"303 BRIT." headstamp

Boxer primed, 150 grain soft point GM. Head is dished inwards. Green sealant on primer annulus. Water spots on all 10,000+ rounds, cases and projectiles. All the headstamps I have examined seem to have a smeared or double stamping. Told it is Canadian 1990’s production?

Joe

Hi Joe,

It was made by IVI of Canada in 1981 and loaded with a 150 gr “Pointed Soft Point” bullet. I don’t know for whom it was made or for what purpose, but it was not a civlian market product. Box is marked: “CARTRIDGES (Ball symbol) 303 BRIT. 150 PSP LOT: 3-IVI-81”.

Regards,

Fede

Fede,

Thank you.

I would have figured maybe for some African conflict to get by blockade as sporting ammo. Apparently not so…

Joe

A .303 soft point loading is type classified in Canada’s military ammunition nomenclature, so we can assume it was made for military use. I hope someone else knows the details of the exact purpose of these loads in the Canadian forces. Foraging maybe?

Related information was posted here by Paul Smith: .303 British Mk VIII and VIIIz

I just bought a thousand rounds of it to use in my Bren Gun.
It is boxer primed and non-corrosive by testing.
I was wondering who made the stuff and for what purpose, thank you for the answer.
I was told by the seller that it was Canadian Military production from the 1980’s, and that it was surplused last year.
Gregg

Canada dropped the .303 for military use use long before 1980’s. Canada adopted the Nato calibers for all military use after the 1950’s.
These cartridges were made for the Canadian Rangers, a semi militarized force made up mainly of aboriginals to enforce Canada’s sovereignty in to the Arctic (The USA still tries to lay claims they own much of Canada’s arctic). The principal rifle used is the Lee Enfield No 4 rifle. See more on the Canadian Rangers here.

As this is a soft-point projectile, was it intended for defence against polar bears?

Falcon,

I was thinking exactly the same thing last night.

Joe

I am having a hard time with IVI making this cartridge. Fede has provided specifics as he either has the box or material information, so that means they made it… It just looks so third world with the dished head and crappy bunter stamping. I fingered many of them loose looking for a good example to keep and they are all the same. The primer annulus seals are very sloppily applied and the awful bunter job… Some of them it was hard to make out the headstamp they are so bad. I just wonder why IVI would do such a sloppy job.
Now if some ID’ed it as central African or Spanish I would say, absolutely, but IVI…

Joe

Gregg,

Would you mind sharing where you bought it? You can email me if you wish not post it here. xjda68@hotmail.com.
Was it exactly what I posted a picture of. Same exact headstamp and all?

Joe

I have had many of these in the past, especially when living up in Northern Canada and these are in fact IVI made. Why the headstamp is so poor I am not sure, I have some with good headstamps and some crappy. The Norther Peoples have used .303’s for many, many years and after WW2 many of the Northern peoples were just given the surplus rifles. They learned to make them work for their Environment. It is very different up there. Even today while most of Canada is subject to a firearms licence and such, the North is exempt.
Very rarely are there issues with Polar bears. These folks have lived with them for generations and are knowledgeable on their behaviors, it is not like stumbling upon a bear down south in the tight bush. The chief use of firearms this far north is for use on Caribou, Musk Oxen, seals and signalling to others where they are. The latter is of huge importance. But the point of why some of the ammo has such a crappy head I can not answer.

Hi Joe,

Below you can see a picture of the label and headstamp. Note they relabeled a Mk 8 Ball box.

Regards,

Fede

Fede,

Great pics!

Brian

Fede,

Thank you. I have printed and put with my round. Now I want a box, not just a loose round. Hopefully Gregg will tell where he bought them.

Joe

The No. 4 rifles are being replaced starting this year (if all goes according to plan) by 6820 Tikka rilfes being produced at Kitchener, Ontario.

http://soldiersystems.net/tag/tikka/

Try this link to 1919a4.com

I bought this ammo over a month ago, and they might be sold out by now.

Gregg

Gregg,

The ammo you received, was it loose or boxed?

Also did your ammo have the green annulus sealant on the primer?

If it did, then they did not break down anything, they are just selling it like Tallon was doing and got nailed for doing such.

Joe

The ammo was loose, 500 pieces to a plastic bag with in a box (two boxes).
The ammo does have a green sealant on the primer, as shown in the photo above.

I was wondering about that also, as the bullet appears to have a factory crimp.
But, they could have pulled the bullets, dumped the powder charge, and simply reloaded the same powder and re-seated the bullet.
That is what Tallon was doing.

Anyway, I do not care.
It is good shooting, boxer primed ammo, that is very suitable for reloading; and that is what I was after.

Well now one small correction per my observation. Talon deprimed and reprimed with new commercial primers. They were prosecuted for the ammo that they sold unaltered. Maybe they sold something I am not privy to that they did not reprime.