2" Mortar markings


#1

Can anyone help with this. I believe that the marks on the 2" mortar bombs are makers marks. Can anyone confirm this? Any idea as to the makers?





Thanks,
Craig


#2

I have no clue but I bet you are right about them being makers marks. It is just nice seeing someone else into large caliber ordnance.

Jason


#3

2 inch Bombs were made in most British Empire countries;
The MW could be SAAF factory # 6, Welchpoole, Western Australia, and the MB could be Bendigo Ordnance Factory, Victoria, Australia. The Australian Munitions system used a coded “telegrafic” address, using the first letter "M’ signifying “Munitions” and the second/third letters identifying the actual factory, usually by the name of the Town or district it was situated in.
It all started back in 1912, when the SAF Lithgow got the telegraphic address “MA” meaning “Munitions-Australia”; at the beginning of WW II, this system had expanded to include all the existing and newly-opened Munitions and Ordnance plants. (MA, MB, MBO,MY, MF,MG,MH, MJ, MQ, MW , Ms, and about another twenty more combinations; these codes were restricted to Government owned plants…commercial contractors used their own “letter Logos”.

Some of the other marks could possibly be UK makers; There are some members who would know about these in more detail…in Australia, the mark should indicate which factory actually “Filled” the bomb, not necessarily who made the casing: (most Aussie 2 and 3 INCH MORTAR BOMBS are marked “MY”…St Mary’s Factory, Sydney, which both made explosives, primers, Fuzes, and filled larger ordnance.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics


#4

[quote=“DocAV”]2 inch Bombs were made in most British Empire countries;
The MW could be SAAF factory # 6, Welchpoole, Western Australia, and the MB could be Bendigo Ordnance Factory, Victoria, Australia. The Australian Munitions system used a coded “telegrafic” address, using the first letter "M’ signifying “Munitions” and the second/third letters identifying the actual factory, usually by the name of the Town or district it was situated in.
It all started back in 1912, when the SAF Lithgow got the telegraphic address “MA” meaning “Munitions-Australia”; at the beginning of WW II, this system had expanded to include all the existing and newly-opened Munitions and Ordnance plants. (MA, MB, MBO,MY, MF,MG,MH, MJ, MQ, MW , Ms, and about another twenty more combinations; these codes were restricted to Government owned plants…commercial contractors used their own “letter Logos”.

Some of the other marks could possibly be UK makers; There are some members who would know about these in more detail…in Australia, the mark should indicate which factory actually “Filled” the bomb, not necessarily who made the casing: (most Aussie 2 and 3 INCH MORTAR BOMBS are marked “MY”…St Mary’s Factory, Sydney, which both made explosives, primers, Fuzes, and filled larger ordnance.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics[/quote]

Would the MA (Munitions-Australia) coding still relate to the .303 and later SLR rifle production? In rifle collecting circles It’s often been speculated at what ‘MA’ means on these rifles and parts and generally its accepted as being ‘Lithgow’. But if it really means “Munitions-Australia” (Lithgow), that’s very interesting and enlightening.

Any chance you know what ‘AD’ stands for on Australian L1A1 rifle serial numbers. Is it ‘Australian Defence’ or something else?

Thanks in advance for your insight


#5

The letters “MA” on Australian Ordnance or as mentioned in literature about Australian Ordnance can be confusing. The can stand for “Munitions Australia” as Doc Av says, but also for “Made in Australia” (sometimes interpreted as “Manufacture Australia”) and are are also the letters representing Lithgow Arsenal, the major Australian Arms producer.


#6

The use of “MA” as the telegraphic code address for the Small Arms Factory, Lithgow, NSW, Australia, began right from the establishment of the Factory in 1911-12.
Copies of letters dated to this era in various Historical Publications relating to the founding and set-up of the factory show “MA” in the letterhead as the “Telegraphic address code” used both in Australia and Internationally as that of the SAF Lithgow.

