303 British SMLE - Page 2 - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 01:34 PM
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Jeff,

The SMLE is just a bad choice of rifle for your intended use. Ammo difficult to find in most places, and very expensive. Plus, due to fact that the locking lugs are located on the rear of the bolt, these rifles grow headspace as they are shot. Don't believe me? Well, the British military issued field kits with replacement heads for the bolts, to be used as the headspace got bigger and bigger. The replacement heads are numbered #2 through #4, getting larger in the series.

Many of the surplus SMLE's you find today have excess headspace and need the bolt heads replaced. It use to be easy to find #2 and #3 heads at gunshows. But now you have to look really hard for a #2, and I haven't seen a #3 or #4 in many years.

The 1916 Spanish mausers that have been converted to 7.62 are also a poor choice. First off, they are among the weakest of the mauser designs, being based on the 1893 mausers not the 98 mausers.. Second, they were designed to shoot the relatively mild 7mm mauser round, not the hotter 7.62 Nato rounds. Like it or not, they will grow headspace. And finally, you will note that they have not been converted to .308 Winchester. (Note, the barrel has 7.62 stamped on it.) The .308 Winchester is a commercial hunting round, generating 66,000 psi! The 93 rifles was designed to handle the 7mm mauser at 42,000 psi. You do the math.

And by the way, even a bolt action shtf rifle should be a quality rifle, not a junker. You gonna stake your life on a junker military surp rifle?

A far better rifle than the SMLE or 1916 mauser would be used Marlin 336, in VGC, with a quality synthetic stock, in .30-30, with two spare parts kits.

And even better, would be to find a sporterized 03A3 Springfield, in .30-06, which still has the original receiver sight on it (these can be found for as little as $250 to $275 at large gunshows), and put an old military stock back on it, or a good synthetic. It was built as a true battle rifle, and is strong as a tank. It may even be possible to buy a good quality .308 chamber insert and install it with red loctite. You could then shoot both 7.62 Nato or .308 Winchester in it. Most of the times, these cartridges feed fine from the .30-06 internal magazine, but if they don't, then there are many ways to alter the magazine to take care of this.

I would never consider the Ishapore (made in India in the 1960s) SMLE in 7.62 Nato. It does not have a receiver sight, should not be regularly fired with .308 Winchester in it, and worst of all, despite the large capacity magazine, alot of them have feeding problems. It will not take standard SMLE mags, you so have to find after-market, thin sheet metal mags, many of which are very poorly made. They were made by India as as a stop-gap military rifle, until they could get up to speed with semi-auto battle rifles.

Hope this helps. Don't waste your time buying worn out junk. It never pays.


Mannyrock
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mannyrock View Post

The 1916 Spanish mausers that have been converted to 7.62 are also a poor choice. First off, they are among the weakest of the mauser designs, being based on the 1893 mausers not the 98 mausers.. Second, they were designed to shoot the relatively mild 7mm mauser round, not the hotter 7.62 Nato rounds. Like it or not, they will grow headspace. And finally, you will note that they have not been converted to .308 Winchester. (Note, the barrel has 7.62 stamped on it.) The .308 Winchester is a commercial hunting round, generating 66,000 psi! The 93 rifles was designed to handle the 7mm mauser at 42,000 psi. You do the math.
Mannyrock
Yes, let's do some math. But let's use real numbers, not just some you pulled out of wherever you got them. First, 66,000 psi is incorrect, as is 42,000 psi as you claim for 7x57. According to SAAMI, max average pressure for .308 Winchester is 62,000 psi; for 7x57 it is 51,000 psi. Source: http://www.saami.org/specifications_...essure_CfR.pdf
But Oveida Arsenal goes by CIP, not SAAMI. CIP specs are 60,000 psi max for .308 (and 7.62x51 NATO; CIP specs are the same for both) and 56,000 psi for 7x57. That 56,000 psi load is what the 1916 in its original chambering used, not some super low pressure load US manufacturers foisted off on us.
The supposed danger of firing the rebarreled 1916 Mausers with .308 ammo is misinformation that has been perpetuated since Samco began selling them back in the 1980s. But the fact is, before they even began selling them Samco sent samples of the rifle to H.P. White Laboratories who tested them to destruction. It took 98,000 psi to destroy them, so Samco began selling them based upon that information. They have sold many thousands of them during the ensuing 30 years, and I daresay that most if not all of these have been fired with commercial .308 ammo; yet there has not been a rash of rifles blown up nor exhibiting headspace issues.
Bottom line: if you don't trust them, don't buy one. I've fired them in both chamberings, and don't have a problem with them. In fact I would trust them more than several commercially available .308 rifles that I could but won't name.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 05:21 PM
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WEC,

Thanks for double checking me. Your psi numbers are correct. I never said that the 1916 would "explode." They will grow headspace, leading to too much set-back. Repeated firing of the .308 Win at 62,000 psi in a 100 year old rifle designed for the 7x57 mauser will grow headspace to the point of locking them up.

How many rounds? I don't know. But, probably way less than 1,000.

But, if that's what somebody regards as a reliable shtf rifle, then so be it. :-) Lots of them are already at "field" spec to begin with.


No such issues with the 03-A3 Springfield.

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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-02-2017, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mannyrock View Post
WEC,

Thanks for double checking me. Your psi numbers are correct. I never said that the 1916 would "explode." They will grow headspace, leading to too much set-back. Repeated firing of the .308 Win at 62,000 psi in a 100 year old rifle designed for the 7x57 mauser will grow headspace to the point of locking them up.

How many rounds? I don't know. But, probably way less than 1,000.

