.303" British (KN 08) Mk VI


#1

This Kings Norton Mark VI has a weight of 436 grains and a very long pointed projectile loaded in the casing. Also has wax at the case mouth. Any ideas, as this combination does not compute?

Joe





#2

The first thing I find curious is the lack of 3 neck indents that both the MkVI and Mk VII should have, it also doesn’t look like it has a neck cannula for a rolled in neck crimp.

I have looked through all my books and literature on .303 and I cant find anything it could be with a 1908 headstamp, I wonder what the bullet looks like the bullet base might tell us if its an early tracer type but that would mean pulling the bullet.

sorry not much help Joe

Rich :-)


#3

Match load for I believe the Ross rifle


#4

Rich,

Yes, I kind of hesitate to pull it, as that would break the wax seal.

Pete. Thanks for the insight, sounds like a winner to me.

Note; bullet diameter is 0.310" just above the wax at neck.


#5

what is the overall length and the length of exposed bullet

thanks
Rich


#6

[quote=“RichT”]what is the overall length and the length of exposed bullet

thanks
Rich[/quote]

3.240" is the overall length and 1.30 for the length of projectile extended beyond the mouth.

joe


#7

I agree with the identification as a match round. The same bullet design (although different diameters) is also found loaded into 6.5x53R Dutch (.256 Mannlicher) and 8x50R Austrian (.315 Mannlicher) cases, both with Kings Norton headstamp. They were intended for long range target shooting and were to be loaded singly into specialized target rifles.

They are illustrated in the earliest Datig books. Their use is described in “Rifles and Ammunition” (1915) by Ammundsen. I may not be correct about the last author’s name. My copy is packed away and I am going from memory.


#8

The author of Rifles and Ammunition was Harcourt Ommundsen; his co-author was Ernest Robinson. Jack


#9

The bullet itself looks much like a 303 with head stamp - K2 1943 GII and it is a tracer. so may it have been reloaded and then sealed to prevent decomposition of the tracer cpd?


#10

Jack: Thanks for the correction. I have now dug my copy out of storage.

Ommundson & Robinson, Rifles and Ammunition (1915). Page 320, 2nd paragraph. “The British team used a cartridge specially loaded by the King’s Norton Metal Company, with a heavy charge and a 220 grain bullet. This ammunition gained a great reputation as the “Palma” cartridge.”

In the UK, shooting was done on the Bisley range, at distances of 800 to 1200 yards. The back position was commonly used.

I think xjda68 has found an extremely interesting cartridge.


#11

have a look here its page 1 reply no 9 i think it has a photo from TonyE

bocn.co.uk/vbforum/threads/8 … ight=palma

2nd round in on the phot is the .303 Palma match round

Rich


#12

I have never heard of a .303 tracer loaded on an earlier case. I would think that this would be unlikely.


#13

Gentlemen, some advise please. If so am I devaluing a valuable round if I pull it and break the wax seal or not. Estimation of value please.

joe


#14

[quote=“xjda68”]Gentlemen, some advise please. If so am I devaluing a valuable round if I pull it and break the wax seal or not. Estimation of value please.

joe[/quote]

Joe, I’m not into sporting loads but I have seen a couple of these over the years at Bisley meetings although none has been in such good condition as yours. I’ve got a few lists provided by UK cartridge sellers but I can only find one reference to any cartridge which is similar to yours but has a ‘.303 BRITISH’ headstamp. The list is by Roger Mundy who is undoubtedly the UK expert on .303 Match ammunition but sadly Roger doesn’t seem to read this forum. It would be good if he could see your cartridge.
He describes the cartridge as ‘Ross match ball for 1912 Palma. Made for Canada by USCCo.’ He has two of the cartridges listed at £20…about $35. I would also add that Roger prices his ammunition very reasonably so its certainly worth at least that much.


#15

Jim,

Thanks, therefore I am hesitant to pull it. I suppose I could just smear some candle wax back in the mouth shelf after I reassembled it. let me think on it some more. Sure wish I knew of a dentist cartridge collector that was close by. I have been looking to buy my own small portable X Ray machine, but they are not cheap to say the least.

Joe


#16

Ok, I decided what the heck, I would pull it. 0,310’ diameter projectile with “KN” embossed in the lead base. 224.5 grains or 14.55 grams weight. Most likely cordite under the waxed paper wad inside casing.

