British H/S Mistake?


#1

I got an odd UK .380 Mk.II round at the recent Willimsport Show. GM bullet, brass case and primer, ring primer crimp. The h/s is:
K 56 380L IT
Is this a known error using a blank bunter or case, or something interesting, rare, and mysterious??? Off-hand I don’t recall seeing any UK headstamp errors before.


#2

Yes it is wrong, but probably done by Kynoch to use up case draws or bunters. As you probably know, the .380 LIT should be a blackpowder (T) Blank (L) Mark I(I).

At the end of Kynoch’s production they simply used up any available stock. I have .303 ball with H2 line throwing blank headstamp (believed to be contract for Nigeria) for example, and .303 blank with coppered case and Q3 proof headstamp!

I suspect they thought that if the customer was non UK and did not specify a headstamp anything would do.

Regards
TonyE


#3

Makes sense, thanks.


#4

[quote=“TonyE”]Yes it is wrong, but probably done by Kynoch to use up case draws or bunters. As you probably know, the .380 LIT should be a blackpowder (T) Blank (L) Mark I(I).

At the end of Kynoch’s production they simply used up any available stock. I have .303 ball with H2 line throwing blank headstamp (believed to be contract for Nigeria) for example, and .303 blank with coppered case and Q3 proof headstamp!

I suspect they thought that if the customer was non UK and did not specify a headstamp anything would do.

Regards
TonyE[/quote]

Tony,

It is likely that the “Q3” blank was made by converting proof rounds, rather than using new Q3 cases. Some years ago the UK Ministry of Defence wanted to dispose of stocks of .303 Proof Q3. They couldn’t be sold off as shooting ammo so they put out for tenders to destroy all of it. The winning bidder than took all of the Q3 proof ammo, ostensibly to destroy it on behalf of the UK MOD. They started by pulling bullets, with an undersized (.308") collet puller, digging the cordite out of the case and firing the primer. This started out as a means of getting extra revenue out of the contract, over and above what they were being paid by the MOD. The cases were presumably sold as scrap metal. The salvaged bullets appeared on the market for reloaders and also turned up in loaded ammo being sold commercially. The bullets are easily recognised by the bright peripheral score where the edge of the collet dug in just ahead of the casemouth. Digging the cordite out of the cases was a real chore so they switched to star crimping the case necks and selling them as “Extra loud Q3 blanks”, many were bought by re-enactment guys. However these are very dangerous blanks which would never pass any safety tests. The people were paid to destroy the ammo, also got paid for the bullets and then for the “blanks”.

gravelbelly


#5

[quote]
Tony,

It is likely that the “Q3” blank was made by converting proof rounds, rather than using new Q3 cases. Some years ago the UK Ministry of Defence wanted to dispose of stocks of .303 Proof Q3. They couldn’t be sold off as shooting ammo so they put out for tenders to destroy all of it. The winning bidder than took all of the Q3 proof ammo, ostensibly to destroy it on behalf of the UK MOD. They started by pulling bullets, with an undersized (.308") collet puller, digging the cordite out of the case and firing the primer. This started out as a means of getting extra revenue out of the contract, over and above what they were being paid by the MOD. The cases were presumably sold as scrap metal. The salvaged bullets appeared on the market for reloaders and also turned up in loaded ammo being sold commercially. The bullets are easily recognised by the bright peripheral score where the edge of the collet dug in just ahead of the casemouth. Digging the cordite out of the cases was a real chore so they switched to star crimping the case necks and selling them as “Extra loud Q3 blanks”, many were bought by re-enactment guys. However these are very dangerous blanks which would never pass any safety tests. The people were paid to destroy the ammo, also got paid for the bullets and then for the “blanks”.

gravelbelly[/quote]

Would a proof powder charge with no bullet still generate dangerously high pressures? Surely as there is no bullet the pressure can escape before reaching dangerous levels. What is the weight of powder charge in grains for a normal .303 Mk 7 Ball round and a Q3 Proof?


#6

[quote=“Falcon”][quote]
Tony,

It is likely that the “Q3” blank was made by converting proof rounds, rather than using new Q3 cases. Some years ago the UK Ministry of Defence wanted to dispose of stocks of .303 Proof Q3. They couldn’t be sold off as shooting ammo so they put out for tenders to destroy all of it. The winning bidder than took all of the Q3 proof ammo, ostensibly to destroy it on behalf of the UK MOD. They started by pulling bullets, with an undersized (.308") collet puller, digging the cordite out of the case and firing the primer. This started out as a means of getting extra revenue out of the contract, over and above what they were being paid by the MOD. The cases were presumably sold as scrap metal. The salvaged bullets appeared on the market for reloaders and also turned up in loaded ammo being sold commercially. The bullets are easily recognised by the bright peripheral score where the edge of the collet dug in just ahead of the casemouth. Digging the cordite out of the cases was a real chore so they switched to star crimping the case necks and selling them as “Extra loud Q3 blanks”, many were bought by re-enactment guys. However these are very dangerous blanks which would never pass any safety tests. The people were paid to destroy the ammo, also got paid for the bullets and then for the “blanks”.

gravelbelly[/quote]

Would a proof powder charge with no bullet still generate dangerously high pressures? Surely as there is no bullet the pressure can escape before reaching dangerous levels. What is the weight of powder charge in grains for a normal .303 Mk 7 Ball round and a Q3 Proof?[/quote]

Falcon,

It is not dangerous pressures in the gun that are the problem, you quite rightly state that they will be lower than a normal service round, let alone a proof round. However, the debris ejected from the muzzle is definitely a problem. No official UK blanks used stick cordite, these "blanks have stick cordite plus a glazeboard disc wad. When these “Q3” cartridges are fired the glazeboard is a missile as are pieces of unburnt cordite which leave the muzzle at high velocity. Glazeboard wads were replaced by strawboard in ammo to be fired from aircraft because of damage to the aircraft caused by the glazeboard discs! As these blanks were marketed to the re-enactors, who shoot at each other, there was a real risk of injury.

gravelbelly


#7

I get you now, was there ever any serious injuries? Someone once told me about “copper cased blanks designed to test for damage in the chamber by seeing where the copper was scraped off”. Is this a real concept or something that someone has made up/been told? I think that they are referring to these Q3 blanks with their copper plating, and possibly this is their own thought on why copper plated blanks were produced.


#8

falcon,

The story about these “copper cased blanks” given above sounds like fiction to me. I am sure that all of these are “after market” conversions by pulling the bullet on proof rounds and star crimping. I know of no actual injuries but those that I fired made holes in 4mm hardboard at six feet range. People have thinner skin than this.

gravelbelly


#9

I have also never heard anything else about those “copper plated blanks”. Maybe it was just his own thoughts on what the copper coating on the converted Q3 Proof blanks were for. How common are the Q3 Blanks? It would be an interesting round to add to my collection.