Talk:.280 Ross

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WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed as remains start class dashiellx (talk) 11:04, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

.276 Enfield Based on the Ross?[edit]

I don't know how this rumour gor started, but the .276 was nothing like the Ross.

"It has often been stated that the .276 Enfield, the cartridge for which the British Pattern 1913 rifle was designed, was similar to or identical with the .280 Ross. That statement has appeared in print and has been blindly repeated over the years. But it is not true.

The .280 Ross is a long, tapered, cartridge, with a case length of 2.59" and a cartridge overall length of 3.5". The .276 Enfield has a case length of 2.35" and a COL of 3.23", shorter than the .30-'06, and only about 0.17" longer than the .303 British.

While the English designers may have wanted to duplicate or exceed the ballistics of the .280 Ross, they did not use the same cartridge, or even one "similar".

Where the .276 Enfield is distinctly different from the .303 is its base diameter. It has a rebated rim, with a base diameter of .525" and a rim diameter of .515". So it is not a long cartridge, but is a fat one, though not as fat at the base as the .280 Ross."

I can't find a PD/free use picture of the .276 Enfield, but the .280 British of the Forties was similar:

280british.jpg

The .270 Winchester (bullet dia. .277) also rather resembles the .276 Enfield (and looks nothing like the Ross): a .30-06 with a skinnier bullet.

.276 Enfield VS .280 Ross VS .280 British VS .270 Win????[edit]

Sorry to say that, but what you state above is wrong.

First, the .280 Ross N-E was designed in late 1906, and introduced in 1907. The .276 Enfield started as a project in 1909, 2 years after the introduction of the Ross cartridge and it was released for trials only in 1913 (hernce the P-13 Enfield Rifle). Both cartridges are very similar, as you can see below. Before that, Ross made trials with the .287" bullet in a 30-06 case (in 1906...). The .270 Win, introduced in 1925 is just that, a 30-06 with a 6.8mm bullet (close enough to the 7mm....).

I think you're mixed things here; the .276 Enfield is not the .270 Enfield... the forerunner of the .280 British. The .280 British was introduced in 1945 as a project, and became reality in 1947. By those days they were seeking for an automatic rifle to be accepted, to replace the Lee-Enfield. The .280 British is in the same vein as the 7.62X51 NATO and uses the same base and rim dimensions.... It is much closer to the 6.8 SPC than it is from the .276 Enfield.

Below the comparison chart for all those rounds.

Caliber Bullet Dia Nominal Bullet Weight Velocity Neck Dia Shoulder Dia Base Dia Rim Dia Case Length Cartridge OAL Case capacity gr H2O Year introduced
.280 Ross N-E 0.287" 160 gr 2700 fps 0.317" 0.404" 0.534" 0.556" 2.590" 3.500" 76 1906 / 1907 Commercial mfg
.276 Enfield 0.284" 165 gr 2800 fps 0.321" 0.460" 0.528" 0.521" 2.350" 3.250" 72 1909 / 1913 Trial
.280 British 0.284" 139 gr 2530 fps 0.313" 0.448" 0.470" 0.473" 1.710" 2.540" 1945 / 1947 Trial
7.62X51 NATO 0.308" 150 gr 2750 fps 0.338" 0.447" 0.466" 0.470" 2.010" 2.750" 54 (MIL) 1952 Adopted by NATO

See this site for more infos about WWII Experimental British ammo; http://members.casema.nl/j.j.h.roelofs/startpagina_uk.htm Kalashnikov (talk) 17:42, 27 June 2009 (UTC)


I'm aware that the .276 Enfield and the much later .270 British were not the same cartridge. And I maintain that the Ross and the .276 did *not* resemble one another. Look at your own numbers! The Ross was a full quarter-inch longer, and a sixteenth narrower at the shoulder. The Ross was a long, tapering cartridge and the .276 was a short, squat cartridge. I'm fully aware that it wasn't quite as stumpy as the .270/.280, but the photo I used is the only one I can legally post here. If you have a PD pic of the .276, please add it! Solicitr (talk) 01:46, 27 June 2009 (UTC)


