.303 Die Cast Drill/Dummy


I’m trying to get more information on the .303 Die Cast Drill cartridges made in Australia.

David Mayne’s excellent book has the drawing of the ‘Cartridge, S.A., Drill, .303 inch L.P. Mk 1.’ (LP = Local Pattern) and as is commonly known, this was made by Die Casters in Melbourne, Australia.

I know they were sent to Ammunition Factory, Footscray for checking and packing. I have been told the flutes were machined after casting, and presume this follows the British method, no doubt due to wanting a less complex die.
I cannot recall seeing one with a Die Casters monogram.

Also, not as well known is production with the headstamp KBC LP1, made by K. Bowes & Co. Ltd. I understand this company was in South Australia.

Any added info to the above would be welcomed.


I have both the Die Casters version and the one headstamped “KBC LP1”. However, I have been led to understand the KBC" were the initials of a company called Carmichaels, not K.Bowes.

I knew that the flutes were milled in the Die casters version but did not realise this may have been done at Footscray. AFAIK, none of this type was headstamped. The flutes of the second type are cast.

I can post photographs if required.


Thanks for that info Tony.

I’m not sure that Footscray did mill the flutes, and/or paint them, although it is quite likely. I do know they checked and packed them. Something else to try to clarify.

Interesting about the KBC version. I will be able to get a copy of the details of Bowes and hope we can clarify the identity of the producer.

W. T. Carmichael Ltd were involved in manufacturing some parts for the AUSTEN as was Die Casters Ltd.

The reference to it being Carmichaels could be an error propagated by the Aust War Memorial. They mention a .303 inch Drill Local Pattern Mk1 (Carmichael’s Version) then go on to say the Maker was Die Casters Ltd. After which there is this quote:


This cartridge is a type example of an Australian Second World War munitions product originally held by the Australian Defence Industries Munitions Factory at Benalla, Victoria. The headstamp includes the letter LPI indicating Local Pattern Mark 1, which indicates it is an Australian pattern."

This is the confusing stuff which makes researching this hobby so rewarding.



Barry Temple quotes the maker as Carmichael but I have no idea on what this was based and sadly we cannot ask him now.

If "KBC is Bowes, then does the “C” stand for “Company”?

I look forward to any info you can dig up.


Yes, I’m sorry I returned to the fray too late to catch up with Barry. We spent many hours in discussion in the 70’s and it was in one of those that my passion for Aust Military SAA was ignited.

I was talking to Peter White who is currently writing an article for the ACCA, on this very subject, and the info on K.Bowes came from him. Unfortunately he has not currently got access to the internet, although during my visit last week we may have overcome that problem, and he should have within the week. Fingers crossed !!!

As soon as I get a copy of his data I’ll be very happy to share it.



edit: I guess KBC stands for K Bowes Company, if they were in fact the manufacturer.

I remember that KBC made electric drills, on Googling KBC electric drills the first site that appeared was ‘powertoolstudy,blogspot.com/p/other.html’ which gave the history of this company, Ken Bowes & Co. The history records their die casting activities during the WW2 as well as pre- and post war. Hope this helps.

Hi Les,

Good to hear from you.

Wonderful link and a great bit of info which would support the KBC headstamp. Below is an extract from that blog.

“Although the company produced domestic appliances such as the bean slicer and clothes ringer it was the tool construction and die casting of military components such as ammunition parts (shell and bomb noses) and tank attack guns that kept the company busy during the Second World War (WWII)”

This gives another lead and I’ll see what info Peter has, hopefully it’s something fresh.



More confusion.

Searches by myself and others have not been able to find any reference to K.B. Carmichael Ltd, Melbourne. If anyone has anything definite on this I would appreciate the link.
At this point, I’m tending to still think The Carmichael often referred to is W.T.Carmichael Ltd of Sydney who as mentioned above, manufactured parts for the Austen, same as Diecasters. If that is the case, did they also manufacture the LP1 ?? Interesting thought!!

I’ve now come up with at least four variations of Diecast Drill/Dummies.

  1. Basic LP1 KBC headstamped, red flutes and red primer pocket.

  2. As above, but no headstamp.

  3. Red primer pocket, unpainted flutes, no headstamp.

  4. Red primer pocket, NO FLUTES, projectile part completely painted red. I presume this may have been an armourers dummy.




I have just come across a reference to this monogram being used on Diecast bodies of electric drills made by Ken Bowes & Co. 99% certain they were the manufacturer of the headstamped LP1.