Hello and welcome to 9 Hole Reviews It's almost hunting season, and today we're looking at a homage to a classic This is my personal "faux" Enfield No.4 MkI (T) sniper.
I'm sure many of you tuned in just to see the fast action cycling
the Enfield bolt, so let's cut to the chase, and do 10 seconds worth of bolt cycling
The original No.4 Mk I (T) rifles were hand-picked by British.
Ordnance specialists and shipped off to Holland and Holland for upgrades they would be restocked, scoped, and a cheek piece would be added Enfield sniper rifles command a top dollar, and I would not likely take one of them out to go on hunting trips.
My rifle was a 1943 wartime build. It's not as pretty as a peacetime Enfield, but it certainly holds its weight.
My No.4 was purchased for $150 at a gun show, and through the years this Enfield turned into my primary hunting rifle price was right, but most importantly, the rifle had signs of a good shooter
It headspaced tightly with the number "0" bolt and a clean bore I added a cheek piece from Sarco, worked on the trigger, and put on an old-school 1960s antique Weaver 2.5x scope on a steel "no drill" mount that replaces the original rear sights in the mid 2000s, reproduction British sniper scopes were not readily available.
The old scope with a "T" post was a closest thing I could get to an original British "T" post reticle
So let's get on with the shooting!
It has long troubled me that some shooters claim that their military surplus rifles can achieve sub MOA groupings with military surplus ammunition. From my experience surplus ammunition is fantastic for the price, fantastic for practice, but rarely is it fantastic for sub-MOA capabilities... unless you are Swiss [Swiss-German accent] Then everything must be accurate... and better than yours
For surplus 303, I have acquired some British Radway Green 8Z ammo and some Greek HXP ammo. Both types munitions were at one point dirt cheap, readily available and they're both loaded in the standard 174 grain bullets
I also brought along two sets of hand loads that I had made from Greek HXP cases Sierra MatchKing bullets in 174 grains but differing in match-grade primers and regular primers way we can see the difference between British ammo Greek ammo, reloaded ammo with match primers, and reloaded ammo with regular primers the first group we started was with Greek HXP ammunition from the 1970s. This runs a MKVII type pattern 174 grain Spitzer bullet 38 with a reloadable boxer primed casings the second grouping was shot with ROF Radway Green 8Z ammo, vintage 1960 This machine gun ammo is loaded with a 174 grain boat-tail with 37 grains of nitrocellulose powder. Then we progress to the reloads and shot the match primer cartridges, and the regular Winchester primer cartridges so how did we do?
The Greek HXP yielded a 5.88 inch grouping while the British Radway Green printed a 3.734 inch grouping my hand loads with regular primers yielded a 9 Hole grouping of 1.826 inches while the hand loads with the match grade primers gave us a 1.649 inch 9 Hole grouping out of the 75 year old war veteran so our Greek ammunition was printing a grouping 57% larger than the British ammunition and 3.5 times the size of hand loads with matched primers.
British No.4 Snipers were rifles that initially shot a grouping size smaller than three inches with British ammo and a standard for a normal rifle was to hold a grouping between 3-4 inches at 100 yards.
The British ammo here seemed to hold true to the standards in World War 2, but the interesting thing was seeing that the hand loads were able to help the rifle achieve modern hunting rifle accuracy.
I'll remain skeptical at anyone who claims sub-MOA accuracy with surplus firearms shooting military surplus munitions.
Why would the British MOD set a standard of 3-4 MOA, if the general issued combination was able to achieve sub MOA?
I've shot Enfields up to 600 yards, and the HXP has miserably failed at that distance. I can only speculate that some characters indulge un-gentlemanly pursuits, such as three-round groups, and discounting fliers to artificially shrink their groupings down.
An interesting observation with the match primers, was that it shrank the grouping down by an additional 10%, so the next question is do match primers actually make a difference?
But perhaps that's for the next review. Thanks everyone again for tuning in we'll see you during the next review