303 British questions new pics

I recently acquired two 303 collections and going thru them these have me stumped. The first is what looks like any other MkII ball round but what is the * there to signify? My IT guy came yesterday and these pictures are better.

The second has what looks a tack stuck in the nose it and the bullet are magnetic. Strange commercial round or just a MkII that someone stuck a tack into?

The last round I am hoping is a MkII Special

The one with the tack in the nose is an early H&H peg point bullet variation. Later versions had the top of the “tack” (now more of a peg in shape) set down into the hollow point & are often seen with a Holland & Holland headstamp in several variations. The tack in this one of yours should be 4-sided.

The Eley rounds headstamped “E C * II” are something of an enigma, but what they are not is a genuine Mark II*. These were only made in India with the exception of a small trial batch made at Royal Laboratory, Woolwich. Although the title “Mark II*” was used in some documents the correct nomenclature appears to have been “…Mark II Special”

The bullet in your Eley round appears to be similar to the Indian Dum Dum bullet with the small exposed lead tip but it is difficult to tell as the picture is out of focus. It would be interesting to pull the bullet and look at the base marking to see if it is Indian.

I suspect that these rounds were a private venture by Eley to possibly attract a military contract but have no confirmation of this. The same headstamp was used on trial short range lead bulleted rounds when the War Office was looking at training ammunition.

Attached is a photograph of my Mark II Special with a typical “D I” headstamp on the left compared to a Mark IV on the right. The exposed lead tip actually looks larger in the picture than it does in the flesh and I have another example with a smaller tip.


Thank you for the answers these new pictures while not by any means professional are better and it looks like the MkII special isn"t.