As to whether it meant" Manufacture Australia," or “Munitions Australia” is still an open question…in any case, by the time WW II came around, and Telegraphic codes were still in use, the “M” came to be interpreted as “Munitions” (meaning all the Ordnance supplies to the Australian Dept. of Defence;).
The Code system began expanding in 1926, when “MF” (" Munitions Footscray" was used as the headstamp and Tele Code for the Ammunition Factory at Footyscray, in Melbourne, Victoria; I suppose the other existing Explosives and Shell factories around Australia also got their Codes at about this time… by the mid 1920s, Australia was self-sufficient in Cordite manufacture, Fuze and SAA primer manufacture, and the loading of most of the WW I-era Artillery shells in use in Australia and the explosives used in them.

AS to the “AD” prefix on Lithgow built L1A1 rifles, it does mean “Australian Defence”.

During WW II, Lithgow “Farmed out” production of SMLE parts and assembly etc to several “annexes” or subfactories in nearby inland towns (BA= Bathurst, OA = Orange; WA= Wellington (NSW) and Parkes (no code). There does exist an “MAO” ( Lithgow-Orange annex) mark on some receivers (Assembly at Orange, although Lithgow had total control over processes.) This was to free up capacity at the main Lithgow Plant for Bren and Vickers production, and also FTR work.

Sometime in the late 1930s, the Buttsocket mark changed from “Lithgow” (Shield etc)to “MA” probably both for “Military secrecy” as much as Economy in Die making to stamp the markings.
This was probably in keeping with British “Coding” of Factory suppliers in the UK
(BSA became simply “B” in the Dispersal scheme, and other products carried “ED” ( logo) rather than the full “RSAF Enfield”. mark found in WW I and 1920s SMLEs etc.

The MA mark was continued on all Lithgow Products for ID of Maker, FTR indications (ie, “MA 56” on RAAF Thompson SMGs) and on Subassemblies of the L1A1 actually made at Lithgow.

With the Corporate “privatization” of all the Gov’t-owned Australia Defence Industries in the 1980s, the Umbrella Corporation became “ADI” and this mark became to ID mark on new production of all products, with the new F-88 Austeyr being the first rifle with the new “ADI” makers logo.

After passing through Part Gov’t-Part private ownership, ADI is now Fully owned by Thales, the French International Defence Conglomerate; there is no longer any Australian Government nor other Private stockholding in the Company.
So the entire defence supply industry in Australia, from manufacture of SAA and Ordnance, the Logistics, storage and distribution, and even the “cleaning up” of Ranges and training areas of spent brass, is handled by diufferent divisions of the one, Foreign owned, company. Talk about “Outsourcing” the defence of the country…

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics


#7

[quote=“DocAV”]2 inch Bombs were made in most British Empire countries;
The MW could be SAAF factory # 6, Welchpoole, Western Australia, and the MB could be Bendigo Ordnance Factory, Victoria, Australia. The Australian Munitions system used a coded “telegrafic” address, using the first letter "M’ signifying “Munitions” and the second/third letters identifying the actual factory, usually by the name of the Town or district it was situated in.
It all started back in 1912, when the SAF Lithgow got the telegraphic address “MA” meaning “Munitions-Australia”; at the beginning of WW II, this system had expanded to include all the existing and newly-opened Munitions and Ordnance plants. (MA, MB, MBO,MY, MF,MG,MH, MJ, MQ, MW , Ms, and about another twenty more combinations; these codes were restricted to Government owned plants…commercial contractors used their own “letter Logos”.

Some of the other marks could possibly be UK makers; There are some members who would know about these in more detail…in Australia, the mark should indicate which factory actually “Filled” the bomb, not necessarily who made the casing: (most Aussie 2 and 3 INCH MORTAR BOMBS are marked “MY”…St Mary’s Factory, Sydney, which both made explosives, primers, Fuzes, and filled larger ordnance.

regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics[/quote]

Doc,

One of the markings looks like MAR or even MARX in a circle. This group of symbols also appears on .303" chargers (stripper clips) and .50 Browning links. Does anybody know what the order of letters is and what it means?

gravelbelly