6.5 Japanese Red dye & .303 Brit wooden projectile


#1

Howdy all, I would like some help with the two cartridges pictured.

The 6.5 Japanese has a red dye around the mouth of the cartridge, is this normal ?

Secondly, The .303 British I recently acquired at a gunshow. The dealer told me it is a blank cycling round for the Bren or Lewis gun. Can anyone shed any light on this.


#2

Morton,

The pink/red case mouth seal on Japanese 6.5x50mmSR ball cartridges is typical of WW2 period production.

Your .303 British wood bullet blank has the British designation “Cartridge S.A. Blank .303 inch L Mark 10z” and was adopted in 1954 for use in Bren guns, see: sites.google.com/site/britmilam … i-to-l10a1. Produced in 1967 at Royal Ordnance Factory, Radway Green, Britain.

Hope this helps.

Brian


#3

Blank .303 L10 was for use in Bren Guns with a specially modified Blank firing Barrel. Two Pins were placed just in front of the Throat of the Barrel, to crush the Wooden Bullet.

Whilst this was effective in maintaining the Blank fire Capacity initially, ( the Mass of Crushed wood fibres formed enough of a “wad” to permit Gas pressure to work the gun) Flame cutting eventually fragmented the two cross Pins, causing (a) two projectiles exiting the barrel and (b) failure of operation of the gun.

IN theory, the two pins prevented the in-advertent use of “Ball” ( gun would blow up)…but in the end , with the Bren Gun going out of service in .303 ( replaced by the 7,62mm MAG, and the 7,62 Converted Bren, the L10 Blank ammo was redundant, in both Britain and Canada. ( Australia never adopted it, nor fitted the "Blank Firing Bren " Barrel.).

Why RG was still making it in 1967 is a mystery to me…Cadet use, Maybe?

For designs of the BF Barrel for Bren Guns, see “The Bren Gun Story” ( Collector Grade Publications ) which has the specifications for the location and size of the Cross Pins…

Of course, in Movie work, “Wood Bullet Blanks” are Prohibited, and we use Muzzle-fitted BFA screws, and Long (Brass) .303 Blanks. NO "Cross Pinning " of barrels is permitted either ( not by Law, but by Insurance concerns, and indirectly by “Workplace Health and Safety” Norms.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics Film Ordnance Services

Down Under.


#4

I don’t think British cadets had Bren guns? Normal cut off for mainstream .303 production appears to have happened around 55 or 56 at RG. You will find later headstamps but not many. That would make this cartridge very collectable on date basis alone.
Perhaps one of the experts could fill us in on post NATO era .303 production at RG?


#5

I would assume it could easily be for an export contract to any number of places, or to replenish UK training stocks. Couldn’t cadets have used those in Enfield rifles?


#6

An export contract is the most likely explanation in my opinion. I think we can forget about the cadets, they were the dumping ground for tons of .303 ball just to try and get it used up, and it took decades. I cant see them making fresh production for cadets.


#7

Vince, I was an army cadet back in 1967 when this cartridge was made - and we most certainly did have Bren guns. Nine of them if I remember correctly.


#8

An export contract is the most likely explanation in my opinion. I think we can forget about the cadets, they were the dumping ground for tons of .303 ball just to try and get it used up, and it took decades. I cant see them making fresh production for cadets.[/quote]

The Royal Navy was still using .303" Brens in 1967, probably later too. I visited a school Cadet unit in the early 1970’s and they still had several working Brens and four barrels for each! The UK MoD contracted to HXP in Greece for .303" Ball and rose-crimped blank in 1982, I still have some.

The wood bulleted L10Z blank must never be shot in rifles as the bullet will not be broken up and will be lethal at fairly short ranges.

gravelbelly


#9

Vince, I was an army cadet back in 1967 when this cartridge was made - and we most certainly did have Bren guns. Nine of them if I remember correctly.[/quote]

Yes, I remember this too - I was an army cadet in 1980’s (Duke of Edinburghs’ R Regiment) - we had the LE No4 - crimped neck blank, standard length - a pain to cycle.
And the Bren which cycled with a wooden blank and shredder barrel - we also had to qualify on a Bren for a three star skill at arms patch, lol. I saw it used with blanks maybe twice, the whole time I was a cadet.
You got a little patch in the shape of a Bren for the skill at arms qualification - which I still have somewhere.
The .22 in door range rifle was a bolt action single shot enfield based design.
No pistols for cadets.
Vince, Do you remember after every shoot: “…I have no live rounds or fired rounds in my possession, sir…”

They were cycled out a year or two after I left for the “single action” (action had to be cycled to reload) L98A2 cadet rifle - I think it was called, I was gone by then - cadets never got the L1A1 - although we did shoot it at the various Summer camps.

That was a lot of recalling - sorry if I get anything wrong.

PS - I would love the cutaway Bren we used to have at the barracks in Maidenhead for my office here in California - I’ll find one someday.