308 Indian Enfield

I was looking at e-mails from one of my big time gun sources and noticed their 303 Brit ammo was 40% more expensive than their 308 ammo from the same maker. I don’t care what tax bracket you find yourself in, that is a huge difference.

As an American shooter, I gravitate towards guns in standard calibers: 556 – 308. It tends to be plentiful and affordable. Sometimes I see deals on match ammo. Other times I find deals on surplus military ball. Not to mention the odd soft-point and ballistic tip stuff.

Which gets me to this 308 Enfield. Many think it’s a conversion. No. The Indian government wanted to standardize with UK and NATO so they purpose built these with 7.62 barrels. And here’s the greatest thing, while the stocks look like they have been through hell and back, most barrels are hardly shot.

308 Enfield have a squarish box magazine instead of the rounded angular 303 version.

308 Enfields have a squarish box magazine instead of the rounded angular 303 version.

Relatively speaking to other 308 milsurp rifles anyway.

Notice the “battlepack” of 180 rounds. Military ball. I have enough 308 rifles that feeding another one is no big deal. This is doubly true when discussing bolt guns! Keeping 303 on hand for one gun means I have a gun that isn’t going to get shot very much.

The stock has quite a few repairs. Possibly recycled when this was built.

The stock has quite a few repairs. Possibly recycled when this was built.

So…if you are in the market for a real Enfield rifle, keep an eye out for the ones sporting the squarish magazines. The official names are Ishapore 2A and 2A1. These are the Indian 308’s made new in the 1960’s. And they rock!



“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Brennen Munro

    I was looking at one at the last gunshow I attended, the rifle had a good bore but the guy selling it thought that he had something rare and very special, and was just too pricey. I almost felt bad that someone had taken advantage of him, but not enough to help him get over being gouged with my money!

    I have just over 6 hundred rounds of .303 left in my stash, when it is gone, my rifle will become a safe queen.


    • I saw a nice one at Perry. It was priced double of what I paid for one.

      Dumb price.


  • For the record, it is safe to shoot commercial 308 ammo through these rifles. They were built with 7.62 in mind. Not a conversion. Also, the thickness of the brass in commercial 308 vs 7.62 is a non-factor in these receivers. Also note, this receiver was made in the 1960’s. The quality of the metallurgy is fine.


    • MickeyG

      Good to know that, I do not shoot 308 in my M-14 (not an M1A) only 7.62x51mm

  • Mikial

    Great article and great information to keep in mind. Like many milsurp collectors, I have a soft spot for the Brit Enfield, but I like to shoot my guns so the cost of .303 ammo was always a turn off. But this is a definite incentive to start looking again. We’re going to a gun show next Sunday, so I’ll look around.

    I was providing security support to a project office in Bangladesh recently, and when we checked the security at the hotel where we’d put up the short term expat project folks, I found it interesting that the security people at the hotel were still carrying Enfields. I didn’t think to inquire about the caliber since I assumed they were all .303, but after reading this, who knows?

    • That could go either way and Bangladesh. But I’m guessing.

      Best way is to look at the magazine.

      I saw an Indian police officer carrying a 308 last year.


  • Conner

    If you have or are going to buy one I would suggest looking for deals on a few extra magazines. You can check in Firearms News and OSW. Usually these guys have some very good deals on Enfield mags. Somehow EBay and now others that use EBay as a bench mark seem to think the are made out of gold. I agree guys. These are wonderful rifles with a rich history.

    • Scott Mayer sent me an e-mail yesterday that seems to show that OWS has ALL the 303 ammo in the US! I mean all of it!!!!


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