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Thread: Enfield P14 .303 British Ammo maximum possible muzzle velocities

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    Enfield P14 .303 British Ammo maximum possible muzzle velocities

    Hello,

    I'm not sure what are the maximum possible muzzle velocities with factory ammo and also handloads in .303 Britishicon for the P14 Enfield Rifleicon ? The P14 posesses an rather long barrel with 660 mm length, compared with the Mark 3 or Number 4-Rifles. Especially for the 174-180 grains-Ammo. I have been searching for a while but I could not find truly convincing information.

    Greetings Enfield Enforcer

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    Senior Member jakester's Avatar
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    For me, there was a positive velocity gain.

    However, It's very much dependent on the individual rifle. A rifle with a tight chamber, usually produces higher projectile velocities over one with a larger chamber, assuming all other variables are the same. The extra barrel length can also contribute to an velocity increase with the .303 cartridge as well.

    I haven't done a great deal of chronograph work with the P14, however, I have reached 2500fps and sometimes a bit more on several occasions with various production lots of mk VIIz ball ammo. With my Ross MkIII and it's 30.5" barrel, it's even more.

    The front locking actions as used in the P14 and Ross Rifles when properly head spaced, are a bit easier on the brass case when you're near or at maximum loads. There's a lot of variables involved, but in theory, you should be able to produce somewhat higher velocities with good case life when loading for these rifles. Of course, that may come at the expense of accuracy...
    I don't have any "Pet" loads to offer you at present, but most every loading manual with data for the .303 Britishicon Cartridge will show a minimum charge weight for any given bullet weight and powder type. I would start there and see where the cartridge pressure signs take you.

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    Contributing Member Eaglelord17's Avatar
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    Each extra inch causes roughly a extra 10 feet per second on the velocity. So your really not going to see much of a difference over a Lee Enfield with service ammo.

    Handloads you can't accurately say as it is a handload and will differ person to person. The bullet weight will make a difference, how hot the person chooses to load it (and since it is a P14 you can likely load beyond what is published in reloading manuals as those would be targeting the weaker Lee Enfield actions), etc.

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    If you are talking military issue, expect between 2400 and 2550 fps, depending on lot number, factory, country, age, rifle, etc. Handloading would changes all the parameters in all directions of course.

    Then of course the rifle itself, unissued, well used, chamber dimensions, barrel grooves and lands condition, leade condition, bolt wear, headspace, etc.

    In short there are so many factors that might influence the maximum muzzle velocity for military ammunition that it would be best to generalise at about 2500 fps. A definite answer would be to shoot the same ammunition through a number of P14 at the same time on the same range, ensuring that all of them are cleaned, oiled, stocked, held, etc, identically. That would then be true only for that lot of ammunition on that day at that range for those rifles.

    Of course squeezing the trigger harder might influence muzzle velocity too...)

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    Really Senior Member Bruce McAskill's Avatar
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    With a S.M.L.E. Mark III and 25 inch barrel you can expect 2450 or so from factory loaded ammo in the 180 gr. range. The P14 adds one inch of barrel but not much of a gain for velocity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce McAskill View Post
    With a S.M.L.E. Mark III and 25 inch barrel you can expect 2450 or so from factory loaded ammo in the 180 gr. range. The P14 adds one inch of barrel but not much of a gain for velocity.
    You made me go look for my recent chronograph results and here's what I found,

    No4MKI HXP ammo average velocity was 2553
    No4MKI POFicon ammo average velocity was 2484 The temperature was 89.

    No1MkIII POF ammo average velocity was 2337. The temperature that day was 106.

    Now I have to get out the P14 and see what the difference is, if any.

    AZB
    Last edited by ArizonaBeagle; 03-16-2019 at 01:14 AM.

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    Really Senior Member RC20's Avatar
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    Handloads you can get up around 2700 fps with 150 gr.

    That was a SMLE not a modern gun rifled for 303

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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by RC20 View Post
    Handloads you can get up around 2700 fps with 150 gr.

    That was a SMLE not a modern gun rifled for 303
    Hello, many thanks !

