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Discussion Starter #1
I was at the range today doing a final check on my hunting rifle. There was a gentleman at the range with a Handi 223 that he called a "sweet 16"..... It had a nice shorth barrel and seemed to shoot very nice. We exchanged Handi info and I told him of this site with it's wealth of Handi info.

Then he removed a 1916 SMLE 303 British rifle from the his case. He explained he was fond of collecting old rifles and it was in nice shape. He was trying to get this on paper at 50 yards and low and behold....... Key Holes ...... perfect key holes all over the place. He made some sight adjustments and tried again on a fresh target. Well the 5 shots were all in a 8" x 10" area and ALL key holed! It was an impressive target and one was only 1/2" from the bull.

It was the most classic example and most consistent I have ever seen. I regret not bringing along my camera.
 

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Sounds like he's got a smooth bore or he's shooting .308" bullets in his .312" bore. ;D

Tim
 

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Oversize bore or undersize bullets????Sorry Tim,that's not the answer.There are a lot of two groove Enfield barrels which will,for some reason,not shoot boat tail bullets without keyholing them.Switch to a flat base bullet and the rifle becomes a straight shooting tack driver.I have experienced this more than several times and actually demonstrated it by shooting boat tails and they keyhole and then a flat base and they are great.One right behind the other.

Stan
 

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I just checked the Speer, Hornady, Nosler, and Sierra manuals for boat tailed bullets suitable for the 303. Nosler evidently does not make any .312 bullets. Hornady lists one; a 174 grain Full Metal jacket. Speer does not list a boat tail of any kind. Sierra lists a 174 grain HPBT MatchKing bullet. I seriously doubt if factory loads are boat tails so if he was to roll his own; to be a boat tail, it would probably be one of these two mentioned. They are specialty bullets, both of them. I believe you... that boat tails will not fly straight, but the chances of him actually using one is pretty small. Key holes can be caused by a number of different reasons. Wrong sized bullets (diameter and/or length), bad crown, too low velocity to stabilize, worn rifling just to name a few.
 

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Some of those Enfields saw an awful lot of corrosive primers and cordite powder have seen the bores be so bad that if you cleaned them really well there was no rifling left. And yet on the outside they looked very good. He needs to look over the bore if it looks good then slug the bore. And yes no boat tails with 2 groove barrels iI have seen that also happen on 1903 Springfields.
 

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Without some facts and details, we're just guessing at what the problem is, just shootin in the dark!! :D

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The bullets were Factory and fresh 170 grain Seller & Beilot (SP?) and yes based on the holes they were boat tail bullets. The bore was dark but visible.

Oh I am sure it will just go into his cabinet to be admired. I thought it was interesting that at 50 yards they were all broadside.
 

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Some of those old "smelly's" actually had ground up celluloid movie film, gun cotton, and cordite run through em, as powders,The afghans even used fulminate of mercury from gopher match plants to re-use old re flattened primers as well. lots of corrosives!
They are also famous for horizontal stringing and key holing caused by frame flex/stretch in the older black powder ones that had work hardened receivers especially from MUCH use. The barrel is probably chambered for the old long round nose bullets as well, and any throat corrosion would be a factor. bullets should be at least .311 dia. I have found S&B's QC to be a bit spotty at times, they may be using .308dia bullets, can you hear a strange rattling as they proceed down the bore? LOL!
Still the smoothest working Bolt gun there is though in my opinion, and a strong action when properly heat treated. but honestly, in this day and age, to get one to really shine as a shooter, you should handload.
JMH2¢
BT
 
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