303 British


#1

I have three 303 British cartridges that I can’t identify. Can tell me what these are

1 is head stamped D A C 1930 Vll, flat copper primer, purple primer sealant, 3 narrow purple bands on case

2 is head stamped D A C 1930 Vll, flat copper primer, purple primer sealant, 2 wide purple bands on case

#3 is head stamped K 1918 Vll Z, flat copper primer, one narrow blue band on case

Carolyn


#2

I believe that the DAC headstamped rds are Canadian Match rds and the British rd with a Blue band is a practice/reduced charge rd.

edited to add: Not sure about the British rd another book I’ve looked in says the Blue band would be about an inch.

I think the resident .303 experts will have to give the definitive answer.


#3

I agree with Armourer.

The Canadian rounds are match ammunition and can be found with various dates throughout the 1930s and different combinations of coloured bands.

The Kynoch 1918 round is intriguing. As Armourer says, a British reduced charge round should have a one inch wide blue band and “RC” included in the headstamp. These cartridges were intended to cause stopages in Vickers guns to train pilots in clearing their guns in the air. I have a drawing of the Reduced Charge round but it is a .pdf so I cannot load it to photobucket.

On balance I do not think it is a reduced charge round, but probaly something else. What I do not know.

If you want to trade the round I would be interested.

Regards
TonyE


#4

Thank you Gentlemen for the answers. I just picked them up the other day with some other 303’s. In Peter Labbett’s book the only info that I can find is a mention of 2 instances of color banding, one being with the reduced charge Mark 7.z ball cartridge approved for training purposes in 1918 and the other for a Tracer. There’s no mention of band width. I think I could assume that the one with the Blue Band would be a reduced chargegoing by the H/S
Carolyn


#5

Carolyn

Gentlemen! Tony, maybe. Armourer, . . .

You guys, pardon me, you Gentlemen know where a Competition cartridge collector might get some of the Canadian Match rounds? Would they have been Palma?

Ray


#6

Some very good .303 inch books are by B. A. Temple. Identification Manual on the .303 British Service Cartridge.
As far as I’m aware there are 5 volumes (ball, blank, 2@ dummy & spl. purpose) & he list’s things not shown in Labbet as he also covers items not officially adopted, or noted in the Lst of Changes.
The booklets are small & have hand drawn illustrations, often with a sectioned example & typical headstamp.
Probably out of print but you should be able to find them & probably inexpensive, as a guess, as paperbacks.


#7

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]Some very good .303 inch books are by B. A. Temple. Identification Manual on the .303 British Service Cartridge.
As far as I’m aware there are 5 volumes (ball, blank, 2@ dummy & spl. purpose) & he list’s things not shown in Labbet as he also covers items not officially adopted, or noted in the Lst of Changes.
The booklets are small & have hand drawn illustrations, often with a sectioned example & typical headstamp.
Probably out of print but you should be able to find them & probably inexpensive, as a guess, as paperbacks.[/quote]

a word to the wise,

if you are thinking of searching for these on fleabay…

there is a “gentleman” on there who occasionally “sells” said manuals on cd rom…

sells them up to the point whereby you have paid for them and they don’t then arrive…

I will not name names as that would be slander, but…

be warned!!


#8

Magpie,
If you have been cheated by ‘gentleman’ on Ebay, then I don’t think it would be slander to post his name.


#9

Ray - I think your best bet would be to woo a couple of the Canadian guys for match cartridges. I believe they were so marked for the Canadian NRA meeting each year, but they may well have been used in the Palma match.

Regards
TonyE


#10

Carolyn - See the spec. for the Mark VII RC at the bottom of Page 35 of PL’s .303 book, which states a 1 inch blue band. The official drawing I have also shows the same.

If it IS a VIIRC then it should have a black p.a. and a charge of 31 grns NC, which would make the overall weight about 12 grns lighter than a normal Mark VIIZ (not a cordite Mark VII). Have you weighed it?

