were less than 50 bucks in every Gunshop! Barrels of them ,great deer rifles! 

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Ah, then I noticed you too!  Actually, I noticed your daughter - blond woman?  I thought you were a retained instructor.  Nice to see a young woman at the firing line.  A bison and boar hunt sounds like a grand way to stock a freezer.  Have fun.  

 

As for myself, most definitely I was having fun.  One surprise - when cleaning up, there was an astonishing amount of brass from .22 shorts on the ground.  

 

I'm lately informed that there are a lot more hunting rounds for the .303 then the 150 gr. loads that I'd been noticing on the internet.  If I find myself hunting moose with Ms. Palin, I'll probably go for a heavier load. 

Edited by BrianBM

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11 hours ago, BrianBM said:

Ah, then I noticed you too!  Actually, I noticed your daughter - blond woman?  I thought you were a retained instructor.  Nice to see a young woman at the firing line.  A bison and boar hunt sounds like a grand way to stock a freezer.  Have fun.  

 

As for myself, most definitely I was having fun.  One surprise - when cleaning up, there was an astonishing amount of brass from .22 shorts on the ground.  

 

I'm lately informed that there are a lot more hunting rounds for the .303 then the 150 gr. loads that I'd been noticing on the internet.  If I find myself hunting moose with Ms. Palin, I'll probably go for a heavier load. 

Yep that was us. I have been looking for 22 shorts seems like forever. Guess I have to look harder if guys are shootin there stash ! 

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16 hours ago, BrianBM said:

 

CWitek, it's interesting that the 150 gr. soft point is so widely produced for hunting.  .30-06 is produced in a huge number of bullet weights, and there can't be much difference in the potential of .303 for varied weights and that of  .30-06.  I wonder if the preference for a standard, lighter bullet comes from the substantial recoil of the military round at 176?

 

Go down just three grains to 147 and you're at the standard weight for the 7mm-08, which is probably a lot easier to shoot.  I can't see a 3 grain difference as significant.  

I just took a look out of curiosity, and Winchester, Remington and Federal all make 180 gr. hunting loads, too, which more or less puts the .303 on the same standing as the .30-06.  There are a lot more different bullet weights available for the '06, but most folks use bullets between 150 and 180, with the 165 becoming more popular in recent years.

 

Perceived recoil is as much a function of stock design as of bullet weight, etc.  I shoot a few rifles that kick harder than the .303, including a .340 Weatherby (225 gr @ 3000), .350 Remington (250 gr @ 2450) and  .300 Win (180 gr. @ 3000), and none are particularly troublesome even from a bench, but they all have stocks that fit well and minimize felt recoil.  The military stocks such as that on the SMLE aren't as user-friendly.

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