I have a .303 Brit ctge hstped N/CAC/Z/.303. Can anyone give me a rough time frame as to date produced. All my other CAC is hstped CAC/MK/Year. Was the N/CAC/Z/.303 hstp a specialrun or am I just used to milsurp ammo/
As far as I am able to understand, the headstamp you describe would be from the period 1908 to 1914. During this timeframe the letters “NZ” were on the headstamp to indicate government ownership, similar to the broad arrow on British headstamps.
Actually, your cartridge dates from c.1962 or later. I quote:
Sporting cartridges manufactured by CAC in the years following 1962 began with the previous 174 grain soft-pooint, loaded into a case headstamped CAC N 303 Z. The variation retains the crimped-in Berdan primer, but for the first time, uses a primer of brass. Later production of the same headstamp may be found with crimped copper primer and an un-crimped brass primer. The un-crimped primer variations may also be found with a number of bullet styles, including soft-point and hollow-point of various weights."
You did not specify the bullet type in your question. I suspect because you didn’t and refer to “Milsurp” that it is FMJ. The above paragraph doesn’t mention FMJ loads, but also doesn’t rule them out ("…may also be found with a number of bullet styles, including…").
As to the answer by Heavyiron, there was reason for it, although it is incorrect because of the style of the headstamp on the round you have.
I will quote again.
“During the years 1909 - 1913, CAC manufactured an otherwise normal Mark VI cartridge for use by the National Rifle Association (of NZ) at the Trentham military range. Suich ammunition is packed in wrappers so marked, and carries its own distinctive headstamp. From time to time, case production appears to have exceeded demand, for examples dated 09, 10, and 12 are are also recorded in blank loading. (Author shows headstamps beginning with " N CAC Z C VI” and going on to “N CAC Z VI 09” thru “13”.
“The undated example may be an exception, as it is recorded in both Ball Mk.VI and 215 grain round-nose soft-point loadings, and may well be the first CAC sporting load for the commercial market. No other loadings are presently known with these headstamps.”
So you can that with the caliber marking of .303, your round is of the later category, and was probably a sporting round, if even loaded as a solid.
Reference: “The Colonial Ammunition Company Cal. .303” Cartridges", by Barry Gracia.
It is a PSP projectile. Lead comes back about 3mm from tip of projectile.
O.K. that confirms what was written. Your round is a CAC Sporting round from 1962 or after. It is not a military cartridge.
It was very easy to get this headstamp mixed up with the ones that Heavyiron was thinking of. I used to collect .303, and I had the cartridge you mentioned cataloged originally as one of the ones from before WWI, and as a “reload” kept just for the headstamp, as believing as I did that it was the early type, the SP bullet was “wrong,” and I had not seen any CAC with a brass primer cup up to that point. It was only after getty Barry’s book that I got it straight myself.
Then I realized it was a much later production commercial round.