.303" drill / dummy

I have acquired this .303" Drill / Dummy or Instruction round. I do not know? I cannot find reference to such a shoulder and crimp thereof. The bullet is blackened or possible tarnished and also hollow. Everything is NON magnetic. I can shake it and it sounds as if there is a slightly loose wood dowel inside. It has “STERLING SILVER” impressed on the hollow bullet. Maybe a gift shop trinket?
I figured I could not go wrong for $1.


1 Like

Hi Joe,

Nice find! It’s a Princess Mary Christmas 1914 gift with a pencil inside. Can you see a crowned “M” below the shoulder?



Princess Louise gave them away in 1914 to whom?
No crowned “M” below the shoulder I can see.
Is the bullet supposed to be blackened or is that just typical tarnish with Sterling Silver exposed to air?



And IAA Journal issue 421 page 24.


Ok, so being an American I thought Princes Louise would be the giftor. Excuse my American ignorance, who was Princes Mary?


Never mind, I figured it out. Her Royal Highness Princess Mary, the seventeen year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. I just figured Princes Louise would be the giftor not the younger teen princes. A lot I know about the Monarchy apparently.

Joe: Silver does tarnish like that. Leave a pre-1965 U.S. dime lying around for a few months, and it’ll look much like the part of the bullet outside the case. Jack


In case you hadn’t found it, here is the true story behind your find, this extract is taken from the Princes Mary Gift Fund 1914 from the IWM site. The last part is very interesting as I have seen a few variants over the years and all the ones I have seen with the “Bullet” in have been a real bullet case (not as stated below). I had not checked to see if they had all been Kings Norton or not.

As Follows;


It was anticipated that the majority of eligible recipients would receive an embossed brass box, one ounce of pipe tobacco, twenty cigarettes, a pipe, a tinder lighter, Christmas card and photograph but quite early on the committee in charge received strong representations that an alternative gift should be made available for non-smokers. After some discussion the Committee agreed that non-smokers should receive the brass box, a packet of acid tablets, a khaki writing case containing pencil, paper and envelopes together with the Christmas card and photograph of the Princess.

The Committee was also obliged to consider the tastes of other minority groups and it was recognised that if the dietary rules of various religious groups were to be respected, changes would have to be made in the gifts intended for Indian troops. It was decided that The Gurkhas were to receive the same gift as the British troops; Sikhs the box filled with sugar candy, a tin box of spices and the Christmas card; all other Indian troops, the box with a packet of cigarettes and sugar candy, a tin box of spices and the card. Authorised camp followers, grouped under the title of ‘Bhistis’ were to receive a tin box of spices and the card.

The smokers’ and non-smokers’ gifts were both deemed unacceptable by the committee for nurses at the front in France who were instead offered the box, a packet of chocolate and the card.

However, suppliers of the content items had trouble and it was realised that there were still not enough to go round. The Committee resolved the problem by hurriedly buying in an assortment of substitute gifts: bullet pencil cases, tobacco pouches, shaving brushes, combs, pencil cases with packets of postcards, knives, scissors, cigarette cases and purses. Those sailors who should also have received the lighter as part of their gift, were given instead, a handsome bullet pencil in a silver cartridge case which bore Princess Mary’s monogram. The ‘pencil bullet’ was not fashioned out of real bullet parts – it was simply a pencil with a rounded white metal end that looked like an unfired round when stored inside a brass tube resembling a cartridge case.


Also as Fede asked and I reported, I have no monogram on my casing. Maybe one of the hurried up ones made at the end.