Joe




#17

Hmmmm, that sort of negates the idea that this was made by USCCo…unless of course it was assembled by USCCo using a Kynoch-manufactered bullet. If I can figure out how to send a link to this thread I’ll send it on to Roger Mundy to see what he has to say.


#18

Jim,

I would venture to say the “KN” on the bullet base is for Kings Norton, the same as the case manufacturer.
I think deCoux was on it from the start, as it is obviously a match round since I have pulled it. Now I wonder if there is an official designation, as it is factory loaded?

Joe


#19

It does fit all the requirements for a Kings Norton Pointed Palma Match round, it is the same weight, size and is in the correct case. there are a few posts from Rodger Mundy on the BOCN forum regarding Palma and Sprite "Kynoch’s version of the Match round.

see here - bocn.co.uk/vbforum/threads/8 … ight=palma

Rich


#20

Joe here is something I found, I cant remember where or when I got this but it is about the match bullets from the same era.

The .303” “Patent Pointed” Cartridge.

This cartridge was intended for “Match Rifle” shooting. This is a specific discipline, shot at distances from 800 to 1,000 yards initially, and from 1910 at 900 to 1,100 yards, under NRA rules, and was intended to be semi-experimental in nature, in that, provided the rifle and ammunition were of a military character, almost any combination of action, barrel and ammunition could be used. Prior to 1897 there was no restriction in calibre, but in that year a maximum calibre of .315” was introduced, together with a weight limit of 3.25 lbs. for the barrel, and so the previously favoured black-powder rifles, mostly in .450” calibre, disappeared, being replaced by the .303” and the .256” (6.5mm) Mannlicher, the latter being the favourite as the ammunition was considered to be better than the .303” that was available.

In 1903, the “Palma Trophy” match was shot at Bisley, and the King’s Norton Metal Co. (who up until then had been known to shooters mostly for their .303” ammunition made for the Government) were persuaded to make a better quality .303” cartridge for the British team. It had a bullet of about 225 grains weight (10 grains more than the Service bullet) and a heavier charge of powder, and shot very well, and because of this was then marketed commercially as the “.303” Palma”, with many of the Match Rifle shooters changing over to it…

In 1905, Kynoch introduced their .375/303 Axite round, loaded with a 225-grain bullet, in competition with the “Palma” cartridge, this new round having a larger case, and a higher velocity.

All the above cartridges had round-nosed bullets, but in 1906 at least two of the Match Rifle shooters had the King’s Norton Co. make them some pointed bullets, which they shot in competition, with some minor success. More work to improve the bullets was done by both the KNMCo and Kynoch, resulting in each of them announcing for the 1907 season the “Palma Pointed”, and the “Swift” bullets, respectively. Both these bullets weighed 225 grains, and were very similar to each other.

It was at about this time that the Birmingham Metal & Munitions Co. decided to get in on the act, by introducing their “Patent Pointed” cartridge. This had an even heavier bullet than the other two, at 235 grains, and was stated to have a high velocity, but I do not know what the actual figure was. The Patent referred to was British Patent No. 3429 of 1905; however, this was not taken out by the BM&MCo., but by DWM of Germany!

The shooting quality of this round must have been quite good, as it was seriously considered as the round for the British team in the rifle shooting events of the 1908 Olympic Games; however, in the end the team chose the “Palma Pointed” round, as it was considered that the quality control of the KN Company was better.

There was a relatively small market for any of these rounds, as the “Match Rifle” discipline was shot by only between 60 and 100 persons (compared to about 1,500 competitors who shot for the “King’s Prize” in the “Service Rifle” events), most of whom were well-off gentlemen with plenty of leisure time, and there was plenty of competition for their custom, with Eley, King’s Norton, and Kynoch all producing .303” and .375/303” (and later.280”) ammunition with pointed bullets of various weights. The “Patent Pointed” cartridges were relatively expensive at £9/2/6d per thousand (“Government” ammunition being £5 per 1,000), and do not seem to have been anywhere near as popular as the KN-made cartridges, with the result that very few are seen today.

This packet is the only one I have ever seen, (it’s not in my collection, alas) and must date from about 1907-1908. The round is advertised in a BM&MCo catalogue/price list of about 1907 vintage (as shown below), and was still in the Nobel’s Ammunition Price List of 1912-13 (still at the same price). With the outbreak of the First World War, all Match Rifle shooting was suspended, and when it resumed in 1919, all the competitors were obliged to use the .303” Magnum cartridge, and so the “Patent Pointed” passed from the scene.

Rich