Go to this forum; http://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=3402 there is some comparison pictures of the .276 Enfield vs the .280 Ross. It was never said that both cartridges were physically identical. Yes, the .276 Enfield is shorter and have less body taper, but it carries almost the same base dimension and have so close internal volume and performances, that there is no doubt they were almost identical. Even COTW quotes these as being identical in performances. Remember the .280 won Bisley in 1908, one year before the British ever thought about developing the .276 Enfield. So, can you call it "coincidence"? - I doubt it! If you want to be touchy, you can say they were not a total physical same (at the least half-way), but you can't say they were not ballistically the exact same. Since I know him, I can ask the comparison picture owner if he wants it to be posted here. —Preceding Kalashnikov (talk) 17:42, 27 June 2009 (UTC) comment added by Kalashnikov (talkcontribs) 16:28, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, if you're going to use that standard, then you would have to say that both cartridges were 'nearly identical' to the 7mm Mauser.

Bullet diameter 7.24 mm (0.285 in) Neck diameter 8.25 mm (0.325 in) Shoulder diameter 10.92 mm (0.430 in) Base diameter 12.01 mm (0.473 in) Rim diameter 12.10 mm (0.476 in) Rim thickness 1.15 mm (0.045 in) Case length 57.00 mm (2.244 in) Overall length 78.00 mm (3.071 in) Case capacity 3.90 cm³ (60 gr H2O) Rifling twist 220 mm (1 in 8.66 in) Primer type Large rifle Maximum pressure 390 MPa (57,000 psi) Ballistic performance Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy 9.0 g (139 gr) RWS KS 900 m/s (3,000 ft/s) 3,240 J (2,390 ft·lbf) 10.5 g (162 gr) RWS ID Classic 800 m/s (2,600 ft/s) 3,360 J (2,480 ft·lbf)

Solicitr (talk) 21:22, 27 June 2009 (UTC)


No, the base diameter of the 7X57 is 0.473", and only contains 54 grains of water. The Mexican military load was 162 grains, at a velocity of 2295 fps, the Spanish load was 173 grains at 2296 fps.... you are comparing modern loads against loads from the en of the 19th century. What they wanted to achieve with both the .280 Ross and the .276 Enfield was reaching 3000 fps with a 160 / 165 grains bullet. The British did not get that high results because they stuck with the cordite as a propellant so they got tremendous erosion, while Ross choose the neonite and got much better barrel life. But it is right to say that the 7X57 with the M/93/95 used in the Boer war (and the encounter USA made of the 7X57 in the Spanish-Ameerican war) greatly contributed to the development of both the .280 Ross and the .276 Enfield (and it's rifle, the P-13 AND the 1903 Springfield). The 7X57 loads you are referring to are clearly known to be suited ONLY for M/98 and later designs of actions, NOT for the M/93/95. Kalashnikov (talk) 23:15, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
You know, the very photograph you link to, and the poster's comments, prove precisely the opposite: the Ross and the .276 were very different: "4. Here's a pic comparing the .276 Enfield cartridge against other common military cartridges of the day. I included the .280 Ross because some publications have stated that the .276 Enfield is identical to the .280 Ross. A look at the picture will show that to be erroneous." And the mere fact that the cases have similar volumes for similar intended performance hardly proves much, since propellant capacity is directly related to nergy. It's more instructive to observe what Enfield did *not* copy from the Ross: a marked body taper and narrow shoulder, not unlike the earlier rimmed cartridges such as the .303, the .30-40 Krag and the .30 Russian. Whereas the .276 Enfield anticipates and greatly resembles a very slighly larger version of the postwar and modern hi-velocity 7mm class: slightly larger because modern propellants are more efficient.
"The 7X57 loads you are referring to are clearly known to be suited ONLY for M/98 and later designs of actions, NOT for the M/93/95." Why is that relevant? The British .256 and .276 experiments took place well after 1898, and the P'13 was expressly based in part on the G98. 17:25, 29 June 2009 (UTC)


