A list of Australian .303s to look for


#1

Cartridge S. A. Ball .303 Inch Mk 2
Cartridge S. A. Ball .303 Inch Mk 2 C
Cartridge S. A. Ball .303 Inch Mk 6
Cartridge S. A. Ball .303 Inch Mk 7
Cartridge S. A. Ball Standard .303 Inch Mk 7
Cartridge S. A. Ball .303 Inch Mk 7Z
Cartridge S. A. Incendiary .303 Inch B Mk 4
Cartridge S. A. Incendiary .303 Inch B Mk 7
Cartridge S. A. Tracer .303 Inch S.P.G.
Cartridge S. A. Tracer .303 Inch G Mk 1
Cartridge S. A. Tracer .303 Inch G Mk 2
Cartridge S. A. Tracer .303 Inch G Mk 2Z
Cartridge S. A. ArmourPiercing .303 Inch W Mk 1
Cartridge S. A. Grenade .303 Inch Mk 1
Cartridge S. A. Grenade .303 Inch H Mk 1
Cartridge S. A. Grenade .303 Inch H Mk 2
Cartridge S. A. Grenade .303 Inch H Mk 4
Cartridge S. A. Grenade .303 Inch H Mk 4 (Aust.)
Cartridge S. A. Smoke Generator.303 Inch E 1 T
Tube Percussion S. A. Cartridge Mk. 1
Tube Percussion S. A. Cartridge Mk. 2
Tube Percussion S. A. Cartridge Mk. 5
Cartridge S. A. Proof .303 Inch Q Mk 3
Cartridge S. A. Proof Standard .303 Inch Q Mk 3
Cartridge S. A. Proof .303 Inch Q Mk 4
Cartridge S. A. Blank .303 Inch L Mk 5
Cartridge S. A. Blank .303 Inch L Mk 5Z
Cartridge S. A. Blank .303 Inch L Mk 7
Cartridge S. A. Blank .303 Inch L Mk 9Z
Cartridge S. A. Drill .303 Inch Mk 3
Cartridge S. A. Drill .303 Inch Mk 6
Cartridge S. A. Drill .303 Inch D Mk 6
Cartridge S. A. Drill .303 Inch D Mk 6 N
Cartridge S. A. Drill .303 Inch L. P.
Cartridge S. A. Drill .303 Inch L. P. Diecast
Cartridge S. A. Dummy .303 Inch U Mk 5
Cartridge S. A. Murray Switch .303 Inch

Happy hunting, and if I’ve missed any I would be pleased to hear of it.

Cheers

John


#2

.303 Ball MkVI with .199" (Martini Cadet) Primer…Most converted to Drill rounds with Wood Bullet (Red)…one Lot in 1915, due to shortage of correct .250 Berdan Primers.

Doc AV


#3

Doc Av.

You are right about the wood bulleted drill, which is the Mark 3 in the list. The main month of this primer shortage was June 1916 when the factory ran out of normal primers. Loaded ball rounds of this date are also found with both brass and nickel primers. My understanding is that these were obtained from commercial sources, but information from that era is pretty scant.

Thanks John


#4

John,

Thanks for the list and the work it involved!

Brian


#5

John,

Thanks for the list and the work it involved!

Brian


#6

Fantastic John, what will the headstamps be for all of them please :-)

thanks
Rich


#7

Rich,

When I can get decent photos together I’ll try to post them. I should be able to show examples of all except for the H4(Aust) headstamp, and the Tracer SPG.

The only reference I have to the H4(Aust) headstamp, is that the last order processed by Footscray was to the drawings and specifications prepared by Army Design, entitled Cartridge S. A. Grenade .303 inch H Mk 4 (Aust) and would have had the H4(Aust) included in the headstamp. Not having seen one I cannot vouch for that particular headstamp.
Also haven’t yet seen a Tracer SPG. They were made in 1928 at Footscray before they received British drawings, but based on information received from England. They should have included VIIG in the headstamp, and not having sighted one, I would be jumping for joy if one turned up.

Cheers

John


#8

John
Is this what you consider a H Mk 4 (Aust)? or do you mean having the number “4” actually in the headstamp, although you don’t use Roman numerals in your list?


#9

Pete,

I may have caused some confusion by using Arabic numerals in my list in order to make it have more meaning to those not familiar with the old Commonwealth system. Sorry about that.

There should be three distinct versions of the HIV grenade cartridge.
The first is obviously different, in that the mouth of the case is sealed with wads, and NOT crimped. I’ll attach a photo if I can.
The second one is the one you picture, with the rosette crimp coloured red.
The third which should exist (the last lot made), would look identical to yours, however the headstamp should read MF 45 HIV (Aust). Note the (Aust)!!!

This is the only sample I’ve seen of the first production.

There were other variations I’ve omitted because without seeing sealed packets we would not be able to identify them. The include two low velocity loads in Ball and Armour Piercing which were used to test the Bren Carriers plate. Many other small runs of special purpose cartridge/dummy were manufactured for in house use, rarely to be found, and require some form of provenance, as they say in the art world, to prove authenticity.

Thanks for the question, I mistakenly tend to think every collector thinks like me and understands the shorthand.

Cheers

John


#10

Thanks John

I wasn’t thrown as much by by the Roman Numerals vs numbers, but by the “(Aust)” actually being part of the headstamp.

Sorry I can’t add more but that was my only MK IV variation.


#11

Pete,

I have a full page explanation of the circumstances associated with the H4, from a friend who was there at the time and would have worked with the various propellants Footscray tried out. Too long to quote here, but I’ll quote his last two paragraphs.
“In the meantime Army Design recorded the details, as an Australian pattern, in a drawing titled Cartridge, S. A. Grenade, .303 Inch, H Mk. 4(Aust.). The last order made was processed to the H Mk.4(Aust.) design and would bear that stamp-mark and have the red tip.
Thus there would be two orders showing the red tip, the first stamped H Mk. 4 and the other H Mk. 4(Aust.). A third type, made earlier had a different propellant and the case neck was not crimped.”

The last one he referred to is the one I showed in the photo. That one was made to British drawings and specifications and the first order was more of an experimental nature using varying amounts of propellant, and to determine the loading weight for production. There probably existed a few different, in that they were suppose to have blackened cases, but the early ones may not have done so. (Like the photo). The second order of this early type had the open case mouth and the top third and bottom third of the case, blackened.

Cheers

John


#12

A new piece of information from our good friend and great artist, Les Butler. He will not do a rendition of a packet without either seeing it, or a photo, so I trust this drawing which was done from a photo.

While I never ever say something doesn’t exist, I won’t spend too much time looking for the HIV(Aust) headstamp. With or without Arabic numerals.

My copy of the photo is not big enough, but the headstamp from the packet is MF 45 HIV.

Cheers

John