.303 Id

Can anybody give me some information about these 3 rounds ? Are the 2 first real or fake ?



The red plastic one is a genuine German made by Geco if I recall it right.

Thats one for TonyE if ever I saw one.

The first one looks like a “wire cutting” round. I have not seen a real one so its just speculation. Either of the Tony’s should be able to enlighten us.

No enlightenment from me I am afraid, I have never seen anything like the two left hand items. The right hand red blank is relatively common as EOD says.

I suspect they are both fakes, or at least something made up for somebody’s special personal use.

In the early days of the Lee Metford (c. 1889/90) the first proof of the unfinished barrel was carried out using a long paper patched 450 grain lead bullet (see attached picture) but by 1915 this was done with a proof round using the normal 215 grain CN bullet. I don’t think this has anything to do with left hand example shown but it is the only similarity I can think of!

As for a wire cutting cartridge, similar to German WWI types, I have never seen any reference to a British one, even experimental.


Many thanks all.
I suspected also the two first are fake and as you said Tony, the only similarity is with the proof cartridge I also found in your book.
Furthermore, the first one is empty and consists of a cupper envelope which means it couldn’t be a wire cutting as the german 7.9.

Might the center one be a tracer that got cut with a tube cutter or on a lathe exposing the tracer cup?

Could they be battlefield pickups put in different cases? the first two projectiles look to have been in the ground but their cases don’t.

I just found another red plastic one; slightly different from the first one I had.


You told me that the first was a German one made by Geco (left); what about the second one?

I was always of the impression that the .303 red plastic blank with brass base and nickeled primer cup was made by Bakkelittefabrik in Norway!!?? Is there documentation to show they were made by Geco?
I would think that the era they were made was not a time when Geco was making rifle ammunition.

We desparately need someone to sort out the red plastic blanks - all calibers - for us. There are many calibers that are not shown in any of their recent literature from BF Norway, such as .303, .30 Carbine, 7.9 x 57 mm Mauser (many variations), 9 mm Largo, 7.62 Tokarev/.30 Mauser, and so on. Of course, there are others of similar or identical construction of design in other colors as well, but even getting some kind of scholarly study, probably best done by one of the Norwegian collections (Morten and Vidar - are you listening?), on just the red ones would be a start.

John, I admit that these blanks are very similar to those made in Norway, but between 1958 and 1959 Gustav Genschow & Co. applied for several different designs of plastic blank cartridges and the inside construction of the cases is very different. Does anyone have a picture of a sectioned Geco blank cartridge?

At least DAG was marketing red plastic blanks too:

Interesting - had not seen that ad before. Precisely why we need a very comprehensive article on these red plastic blanks - better would be a well-researched article or even monograph on all the plastic blanks of this basic type. They evidently have been made in Norway, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Finland at the least. Some are made in one place for use by another, such as the green 9 mm blanks made in France for Switzerland. There are obvious differences in some, but others that appear to be have been made in one place evidently were made in another. Very confusing. I gave up about a year ago on even trying to classify them. Lew Curtis and I had a long discussion on these some time ago, with a little outside help brought into the discussion, as I recall. I know that I ended up completely confused and knowing less than I thought I did when the discussion started.

A monograph on them would be a good project for the Scandanavian or German Language groups of ECRA, or perhaps both, along with AFERHM (probably screwed up the sequence of initials) of France and perhaps The fine Italian and Spanish cartridge collector’s sites.

If it were just auto pistol, I would tackle an article, but with me, it would not appear for more than a year from now, maybe two, and I know little or nothing about the rifle, and larger calibers. Not even much about all the different 7.9 x 57 which are as assorted as the 9 mm.

Someone will be doing a great service to all the collectors of modern ammo if they get this project going and see it thru to completion! We have a huge reservoir of knowledgeable collectors who seldom write on anything. Maybe we could hear from some of them.

For you wondering about the history of polymer body blanks and short range cartridges- the Norwegian firm PLAMIL, now a part Bakelittfabrikken which is a subsidiary of Nammo, were the first to create plastic blanks of that type. DAG’s version is just a copy made when PLAMIL’s patents expired :-) The design itself is entirely Norwegian and other countries copied its successful design when they were able to. Both PLAMIL, in their age, and Bakelittfabrikken have manufactured many sorts of cartridges for other countries. PLAMIL made several lots of 7,62x39mm for Finland, for example.