What the fellow meant at the bottom of the page linked above is that both cartridges ARE NOT PHYSICALLY THE SAME, wich I agreed above and never said they were. BUT THEY ARE BALLISTICALLY THE SAME - SAME - AND - COICINDENCE??? - THEY SHARE THE SAME BASE DIAMETER. And F.C. Barnes, in Cartridges Of the World, speaking of the .276 Enfield, wrote the following; ...(Quote)"It is very similar to the Canadian 280 Ross cartridge"... and that lead to the "dimensionally identical" error. Now, the P-13, was NOT BASED on the G98 - neither was it on the K98; it was based on the previous Mauser patterns that the British encountered in Africa, using COCK-ON-CLOSING actions. Now, regarding the 7X57, you don't seem to be familiar with reloading; there are TWO different pressure level for the 7X57; what you are showing above is a CIP loading (3900 Pa = 56 565 PSI)- SAAMI gives a MAP of 51 000 PSI (or 46 000 CUP) for the 7X57, especially for use with the M/93/95 (http://www.leverguns.com/articles/saami_pressures.htm / http://www.lasc.us/SAAMIMaxPressure.htm ). Look at Hodgdon's site for 7X57 loads; http://data.hodgdon.com , you can see this for some american cartridges, too, like the 45-70 Gvt, where you have different pressure levels for different actions designs. And just for your records, the pressure of the 8X57 was raised to 57 000 PSI only in 1905, wich led the USA to drop their newly adopted 30-03 cartridge for the upgraded 30-06. Before that period and even up to the end of WWI, MOST military cartridges were loaded at around 47 000 to 51 000 PSI. For more infos about the "older loads, look there; http://surplusrifle.com/shooting/spanishinquisition/index.asp . I quote them; Recall we said earlier that Mauser upgraded his action designs, materials and heat treatment techniques to keep up with powder and cartridge developments? This may well be the most important thing we discuss about the 1893 action. The original cartridge for the 1893 is the 7 mm Mauser or 7 x 57. This cartridge was designed to have a breech pressure of no more then 46,000 cup. The 1893 action is designed within these parameters. Now, all actions are “proofed” with a high-pressure cartridge, often called a “Blue Pill”. However, they are not fed a steady diet of them. All Mauser actions have a bit of insurance built into them, they have to, however, they are not meant to push the envelope all the time. The American ammo companies stay within that 46,000 cup ceiling for a good reason. I have many reloading manuals. The Speer Manual, specifically states the 1893 type actions should be limited to starting loads in 7 mm Mauser. Other loading manuals have 7mm Mauser loads in two sections; mild loads for military rifles, another section for commercials (Rugers, Winchesters etc). Anyways, I don't see where you want to go with all that... but it kinda looks like a headgame to me. Kalashnikov (talk) 21:11, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

OK, Kalashnikov, I think I see where we're talking at cross-purposes. You're looking at the ballistic similarities between the .276 and the Ross, and I'm looking at the physical differences. Unfortunately, the phrase 'based on' can connote either or both.
But for Wiki purposes asserting that the Enfield engineers were looking to replicate the Ross' ballistics requires a source. While the similar base dimension is suggestive (but also very close to the rim diameter of the .303), it nonetheles falls under the dread rubric "Original Research," which the Implementor-Gods consider a sin here. Do you have a citation which confirms that the .276's designers were deliberatly trying to duplicate Ross performance with a very, very different case form? It's entirely possible, of course; one can speculate that Enfield had messed around with overloaded .303s and figured out that tapering, narrow-shouldered cartridges which were adequate for moderate pressures tended at high pressures to wedge themselves into the chamber- a principal complaint about the Ross.
No, I'm not a handloader; I'm a gun collector and enthusiast. That's probably where our perspectives differ. I assure you that the P-13 et al (I own an M1917) are far, far more similar to the G98 than the 93/95 Mauser. The size and shape of the front lugs, the third safety lug (better implemented), the extractor and controlled feed: all strikingly similar to the '98. The cock-on-closing feature is not really a huge mechanical difference, and in fact many G98s and K98s and Springfields have been converted (and '17s converted the other way). Enfield was following British philosophy with its emphasis on rate-of-fire; cock-on-closing like the SMLE was doctrinal, not merely something "copied."
Of course, in many respects the P-13 et al was a better design than the G98 or the Springfield, if you don't mind the substantial extra weight: the strong thumb-safety, the receiver sight, the faster cycling, the overall massive *strength* of the action (M1917s are regularly rechambered for big magnum rounds that no sane person would try with a WWI Heer-issue Mauser). A-Square has even with slight mods chambered Enfields for .577 T-Rex! This of course was the heritage of the .276, a 'magnum' round before its time. Solicitr (talk) 17:09, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


