Here is an uncommon date for a single round from the bin. I rarely see pre WWI dates.
Dates were put on from 1907, There are lots of cartridges produced by Eley, Kynoch, RL and Kings Norton to name a few who have manufatured dated pre WW1 .303, I have quite a few and they are quite common here in the UK.
Actually I believe the first / earliest date was 1887. A gentleman fom Canada turned it up, & he later sold his collection to Bill Woodin.
Here’s an 1889 dated blank.
That would be very unusual because in 1888 during the Metford trials the Rubin cartridge was used because at that time as they were unable to form the shoulder and neck on the case after the solid BP ‘pellet’ was loaded until the MkI BP was introduced on 20th February 1889.
Greenwood and Batley manufactured ’ Cartridge S.A. Ball Magazine Rifle Rubini’ for the 1888 trials (for some reason Rubin was refered to as Rubini)
Very unusual Tony. But I’ve seen it & thought it certainly looked correct. Bill bought it & it wasn’t kept in his fakes drawer. This collection also had the sectioned MK III that Freddy Mead once owned, which Bill VERY knidly sold to me for only $750.00.
In the 1888 Melbourne Exposition Greenwood and Batley set up a display for production of the “Rubini” cartridge in order to impress the Government and get them to agree to the establishment of an ammunition factory in Victoria.
The fact they supplied a necking machine had me wondering if it was a straight cased Rubini or the later .303
OK 4 Rubin’s L-R drill or dummy Trials, Trials like Tony shows, rimless & right necked semi-rimmed. About this right one. The collar sometimes lodged in the barrel, so a method of necking down the case after the solid black powder pellet had been inserted was devised, and in April 1888 a semi-rimmed version of the necked round was tested.
The exposition opened on 1st August 1888, however with shipment times being 9-10 months, I’d be surprised if the necked rubini case was part of the display, if it was only developed during 1888. This display, as you may know, was a working display actually manufacturing the cartridge.
My reading between the lines and from the list of machinery, was that they only made cases, not complete rounds, but I could be wrong.
Unfortunately I haven’t heard of any of the product in collections.
The date of April 1888 was given to me by E. L. (Gene) Scranton. He was a very serious student of British Military. Although I do not have the his source. I can’t speak on the exposition.
There is some information on the exposition in which Greenwood and Batley provided a large static display and a working production line of the rubini cartridge. (Rubini was how it was described at the time). G&B spent 5,000 pounds which was a fortune at the time.
A list of the machines also survived and I have long surmised the display produced the straight cased version. Probably another unanswered question in a long list.