.303 Display dummies


#1

I have these .303 dummies, and I would like to know who made them and why. The first three in the photo I got from another collector yesterday, but the last two I got in an antique shop in Hastings in Late 2004.

They are all inter-war dated once fired cases. They appear to have been dug up and cleaned with acid. They all have fired CN jackated Mark 7 bullets showing rifing marks fitted. The headstamps are: (Left to Right): R/|\L 1927 VII, R/|\L 1933 VII, K1936 VII, R/|\L 1930 VII, K1934 VII.

If I hadn’t found them in two separate places four years apart, I would have though they were just someones garage project made with a few cases they had found, but the circumstances suggest there must be more of them out there.

Has anyone ever seen these before?


#2

Falcon, is it a trick of the light or do the two on the right have rifling going in different directions? and very different groove profiles?


#3

Vince, you obviously haven’t spent enough time scratching in the sand on old rifle ranges. British manufactured barrels had left hand twist, five groove, rifling. During the second world war we received many U.S. made rifles which had right hand twist rifling, varying in number from five to two grooves.

gravelbelly


#4

Falcon - have you pulled the bullets on any of these? I have seen similar items, although not sure that they were identical, that have a little knife, or a pencil, coming from the base of the bullet, with the bullet meant to be reversered by hand in the case for use.

I have no idea if these are like that or not. Just offering a point for further examination. As I recall, I had one with a knife on it in my .303 collection. I should have kept it, as I have a little collection of novelty cartridge items. The knife cartridges are very common in 6.5 x 55 with Swedish headstamps.
I have one of those.

Looking at the picture, I am doubtful any of these are like that as the bullets look crimped in on most of them. Just a thought.


#5

Vince: Yes, The bullets do have different rifling impressions:

R/|\L 1927 VII: 5 Groove, L/Hand
R/|\L 1933 VII: 5 Groove, L/Hand
K1936 VII: 4 Groove R/Hand
R/|\L 1930 VII: 5 Groove R/Hand
K1934 VII: 4 Groove R/Hand

John: One bullet comes out, and is a normal bullet. that round weighs 300 grains. All the others also weigh within 4 grains of this weight, so I know they are all just cases and bullets, no hidden surprises. All the other bullets are crimped in.


#6

Gravelbelly, I have done more than my share of digging on ranges (still do)but seen very few recovered bullets as clean as these. It is the near pristine condition that particularly catches my attention.

In the butts the bullets pile in one on top of the other until they compact into one big mass of badly miss shapen examples.Nothing gets spared even the fliers becuase just hitting the sand does damage.

Therefore, just thinking out load for a moment. Could these be either from the fall out zone behind the ranges (as in “overs” that fall to ground spent) or bullets fired at, say, 1200yds where most of the energy has gone.

The only fired bullets I have seen this good are ones picked up on the Somme that presumably have never hit anything before falling to earth.

Oh well, I guess we will never know.

Falcon, I have something that might be able to help identify the rifling but I won’t be able to get it till Thursday. If I can get it I will pass it on to you.

Vince


#7

Thanks for that Vince. I had also thought it was strange that the bullets were fired but in perfect condition. They must have been fired and been allowed to simply fall to the ground to stay in that condition.