British Experimental 4.85 with primer stab crimps

I have a photo of a 4.85 Ball round with 3 stab crimps on the primer, I have not seen this before and I cant find any reference to primer crimping apart from ringing in of primers. Have I just missed these or are they rare.

many thanks
Richard.RG 77 4.85 headstamp with 3 stabs

I have 10 if you include the short case variation & none have these stap crimps. Nor can I recal seening them before, so my 2 pence is yes rare

Do yours have nickel primers? I only have one, so it doesn’t pay to look. Could it have been a reload, and they thought they needed to stake it. Just a thought, as I have not seen the crimps before either.

No Dan none of mine are nickel, but they do have the impressed circular groove.

Its not mine, I wish it was. I have about 20 odd rounds and none of mine have this crimp on the primer, the primer is just the normal No.69T Kynoch primer, it just looks nickle in the photo but its not. I have even looked through all Peter Labbetts notes on 4.85 and I cant find anything regarding this primer crimping??


Hi Richard,

Appreciate that this is, probably, a crazy suggestion.

Is there any possibility that these; ‘stab primer crimps,’ were originally intended for blanks, or rifle grenade blanks?

Fundamentally; would a blank, or rifle grenade blank have required, or benefited, from a more significant crimp?
And; does anyone have a blank, or rifle grenade blank to compare?

Sam3, I have blanks, grenade blanks and most of the other rounds in some form or another and none have these crimps. There is no need for them really, its a mystery and I cant find anyone else who has a 4.85 with these primer crimps

mystery but this is why I collect ammo :-)


Hi Richard,

I have a decent collection and only have the 1 round.



Hi Richard
I found this file in the archives, so Peter Labbett had obviously seen one in his travels.
Box 6 File 3 - British Experimental other than .303" Standard Case

Hope this helps

OH good another to look for.

Just kidding thanks to all, Great stuff

Yes I found this page last night but it doesnt say anything about why the crimps, also what is very interesting is that both this one in Peters sheets and the one Paul shows are both plain Ball bullets with no tip colour, the one I have the photos of has a Purple tipped Bullet. I wonder if a selection of bullets were tested for a specific trial???


Hi Richard
I can’t answer that one at the moment - do you have any idea where the picture you have is from? Peter obviously had one of these cartridges in 1991, but there is no mention of it in the Technical Ammunition Guide on British 4.85mm which was printed in 1983, then reprinted in 2001. He does describe boxer primed and bar/strap anvils as alternative primer designs in this publication, so odd that there is no mention of stab crimped primers. Other thought is that it is a fired ball round, with a replaced projectile.
Keep me posted if you find out more.
Cheers, Switch

switch, Yes I know where it is and it will be in my collection in the next few weeks wooooooohoooooowooooohoooo oop’s sorry I didnt mean to type that :-) I am a little exited at getting it.