303 british id


Brass case.
Copper boxer primer
195 grain steel jacket bullet. [color=#FF0000].308"[/color]




Ray - your cartridge is from the Ross Rifle Company. It is a variation on the 1913/1915 Model “Needle Nose” match cartridge. It is described as “a departure from the long-angle cartridge of the 1913 Palma Match. It is the same length, but the bullet is heavier - the heaviest made by Ross and its diameter is 0.3085”.

See especially page 232, but also pages from about 212 to 239 of “The Ross Rifle Co. of Canada, A Historical Appraisal of the Ross Rifle,” by Roger Phillips (Published by John A. Chadwick, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1984).

Ross loaded these rounds, and probably made the bullets, but I am not sure who made the cases.

John Moss


Thanks John

That confirmed what I had thought it to be. Only information still missing is who made the case.



How does the .308 dia. bullet work in this situation with a caliber that is typically a nominal .311 when intended for match use? Were there .308 dia. .303 rifles made?



Early service Ross rifles had a .299" bore and .309" groove diameter. Bore size was changed to standard .300" British in 1911.


I found a small artitcle in the NZCCC bulletin #151, stating that this cartridge was used in the Pan American and International rifle matches at Perry in 1913 and that the cartridge was a failure, the bullet can also can be found in cases headstamped D^C C11. Also states no need to discuss further as no one will have this cartidge! Rod Woods had one in his collection here in NZ.


I have read that business about this cartridge not being in anyone’s collection before. I had one in my .303 collection, along with an original bullet probably pulled from another round, as well as a duplicate along the way. Headstamp was the same one shown - simply “303 BRITISH.”

I wonder how many rounds were made, that it should be considered so rare? I know that it certainly is scarce - I have never seen a whole lot of them around at shows or anything, so am not disputing at all that it is not a common cartridge. But the things I have read, like the above, would make it sound like there are only one or two specimens known.

John Moss


The Pan American matches were held in Argentina in 1912, not 1913. Frankford Arsenal loaded a special 150 grain “Ross Type” bullet for those matches that is different in both weight and shape. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Canadians did not use the 195 grain bullet in their cartridges, assuming they participated in the 1912 Matches.

Long heavy bullets such as the 195 grain Ross are usually associated with long range competition, such as Palma rather than the short range matches like Pan American, but, again, it could have been used in any kind of competition. And that may possibly explain why the cartridge was a failure.

I especially like the part about the cartridge being un-common.



IIRC there was an article in the "Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting " on this ctg. I will see if I can locate it.