.30 Carbine Australian Made

Thanks to Les Butler I recovered some data I’d written back in the 60/70s.

In those notes I mentioned I was looking for a .30 Carbine round with the MG headstamp.

I can’t recall why I would be searching for such a round, unless I’d been given some hint they existed. Maybe a wild goose chase, but does anyone have information about such a beast.



I had a quick look at:
“Australian Military Small Arms Ammunition Production 1888 - 2003”, 2004, by David A Mayne

I was not able to find any entry on this caliber. Maybe you can check yourself to make sure.

Thanks for reply.

I have looked through David’s book and there was no reference, however in that time frame someone must have mentioned it specifically to me to have specified the headstamp.

I don’t really have much hope is is factual, but will keep hunting, just in case. The joy of collecting.


I collect .30 Carbine, having been talked into it by a dear friend some years ago on the basis that there were two or three different auto pistols made for that cartridge. I guess that is right, although I was dragged kicking and screaming into it.

Because of this I have had some pretty heavy correspondence with top collectors of this caliber, and I have never heard of, or seen, and .30 Carbine cartridge that I knew to be, or even suspected, was of Australian manufacture.

My believe is you are, in this case, looking for something that doesn’t exist. Gee, have I ever done that? Hmmm. Only about 500 times. :-)

Hi John,

Good to hear from a specialist, and I take on board your comments. I fear you are correct, but…

Isn’t chasing rainbows what collecting is all about.?? I compiled a list about 45 years ago, of which Les still had a copy, and I had listed it there. This was in the time when I was having great discussions with John Martin (whole life worked as a chemist at Footscray), and I’m wondering if he mentioned the possibility. He claimed they didn’t make .303 Q4 proof rounds, until I showed him one, and then he delved and found they did make a batch of(from memory) 400.

I’m planning a week with Peter White next March, so will study any of my notes he has just to see if there is a mention of a .30 Carbine round.


My mistake!!!

The headstamp I had referenced was MQ NOT MG

Sorry for that although it doesn’t make much difference.


MQ Ammunition Factory#5, Evans Road, Rocklea (Brisbane) Queensland, opened 1942, closed 1944. Factory sheds converted to Aircraft assembly ( 1944-45). Disposition of cartridge Machinery Unknown…

Made .303 Ball, Mk.VII, .380 Pistol, .455 Pistol??( uncertain) and Maybe assembled 20mm Hispano ( also ???). Have sighted Packets of .303 Ball and .380 Ball.

Ordnance area Rocklea gradually sold off as Industrial land in 1946–1960s, and some original buildings survived to the 1990s ( esp. the Drawings office); all eventually demolished as newer Factory and Warehouse Buildings developed.

AS to .30 carbine, if ever it was made/tested, it would have been in the 1960s-70s ( same time as they tried making .30 Cal (7,62x63) Ball ammo.)

The Only users of M1 Carbines in Australia were the various State Prisons; no other Gov’t departements used them. Except for haphazard use in the Pacific, and also during the Malayan Emergency, the M1 Carbine was NEVER an Official Australian Firearm.

MF did Make ( with “MFc” ( commercial) .38 S &W Special, and some other Pistol calibres for State Police, but again, quantities were small.

Doc AV

Doc - I can confirm Rocklea made .455 inch revolver. I have “MQ 42 VI”.

I have not looked but it is probably in the Mayne book.


Thanks, TonyE, on confirming the .455 MQ for me.

MF/MG Factories #1 and #2 at Footscray, on Marybyrnong Road ( Docks area of Melbourne, Now a prime residential and commercial re-development area, including a Film Studio.

At the end of the war (1945) the MF plant was “closed” and the MG plant (newer Machinery) continued operations in 1946 and 47; then in 1948-50, the “MG” headstamp disappeared, and the Main ammunition supplier to the Defence Department became “MF” again.
So there are a couple of years immediately Post-war, when the MF headstamp does not appear ( along with all the other NON-Melbourne Ones, having closed in 1944 and 1945, early 46).

Machinery for MF dates back to Greenwood and Bately ( suppliers), in the “CAC” days of WW I (up to 1920s). During WW II, machinery was locally made ( Goerz(?Sp) (Melbourne) and Heine (Sydney), as well as imported Waterbury Farrel and Bliss; (USA).All the WW II new factories were equipped with Local and US Plant, British suppliers being occupied at home.

The fate of the Machinery of MJ, MH,MQ and MW is little known…some was sold to Indonesia in the 1950s(?), some was taken over by Riverbrand ammuniton (MJ and MH plants, South Australia) and some by Super Cartridge Co. in Melbourne; the MW ( western Australia) and MQ (Queensland) Plants are a mystery, esp. since MQ (as Noted before) Closed in 1944.

I have seen some of the MJ 9mm Para case trimmers (Waterbury) in use by Taipan Bullets, to trim bullet jackets; other varied Machinery ( lead wire cutters/formers, Core to Jacket presses, etc. have ended up in Taipan.

And of course, when the Footscray Plant of MF ( by then AFF/ADI) had closed in 1994, the Machinery was “scrapped” (ie, destroyed) under UN Regulations, before Benalla ( new ADI Plant) began operations in 1995.

Doc AV

Rocklea .455 Ball cartridges.

I recall having three headstamps. Mk 11 in 1942, Mk V1 in 1942 and 1943.

I’m not sure if these all had the short dates or some had the full year, like in .303 production.

Have since retrieved most of my old notes.

As mentioned above, Rocklea made .455 Mk 11 Ball in 1942. First lot was submitted in April 1942

Production switched to the .455 Mk VI also in 1942 and 1943. First submission to inspection was June 1942 and the last June 1943.

One lot of .455 Mk VI Standard was produced in 1942 and appears to have been submitted around August/September 1942. Packet is dated 31 Aug 1942.

Al the above have the two digit date and the normal headstamps at 120 degrees, but the Standard has S in a circle between the 42 and the VI.

A Standard cartridge was not produced for the Mk 11 , a British Standard was used.

Hope this gives some clarification.


A .455 with a “standard” headstamp would be a nice item to find!

I think Australia was the only country to use a special headstamp for standards instead of the usual yellow primer annulus.



I think on occasion we recently just used the yellow primer annulus on some Standard rounds, but I don’t have details on hand.

The ones with the S on them also generally had the yellow annulus as well.

At 72 I’ve decided it’s too late to start again from scratch, however I do occasionally find little treasures in my garage. Have a .303 dated 58 and 7.62 standard dated 65 if you need those years.