Used to take .303 rounds apart, burn the cordite and bang the primer. The military seem to take a dim view of such behaviour nowadays; mind you, I was never caught so never found out how they viewed it then
You were created with inalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, Thomas Jefferson. That, to my mind, very much means you have an inalienable right to defend your life, perhaps inevitably, with deadly force. They are many people with nasty ideas and the cops (bobbies) are not everywhere. A large portions of Americans cherish the Second Amendment because it embodies a simple belief that a free people must be able to defend themselves and their country.
Yes, governments can take away this right, but they didn't give it to us, we were born with it. Only sheep, with unreasonable faith in government, would deny themselves weapons for defense, hunting or target sports. Criminals? Those who commit violence on peaceable citizens are not fit for civilized society and should be taken to the gallows, if not already disposed of.
Interesting to hear about the 303 rifle and how, not so long ago, the British public thought nothing of kids wondering the streets with a militry rifle. (pre violent TV and movies I guess)
A bit of 303 trivia - I was living in Farm employer supplied accomadation once, and found under the bed an old 303. Not having shot a 303, I asked the boss if I could have a go. The boss said the 303 was left behind by a former employee so it was mine. The problem was no bullets and the boss said it actually took small shot gun rounds ? I never got around to having a shot and left the 303 there. I thought it strange that somebody would convert a heavy rifle to a snake gun.
More trivia....a .22 version of the No 4 was produced for use in miniature indoor ranges (25m), single shot, known as the No 8. It's very accurate and can group 10 into a 1cm circle at 25m, in fairly competent hands, with an aperture sight.
I've also shot with a friend's shotgun version of the No 4, single shot, either 12 bore or .410, can't recall which. Very nice to use, though.
Flying Binghi: there used to be a shotgun round in .22 for use in the SMLE's that were converted.
The only use I have seen it put to was to shoot birds in hangars, I hasten to add that this was a last ditch method.
A friend was using one for this purpose one day when another friend came along and scoffed at the cartridge, saying it wouldn't even ruffle the feathers of sparrow. So saying he threw his cap in the air saying, "try that !", so his mate did.
There used to be pretty good security in Belfast. Guards, metal detectors, explosive sniffer wand things, everything. But it didn't stop me lugging two shotguns and about 500 cartridges and a box of clays onto a train in a big, black holdall. I'd taken the guns apart and had the stocks in another back pack, and all the paperwork. I had trouble picking the bag up it was that heavy. Go up to the guard, he sticks his magic bomb detector wand in the bag, and even I can smell the gun oil.
'Right, away you go.' That was it. Fos
We certainly only had Lee Enfields (and not SLRs) in the Air Training Corps in the early 1960s. I seem to remember that we had real weapons (including bren guns) - though ammunition was strictly controlled (for use on ranges only). One was quite a good shot with the Lee Enfield . . .
Even later, in the late 1960s we used to carry .303s and Brens with chopper barrels (for soft wooden bullets to be fired then chopped up leaving the barrel, to make the automatic action work properly) around our local town on CCF field days. Somewhere I still have my RAF Marksman's certificate and badge gained at the age of about 15. One night we played the enemy and our Warrant Officer cadet was shooting normal .303 blanks (no wooden bullets fitted ) at us in the dark, across the football fields through an open barrel on the Bren. We were convinced we could hear bullets passing close by so we kept our heads down a bit more than usual. After the exercise, on collecting up his empty cases he discovered that all the cartridges he had fired were missing the last inch or so of brass. He had been firing brass shrapnel at us.
No matter, the most dangerous weapon one can legally own in UK goes on four wheels and many of us drive them on a daily basis without much of a thought about what could happen, despite the fact that death and destruction commonly occurs, often wiping out entire families.
I own shotguns (legally), and am interviewed very thoroughly every few years to make sure I am fit to retain them. Things have come on a long way since the sillinesses of the first kneejerk reaction to Dunblane.
But it's still silly. Those 25,000 (or what was it?) crimes using illegal guns. Where did they get those guns from? Not a legal owner, that's for sure. Nor a proper gun-seller.
We have laws that prevent law-abiding citizens from owning guns, or even replicas, but those same laws do absolutely nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. The lawmakers are, as all too often, concentrating on the easy pickings just to show they are doing something. That it's totally ineffective matters not.
I've travelled on a bus carrying a .303, with several clips of ball ammunition in my bag. Nobody seemed surprised, and one or two folks struck up a discussion about shooting. That was a long time ago, though.
I used to do a lot of target (rifle) shooting, and was reasonably good at it. Marriage and raising a family got in the way for 20 years or so. By the time I was ready to go back to it, the bureaucracy was more than I could bother with. I took up flying instead. Far more dangerous, and in the end even more bureaucracy.