.303 id

Hello, recently found a .303 cartridge marked “SAAF 5 21 VII”

I gather that the numbers would be May - 1921, and was just wondering the manufacturer and location it was manufactured.

I have looked through some online, .303 headstamp lists but couldn’t find SAAF.

Cheers Hamish

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Small Arms Ammunition Factory, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia


Here is a list of other headstamps from Footscray and Australia in general.



This list should be in our archives area for members only with password.

Hi Tom
It’s from the Tony Edwards site Tony is sadly gone but the site is being maintained.
You should book mark it on your computer for your future use as it is a very worthwhile and important site regarding British case type military ammunition. Which Tony was working on getting is Doctorate degree in when he passed.
Also currently upon the IAA resource site is a lot of his and others paper, for the membership to use.
I should add, with many thanks to Richard.

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In addition to everything Pete said about Tony Edwards in his post above, Tony authored 11 articles that appeared in the IAA Journal and numerous cartridge related articles elsewhere including ECRA.

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Not being picky, however Toby’s list does have a couple of minor errors.

MW was SAAF No 6 at Welshpool

MQ was only SAAF No 5. It was originally going to be two factories No 5 & 6, however the decision was made to build No. 6 at Welshpool in Western Australia instead.

MF1 was also used on a few .32 Auto rounds.

MJB is missing. This was an annexe to SAAF No. 4 for loading Incendiary loads.

CAC also exists as ←CAC→ from May 1918

SAAF has only been seen on one lot of Drills. All ball loadings sighted have been ←SAAF→

Hope this helps.

John do you have the documentation for the above, I can make the changes but I will only change details with documented proof. We have spoken about this a long while ago. Do you have anything on the history of MJB especially, I have read a few bits on the internet but no actual documentation.

all the best

Most of my information on MJB came from John Martin, who was involved with SAA from around 1917 to 1964. He had access to a lot of records, but unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to get copies. At the time I was quite happy for him to dig out information for me. I’ll attach a couple of headstamp photos and try to dig out other information for you.

.303 Incnediary MJB MF1 .32 Auto

I’ll get details of changes to .303 headstamp monograms for you as soon as I can. It’s really a simple timeline exercise, backed up by information from John, and the progression of dates.


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