.303 Sniper


#1

Nice box,
Shown on another forum.

451kr.


#2

You are right Leon a very nice box.

Ian


#3

I want one :-)

Rich


#4

I wonder by what criteria it was selected for snipers?


#5

Would the criteria for accuracy be taken from the Figure of Merit for the lot of ammunition, assuming in those days they did such a test. Another point is that there appears to be a letter ‘F’ after the VII on the label which would make it an early AP i.e. semi armour piercing. Perhaps just another way of using up ammunition which didn’t suit the original purpose.

Les


#6

Like VinceGreen I would very much appreciate if someone could come up with a documented criterion for qualifying .303 in. ammunition for sniper use.

From data metioned by H.J. Orpen-Smellie in NRA [of the UK] “Target Rifle Coaching Notes” from 1978 and a letter by T.J. Paterson in Guns Review (January 1986) one gets the impression that British maximum acceptable dispersion for sniper amunition was about half that of ordinary ball.

Patersons number (225 mm Figure of Merit at 500 m) converts to a linear standard deviation of about 0.38 mils for ordinary ball. This is close to U.S. specifications for 7.62 M80 (0.32 mils) and 5.56 M855 (0.35 mils). Note these are maximum acceptance figures (averages of several groups). Typical lots will have less dispersion.

The British “Figure of Merit” is measured the same way as the U.S. “Mean Radius”. I converted it to mils, because this makes the result independent of the different ranges used (500 m, 600 m, 600 yd). Standard deviation has the advantage of being rather insensitive to group size (10, 20, 30 in the above cases).


#7

[quote=“LesB”]

Would the criteria for accuracy be taken from the Figure of Merit for the lot of ammunition, assuming in those days they did such a test. Another point is that there appears to be a letter ‘F’ after the VII on the label which would make it an early AP i.e. semi armour piercing. Perhaps just another way of using up ammunition which didn’t suit the original purpose.

Les[/quote]

It would make sense to have something a bit more effective than standard ball ammunition as much trench sniping was done from behind steel plates. This is set out in quite a lot of detail in Major Hesketh-Pritchard’s ‘Sniping in France’ where he also describes taking with him several ‘Express’ rifles to use in counter-sniping when he returns to Flanders from home leave.

Peter Mackinven


#8

As a point of interest, the late Tony Edwards in his website has a photo of this pkt showing that the ctgs are VIIP not VIIF.
Les


#9

This box is not complete with only 40 cartridges; H/S “R17L VIIP” and unfortunately it is not mine!


#10

Hello.
Here is a picture of ammunition that is in this box.



#11

Interesting. Your posts are always a wealth of new information for me.

Are those your conversions or are they taken from some official publication? I have never seen US accuracy specs expressed in mils. Or, did you mean M.O.A. ?

Also, doesn’t the US now use an accuracy spec of Average Extreme Horizontal Spread (AEHS) and Average Extreme Vertical Spread (AEVS), with a different max for each? Or maybe they were used only for Match ammunition when they were still making it??

Ray


#12

The problem of comparing dispersion measurements from different source had been nagging me for years. The are no official conversion factors as far as I know.
Probably the earliest, and definitely one of the best sources is a small report by Frank E. Grubbs: Statistical Measures of Accuracy for Marksmen and Missile Engineers.
The computing resources originally avaliable to Grubbs were extremely limited by modern standards. So I repeated some of his work using a big sample of 3 million shot coordinates. I made sure these are what statisticians call “normally” distributed, which also applies to shot groups from test barrels. Dispersion, expressed as “standard deviation” is 1.000.

To get at a conversion factor:
Group the 3 million shots into 300 thousand groups of 10 shots. Then compute for each group the measure of choice. Let us take, for example, the mean radius.
One finds that >on average< the mean radius of a 10 shot group is 1.1897. So to convert a mean radius from a specification (say 7.5 in) into a standard deviation, you divide 7.5 by 1.1897 and obtain 6.30 in.

Why mils?
Expressing the dispersion as an angle has the advantage of getting a figure that is independent of the range. This makes comparing figures much easier, independent of metric or Imperial units. MOA (well, the so-called MOA 1 in at 100 yd) may be practical in imperial units. Living in a metric world, and having served in artillery, I find the mil (mrad, 6400 units to the circle) much more convenient.