    So many reactions in this short time, I am pleasantly surprised :-)

    I wonder which trajectory this .303 Britishicon-Load Mark 7z will have. This Round seems not to be exhausted in this rifle with the MV's of 720-730 m/s or 2362-2395 fps.

    Jakester: special thanks to you. Exactly that is interesting. MV's of more than 2500 fps/762 m/s with the 174 grs and similar loads in the P14: thats what I have been supposing - this 725 m/s/2378 fps in the Wikipedia f.e. seem to be really low. I have a table with reloading data from a GunMagazine from Germanyicon, but it contains only a velocity for an 150 grains-Reload.

    Eaglelord17: i hope we get a bit more from our loads, and from all our work :-) And yes, the P14 should enable a bit stronger ammo then for the LE-Models, thats the base of all. I'm not yet a reloader, but i have 2-3 persons in my surroundings which reload all their ammo since many years. And 1 of them is a professional Reloader, he offers Custom Ammo.

    Daan Kemp: yes, this 2500 fps would be fine. Your test method is absolutely the best, true. Yes, this factors are all important. Unfortunately i own until now only one P14 - the first two pictures show their long-range sights. But a second one appeared some weeks ago in the West of Switzerlandicon. After around 27 Years Silence concerning this subject ... ! Trigger use: "I will tell my P14 tonight about your suggestion, of course".. Just take a look.. .

    ArizonaBeagle: this 2553 fps for the No. 4 are really interesting, too - once because I have still some of my very first .303 British-Ammo here - and fortuitously it is HXP 174 grs. Imported from Germany, together with the Mark 3 and the No. 4. And second the No. 4 has an a bit shorter barrel.. . This POFicon-Ammo I don't know yet, on the other side.. .
    I'm looking forward to your test-results.. :-) I am curious about them.. .

    Greetings Enfield Enforcer
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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...the No. 4 has an a bit shorter barrel..." Should be 25". A P-14's was 26" with a 1 in 10 LH twist. Mind you, it was designed to use the .276 Enfield, not the .303.
    Keep in mind that the Pattern 14 was intended to use Mk VII ammo with its 174 grain bullet at 2440 FPS. Typical 180 grain loads run a couple hundred FPS less. Said typical loads have been killing big moose here since the 1920's or so.
    Rummage around here. There's lots of load data. 303british.com
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunray View Post
    "...the No. 4 has an a bit shorter barrel..." Should be 25". A P-14's was 26" with a 1 in 10 LH twist. Mind you, it was designed to use the .276 Enfield, not the .303.
    Keep in mind that the Pattern 14 was intended to use Mk VII ammo with its 174 grain bullet at 2440 FPS. Typical 180 grain loads run a couple hundred FPS less. Said typical loads have been killing big moose here since the 1920's or so.
    Rummage around here. There's lots of load data. 303british.com
    Hello Sunray, thanks

    Yes, at first the difference seems to be a little one. Having a look at some velocity-data, the impression is another one. I get a bit hope that the P14 converts the powder into higher muzzle velocities than this amazing low 725-730 m/s or 2370-2400 fps. Compared with other .303 Britishicon-MV's - 750-760 m/s or around 2500-2525 fps in a No. 4 with Factory 174-180 gr-loads, and compared with the cartridge GP 1911 from Switzerlandicon, too. The K31 reaches with his 650 mm-Barrel in the best case with the Standard Army-Service-Ammo GP 11, short said, a MV of around 780 m/s or 2559 fps. And our GP 11 is not known as a truly strong Army-Service-Ammo-Example and is a rather close relative for the .303 British-Round.

    And I have to mention, I would like to use it only on paper targets, hunting is in our country nowadays here not allowed with such calibers. But I want to use it also for distances of more than 300 yards/meters. So I hope for a load within the usual pressures, good enough for maximal distances of 700-800 Meters or 775-875 Yards. Like other service ammo does it, too.. .

    I will of course have a careful look to this reloading-Book-title - I say thanks, Sunray :-) I found it already.

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