Commercial .303 by SFM

What sort of time period was the commercial .303 by SFM made? It has a round nose CN bullet, almost identical in profile to the British .303 Mark 2. The headstamp is: “* S.F.M * GG”, and it has a domed copper primer. Thanks in advance for any info.

Hi Falcon,
This is the first type of 303 SFM made , the production started about 1890, and it is corresponding to the MkII

Thanks for the info. When did they stop making it?

they stop making this pattern in the early 20’s , replaced by AP and APT in 1923 and later on incendiary.

What was the reason behind a French manufacturer making AP and incendary?

The French Air Force was equipped with .303 Vickers and Lewis guns both during and after the war. They had been loading ball, AP, tracer and incendiary during the war as well.


The French Air Force continued the use of .303 ammo right thru to the mid 1930s, using lewis, Vickers(Air Service) and Vickers K guns, as well as the WW I developed “Darne” high speed MG; with the introduction of the M24/29C 7,5mm cartridge, the Darne was re-configured for this new cartridge, and by WW II, the .303 guns relegated to obsolescence/training/colonial use.

French-made .303 ammo during WWI consisted of both wholly G&G/SFM produced components, as well as imported (G&B) produced Bullets ( AP etc)

Although the French initially used Flexible (hinged) strip Hotchkiss Light MGs in 8mm Lebel, these were too unwieldy for use either as fixed guns or as flexibles; Even a precursor of the Chauchat was tested on Aircraft, but its long recoil action was prone to jamming. They took to the Lewis gun like a duck to water, and it is romoured that some Lewis guns were actually made in France (maybe assembled from parts from BSA)

Before the general use of MGs in Fench Aircraft, wide use was made (in 1914-15) of Winchester M-07 & M10 Self loaders (.351 SL and .401 SL)
These were soon relgated to Balloon observers. SFM also made this ammo as well.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics