About two weeks ago, I thoughtlessly hijacked John Kindred’s post on 9mm Mk1 and Mk2 performance. Instead I should have posted separately so here it is.
In with rare exceptions, British boxes do not identify the maker of the ammunition. The only exception I know of is a box of Standard ammunition by C-P from 1943 which is identified as a C-P product by a stamp. After WWII boxes identified the maker with a stamp on the label (see last line on the image below).
I have disassembled quite a few British 9mm WWII cartridges and the powder in the Mk1 and Mk2 are totally different. The Mk1 had a chopped cordite powder while the Mk2 had a more common looking blackish grain powder. The Mk2 hst was introduced by both HN and BE in 1944, but I have found Mk2 powder loaded in cases with Mk1 style HN headstamps from 1943. Like in Germany during the war, these may have been old cases loaded in 1944, but the British labels give no hint of the reason for these loads. This could have been a more common occurrence and I just have not taken apart enough rounds to find more, or could have been a one-off.
The earliest boxes I have are 20 round. One filled with HN 42 rounds had the date, 29 9 42 stamped on the label. All my other 20 round boxes, except the Standard box mentioned above have no markings indicating date or manufacturer, except for a label stamped “^BE 2 ? 42A”. There were 10 round boxes which were a 20 round box with a wood spacer filling half and a label with “10” instead of “20”. I have rarely encountered these boxes, but am told that they exist to make a carton hold 1250 cartridges so a case of four cartons would hold 5000 rds. All the 20 rd boxes I know of are marked Mk1Z. I have never seen or seen photos of the cartons and cases for British WWII 9mm and any images would be greatly appreciated. I do have a Canadian case from 1943 and it has 2560 rds which is 40 of the Canadian 64 rd boxes.
Apparently in late 1943 or early 1944 the 48 round box was introduced. apparently the requirement for 1250 rounds was dropped because 26 of these boxes is only 1248 rds. These boxes occur labelled both MkIZ and MkIIz. I have documented the MkIIz box with both HN 44 and HN 45 ammunition.
The 35 rd box may have been introduced near the end of the war of slightly later. I have a 35 rd box with ctgs headstamped HN 45, and on the side of the box is written “BRITISH 1946 NRARR PRUCHASING THIS” which may indicate it was made in 1946 using 1945 cases. The box is unusual in that it is white instead of the normal gray/tan. These boxes are labelled Mk2z, including the one containing the HN 45 headstamp.
The 50 round boxes I have are all stamped with both the manufacturer and the date. They are also labelled Mk 2z. The earliest date is 1958 for these boxes. The latest date I have for the 35 round boxes is 1957.
Has anyone encountered a 48 round box marked MkIIz but loaded with cases marked MkIz???
Has anyone encountered a box of the RL 41 ammunition, or the initial BE production with cases marked BE 41???
Does anyone have information and/or photos of the carton and case packing for this ammunition???
Images of other box variations would also be appreciated.