.303 British ammunition has been around a very long time. First introduced by the British military in 1888, it saw military action until its replacement in 1957 by the 7.62 mm NATO round. However, its civilian use has continued to this day with the availability of many surplus military rifles. Although not as popular in the United States, rifles in this chambering are widely used in Europe, Africa, Canada, and Australia.
The .303 ammo cartridge has a long evolution with many different variations, both in bullets as well as rifles. This fact is significant when acquiring a rifle and ammunition. There were differences in bolt lock-up which can cause significant variations in both accuracy as well as barrel life. Since some bullet loading variations were specific for machine gun use versus rifle use, one must be careful if using surplus ammunition and know both his rifle as well as the his ammunition. Ballistically, the .303 British is quite similar to the 30-40 Krag and has been used with success on almost all North American big game, some even using it for big bear protection although that use is not recommended! Bullets for use in the .303 varied greatly in weight, from 170 to 215 grains. Over its life, .303 bullet design and powders have also varied significantly. These variations led to significant differences in performance. Current factory ammo is offered in weights from 150 to 180 grains with several different bullet designs. Take a look at our in-stock 303 British ammo for sale below: