Australian .303 in Browning belts

Not terribly important, I’m just tidying up some old notes.

Back in 1970 I was given a .303 headstamped MW 44 VII, which had a purple tip. Pulling a bullet showed no difference to a normal Mk VII Ball round. It with a number of others all with the same headstamp, and some tips coloured blue or yellow were found in a Browning MG linked belt.
Comment from Footscray was that they have NEVER loaded Browning belts in the ammunition factories and the tips must have been coloured externally.

Can anyone confirm or dispute the comment that the factories did not load links? I’m of the opinion the user service would load the belts with whatever assortment of loads were required at the time.


I cannot confirm factory loads but I was told that some rounds were spray painted? with colours for target hit recognition (for want of a better word) and the colour would show on the entrance holes on the target. Obviously on target practice by a certain unit. Just my opinion. I have some .303 and 30mm Defa painted over the tips.
I have no proof of this statement.


That does make sense. Basically confirms the statement they were not a factory painted product.


I’ve not heard of that on small calibre, but no reason why not.
Definitely on .50cal, 20mm and as stated 30mm.
Common with aerial towed targets, each aircraft would be loaded with different coloured rounds (paint is locally applied, either spray or brush painted, often a waxy/poster type paint) so all the lies would come out after the debrief!.
Image of ADEN rounds for the EE Lightning from ‘Fast Jet’s 2’ Osprey.


Great article Takapu, thanks

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The US also did a “target marker” cartridge in .50 BMG
These are all WW II era

I have a National Geographic magazine that shows USAF airman in Greenland dipping 50 caliber ball ammo into different shallow pans of paint. Believe it was from the mid 50’s.

Thank you all for the information. Clears my mind!!!