.303" Ethiopian & Sudanese

Some .303" Ethiopian & Sudanese I picked up recently at UNAMMO in the junk bin. They came in loose with a shipment from Century Arms. Remember that the Ethiopian 7.62 NATO and 30-06 has also recently been imported by Century Arms…
All below are GMCS bullets.

Three Ethiopian headstamps;

Three Sudanese headstamps with very dark green primer anulus and mouth sealant;

12:00 = “Republic of the Sudan”
3:00 = Date 19"63"
6:00 = Month “4”
9:00 = Caliber “.303”

12:00 = “Republic of the Sudan”
3:00 = Date 19"63"
6:00 = Month “5”
9:00 = Caliber “.303”

12:00 = Sudania “S”
5:00 = Month “4”
7:00 = Date 19"72"

Three on left are the Ethiopian. Three on right are the Sudanese.




Excellent photos, thanks for posting them.


Very nice. I hadn’t seen examples from Ethiopia or Sudan before.

Joe, thanks for sharing! Great reference.

The Ethiopian ammo we know from Forgotten Weapons to be Czech technology based ( Povaske Strojarne set up in 1947), but the Sudanese looks definitely “British” with the full ring crimp.
What diameter is the Sudanese Primer???
.250" British or .217 European Berdan?

I know when Sudan went Islamic they did get a lot of Warsaw Pact help, but they originally were a British " area of interest" as initially under Egyptian-Ottoman rule, then "Anglo Egyptian Sudan after Khartoum and later Omdurman (1898)…After WWII independance came but Sudan already had plenty of British origin infrastructure…Railways, an Arsenal in Khartoum, port facilities on the Red Sea, etc.

Doc AV



Primers are about .217 on the Ethiopian and Sudanese both. So to say berdan or boxer is also a mystery. I am not pulling any of them to discover at this point. I wish I had more duplicates, then I would. The Sudanese primer crimp is different than the Ethiopian, in that it is not fully rounded inwards, but rather has a dip in it like you see on French 8mm Lebel, but not as exaggerated. I am trying to find a similar crimp on others, regardless of caliber.

I am glad everyone has enjoyed the discovery.


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Jane’s reports that the Sudanese had a State Factory in Khartoum. Also Ken writes in his publication “Ammunition with Turkish and Arabic Markings” that there was a small arms plant built by the British firm Kynoch in Al Shaggara in Khartoum and that when they opened on 17th November 1956 the first rounds they made were .303" British, as like Doc eludes to, the British influence and stocks of British weapons was prevalent. So most likely these were actually made in Khartoum.

But if they were made in the State Factory in Khartoum, then why a .217’ primer instead of the typical .250" British primer?

By 1956, the .250 primer was “on the way out” , even though it eventually only disappeared from manufactured ammo in the 1970s (India)…RWS still made the primers for reloading till about 2010.
Kynoch was experienced in .217" Berdan Primers anyway, so setting up for that would have been no problem.
The large “ringing” crimp, as it is termed since WWI, is probably still the original crimp for .250" primers, but applied to a .217" primer.
What is the powder loading? I doubt cordite, as Sudan probably did not have a “powder factory” at the time??
And would have imported Nobels powders from Britain at the time.
An interesting collecting niche which needs further

The Ethiopian are definitely .217" Berdan following Czech practice.

Doc AV

Very nice headstamps and photos



Odd how the Ethiopian 30-06 is boxer primed and the other calibers are berdan.


The fact the Ethiopian cases have the rebate cut in the base forward of the rim makes me wonder if they aren’t in fact Boxer. In my less than universal observations this characteristic seems to correlate with Boxer primers. Jack

Not really. May be co-incidental, as the rim undercut is typical of US practice, which goes with Boxer Primers, whilst the no relief cut is typical of European Practice, which ( in the past) meant a Berdan Primer.
What I am saying is that the cut or absence there-of is not a Causal relationship to Boxer or Berdan, but only to manufacturing methods by either makers. HEAD-TRIM MACHINERY.

Doc AV
Merry Christmas.