.303 Dummy and Drill


I start to try to identify my Drill and Dummy and you can not immagine !
If someone can help me…

Is there any book about English .303?




One very useful series of books is written by B.A.Temple of Australia. They all go by the title: “Identification Manual on the .303 British Service Cartridge”. I have got the following volumes;

  1. Ball Ammunition ISBN 0 9596677 2 5
  2. Blank Ammunition ISBN 0 9596677 3 3
  3. Special Purpose Ammunition ISBN 0 9596677 4 1
  4. Dummy Cartridges (1) ISBN 0 9596677 5 X
  5. Dummy Cartridges (2) ISBN 0 9596677 6 8

There was also planned to be a 6th volume; A Miscellany, but I have never come across this one.

The books by A.O.Edwards are also highly recommended. Look for; “Headstamps and Markings on British Service .303 Ammunition.”




I will have a go at identifying some of these for you. It will give the more knowledgeable collectors something to shoot down.

Top row, left to right:

  1. Kynoch made, nickel case, Drill mark VI type.

  2. K 58 7.Z in having no flutes on the case this is really a dummy U mark 5, not a drill round. The use of a standard ball case and the late date indicate a U mark 5, fourth pattern.

  3. Kynoch made, nickel case, Drill mark VI type, a variant of number 1 above.

  4. GB 1944 VII is an Expedient type (type 1). Expedients were made, of varying patterns, during both World Wars.

  5. Is too late to be one of the wartime expedients and may not be British.

  6. Don’t know this one and can’t read any headstamp, I leave it to others to reply.

Bottom row, left to right:

  1. Strange bullet, filled cap chamber, odd holes, this one doesn’t look British to me either.

  2. Strange bullet, odd neck shape, I will pass on this one too.

  3. This seems to be a Dummy, Inspectors, Mark III but I would expect the case to be tinned and to lack flash holes.

  4. The fired case with soldered-in bullet, cannelures round the case body and fired cap are features of some Dutch made drill rounds.

  5. This one has the features of the Drill D Mark 8 (second pattern) with a headstamp for an Incendiary mark VI Z. Reject cases were used so the headstamp is meaningless.




  1. The fired case with soldered-in bullet, cannelures round the case body and fired cap are features of some Dutch made drill rounds.


Typical Danish.


For one of the first times, I have to disagree with my dear friend EOD, concerning the .303 dummy identified
initially as typically Dutch. I believe this to be Dutch. I have not seen many Danish .303 dummies, if any, but if they are like the 7.9 dummies, of which I used to have about 500 in my 7.9 x 57 collection, the Danish-style are somewhat different, having three cannelures, and wood bullets. The Danish 7.9 dummies predominantly were in brass cases, but I did have about a dozen in steel cases. Well, that has nothing to do with the .303. But, I suspect the style for the Danish .303s would be pretty much the same as that of the 7.9s. I could be wrong - I often am.


Number 6, that is the far right cartridge in your first photograph is definitely Australian in origin.


Do you know a place I can find the books?
I had a look at Amazon but only one is available at a raisonable price.
Thanks for answers


I can add a few comments to those pasted by gravelbelly.

Nos. 1 and 3 in the top picture are Kynoch experimental drill rounds, based as Dave says on the Drill D Mark VI. There are a number of versions of these, distinguished by the red lacquer used in the flutes (which is more like nail varnish than the normal red paint) and the headstamp of a single “K”. Some have this at 12 o’clock and others at six o’clock. Another type has the bullet seated far less deep than usual and the oddest has the point of the bullet on a spring loaded plunger. I have found no documentation for these but one theory I have is that they were designed to give mis-feeds in machine guns for instructional purposes. The overlong round would jam and the spring loaded type would produce the effect on a snubbed round in the feedway. I have no evidence to support this other than the examples shown here.

No.2 I suspect is simply a Kynoch dummy made for export rather than for British military use. By 1958 there was only a limited need for Inspection rounds and ROF Radway Green were supplying these.

No.5 is definitely made by A.G.Parker for the target rifle community.

No.6 is an Australian wartime expedient version of the Inspection U Mark V, made at SAAF No.2 Footscray (MG) in 1944.

I cannot help with the first two in the lower picture, but I do not think No.3 is a Dummy for Inspectors Mark III. The date is late and as dave says, it should be tinned.

I agree No.5 is more likely to be Dutch, the Danish rounds do not have the soldered bullets. No.6 is a D Mark VIII. The “Second Pattern” part that Dave mentions is not official British nomenclature, simply Barry Temple’s way of distinguishing a variation.

Rafale - both my .303 books, the one on markings and identification and the latest one on headstamps of all british and Commonwealth .303 rounds are available directly from me. PM me for details.



4. The fired case with soldered-in bullet, cannelures round the case body and fired cap are features of some Dutch made drill rounds.

Typical Danish.[/quote]

I don’t know the source that this cartridge should be dutch (maybe someone can tell/show).
But I can show a picture from a danish manual. It is described there as a “vægtpatron” (weight-dummy). Other danish weight-dummies (8mm Krag-Jørgensen, 6.5x55) have FMJ-Bullets too, while the wooden projectiles are standard at ‘normal’ dummies.
I have one .303 like Rafales with the same headstamp coming from Denmark (proofs nothing, take it as a hint) and it weights 27.40gr/423.00gn. A british ball-round for comparison: 25.42gr/392.30gn.


Sorry for asking the obvious question what is the real difference between dummy and drill? They both are used for practice? Thanks Vic


In the UK, drill rounds are used for the training of troops. As such they must function through the gun but must be readily distinguished from live rounds. Hence they may have colouring, holes, flutes etc so that they can be identified as drill rounds by sight or feel.

Dummies are used for testing guns in the workshops, they are normally dimensionally identical to live rounds and sometimes weighted to be the same. They do not require the holes, flutes etc. but may have colouring such as plating of the case and/or bullet and an empty primer pocket.