.303 Brit Aussie "MF Q3 54" "MF Q3 56" "MF Q3 57"

Somebody asked me at SLICS if these were fired at every single rifle or just one per lot. I guessed every single rifle. Was I right?

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Yes, every rifle had to be proofed

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What does the ‘MF’ and ‘Q3’ represent?

MF - manufacturer: SAAF factory 1 - Footscray, Melbourne
Q - proof round
3 - mark 3


And since no new rifles had been made from 1945 exceept for a Tool and staff trialof 1,000 rifles in 1953 the cartridges wouldhave been for the thousands of rifles rebarrelled or otherwise checked prior to sale to India in the 1950s.
No other reason for continued
Production of acartridgefor asoon to be obsolete rifle.
( L1A1 rifles introduced 1959, but SMLEs still used for Cadets
till 1970, and for recruit training in Reserves till 1967.I doubt serious repairs were carried
out on SMLEs after the early 60s, except for barrel replacement for Military export
To Pacific Islands etc.
Doc AV


Thanks, much appreciated!

MF monogram is a little complicated. This factory was originally the SAAF No 2 with the monogram MG. With the closing of the No. 1 factory, the factory requested, by devious means, for permission to use the MF monogram, because SAA was their only product not to use MF.

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When did this switch happen? Let me guess, after 1945.

MF (original) closed 1945.
MG continued, through 46, 47, and 48, and MF appeared 1949.
MF became AFF in 1988, with
Corporization from gov’t ownership.
Doc AV.

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What about the later use of the MF monogram on larger calibre artillery? I always thought the MF (Munitions Footscray) on larger calibre stuff was continuous and from the same factory pre-war, during WW2 and postwar?

Munitions Footscray (MF) was a Telegraphic Address( ie, when messages were sent by Morse Telegraph and then Teletypes.
The ID included the SAA plant, and the Shell factory ( for drawing the Brass Artillery Shell Cases; Shells ( Projectiles) were made elsewhere during WWII, as werethe Primer tubes, Fuzes, and final Assembly(" filling").
With increase in SAA production in 1940, the SAA plants were numbered 1-7,
and were considered independant factories. At the End of WWII, the SSA No.1(MF) was closed, and equipment dispersed, whilst MF (Shell Factory) continued operations.
MG ( near MF) retained its Headstamp till 1948, andthen became MF (SSA) factory, as all the other SSA factories had closed down and their new WWII machinery dispersed.
MG now MF received someof the new ( mostly US ) machinery, others were either scrapped, sold to Super and Riverbrand, or given to Indonesia, in the 1950s.
Doc AV


Just to clarify the dates of change from MG to MF.

Change of monogram for No. 2 factory from MG to MF.
On 26th April 1949, the Inspection Officer inspecting ammunition during manufacture noted in a hand written note, that the factory had used the base marking MF, whereas it should have been MG, on .303 Mk, 7 Ball cases.
27th April 1949, the Officer in Charge of SAAF No. 2 was advised of the error by the Inspection staff. On 28th April 1949, the factory admitted inadvertently using the incorrect monogram (which was used on all other stores produced by the factory), on all .303 production for the year, in a letter signed by J. D. O’Shea on behalf of the General Manager Mr. N. H. Doyle.
6th May 1949, the Inspection staff advised Inspection H.Q. of the error and the suggestion, from the factory, that all future production should have the MF monogram, and if No. 1 factory should ever reopen, they should be issued a completely different monogram.
The change was approved by Brigadier H. S. Nurse in a letter to the factory dated 12th May 1949, with the note that the MG monogram was cancelled.

My understanding is that the factory deliberately made the error.


This is all very interesting about the MF monogram. What about use of the MC monogram on large calibre ordnance at Maribyrnong from about 1927 for a few years until it changed to MF. I always sort of assumed that it was something like “Munitions CAC” after the government took over CAC.


My knowledge of the larger cases is almost non existent, I wasn’t even aware that Marybrynong used the MC monogram. My guess would be that MC would stand for Marybrynong Case factory. As I stated above, the change to MF at Gordon Street was supposedly to bring it in line with other production.
It would be helpful to know of years of production of cases with the MC monogram.

John, I don’t think that MC would stand for “Case” factory as there was no other large calibre ordnance factories in Australia at the time, so I suspect they also made shells (projectiles) and fuzes.

Marybrynong stamped the .303 chargers they produced with “MO”.

Large calibre projectiles were also stamped MO during WW2, and MO also made 3.7" and 40mm Bofors AA guns.

Correct, Marybrynong did use MO, meaning Marybrynong Ordnance factory.
As I said, large calibre stuff is not my domain, but am happy to add anything I do come across.

Are you only interested in Footscray? What about Rocklea and Derwent Park?

John, I’m interested in all Australian ordnance factories, but probably more so MD than MQ as I’m right into 40mm Bofors and not so much 25 pdrs (separate loading stuff). I believe my mate Ron3350 sent you an email about MC.

Yes, Ron did contact me about the early MC headstamped rounds. Confused me a little since MC was later assigned to Ammunition Factory, Finsbury, South Australia during WW2.