Why standard deviation?
Standard deviation is considered the least biased dispersion unit in engineering, because it makes use of all shot coordinates. The U.S. changed from mean radius (which is also nearly as good) to standard deviation with the introduction of the M855.
But other types of measurement are sometimes also used. An example is the diagonal of the group for M1911 and M41.

I hope this response did not get too long while explaining what I did.


#13

I looked it up: for .30 M72 (MIL specification C46680B as of 1972) as well as for 7.62 M118 (C46934B as of 1965) a mean radius of 3.5 in at 600 yd was specified.
But it is quite possible that other measures were also used.


#14

If someone was tasked with developing a method for evaluating ammunition accuracy, the worst posible procedure he could come up with would be the 600 yard Average Mean Radii. I think the only reason it survived for so long was that many of the testing facilities were constructed specifically for it and it permitted a historical comparison.

AFAIK, AMR is still used for U.S. service ammunition. Other methods have been tried for Match ammunition, such as Figure Of Merit, and I think it was in the late 1990s that the AEHS/AEVS was first used for the M118 LR ammunition, which, ironically, was not Match ammunition.

I’m sorry if I de-railed this thread. That is a great carton of .303 inch Sniper ammunition.

Ray


#15

According to Labbett the “P” code = 1914 - 1918 was Armor Piercing, and from 1928 was used as Practice.


#16

It is armour piercing ammunition, it was to meet the snipers’ need to defeat steel plate that armour piercing ammunition was developed for British use.


#17

Yes ta Jim, I was just pointing out the date usage so not to confuse with Practice & as “W” was also an AP code you lot used …(Peter pg 207 of 303 Inch says " Armour Piercing, RL 1917 design, later extended to all AP")

Plus no one stated in the thread it was AP, but only alluded to it, so I though it might be of help to clarify.


#18

Its more accurate to describe this as an anti sniper round than a round used for sniping although it would have been used by a ‘sniper’. That fits with the British ethos regarding sniping in the trenches of WW1 where elimination of enemy snipers was high on the British sniper’s list of priorities.

Heskith-Pritchard was the driving force but he was a maverick. The Generals held this rather British view for a long time that sniping was not quite ‘kosher’ so a lot of the development was directed at counter sniping and a lot of his book is about counter sniping tactics. He struggled to get the support from above. The British did not acknowledge the existence of British snipers very easily and used names like marksman and even ‘ghillie’.
A Ghillie is the Scottish equivilent of what you would call a Park Ranger. H-P actively recruited former ghillies for their skill in stalking and marksmanship. The modern sniper suit is still today called a ghillie suit.

Thats why I was a bit suprised to see “for sniper” against a date of 1917. Of course, everyone knew we had snipers but its rare to see it in writing

As soon as WW1 ended so did British sniping. It had to be reinvented in WW2 and then it died again until Pete Bloom reinvented it in the Royal Marines in the 1980s. Pete really was the father of modern British sniping, a legacy he would have been proud of. He died tragically young of something akin to motor neuron disease.

There are probably a few on here that remember Pete, I knew him and he was a close friend of Tony Edwards


#19

Pete Bloom started the Civilian Service rifle competition before he passed away and we still try to keep the spirit of that alive every winter in the league and in just over a month during the CSR Imperial week.
Never met the guy, but his name comes up every time we hear about the old days from the senior squad. :-)
Soren


#20

Pete Bloom reinvented it in the Royal Marines in the 1980s. Pete really was the father of modern British sniping, [/u] ???

A slight correction on Vince’s dates here, I knew Pete Bloom well and shot with him. He may have had a lot to do with the civilian side of rifle shooting but would be embarrassed to hear himself described as the father of British sniping. I was involved with Sniper training in the Royal Marines in the early 1960s and the sniper branch was already then well established, long before Pete was involved in Weapon Training. We definitely had snipers and used them to good effect during my service in Aden in 1964.
Some years later circa 1970s now as a police sniper we used to cross train with Royal Marine snipers on Dartmoor.

Jim ex RM. 1962 - 1971.