Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Months back I read a post here or on one of the links provided by Mikey, or Kevin .303 regarding the poor performance of Belmont .303 ammunition. The post caught my eye because I thought I had a good deal a few years back at the Reno Gun Show. (A great trip, and the wife is happy at the slot machines.) Cascade ammunition out of Oregon had a sign up offering Belmont .303 softpoint ammunition. The sign said the ammunition was remanufactured for the R.C.M.P., with 150 grain Sierra softpoint bullets, in reloadable Canadian Mil cases. Having shot Canadian surplus .303 ammunition in the past I was confident in purchasing this ammunition. It is tough to beat a sales pitch that uses Canada, the R.C.M.P. and Serria bullets. I mean we are talking quality here.

Yesterday was a day field testing loads developed for the .270, but I took my Jungle Carbine with me and a supply of Belmont .303 ammunition. I set up the Chrony and had a successful day of testing the .270 loads. It was time to pull out the carbine and try the Belmont ammunition. I decided not to start with the Chrony because of my concerns with the Belmont ammo. The battle sight when firing military surplus and my reloads normally put the round high at 100 yards.

What happen was very surprising. The first thing I notice was that recoil was very light, the second thing was that my bullet hit more then 18 inches low. I tried again and it was low. Out of ten rounds two hit the target and where even with each other about 1 1/2 inches apart. The rest hit the dirt in front of the target. The recoil was so light I could have shot all day, but I do like to hit the target. I had not bothered to take other .303 ammo with me yesterday, but I am hooked. I need to load up some real loads and retry the carbine.

I need to get some value out of the Belmont ammo. The best value maybe to use it as grandkid training ammunition. Put a large bulls eye on a target and set it up at about 50 feet. I am assured they will not flinch because of recoil when firing this ammo.

I am concerned for the one rifle guy who grabs a box of it for deer hunting. For years his old .303 no matter what ammo used has shoot high. He lines up on a deer for a behind the shoulder shot and gets it in the hoof. It may sound a little extreme, but I remember the farmers up in the Alberta's Peace River Country. They feed their kids a lot of moose meat. They did not waste ammo, because it always shot the same and put meat on the table. This round will not do the job.

Good old Cascade sold me hook, line, and bullet! :-D What a marking job when you toss in the Maple Leaf.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Maybe you got a bad batch. I bought some at a gun show because they were fairly cheap. Mine came in a blue and white box. Did yours?
Anyways,they didn't seem to shoot too bad. I was getting about 2 inch groups with open sights. Of course it was at 50 yards using the battle sight in a poorly lit indoor range. Went thru nearly a box without any trouble. Recoil seemed normal. Sorry to hear you had such bad luck.
Weatherby
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yep, a nice blue and white box with very little information on it.

I had my doubts when I read the earlier post regarding problems with this ammo. I have tried to research Belmont on the web but there is limited information.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,526 Posts
Siskiyou: the post regarding the Belmont .303 ammo wasn't mine, but your findings do not surprise me. I have no doubt the reason your bullets hit low was because they were loaded way down to avoid either pressure or (more likely) liability problems in the older rifles.

I would have a gunsmith check the headspacing on your carbine before using better ammo, just as a precaution. Following that, successfully I hope, I would begin reloading for that cartridge - there are a couple of loads with 180 gn bullets- one by Norma using their N203 powder and one by VithaVuoriOy using their N140 powder that bring those 303 loads back to factory mil-spec where they should be. I have shot these loads with both the Hornaday 174 (.312) gn rnsp and the Speer or Sierra 180 gn (.311) sp from my 3 different 303s (including a 1918 Mk1 No3) and they all group around an inch at poa with open sights. One of my 303s (No4 Mk1 - a 1942 Stevens made rifle) shoots under an inch at 100 yds with both those bullets.

I have noticed the same problems with bullet drop with American made hunting ammo in that caliber. Liability issues again. However, I do seem to recall that the Norma ammo in that caliber was right on where it should be - but it is expensive.

I would start reloading for that carbine. JMHO. Mikey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Mikey: I was able to find one industrial source regarding Belmont. It was rather thin at best. But it mention that they specialize in re-manufacturing military ammunition into sub-velocity ammo. If so that could be involved in this scenario.

I do recall the sign at the gunshow giving a velocity of over 2600 fps for this ammo in question. It struck a cord with me because when I bought the rifle in August 1960, I bought two boxes of Golden State remanufacture military ammo with 150 grain softpoints. The velocity was listed at over 2600 feet on the box. It went bang, and kicked the dickens out of me in the carbine.

At the time of purchase my Dad made me take it to the gunsmith to have the headspace checked and to make sure it was safe to shoot. After that I burned up a couple hundred rounds of military ammunition. As a newly wed it became my wifes deer rifle. It kick the dickens out of her.

Along the way I purchased some surplus Canadian military ammo for it. It was the best military surplus ammo I had bought for the .303, it was clean, and the cases could be reloaded. I was already reloading for other calibers and picked up a set of RCBS .303 dies.

According to my Load Book, I started at 34.3 grains of IMR4320 and worked my way up to 41.4 grains of IMR4320. The bullet I was using was the Hornady .312, 174 grains. Comments are "accurate" and "good." All of this load development went on in 1980/81.
According to my notes I used the Canadian Mil. cases, R-P, and Federal cases in my load development.

In the next few weeks I hope to take advantage of the components I have on hand and go back to the 41.4 grains of IMR4320, and the 174 grain Hornaday bullets. I have a couple of boxes of Sierra 180 bullets that I have never developed loads for. I have printed out your post with your successful loads. I currently want to use up the IMR4320 because I have had it for awhile, and it has proven itself. Once it goes dry, then it is time to try something new.

A little footnote on the gunsmith. The fee for the inspection was light, but that was because I had to put up with a two hour lecture on why I should only buy Model 70 Winchesters, which were King in 1960. Nobody made a commercial rifle that was any better. The rifle of choice could only be in 30-06. The gunsmith was a .30 caliber shooter and always went to Camp Perry to work on arms during the matchs. This kid could not afford a M70. But it was his standard lecture. You should have heard him when I bought a .270 Winchester later.

[/color]The final load I listed for the .303 British is just below max in the Hornaday manual I used at the time. In another manual it is a ways from max. Yet, in two current manuals it exceeds max. The .303 British has been chambered in a lot of rifles over a many years. Starting out as a black powder round. Follow Mikey's suggestion and get your rifle inspected for safe head space. When loading start at the bottom and work up. Do not start at or near max.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
wasn't me. i've never heard of the stuff. i use mostly Rem-UMC or Greek HXP surplus, because the cases are boxer primed and i use them to make .30-40 Krag brass. i find the Remington RN soft points to be very accurate, but the stupid things jam on the feed ramp every other round!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,532 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
It may have been in one of the many links I followed when updating myself on the .303 last winter. I appricated the feed back I got on the .303 from you guys.

Have you had the feeding problem with one or more magazines? When I was doing the LEO thing I carried a number of magazine feed weapons, Sigs, Smiths, and AR's. Sometimes replacing the magazine will resolve the problem. Or it maybe a design problem. A magazine that is designed to feed full metal jacketed ammunition may have problems with a large soft pointed round. Case in point is the M1911.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
only with RN's, so i usually go with Federal or Imperial loads.i love the old Iperial Sabre-Tip loads, but only available at gunshows and is getting expensive, $30-$35 for a box of 20
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top