.303 Headstamp Checklist


#1

Does a checklist of all the British military .303 headstamps exist anywhere? If so, I would be interested in locating a copy. Thanks in advance for any info.


#2

Falcon - first and foremost you need Tony Edwards’ book “Headstamps and Markings on .303 Inch British Service Ammunition/” I am sure you could get that thru him.

I would also recommend:

“Canada and the .303-British 1892-1992,” by C. R. MacDonald

“.303 Inch. the History of the .303 Inch Cartridge in Brtish Service,” by Labbett and Mead.

The Military .303 Cartridge, It’s History & Variations," by Lynn H. Harris

“The Colonial Ammunition Company Caliber .303 Cartridges,” by Barry Gracia

“headstamps and Markings on British Service .303” ammunition," by Labbett

“British .303 Inch Ammunition (Special Loadings, 1915-1945)” by Labbett and Brown

“Canadian Manufactured .303” British Ammunition," by W. A. Wonch

Identification Manuals on the .303 British Service Cartridge, by B.A. Temple, Volumes I (Ball Ammunition), 2 (Blank Ammunition), 3 (Special Purpose Ammunition) and 4 (Dummy Ammunition


#3

Presumably you mean ALL known variations along the lines of “30-06s I have seen”.

AFAIK there is no such thing, but I have been compiling one for years and one day may get round to publishing it. However, with over 100 different marks of British military .303 and probably thirty or forty manufacturers over a period of eighty years there are quite a few possibilities. Thank goodness there were no lot numbers in the headstamp.

The other problem is how to present the headstamp. Draw it? Computer generated? I think the only way is to do it in sections like Lew’s 9mm or Gene’s colour codes.

Regards
TonyE


#4

would a task of that nature be something that could be done as a joint venture by some of us?


#5

Perhaps it helps.

dave-cushman.net/shot/303headstamps.html

Rgds


#6

John,

Just to add to your list of B A Temples Volumes there is Volume 5 Blank Cartridges (2), I have heard of a 6th Volume but have never seen it.


#7

[quote=“Dutch”]Perhaps it helps.

dave-cushman.net/shot/303headstamps.html

Rgds[/quote]

Thanks, but I don’t like that site. There are lots of errors, some of them very basic.

Regards
tonyE


#8

[quote=“TonyE”][quote=“Dutch”]Perhaps it helps.

dave-cushman.net/shot/303headstamps.html

Rgds[/quote]

Thanks, but I don’t like that site. There are lots of errors, some of them very basic.

Regards
tonyE[/quote]

is this one any better tony?

regards,

magpie

harringtonmuseum.org.uk/303CartRTT.htm


#9

Hi
That one is marginally better, but I suppose what I do not like about both sites is that they are simply lists made up from reading Peter Labbett, Barry Temple, Lynn Harris or even my book and then regurgitating it.

For example, he shows every factory as having made both Incendiary B.VII and VIIz (forget he insists on using Indo-arabic numerals for pre 1945 rounds) when in fact very little BVII was made. SR and DAC are the only ones that spring to mind.

It seems the writer has never actually studied the subject for himself, but relied on the work of others.

Maybe I am just old and crocherty…Bah, humbug.

Regards
TonyE


#10

Tony, you are not old and crotchety, if a jobs worth doing its worth doing well.

In my usual way I am going to ask you another dumb question thats a bit off the subject and probably of no interest to anyone but me.

Would you say the Greek HXP counts as “British Issue” for the purposes of this thread? Some was issued, officially, to cadet units in the last days of their having .303 rifles. I don’t know if that scores as in or out? Marginal I would say.


#11

John: I already have a copy of Tony Edwards’ book, it has proved really useful. Where would I locate the other books? I am sure to buy all on the list it would come to well over


#12

Vince - I would say very definitely in, as both the ball and blank were allocated official British nomenclature.

The ball was L1A1 and the blank L10A1.

Regards
TonyE


#13

[quote=“TonyE”]Vince - I would say very definitely in, as both the ball and blank were allocated official British nomenclature.

The ball was L1A1 and the blank L10A1.

Regards
TonyE[/quote]

And the cartons were marked as L1A1 and L10A1 too.

gravelbelly


#14

The Cushman site lists HXP as being “British Gov’t contract 1982-85” but I have cases with 89 headstamp, (and I don’t think its a bad 3 that looks like a 9). I am pretty sure I have some 88 as well.

Was this a different contract or commercial import?