But, if that's what somebody regards as a reliable shtf rifle, then so be it. :-) Lots of them are already at "field" spec to begin with.


No such issues with the 03-A3 Springfield.

Mannyrock
No such issues with the '16, either. There are thousands of them out there, and I have never seen or heard of any problems such as you describe. Yes, 30 years of armchair experts who claim it will happen, but no actual evidence. These things were selling for $59 back in 1987, and gun shops all over the country bought crateloads of them and sold all of them they got. I wonder when all those people who bought them are gonna finally start shooting them so we can see the results you predict?
And BTW, the one I bought in the '80s wouldn't close on a field gauge.
As for the '03 never having any headspace issues...really? I thought everyone knew about the heat treat issues some of them had.

Here's the thing about those '16s, though: Maximum pressure for .308 is only about 10 percent hotter than 7x57 military ammo, and most of it is not that hot. But even if the particular .308 ammo being used is at maximum pressure, that doesn't equate to 10 percent higher bolt thrust. 7x57 has almost exactly the same case taper as .30-06. .308 has less case taper, which means less bolt thrust. That's why .308, at over 20 percent higher pressure than .30-06 (when .308 was designed) could be chambered in rifles that were designed for .30-06.
The fact is, typical .308 ammo, especially of the variety that would be most likely to be used in a survival rifle, has less bolt thrust than the military 7x57 ammo these rifles were designed to digest on a daily basis.
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 11:12 AM
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WEC

The heat-treat issues you are referring to only apply to the 1903 Springfield, made during WWI. And, they are only the ones made within the recognized low serial number ranges.

I did not recommend a 1903 Springfield. I recommended the 03-A3 Springfield, which is a totally different rifle, made only during WWII, of high quality nickel steel, and having a receiver sight.

I am surprised that you don't know the difference.

If you think that small ring, two-lug, model 1893 mausers, made by Spain as the 1916 Oviedo, of the "finest Spanish steel," converted by their military to a 10% hotter cartridge, are great shtf rifles, then by all means, snatch them up. Nobody else is.

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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses! I am leaning towards a nice Yugo Mauser in 8mm. Mostly from the great advice I've gotten here. Instead of thinking of it as a prepper gun, rather a reliable spare gun anyone can shoot. With cast bullets it would be sweet! SHTF gun would be more my AR, or my AK, or my........

"...And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat." Acts 10:13
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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mannyrock View Post
WEC

The heat-treat issues you are referring to only apply to the 1903 Springfield, made during WWI. And, they are only the ones made within the recognized low serial number ranges.

I did not recommend a 1903 Springfield. I recommended the 03-A3 Springfield, which is a totally different rifle, made only during WWII, of high quality nickel steel, and having a receiver sight.

I am surprised that you don't know the difference.

If you think that small ring, two-lug, model 1893 mausers, made by Spain as the 1916 Oviedo, of the "finest Spanish steel," converted by their military to a 10% hotter cartridge, are great shtf rifles, then by all means, snatch them up. Nobody else is.

Mannyrock
Of course I know the difference. I have a 1903 (not A3) Springfield, and it's not the first one I've had. But from the general gist of your comments, I figured you probably didn't know. You probably also don't know that current sporting .30-06 pressure spec is 25 percent higher than the ammo that the '03A3 was designed to fire. I guess that doesn't matter though, since it wasn't made in Spain.
I guess the "nobody" that is snatching up the 1916 Mausers doesn't include the hundreds of thousands who already did, and are still happily shooting them without incident.

I'm through with this debate because I have accomplished my objectives: to provide enough factual information so that anyone who is interested may easily research further, and to give you ample opportunity to display for all to see that you are long on prejudice and short on facts. You have taken full advantage of that opportunity to my and I'm sure everyone else's satisfaction.

Care to discuss Star pistols sometime? There's another Spanish manufacturer for you to hate on without a shred of evidence to back up your claims.
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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffg View Post
Thanks for all the responses! I am leaning towards a nice Yugo Mauser in 8mm. Mostly from the great advice I've gotten here. Instead of thinking of it as a prepper gun, rather a reliable spare gun anyone can shoot. With cast bullets it would be sweet! SHTF gun would be more my AR, or my AK, or my........
That's another good one to play with, and 8mm is a great cartridge too. It's also simple to make your own brass from .30-06 or .270, using a standard 8x57 die set. I've made lots of 8mm brass that way.
I have a Yugo that I rebarreled to .308. I was just shooting it yesterday, in fact. The headspace doesn't seem to be opening up on that one either, in spite of the fact that it was originally an 8mm which is SAAMI spec'd at only 35Kpsi! Oh noes! I'm shooting a 75+ percent overload in Yugo junk!
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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 03:07 PM
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WEC,

Wow. Hundreds of thousands of people are happily shooting their Oviedo 1916s? Really? Hundreds of thousands? Where? I have been shooting at clubs in 6 six states for over 50 years, and I think I've seen perhaps 4 on the rifle range. And, with their lousy sights, the shooters couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. (Not true, actually, some were getting some really nice 6 inch groups at 100.)

I guess that they are so valuable now, that they have been relegated to safe queens. (Except for all of the ones I see sitting there at gunshows, with everybody passing them by.)

As for the Yugo 48s, I agree, nice rifles. Of course, they are 98 mausers, not the 93s. Problem is, the sights. Got to do something about those.


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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 07:12 AM
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If you want to mix and match .308 and 7.62 NATO I say read up on it and make your own decision. Personally, I'll not mix them, but if you want to that's fine with me.

http://www.how-i-did-it.org/762vs308/chamber.html

No matter how you look at it, in my opinion, they're not EXACTLY the same cartridge.
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