.303 British

This cartridge has a round nose lead bullet.

Is this a factory load?


Hard to say>
The headstamp “C IV 8?” would make the case at least to be from a .303 Mark IV Cordite ( an experimental, jacketed, 215 grain Hollow Point “Dum-Dum” type development of the late 1890s) (1898-9) which was obsoleted by the Hague Convention of 1899 as being “inhumane for European combat use” (sic). The “8” is a factory code number used for a short time in the 1890s
Existing stocks were broken up for Blanks or used up in Range practice. Surviving samples are rare.
The Soft Lead projectile could be either a “short range” or gallery version, using recycled Mark IV cases and load or Possibly a cast bullet handload…but the primer (Copper, ronded cup, not “ringed”) makes the case look original, and not a reload. So more likely a factory re-manufactured “Gallery” loading.

Either way, the case is interesting for its headstamp alone.

best regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

I think DocAV is right about the idea of a short range, it looks like a Gaudet gallery round. (cordite mk I)
Often old case were used to produce these rounds, I have in my collection variations with Brittish and Canadian headstamps.

hope this helps.


I agree this is one of the several types of short range certridge tested in the period 1902-1910. It is not a true Gaudet as these had a deep neck cannelure to seat the bullet, but could be either one of the other designs, the Ewart for example. Neither is it a Short Range Cordite Mark I as this used a short semi round nosed jacketed bullet and was headstamped C I.

The case is one made by an unknown supplier “8” for loading at RL Woolwich. Unfortunately no list of which supplier used which of the numeric codes has ever been found, although it is possible to make educated guesses for some of them. “8” may in fact be Eley.

I would contest Doc’s comment that the Mark IV ball round was experimental. It was an approved store (as testified by the allocation of the Mark number) and was the standard service load for British troops during the period 1897-1899 until superceded by the Mark V with a harder lead core to prevent core blow throughs. For this reason probably it was not authorised for use in machine guns which retained the solid Mark II round.

Issues of the Mark IV from Woolwich were:

1897/98 162,800
1898/99 54,504,778
1899/00 11,131,260
1900/01 15,400


Thanks for all reactions.