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Old 11-20-2005, 07:00 AM   #1
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.303 vs. 7.62x54

Which cartridge is more powerful, better, etc? I am planning on hitting up the ol' gunshow in december, and I'm pretty sure I want a mosin. One of the little stubby guys. Either to replace the SKS as trunk gun, or to plink, or something. General use. But I just got to wondering which would be better, an enfield .303 brit, or the mosin. I plan on buying the mosin either way, because its cheap, and so's the ammo. haha. Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2005, 09:56 AM   #2
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Well, as a single point of comparison, here are the energy numbers off of S&B's website:

.303 British:
  • Muzzle: 3229J[/*:38wup7et]
  • 100M: 2801J[/*:38wup7et]
  • 200M: 2430J[/*:38wup7et]
  • 300M: 2108J[/*:38wup7et]
7.62x54R:
  • Muzzle:3614J[/*:38wup7et]
  • 100M: 3075J[/*:38wup7et]
  • 200M: 2616J[/*:38wup7et]
  • 300M: 2226J[/*:38wup7et]
For reference: J = joule; 1.0J = 0.738 ft*lbs

The 7.62x54R seems to be more powerful here. The .303 has about 90% the 7.62x54R's energy, and that gap increases with range. Plus, like you said, the guns and ammo are very cheap. The Lee-Enfield action is hard to beat, though.
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Old 11-20-2005, 12:06 PM   #3
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With full powered ammunition for both calibers, and the Mosin having the short barrel(M-44 or M-3 the gap is much closer. The cost of 7.62x54 ammunition is much less but the Enfield is a much better rifle- sights, magazine etc.
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Old 11-20-2005, 12:27 PM   #4
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Cool. I'm glad my choice is the better one. hahaha. I wish I would have bought the M30(is that right?) back when interordnance was selling them for like $30. Some of the places around here are selling them at idiotic prices...well, not completely outrageous, but certainly more than they should be. I'm waiting on the gunshow. Someone'll have em for like $60, I'm sure. hahaha.
I just think it'd be nifty to have. Especially for the price. You can afford to buy the gun, and a whole bunch of ammo. Then I can prolong the life of my 03A3. I already feel guilty shooting it. hahaha. But I wouldn't feel guilty about shooting a russian rifle. hahaha. Especially at the price!

Wasn't the enfield like the world's fastest bolt action?
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Old 11-20-2005, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Dex
Wasn't the enfield like the world's fastest bolt action?
That's what I've heard. British troops were expected to be able to take an aimed shot every 4 seconds. The Enfields I have are the only rifles in my collection that I can comfortably work the bolt on while they're at the shoulder. They're just silky smooth.
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:56 PM   #6
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Shot my No.4 mk2 today. Don't like the rimmed .303 British. Too expensive, and if your not careful you can have rim over rim jams. But that is one good rifle. Rugged, handy, good sights. And the bolt can be worked like no other. VERY FAST. Also the ten round magazine is like a bottomless pit! Bottom line: Vintovka Mosin for inexpensive shooting. Lee-Enfield for a quality field rifle. Good luck.

BTW: The 7.62x54R is definitely a ballistically(spelling?) superior round.
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Old 11-20-2005, 04:32 PM   #7
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The energy between the two is close enough that I don't think it will matter that much at most practical ranges . As a trunk rifle , I would really prefer the sights of a number four , the magazine and when they say it's smooth . They ain't kiddin' ya Getting one with a barrel that shoots what you have may be a challenge , but when they do shoot well ..... it's really well .

Buy the Mosin for all the reasons you have listed and have fun . But save some money and get a great barrel on a number four MkII , then get some commercial ammo and plan on reloading for it .
After practicing with the Mosin , shooting the Enfield will seem almost like cheatin' .

Jack
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:45 PM   #8
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At one time, the British soldier was expected to routinely shoot 30 shots a minute of more or less accurate fire(volley shooting) There was a British nco who shot something like 35 hits on a man-sized silhouette at 200 yards in one minute. This is several magnitudes ahead of any bolt action rifle that I'm aware of. In comparable barrel lengths with comparable bullet weights, the 7.62x54 ammunition is about 200 fps faster than .303 British.
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Old 11-20-2005, 06:33 PM   #9
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It depends on Bullet weights.

acording to the loading data iv seen, all the common 30 cals (303, 308, 30-06, 54r) are virtualy identical with lighter weight bullets.

The 7.62x54 actualy came out on top with the heavier bullets.

Keep in mind that the 7.62x54 has more case capacity than the 303. Dispite its age, its actualy a more "modern" design than the 303. the 303 is longer and thiner, due tot he heavy 200_+ grain bullets originaly used in it, and the long stick powders, like cordite, originaly loaded in it.
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Old 11-20-2005, 09:32 PM   #10
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I know the solution to your delimma.... GET BOTH!

