303s getting pricey......

Hi all…cant believe how pricey 303s, and all as issued examples are getting…even sporterized examples!! I’m going to look at a Lithgow with sporterized timber shortly, I believe its metalwork is all matching but timbers are pretty much destroyed, as far as an ‘as issued’ example goes. What should I pay for this kind of thing? No moneys really discussed at this point, but some once used to say this kind of thing is worth no more than $150! Today I think not! To me it will be a rescue rifle…one that will be restored, to as issued. So timbers are going to be $500 up most likely…the fun of it…but I think it needs rescuing.

Save your time and money, get an unsporterised one. By the time you have bought timber and other bits as well as the gun, you are looking at $1k+.

That’s my point, try finding one for 1k

They exist but you have to be fast on the draw (ie be one of the first to see the ad) and know what you’re looking for.

Totally agree the prices on .303s are just insane. Not all that long ago (as in, pre-2014) you could barely give sporterised .303s away, now they’re going for the sort of money that a full wood example should go for, and the full wood ones are going for $2k.

It honestly makes me really unhappy - they made literally millions of the rifles, most of them are still in existence, and they just cost a fuckton of money now because of reasons.

I’ve given up trying to get new shooters into Service Rifle matches because they simply can’t afford (or don’t see the value in) spending $1500+ on a century old rifle, when the same money gets them a brand new gun with optics.

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I hear you! Gone are the days of buying a $500 303, and your shooting competition. I also think too many people are wrecking them, when maybe we should be rescuing them…I do have a soft spot for No1 Mk3 rifles though.

Do you want one with a heavy barrel or an original?

One of the reasons could be they are worth more in parts.

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Prefer original…

To be “rescued”?
Sporterised have probably been drilled and tapped for a scope mount, which would detract somewhat if trying to return to as issued condition. D & T can be hidden, but it’s not infallible.

As far as I know, this one has matching bolt, mag etc… with no drilling, and has been well looked after. Only sporterized timbers. I used to shoot at the pistol club, with the guy who has it, and most of his stuff was top notch…so to me, it’s worth a look, if nothing else…

Hiding tapped holes can be very difficult. Depends where they are really…but I will most likely pass on it, if it has been tapped, but I doubt it

Under $500 for sporter would be reasonable, if it’s in good mechanical condition and unmolested. Wood would be another $300 - $400. There you are looking at $900ish. Which would be reasonable for this day and age. Above that, you may as well look for a genuine thing. Although, personally, I don’t see what’s so special about Lithgow. 303 is a British gun, why not Enfield or anything from there? It’s just not as "303“ as 303 could be, unless it’s British IMHO.

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Not just the wood, add in bands, nose caps, swivels and all the rest of the stock hardware. Can add up to a substantial amount. Then you have a Frankenstein bitser rifle with over $1k invested that is not really collectible at all.
It’s a dilemma, personally I opted out of sporterized rifles from the get go. As a sporting rifle , most milsurps are a bit crap.
They shoot ok, but no where as good as modern rifles. If it’s not a collectible, then to me, what’s the point.


Drew a complete mental blank. You’re right.

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If you can even find it, which is a huge part of the issue. I’m told the wood kits you can buy from India require a ridiculous amount of fitting etc, so basically aren’t economical.

I’ve never understood the hard-on people have for Lithgow rifles either. IME mechanically they’re identical to a British rifle, but Coachwood is absolute shit as a rifle stock so you’re better off getting a British gun stocked with Walnut or something like that as it’s much sturdier.

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I already have Enfield, lithgow, and BSA. I just need another one…you know how it is…

I am sorry for questioning your motif, like we ever need the ‘why’ - because… The end lol :slight_smile:

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I think he still has a win 94 lever action 22 too he might sell, could come home with that instead lol

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I’ve been through the the .303 phase, love em, but they’re old guns now and unless they’ve seen some tlc they’re generally fucked mine key holes in some grains of bullets

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Yeah, I hear you. I don’t buy anything with a suspect barrel but.

For @MaxJon or anyone else interested, this seems to be a cracking deal.


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