.303 inch Smoke discharger


#1

At the ECRA meeting at Bisley this morning I acquired a couple of .303 inch rounds I have been after for a long time.

The first was the aluminium cased Ball Mark VI round that dates from WWI. I have had the Mark VII version for some time and needed the Mark VI type.

However, the real star find was a Smoke Discharger E Mark IT designed for firing smoke grenades from armoured vehicles. It is one of the rarest .303 rounds and the first one I have found in fifty years.

If you are not a .303 fan it won’t mean much but it has made my year!

Regards
Tonye


#2

Congrats Tony. It’s the hunt eh? And as we say. “Now what?” or “what’s next”?

For those of us ignorant of such treasures…one wonders it if one has been tossed away for that very ignorance Likely true for many special treasures.

Be well


#3

Would a regular blank fire a smoke grenade?


#4

Sure it would but the effect might be much unwanted ranging from malfunctioning grenade to a ruptured rifle and maybe the shooter too.
This is why I always urge people not to use blanks to launch/fire anything as this is not meant to be like this. Learning the hard way is then the 2nd option.


#5

Tony, congrats on the find.
As one who has never visited a cartridge show, finding things like this is a rare occurence. But yesterday I was given a bag of almost pure junk, pulled bullets, all sorts of necking up attempts and in between: Two unfired grenade cartridges: an RL 1940 H I Z and a 1942 BE H I Z.
Never would have thought of finding such stuff in Denmark.
Soren


#6

Hej Søren
Good find, but not such a big surprise in because of their danish service.
Designation was 7,7 mm geværgranatpatron M/45. And specified: Cartridge, .303", Ballistic H. Mk. Iz
So no confusion possible.


#7

I knew it existed, but considering that it went out of use by 1949, never saw much use (if at all), was in very limited supply and was never issued to the home guard, which is Where I get most of my stuff from. It’s luck I guess, just like someone one day walking in the door and handing over a 11,35mm M1904…
-Soren


#8

Soren,

11.35 M1904? Which cartridge is this? Schouboe?


#9

Yes, ‘Rimmed Schouboe’. #2 Design for the rebuilt (to centerfire) M.1865/97 officers’ revolver. #1 had a lead projectile.
Soren


#10

Hi Tony
for whatever this information is worth, I have the same on a R /|\ L 38 dated case.
See you soon!


#11

Smoke Generator:

The correct title is Cartridge, S.A., Discharger, Smoke Generator, .303 Inch, E Mk 1 T. As we generally followed the British drawings, this would probably also apply there.

According to my records there was only one lot of E1T manufactured in Australia and the one I had in my collection has the headstamp MF 39 E1T.

I believe the .303 Grenade Cartridge, H Mk 1 Z was substituted.

John


#12

Thanks, I was not aware that it had been manufactured at Footscray. i will have to add the headstamp to my database.

How hard are they to find in Oz?

Regards
TonyE


#13

Smoke discharger cartridges were specifically for a “Mortar” tube type discharger, which was Pre-loaded with its “smoke grenade” and could be fired remotely; usually in two banks of two or three tubes on the side of the turret of a Ferret or Saladin or other AFV.

They have nothing to do with Rifle Grenade discharging, which uses a totally different ( and Nitro Powder) cartridge of much higher Power.

Doc AV


#14

AFAIK, the Smoke Discharger was used with a normal cup dispenser attached to a shortened SMLE action fitted in the turrets of pre WW2 armoured vehicles. It long pre-dated the Ferret and Saladin armoured vehicles of the 1950/60s which used electrically fired “mortars” as you describe.

The EIT seems to have only lasted in service for a year or so (1936 - 1938?) before being replaced in use by the Grenade Discharger HIz which was used with the normal rifle cup discharger. I suspect the thinking was why make a special black powder cartridge when there was already a perfectly good alternative in production. This would be especially true with war approaching.

Regards
TonyE


#15

Hi TonyE,

An error in my post. The headstamp is actually MF 40 E1T, sorry for that.

Unfortunately I’ve been out of the collecting loop for the past 35 years, however, during the many years I was concentrating on Aust Military SAA I only ever found that one specimen. And the current owner has not seen another.

While it’s a bit late in life, I recently decided to try to document as much as I could of Aust Military production, in particular, headstamps and packets. Last week I went to Melbourne for a few days and attempted to photograph as many headstamps as I could from what is undoubtably the best collection of it’s type in this country. Managed about 800, but the results are not the greatest, still it’s a start and I saw things new to me, like Q111 Standard, UV armourers dummy and other interesting stuff.

Will have to travel the 1800 klms again when/if my technique improves. The distance is a real pain.

I really need to work on my photo’s. I’m using a Nikon D3200 with a macro lens, and it may be overkill, even set for the small image size.

John


#16

Thanks John, the EIT is certainly a very scarce beast.

I have found an image of the actual discharger as I described in the previous post. I was wrong though to assume it used the standard cup dispenser of the rifle. From the picture it is clear that a special cup was used.

Regards
TonyE


#17

Hi Tony,

Scarce is the word for the E1T. I believe there is a collector here who has one by RL, but to date it is hearsay.

Interesting photo, and always good to have factual information.

Cheers

John