303 drill/dummy cartridges


Are these two 303 drill/dummy cartridges for service use somewhere, or are they “private” dummies? Does anybody have some information about them?


The first is a wartime expedient Inspectors U Mark V made at SAAF No.2 Footscray, Australia (MG) in 1943 or 44. It was a simplified version of the normal U Mark V being tinned brass instead of white metal and omitting the headstamp.

The second is a very nice item indeed. It is a “Cartridge for Instruction” for the Powder Mark I round. These were cartridges that duplicated the live round in appearance and weight and were usually found in a boxed set with other calibres similarly labelled. The original headstamp on yours would have been “R /|\L 9 0”. A very scarce and desirable item. (Fortunately I have one myself).

“Cartridges for Instruction” were produced for all Marks of .303 ball up to Mark VI. I don’t think any Mark VII were made.



These “Cartridges for Instruction” were also made/used in other case types, such as the .577 Snider. For whatever that is worth & all seem to be quite hard to find.

Should like to find or even hear of one, in a MH,

edited once to remove time line assumption comments


“Cartridges for Instruction” for the Snider and Martini usually had a “COAL DUST” label around the case rather than the “DUMMY” sticker on the head.

They were also usually accompanied by a sectioned round in the box.



Thank you very much TonyE for your answer, but then I have one more question: what is the purpose with a “Cartrigdes for Instruction” ?


“Cartridges for Instruction” was just that. They were used in classrooms to instruct troops and sailors (they seem to have been chiefly a Naval store) in what live ammunition looked like and the different types they were likely to encounter.

Unlike drill ammunition which was made to be as different visually as possible from live rounds, these were made to be visually identical to live rounds.



Once again - thank you very much for your answer TonyE. In Denmark we have used several types of “blanks” for training but not this kind of “Cartridges for Instruction”. The must unsual “blanks” were “Fejlpatroner” I guess.


Ah Sooo about the coal-dust Snider & MH Tony. I wasn’t sure if those were for just arsenal use or were used other ways.

But have you seen any MH with this semi-circular DUMMY label?

We had a Snider blank in sale #13 (lot 413) & I got one almost like it (slightly different mouth crimp/shape) at SLICS several years ago.


No Pete, I have only seen the “Coal Dust” Martinis and Sniders. Similarly, I have only seen the paper “DUMMY” label on the .303 rounds.