I too, am a firearm collector. If you carefully look at the bolt head of a P-13 (P-14 or a M-17), you will find that it carries more similitudes with the Pre-98 models. Look at the lugs; the one on the opposite side (the "ejector grooved" one) of the extractor is much longer than a standard M/98 one; just like the M/93-96. The M/98 also have large gas escape oblong holes in the bottom of the bolt body, wich is lacking on the P-13 (P-14 and /orM-17). The shroud of the P-13(P-14 and / or M-17) is of the small type, not diverting the gases like the M/98 (one of the main feature). Yes, it carries a large ring receiver like the M/98. And even some kind of a third lug. But it is still a cock-on-closing action. We can say it's a cross-over from different Mauser types, but it remains more of the older Mauser type. What made it "better" than the Mauser was mostly the type of steel used for manufacturing. The P-13 (P-14 and M-17) used a low carbon 3.5% nickel alloy while the Mausers used Low Carbon steel (close to our SAE 1025 for earlier designs and closer to our SAE 1035 for the original M/98. This use of alloy makes the steel stronger, but it needs a better heat treatment to make sure there is no brittle spots on the nickel steel (it happened to the 1903 Sprgd). The Mauser were softer at the core, allowing for more plastic deformation before letting. Ackley (Vol. 1 & 2) did a lot of destructive tests with the Mausers, the Springfield '03 and the Enfield. The Springfield is also a crossover of the older and later Mausers (and of the Krag, too), having similar bolt lugs than the P-13 (and thus, of the pre-98 designs), a shroud (or sleeve) closer from the M/93-96, but carries the third bolt lug on the bolt body. (Quoted from Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1903_Springfield; The War Department had exhaustively studied and dissected several examples of the Mauser Model 93 rifle captured during the Spanish-American War, and combined features of both the U.S. Krag Rifle Models 1894-1898, and the Mauser Model 93, to produce the new U.S. Springfield Rifle, Model 1903. Still, the 1903's used so many design features from the German Mauser that the U.S. government paid royalties to Mauserwerke. About the same is also quoted by F. de Haas in "Bolt Action Rifles".
The first cartridge to officially reach 3000 fps WAS the .280 ROSS in late 1906/ early 1907, OFFICIALLY MAKING IT THE FIRST MODERN MAGNUM CARTRIDGE. (Ref; http://www.riflesnguns.com/article/280-ross-280-rimless and http://www.chuckhawks.com/280_Ross.htm and finally http://www.rmef.org/Hunting/RifleCart/Rifles/BiggestSeven.htm ) It also swept the 1908 International Bisley Matches namely ; Waldegrave, Albert, Halford, Edge and Opton. It also made history at Bisley in 1912 again, taking EVERY first, second and third prize going. This serie of records is still unequalled to this day. Enough to impress the DOD official....
Kalashnikov (talk) 23:24, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


