7mm with an American headstamp


#1

Hi,

What is the story of this cartridge? It is shown in the auctionlist for the SLICS.

Is this done by the British, the Americans or at FN (Belgium)
The case must be a pre Nato case (T104?) or a .30-06 case necked down to become a 7x49mm round (and not a .280/30 round as mentioned in the text). The green tipped bullet in definitely English (140 grains type B).

And why is an American case used, In Belgium and the UK were enough 7mm cases available at that time…

Who can give more info on this round?

Thanks,
Joost


British 7mm Ammunition trials
#2

joost

That is an FAT1E3 (51mm) case that has been shortened to 49mm and necked down to 7mm and loaded with the Brit Type B bullet. Supposedly loaded by Frankford Arsenal (or maybe Springfield Armory) to test the 7mm bullet at a time when there was still controversy over the 30 vs 280 for the NATO standard. Sort of a US version of the Brit 7mm Compromise, if you will.

The case was shortened in order to utilize the crimping groove and still maintain the 2.8" OAL.

Specimens exist loaded with a Type A bullet also.

I have one which means they must be common. ;)

Seriously, not common but not particularly rare either. One belongs in any US Experimental collection.

Ray


#3

OK.

This was new info for me…
This cartridge is an interesting bridge between the American and British cartridge development.

Now I would realy like a list of all the known variations of the American and british experimental pre Nato / .280 / 7mm cartridges…

But I know there is not such a list:.(

thanks Ray,

all the best,
Joost


#4

The available information I have is that this cartridge was loaded at Springfield Armory for internal comparative trials with the US-designed cartridges including what ultimately became the 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge (see also IAA Journal 465 p68).

Dave S


#5

About 20 years ago I knew a technician at Aberdeen who had worked there for many years. He knew Stoner and Gustevson and all the others. Going through his basement one night (where lots of stuff that was marked for the burn pit wound up) I saw boxes of 280/30 cases and bullets. The containers were British marked and of a type I’d never seen. they were square, about 10 inches on a side with rounded corners. On the top they had a round paint can type lid, as I remember, and each contained 100s of cases or bullets from the look of them. The cases were new, but unloaded and the bullets were also new. The story I was told was that at one phase in the trials quite a quantity of British components were sent to Aberdeen (and probably other places). There was also a large (is that 20 people or a 100+???) British contengent at Aberdeen and a lot of work was done to try to look at variations of the British and US cartridges that would satisfy everyone’s requirements.

I have no idea where the subject cartridge was loaded, but there was a lot of loading of variations being done, some done at Aberdeen, and I’m sure at other places. A mixed US case and British bullet doesn’t surprise me at all.


#6

joost

There are very good publications by Labbett & Mead that cover the British experimentals, in all calibers tested. The two that I have are Series 2, Pamphlets 1 and 7. I’m not sure where you can obtain copies but one of our British friends can probably direct you to a source.

There is no one source that covers the US experimentals. HWS II covers only the first few (1944 and 1945) but HWS III is sure to complete the effort thru adoption of the 7.62x51 NATO in 1954.

You will find bits and pieces of the US side here on the Forum and in past issues of the JOURNAL.

Auction catalogs are another good source of information.

If you find a single source, post a link to it. There are a lot of collectors who would love to have such a thing.

ray


#7

It’s just my own personal opinion, not worth a nickel, but I think the OCO was not the least interested in any sort of compromise on either the caliber (30) or the case (FAT1E3) that would become the NATO standard. Appearing to consider any other cartridge was a polite lie on their part.

The same thing happened when efforts were later made toward a Small Caliber High Velocity (SCHV) cartridge to replace the 7.62x51. But retirements, re-organization, and events like the Viet Nam War, combined against them and the result was the 5.56x45.

JMHO

Ray


#8

Ray, I agree with you. When I was stationed in the UK I had a chance to read the British report on the entire process and there conclusion was that the US was never open to a 7mm bullet or a smaller capacity case.

There were apparently three votes for the final choice of caliber, US, Britain and France. The US offered to facilitize their cartridge factories if they selected the US caliber and that settled the deal!


#9

[quote=“Lew”]Ray, I agree with you. When I was stationed in the UK I had a chance to read the British report on the entire process and there conclusion was that the US was never open to a 7mm bullet or a smaller capacity case.

There were apparently three votes for the final choice of caliber, US, Britain and France. The US offered to facilitize their cartridge factories if they selected the US caliber and that settled the deal![/quote]

I agree that the so called “competition” to select a new cartridge was never going to result in anything but an American cartridge winning. I believe that the final nail in the coffin for 7mm calibres was when the US forced an amendment to the requirement which moved the goalposts - “No calibre smaller that .30” is suitable for military purposes". But at least the UK and Belgium refused to adopt the US rifle (M14) and instead adopted the superior FN FAL. So we were stuck with the wrong cartridge for many years but a very good rifle.

gravelbelly