.45 in. Gatling Gun Blank

I have what appears to be a British military blank or possibly a shot cartridge. The headstamp is "R /|\ ? C II"
The “?” is unreadable but is most likely “L”. The headstamp is too faint to scan. Althrough the headstamp indicates Cordite powder, it must be chopped cordite as I can hear it when I shake it. Or possible I am hearing shot rattle. The cartridge has a quite flat 8-petal rose crimp. It has a rounded copper primer.

The dimensions are:


Anybody have an idea of what it is?

It will be a blank, as no .303 shot loads were in British service (although some experimental survival loads were tried in WW2).

It will be chopped cordite you can hear and it is probably a Blank mark V. If the case is blackened and has the remains of a crimping groove around the neck it has been converted from a Blank Mark VI by removing the brass mock bullet. They often have that flat rosette crimp you mention.

British blanks are notoriously dificult to identify correctly as they usually have the headstamp of the ball round that the case was originally made for, as in your case.


From the dimensions it sounds like a 45 Gatling Gardner ctg but it does not correspond to any service load that I could find info on.

Tony E.–I guess you just looked at the headstamp and did not read the dimensions. The cartridge is not even close to a .303 British. All the dimensions are quite a bit larger.

Orange–Thank you. You correctly identified my mystery round as a .45 in. Gatling Gun Blank for the Gardner and Nordenfelt Machine Guns. With your information I found a picture of exactly what I have on page 113 of Hoyem’s Vol. 2. I had looked through this book before but somehow overlooked the picture.

OK Ron, so it was late, I had had a glass of the red medicine and I did not look at the dimensions… But last night the thread title did not mention .45 Gatling… Sneaky!

Now, does the headstamp actually include the letter “C”? The round on P113 of Hoyem does not, and this is correct as the round is “Cartridge Machine Gun Blank Maxim GG chamber Blackpowder Mark II”. There was no cordite GG blank, nor was there a GG Cordite Mark II ball round to convert to blank, so your round should not have a “C” in the headstamp.

Either way, a very nice find as these early GG rounds of any type are getting harder to find.


Tony E–The headstamp is quite faint but at 11 to 12 the R /|\ is clear, what I assume should be an “L” at 1 can not be seen at all. At 7 is what looks like a “C” but I suppose it could be a single “G” (Is that possible) and the “II” is clear.
What are the known headstamps for this round?

Except for the headstamp, my cartridge is identical to the one in Hoyem, Pg. 113.

As for the title, once my “Unknown” had been identified, I changed the title to make searchs later easier.