.303 British Drill round?


#1

yet another query regarding a .303 British round…

What was the purpose of the round on the left in the photos below?

The round on the right (RG 50 D10) is a a Drill Mk 10 round made by Radway Green.

the round on the left (made by Fabrique National d’Armes de Guerre, Herstal, Belgium) has an unpierced primer pocket and contains something sounding like lead shot loose inside it (the round does not accept a magnet).

Is it something along the lines of an instructional / drill / training round?

If so, why is it different to the standard “D” type drill rounds?


#2

These FN drill rounds seem to be made for general export as they only have a generic F N * headstamp.

I think they are probably simply an cheap way of producing a drill round. It is obviously more economic to take the same case as is used for the FN long blank, chrome plate it, add a bit of scrap for weight and hey presto, a cheap drill round!

As for why it is not like the British military “D” series drill rounds, I suppose the answer is that they were not made for Britain.

I have the same round and I must weigh it, just to make sure it is only a functioning dummy and not weighted to specifically duplicate a loaded round for inspection purposes.

Regards
TonyE


#3

Hi Tony,

you’ve actually pre-empted my next thread as I have one of the long blanks with the generic F N * headstamp and I was wondering why it was made that way instead of the “normal” L series Blanks?

thought I’d post the photos, seeing as i had them uploaded onto photobucket anyway!


#4

The answer is probably the same for the blank as the drill round - The FN round is different because it was not made for the British. It is actually a far better design than the British, as the longer “bullet” profile will feed better in most firearms chamber for this round - I would think even from the magazine of the SMLE series of rifles. Of course, the British one shown is made from a normal case, and cannot get the length of the purpose-manufactured FN specimen. (Yes, I know the British round is specifically headstamped as a blank - none the less, it is a normal length case with rosebud crimp).


#5

In fact we British did try full length blanks in the early days of the .303.

Apart from the paper bulletted BP Mark I and the Cordite mark I, the Cordite Mark II and III were long case blanks. The Mark V short cased crimped blank which came next survived (in NC form as the L9Z and L10A1) until the end of the .303 in British service, depite the attempt to introduce the Mark VI blank with a brass mock bullet in 1906.

The very earliest “long” blank was an experimental rolled case blank for the Maxim gun in the 1890s. Similar to the rolled case blank Mark I in construction, it used a brass mock bullet to aid feeding.

Regards
TonyE


#6

I had a number of the “bulleted” blanks in .303 in my collection, including from New Zealand. I also had a few with the bullet removed, which I am told was done purposefully. They still showed signs of crimps in the case where the “bullet” was attached. I think that design would be inherently week hitting a feed ramp at a slightly wrong angle or any other problem. The one piece elongated case as on the FN round is far superior in my opinion.