Regards
TonyE


#11

[quote=“GuyHildebrand”]Magpie,
If you have been cheated by ‘gentleman’ on Ebay, then I don’t think it would be slander to post his name.[/quote]

If I see him on there again soon i will, but he isn’t on there at the moment, sadly…


#12

Carolyn,

these are not the same as your examples, but I thought i’d post them anyway…

H/S DAC 19 VII 34 is the round with 4 x purple bands, making it a 1935 Match round
H/S DAC 39 VII is the round with 2 x blue bands making it a 1940 Match round

Ray,

Just to wet your whistle, as they say…

this is the list of Canadian match rounds that was posted by Chris P, in an archive thread when i asked about my two above;

DCRA Banded Match Checklist

1921 Match, Color: Rosaniline, Bands:1, width:3/4-inch,
1922 Match, Color: Malachite Green, bands:1, Width:3/4-inch, dates known: 1922
1923 Match, Color: Gentian Violet, Bands:1, Width:3/4-inch, dates known: 1922
1924 Match, Color: Victoria Blue, Bands:1, Width:3/4-inch,
1925 Match, Color: Rosaniline, Bands:6, Width:1/16-inch, dates known:1924
1926 Match, Color: Malachite Green, Bands:6, Width:1/16-inch, dates known:1925, 1926
1927 Match, Color: Gentian Violet, Bands:6, Width:1/16-inch, dates known:1924,1926,1927
1928 Match, Color: Victoria Blue, Bands: 6, Width:1/16-inch, dates known:1927
1929 Match, Color: Rosaniline, Bands:3, Width:1/16-inch, dates known:1928
1930 Match, Color: Malachite Green, Bands:3, Width:1/16-inch dates, known:1929
1931 Match, Color: Gentian Violet, Bands:3, Width:1/16-inch, dates known:1930
1932 Match, Color: Victoria Blue, Bands:3, Width:1/16-inch, dates known:1931
1933 Match, Color: Rosaniline, Bands: 4, Width:1/8-inch, dates known:1932
1934 Match, Color: Malachite Green, Bands:4, Width:1/8-inch, dates known:1933,1934
1935 Match, Color: Gentian Violet, Bands: 4, Width:1/8-inch, dates known:1934
1936 Match, Color: Victoria Blue, Bands:4, Width:1/8-inch, dates known:35
1937 Match, Color: Rosaniline, Bands:2, Width:5mm, dates known:36
1938 Match, Color: Malachite Green, Bands:2, Width:5mm, dates known:37
1939 Match, Color: Gentian Violet, Bands:2, Width:5mm, dates known:36,38
1940 Match, Color: Victoria Blue, Bands:2, Width:5mm, dates known:39
1944 Match, Color: Green, Bands:1, Width:11mm, dates known: 44
1945 Match, Color: Purple, Bands:1, Width:14mm, dates known:44

The date of the DCRA match does not always agree with the headstamp dates. The color names were the official color names.

Hope this helps!?

Magpie


#13

Hi TonyE & Magpie
The cartridge weights 400 grains and when I shake it I don’t hear powder inside which I assume I should hear, also this one has no primer sealant color.

Thank you, for the color band chart I didn’t know that there were so many it gives me more to look for as if I don’t have enough already.

Carolyn


#14

400 grains is spot on specification for a normal Mark VIIz ball round, so at least we have established that it is not a VIIRC, as I suspected.

Any chance of a photograph?

Regards
TonyE


#15

Hi TonyE
here is a picture of the cartridge
Carolyn


#16

Ditto!


#17

Hi there,

If you look at the mid part of the .303 with the small blue band, it looks like this cartridge has been in a machinegun belt for a while. (less oxidation)
maybe the linen mg belt caused this stripe?! just a guess.

all the best,

Joost


#18

Carolyn, is the band definitely blue or could it just be described as a dark colour?
In Conjay’s .303 catalogue are described three Match cartridges identified with a ‘dark coloured’ band around the case.
Two of them are Mk VI rounds, one of these has a band above the rim while the other has a band around the equator of the case (I take that to be midway up).
The third Match round is a Mk VII which is described as having a dark band above the rim.
I know that none of these are identical to your round but it would certainly appear that dark bands at various heights around the case can indicate a Match round.
Jim


#19

Jim
The band is diffidently Blue in color. The only thing I don’t know is if they had match cartridges with that early of a h/s, on the list that Magpie provided it starts at 1921. Did they disassemble old ammo and make match rounds out of them instead of using new cases? As Joost pointed out it looks like it could have been in a MG belt.
Carolyn


#20

Carolyn,
The two Mk VI Match cartridges in Conjay’s catalogue are dated 1908 and 1909 and he has examples with both Royal Laboratories and Kynoch headstamps. The Mk VII Match round is Kynoch with a 1930 headstamp.
Jim