.303 British Mk lll Ball


#1

Still have some things to finish (headstamp, powder, wad, final details), but thought I’d show the work in progress before I’m off for the Holiday.

Got a nice headstamp view but still need to know the dia. of the cordite sticks(“Size 3-3/4”) and the wad thickness and any color that might be typical. Any details on primer cup thickness and what the guts should look like would also be helpful if anyone can provide!

Thanks for all the input provided and please be critical if there are technical flaws seen.

Dave


#2

Dave

I pulled the bullet on my Mk III Ball and here’s the cordite and wads.

Just funnin’ with you buddy. It’s real cordite but not likely from the Mk III. I have a good collection of cordite samples and they come in all shapes and sizes. Hopefully the one you have to illustrate will be a simple round stick.

Great illustrations, BTW.

Ray


#3

Back from my travels and had a little time to try putting some Cordite and a wad in the assembly. Thanks to everyone who helped with info on this one and especially to Ray for the interesting thread on the different types of Cordite out there.

The headstamp is next and a few little tweaks here and there on the primer should be about it. Again, any comments on details being wrong are appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave


#4

Dave - I might be all wet, as my vision is not very good any more, but in your picture
of the Mark III with cordite and wad, it appears to me that the wads overlaps the
cutaway case sides. Shouldn’t it be within those sides?

Again, if I am reading the picture wrong, just ignore me and accept my apologies.

John M.


#5

John,

Thanks for the input. The contrast is not too good in that image. This might be a bit better…

The wad and Cordite are in contact with the case wall / projectile base as I assumed it’s all squished in there with the final case sizing and bullet seating. I think the sticks on the outside sectioned to show them more rounded and the lighting kind of blends to the case wall in the earlier image.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment on this little project Falcon got me into!

Dave


#6

Great drawing Dave. On a real one the wad would be thinner (probably 50 thou or so thick) and cardboard coloured.


#7

Hi Dave
Great drawing Do Falcon’s suggestions & you’ll be ‘bang’ on!


#8

O.K. My answer to your “correction” base on my comment is…FABULOUS drawing!!! I like the cut
away at an angle like that - something I have never seen in a picture of a cutaway
cartridge. Makes me ashamed - all I can do with a computer is use it as an easily-corrected
typewriter!

Great work Dave.

John Moss


#9

WOW! Virtual sectioning! I love it. Takes all the fun out of it though…

Great job and looking forward to seeing more in the future.

Not being a technophile, what kind of time is involved in a project like this?

AKMS


#10

I only have about 40 Makarov rounds I would like Dave to “Virtually section,” but I won’t do it,
because I couldn’t pay hime and won’t drive him crazy with a project he does need. Fortunately,
I have some very well-sectioned ones by Frank Nerenberg who comes ont he Forum once in awhile,
and even one from Paul Smith.

Incredible work Dave. I really admire people like you, and many of the others on this Forum, who
can do the highest quality writing, art work, and photography. Incredible. Many of us can only
dream about such skills. Of course, everyone’s contributions are equally welcome.

Keep 'em coming.

John Moss


#11

Falcon,

Thanks for that info! Adjustments will be made.

Pete,

Can’t begin to match the beauty of your authentic and very real example, but I’ll try to do it justice.

AKMS,

Not as exciting as Wolfgang’s adventures but I’ve mellowed with age… I’ve yet to keep track of time consumption as much is spent figuring how to make the aesthetic details better defined while holding to the technical dimensions. Mechanically defined alone just don’t look as good (and I ain’t no artist)!

John,

Thanks again and e-mail sent.

Dave


#12

And finally, a new and improved sectioned assembly and a view of the case head.

The headstamp characters still need a bit of work but that’s what we’ve got for now…

Thanks to everyone for the very helpful input and to Falcon for the suggestion to do it!

Dave


#13

Great work!!
Thanks!


#14

The wad would be little more than thick paper and you would be tempted to wonder why they bothered. Much less than a sixteenth of an inch. Probably closer to a thirty second of an inch. Not substancial as shown in your illustration. If I was doing it I would show a minisule air gap between the wad and the bottom of the projectile.


#15

Excellent model! I only would add a few disorder in fibres of Cordite. Just over they correctly stand


#16

On cordite rounds I think that the wad prevented melting of the base of the lead alloy core. The info should be in The Textbook of SmallArms 1929 but my copy is packed away at the moment.

gravelbelly


#17

OK. The latest edition…Here’s a .031" wad without “squishing” up to the projectile. The cordite sticks are also a tiny bit bigger in diameter and arranged for better appearance. (For all I know it should be the “linguine” type Ray showed rather than the “spaghetti” type shown here.)

Dave


#18

Dave

Lookin good!

Question for the experts. Did the skinnier cords extend through the flash holes? Or, were steps taken to prevent that? Or did it make any difference?

Inquiring minds and all that.

Ray


#19

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Dave

Lookin good!

Question for the experts. Did the skinnier cords extend through the flash holes? Or, were steps taken to prevent that? Or did it make any difference?

Inquiring minds and all that.

Ray[/quote]
The flash holes on a .303 case are tiny, little more than pin holes and much smaller than the diameter of a stick of cordite. When you consider the large size of the primer I can only assume this was intentional to force the flame from the primer to travel right up between the gaps between the individual sticks and ignite virtually all the surface area of every stick in the initial moment of ignition. Otherwise I don’t see that they could have got it to burn fast enough if they just left it to chance.
If that was their thinking then the idea must have worked because despite using such a coarse propellant cordite loads were remarkably consistant.


#20

On cordite rounds I think that the wad prevented melting of the base of the lead alloy core. The info should be in The Textbook of SmallArms 1929 but my copy is packed away at the moment.

gravelbelly[/quote]

undoubtedly that was the reason for the wad, given the hot nature of the gases from a cordite charge it would have been essencial. Shame they couldn’t have found some way of protecting the barrel.