.303 Mk VI and Mk VII pointing punches

Picked up these yesterday:


I was told the Mk VII one came out of the Footscray museum. The reamer is Mk VII profile.


What do they do (what’s the function)?

The pointing punch, looks to be a gauge which the line inspectors or perhaps QC would use to see if the point (ogive & mepat) of the bullet was correct at perhaps the jacket making stage, or when the jacket was filled or when it was loaded into a case. The reamer I would guess would be for making the dies used in making the bullet jackets to the correct shape.

Very neat Mayhem, very neat.

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Yes, these gauges have been made from point-forming dies, by grinding down.
The Mark VI gauge is marked
“CAC”, putting it pre-1919 manufacture.
The setting threads of the tool -bodies are just visible in cross section.
Looks like a square thread ( not Acme).
Doc AV

Not threaded but knurled.

Another interesting part of C.A.C history.

John - what is that tool used for? That is, what does it do?

John Moss

I’m not really sure. All I know is that it is a reamer in the shape of the lead bullet manufactured by the Colonial Ammunition Company for the .310 Cadet cartridge.

John - thank you. It would be interesting to know if the lead bullet .310s are swaged or cast. It could be a reamer used in the manufacture of the molds (perhaps not the right term in the case of swaged bullets) for making the bullets. Wish I knew more about this stuff. Always have been more into the historical aspects of ammo than the technical points, but I admit to a fascination with the smaller tools and gauges used in the manufacture of ammunition.

Your nice picture of that reamer really got me interested. I have a few odds and ends of gauges and tooling, but very little, and most all related to auto pistol ammunition.

John Moss


In the case of the .303s the lead is produced in coils of wire of 100 yards and cut to length, before being swaged to size.
I imagine this being the case with CAC, they would probably have used a similar method to make .310 bullets. So I’m guessing the tool was used to make tooling for initial swaging.

I have only ever had a couple of heading tools (bunters) and didn’t look for gauges etc. Too many other things to chase. Like you I have always been interested in the history of ammunition production, and while I’m fascinated by anything to do with precision machining probably missed a lot of opportunities. The story of my life I guess.




Both of the gauges are too small to take a Mk VI or Mk VII projectile. However, I have a swaged lead core for a Mk VII .303 and it fits perfectly in the gauge (along with the aluminium nose).

Therefore, my conclusion is that these are used to swage the lead core and tip filler, prior to loading into the envelope. The reamer fits the gauge perfectly so may have been used in its manufacture.

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Is the aluminium tip attached to the lead core of the MkVII ? I had always thought the tip would have been a separate operation in manufacture.

John - the tip is separate but I wonder if both the tip and the lead would have been inserted at the same time. It is only speculation on my part though.

Could be, but I can’t quite picture that. Very fiddly thing to have to do, it would be better to have the mould truncated to the correct size for the base of the aluminium, I would think, particularly as the tips were formed separately. I can understand the holes in the front, probably being dual purpose to avoid compressing air, and also for an ejector rod.

I agree it would be fiddly and time consuming but they are the only items that fit.

Could these have been used in QA? Being knurled would support this being used as a “hand tool”. Then you could randomly test components on the production line.