British 7mm Ammunition trials


I am doing some research on some 280, 280/30 & 7mm ammunition I have and I don’t seam to be able to find much info on the ammunition trials or the ammunition types. I have the 7mm pamphlet by Labbett & Mead but I don’t seam to be able to find any more literature, can anyone tell me of any more books or articles I should look for

many thanks

[7mm with an American headstamp)
[.280/30 British Experimental) … 55&start=0 … =8&t=11102
Some info here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2600 (Fuego Central / CF, 7x43.4 Xpl Pre-OTAN)
DTIC report: AD896860 A Comparison Test of United Kingdom and United States Ammunition for Lightweight Weapons. Volume 2. Appendices PW A record of shooting trials, no info on cartridges.
Relevant IAA Journal articles in Vols. #182, #186,#349, #463, #482 covering .280/.30, .280, .270 & 7mm


Tony Edwards did a presentation on the subject at SLICS a few years ago that I think was fleshed-out in an IAA article. In addition, I know that NatoDave has run across some interesting relevant info in his research on the British adoption of the 7.62x51 Nato round.


Two good starting points are EM-2 Concept and Design by TB Dugelby and The FAL Rifle Classic Edition by RB Stevens (particularly the metric rifle section). The article by Tony Edwards can be found in the IAA Journal # 463 Sept/Oct 2008. My article (IAA Journal # 482 Nov/Dec 2011) on the adoption of the 7.62x51mm cartridge contains information on the UK 7mm series. Since this was written, more documents covering the events (including technical specs and trial results) have become available and the story is even more convoluted than I described. My interest is in clearly understanding both the political and technical events behind the adoption of the 7.62x51mm cartridge as the NATO standard. The “relationship” between the 7mm series and the US .30 cal light rifle cartridge will be covered in the early chapters of a book on the 7.62mm NATO cartridge that I am currently working on. I have a collection of primary references that can be added to the members only area once it is functional.



Many thanks gents, I have your article NATODave but I don’t have No 463 I don’t go that far back I will have to get a back copy from the IAA website



A very important report on the used criteria for selecting calibre, muzzle velocity, and bullet weight (misleadingly termed ideal calibre by Dugelby) is:

The Choice of a Standard Round for Small Arms. ADE Technical report 5/47, Fort Halstead, March 1947

You can find a copy at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, Box AMM/IDE/1 (also in AMM/280/1), or at the National Archives in Kew, DEFE 15/239.


As bdgreen mentioned, only volume 2 of the comparison test report (AD-895860) can be downloaded from DTIC. Volume 1 is only available on microfiche. I had the microfiche scanned and have volume 1 (AD-895859) as PDF file, if you are interested. Remember, this is a very technical document on an ammunition test. The reproduction quality is also bad, as if the U.S. were a third world country. Size is 27MB, 231 pages. Send me an email (EMAIL button below) in case you need vol. 1 of the report.

By the way, the rifle test (T25, FN, EM2) report can be downloaded as AD-895858 from DTIC.


There’s a current thread on a related topic on my forum here: … d=16941578

Included in that is a link to The British Army and the Politics of Rifle Development, 1880 to 1986 which is well worth reading.