.303 Mk IV bullet?


#1

I had an inert .303 round stamped “R/|\L C IV” As the mark IV bullet is a hollowpoint (the round was made pre 1899), I pulled the bullet deciding it was the wrong one. I don’t think it is even a .303 bullet, as a Mark II .303 bullet is shown underneath, and it is clearly different. The diameter is also slightly different at about .315". Does anyone know what this is / how old it is / where it was made? The bottom bullet could me a mark II or VI, as these were identical apart from jacket thinkness.


#2

[quote=“Falcon”]I had an inert .303 round stamped “R/|\L C IV” As the mark IV bullet is a hollowpoint (the round was made pre 1899), I pulled the bullet deciding it was the wrong one. I don’t think it is even a .303 bullet, as a Mark II .303 bullet is shown underneath, and it is clearly different. The diameter is also slightly different at about .315". Does anyone know what this is / how old it is / where it was made? The bottom bullet could me a mark II or VI, as these were identical apart from jacket thinkness.
[/quote]

It looks more like an 8mm bullet, does it have any marking on the lead base?

gravelbelly


#3

I agree with Gravelbelly.It looks like a Patronen 88 Infanterie bullet. It may not have anything stamped into the base. Many of the Patronen 88 rounds sent to the Sinn-Feiner’s troops in the Irish Rebellion of 1916 were not stamped.


#4

You have to be careful with British headstamps, don’t jump to conclusions too fast. When the hollow point series of .303 rounds were withdrawn from service, existing stocks were used up in practice (hence the large number of hollow point bullets which turn up on old rifle ranges). Any cartridge cases already headstamped for these were made up as the following mark of cartridge. This also happened with the .455 inch Webley revolver round, you may find a nice headstamp with an apparently mismatched bullet but a bit of research may indicate that it is correct for the time. You were probably OK with the Mark IV headstamp but Mark VI rounds were made using Mark V headstamped cases.

gravelbelly


#5

For some more info, this bullet is not magnetic and has no base markings. It also has a concave cone indent into the base. I did think that this may be an earlier Mauser bullet, but thought that it was 3 thou too small at .315" and not .318". I think that it is unlikely to be one supplied to Ireland in 1916 by Germany, because I bought this mail-order from a trader in Belgium. Could anyone post a photo of one of the rounds that were supplied to Ireland by Germany?


#6

Falcon, I have scanned a couple of cartridges which I think might interest you although they won’t actually resolve your original question as I’m not prepared to pull the bullets to check for base markings.
The first is the 8mm Scharfe Patrone M88 which was manufactured by Spandau, Germany for clandestine supply to Irish republican forces in 1914. There is some controvosy as to whether the bulk of these actually reached the IRA or whether they fell into the hands of the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force. They contract was apparently arranged by a Bruno Spiro who was based in Hamburg. It’s possibly not clear in the scan but the cartridge brass is an unusual and distinctive yellow colour.
Also supplied as part of the same contract is a 10.35mm Italian Vetterli and again I understand that the majority of these fell into the hands of the UVF.
I don’t suppose this has helped much, might have even confused things, but hopefully somebody will find it of interest.
Jim.




#7

Jim - the two rounds in your post are “headstamp free” or is it my eyesight?

.


#8

Yes, correct. These two rounds were supplied without headstamps. Somewhere deep in my ECRA catalogues I’ve got a very comprehensive article about this episode if anybody’s interested in more info.
Jim


#9

Thanks for the thorough answer Jim. I have never seen anything like those rounds before. The bullet on the 8mm Scharfe Patrone M88 sure looks alot like my bullet, but as you said, not worth dismantling the round to check the cannelure and base. Are those rounds common in Ireland or the UK nowadays? How much should I expect to pay for one should I ever see one for sale?


#10

These are still quite common and I would expect to be able to get both for perhaps