Here is a not-so-very-good photograph of my humble plastic collection. I’ve excluded any other variants than the PLAMIL/BF design from this group.

Starting from left;
40mm-to-12,7x99mm blank adaptor,
9x19mm DAG short range practice round, early Bakelittfabrikken plastic blank, very early prototype of the Lars Ringdal blank system. It featured a molded plastic cup with an X embossed into the inside top of the blank cup. It would burst when the round was fired, and thus one could swap the spent cup with a new one. You could use the brass forever! It was also found in a 7,62x33mm SLK type. Or, as Americans know it, .30 US M1 Carbine :-)
4,6x30mm Bakelittfabrikken plastic blank for the Heckler & Koch MP7
7,62x33mm SLK (.30 US M1 Carbine) Bakelittfabrikken plastic blank
.38 Special - This is DAG stamped. I believe it is for indoors training?
5,56x45mm NATO, four different types of Bakelittfabrikken-made plastic blanks for use in the C7, C8, Hk416 rifles and the FNH Minimi light machine gun
7,62x51mm NATO Bakelittfabrikken short range practice round, then four different BF types of plastic blanks in the same calibre
7,62x63mm SLG (.30-06 Springfield) first a grenade launching blank for the M1 SLG (M1 Garand), then a short range practice round, then three different plastic blanks. All from Bakelittfabrikken
And finally,
Two BF-made 12,7x99mm (.50 BMG) plastic blanks followed by one short range practice cartridge in the same calibre.

I sincerely hope I did not hijack the thread, but I will not give up a chance to spread more information about my nation’s relatively peaceful feats within the field of cartridges :-)

Nice line up…thank you for sharing! Can you explain why the 5.56x45mm and the 7.62x51mm blanks were produced with such variation in nose shape?

All the four 5,56x45mm NATOs are actually of the same design; they differ from each other with different primer types and primer crimps/lacquering. One is a bit longer- that is the one with the black primer. I believe it is an early sample?
They all have the “duckbill” nose of the rightmost 12,7x99mm blank. In this design, the plastic would rupture sideways - rather than forwards - allowing for a much lower minimum safety distance, as they would not direct the gases or broken plastic directly forwards.

The 7,62x51mm NATO ones have four variants, of which three are distinct. The last one is just a slightly shorter model.
• Short one with an forwards-directing X “bruddindikator” - “rupture indicator”
• Long one with an forwards-directing X rupture indicator
• Long one with a sideways-directing duckbill rupture indicator
The one aforementioned variant is as you can see just a variant of the long X variant.
As far as I have been told and as I have checked myself, the short X variant would be used in our Rheinmetall MG3s (used by infantry and on vehicles), as well as our FN MAGs (on our previously Dutch Leopard 2A4s) They have now been replaced with duckbills. The long X, now replaced with duckbills, were used in our Kongsberg AG3 - our own variant of the H&K Gewehr 3. The short ones will not feed reliably from the magazines.

Bear in mind… that is just my conclusion and not necessarily the entire truth!

Speaking of plastic 303’s
Here is a drill or dummy which I would like to know more about. Even where it was made, would be a big help.
A turned brass head & that photo is a little more true color. Not at all see-through plastic


Ole, I’m afraid that this is not correct as the first Norwegian blanks of this type were designed by Lars Ringdal in the 1950’s and the first company to made them was Bakelittfabrikken a/s. Also, the ones pictured in that particular Dynamit Nobel catalog posted by EOD are also Ringdal’s patent blanks and short range cartridges, not German copies.

As to Plamil, this company came in to the scene much more later (mid to late 1970’s) and their patents were almost inmediately taken over by Bakelittfabrikken.

Maybe these old threads are usefull too:


Here the NAMMO website (parent company of Bakelittfabrikken) which is stating a bit odd on the plastic blanks and is not mentioning Lars Ringdal at all:

nammo.com/Locations/Norway1/ … n-Aurskog/