I would like to get one of the Enfield carbines in .308... that would be neat. I dont own either yet, but I have shot a full sized enfield in .308, an enfield 'jungle' carbine in .303, and an M44 Mosin. They are all ugly, but the enfield has a whole lot smoother action. The mosins are so cheap, it just doesnt make sense not to buy one though...
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:37 AM   #11
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Its not really too much of a dilema on which to buy. I already know I want the russian gun. 1) its cheaper, 2) I won't feel bad about using it as a "beater" (oops! I dropped it! big friggin deal! haha) 3) I am a cheapskate, 4) I'm broke. hahaha. That scenario has Mosin written all over it. haha. Plus it doesn't hurt that you can get cheap bulk ammo from cabelas. I like shooting my American WW2 stuff, but I don't like wearing it down, ya know? I'm always afraid of screwing it up. Not that I beat my guns, but you know how it goes. Thing is, I know if I buy one of these mosins, I'll probably have to eventually buy another. 1 trunker for my Garand Am (heh, now I know why I bought that car. ) and 1 for everything else. hahaha.

35 hits @ 200 in a minute? With the same rifle, or was it like he had a bunch of loaded rifles standing by so he wouldn't have to reload? That's impressive, either way. My bushmaster's "practical rate of fire" is only 45 rds a minute. They sure don't make em like they used to, huh?
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Old 11-21-2005, 09:32 AM   #12
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The record is 38 shots in one minute. All hitting a 12 inch bull at 300 yards. Fired by Sgt Snoxall in 1914. Germans at thought that they were facing machine guns when they attacked the British for the first time in WW1.

That is the definition of a rifleman by anyone's standards.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:42 AM   #13
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Remember, that they are both drying up as Milsurps at rediculously low prices. AIM surplus has both available right now.

For whatever reason, the Mosin Nagant rifles have a better reputation for barrel caliber uniformity. The Enfield has been available with a number of rifling diameters, and can make finding ammo that shoots well problematical.

The No. 2A Enfield, from the Ishapore Arsenal is the cheapest of the 7.62x51 chambered Enfields. Other Enfields in this caliber are limited runs, or arsenal re-builds, and are priced accordingly.
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:50 PM   #14
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The Lee Enfield is a much better rifle than the Moisin in every respect. Unfortunatly, .303 mil-surp is drying up while 7.62x54R is still readily available. On the plus side, commercial soft point 303 is readily available and reloading components are as well.

There is an outfit making new #4 rifles in .308 that use M14 magazines. I don't have the link handy right now though.

RGL101;
If you don't like rimmed .303, then you won't like 7.62x54R either. The "R" does stand for "rimmed" after all.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:14 PM   #15
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I defer to the 38 hits in one minute and if it's the story I read about many moons ago, he started with a loaded rifle and reloaded as he went. As I said, at one time, the AVERAGE Tommy was expected to shoot 30 aimed shots a minute. Enfields were known as battle rifles, Mausers as hunting rifles and Springfields as target rifles. The Brits learned many valuable lessons when they had their empire where the sun never set. One of them was firepower. Many shooters today would be hard pressed to put 30 reasonably accurate rounds downrange in a minute no matter what the firearm- the average Brit could with an Enfield. GREAT rifle.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:15 PM   #16
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I defer to the 38 hits in one minute and if it's the story I read about many moons ago, he started with a loaded rifle and reloaded as he went. As I said, at one time, the AVERAGE Tommy was expected to shoot 30 aimed shots a minute. Enfields were known as battle rifles, Mausers as hunting rifles and Springfields as target rifles. The Brits learned many valuable lessons when they had their empire where the sun never set. One of them was firepower. Many shooters today would be hard pressed to put 30 reasonably accurate rounds downrange in a minute no matter what the firearm- the average Brit could with an Enfield. GREAT rifle.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:41 PM   #17
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Same story. Even starting with a loaded rifle he still reloaded the magazine fully three times (10 to start and 30 more to get 38 shots off), in addition to working bolt, getting sight picture and HITTING the target.

All the "gangstas" out at the range and their partners can get off 30 shots but most of them are lucky to hit the berm. Firepower has always been about getting hits on targets. You don't hurt them if you don't hit them.

Best I've ever done playing around was 29 rounds in a minute. We won't talk about the "score" on that one OK?

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smle
There is an outfit making new #4 rifles in .308 that use M14 magazines. I don't have the link handy right now though.
What?!? First I heard of that.... I want one! Dont tease us like that, give us some more info.. Do you know the name of the company?
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Old 11-22-2005, 05:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
RGL101;
If you don't like rimmed .303, then you won't like 7.62x54R either. The "R" does stand for "rimmed" after all.
SMLE,
I agree I wouldn't. I love me Lee-Enfield enough to put up with the .303 British. After that though I'll stick with 7.62NATO, and .30-'06. The one Russian rifle I own is a beatiful SKS 45, but she'll stay in the safe.
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:17 AM   #20
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It's an Austrailian company making Enfelds in 308, 7.62x39mm, and something else, using M14 ags, AK mags, etc. I'd love one in 308...
My Mosin may be a beater, but she works every time! The reason there is scads of surplus 7.62x54R is that it is the longest continually serving round in history....STILL in use today, mostly in light machine guns. Surplus Polish ammo made in the 1980s is available cheap, and the Czech Silvertip i have is a personal favorite, $1.49 for 20 from J&G.
The M38 is the carbine without bayonet, the M44 with pigsticker. Still going for under $100 in excellent rearsenalled condition.
BUT, if you are not a great fan of recoil, buy a recoil pad. Picture an M1 Carbine chambered in 30-06, and that's an M38. I still love it.
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