In the 1973 september/october issue of The Handloader Magazine, p. 29, under the name; "Cartridge of the Month" there is an article on the Ross .280 Ross saying ; (quote); "...IT WAS ALSO THE PATTERN FOR THE 1913 .276 BRITISH SERVICE CARTRIDGE, ADOPTED THAT YEAR' BUT DROPPED IN FAVOR OF THE EXISTING .303 WHEN WAR LOOMED IMMINENT...". Regarding the actions strenght, I can recommend you reading the Ackley Volume II (in the first chapter) Mr Ackley managed to perform testings on the Arisaka, the Mauser, the Enfield (M-17 and P-14), the Krag and the Springfield.Kalashnikov (talk) 12:26, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

""...IT WAS ALSO THE PATTERN FOR THE 1913 .276 BRITISH SERVICE CARTRIDGE" Yes, I know, I know- this assertion has appeared in print many times. But just because a story circulates and people repeat it, that doesn't make it true. Many print sources claim that Europeans though the world was flat in 1492, nonsense derived probably from Washington Irving. Is there an actual source for the allegation that Enfield 1910-13 was deliberately "patterning" its new cartridge on the Ross? Absent such evidence, this remains an unconfirmed folk-hypothesis.
Again, though the ballistic profiles are similar the cartridges are physically very different. It's quite one thing to say that the Army was impressed by the Bisley results and decided to pursue a 3000fps 7mm round, and quite another to say that they 'copied' the Ross or 'based their design' on it. The similar capacity simply reflects the fact that to produce similar ballistics one needs a similar powder charge; I wouldn't be surprised if the load data you have for the Ross is pretty much the same as that for the .270 Win or .280 Ackley Impr (57-58gr for 140-gr bullet @ ca. 2950fps). Nor am I convinced by the similar rim diameters, which after all are approximately those of the .303.
Is there a statement by or about Enfield's ballistic engineers? An Ordnance Board paper referencing the Ross? Earlier experimental rounds which resemble the Ross? Lacking a source, the most that can be said is that the .276 had ballistics like the Ross; not that there was a lineal connection. We're left with the uncertainty of anthropologists, trying to determine if some technical advance in two societies was the result of "blueprint copying" diffusion (e.g. the Latin alphabet), "inspiration" diffusion (Sequoyah's written Cherokee), or independent discovery (Egyptian and Mayan hieroglyphs). Personally I wouldn't be surprised if there was a connection, but in an evidentiary vacuum we can't go any further. Solicitr (talk) 16:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


Well, real skeptic, you are, the historic facts are the only facts we can rely on. No-one would believe that the British authorities would ever publicly admitted such a thing. If you can't see the weird coincidence and think you know more then reputable writers, than we can't go any further of course. You always come back and relate the Ross to calibers born well after (and isnpired by his work), and don't see the limitations of these days. No, the brits did not use the same powder as Ross did (see above; NEONITE vs CORDITE) and that's one of the reasons they poorly failed (too much barrel erosion and erratic peak pressures under high temperature). You also seem to don't realise that the Ross aftercomers such as Ackley and Newton were greatly inspired by Ross. Ross spent all the after WWII as a small arms consultant for the USA, and met there a lot of the reknown people who made wildcats. Then, regarding the .270 Win, again as stated above, and pictured in more than one printing, it was Ross's idea (the famous 28-1906) but the powders of the day did not produce the velocity he wanted. All the arguing you make is not based on any references or referenceable sources, it's only speculation and nothing is set in an historical timeframe. It only seems you want to discredit the historical facts concerning the marvel that was the .280 Ross. Well, now i'm done with all that redundant questioning and arguing. Now, find valuable contrary sources and I'll be listening again. Kalashnikov (talk) 02:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Look, if you can find a contemporary or first-person source, we can go with it. But a magazine article making an unreferenced assertion 60 years after the fact isn't a source.
Why can't the article read something like, "The stunning success of the Ross cartridge at the Bisley Matches may very well have led the British Army to pursue the development of a round with similar ballistics, resulting by 1912 in the .276 Enfield" ? Solicitr (talk) 19:28, 14 July 2009 (UTC)