Double stamped .303

Hi all,

A while back, I found a .303 blank on a WW2 training camp, here in Devon UK. This is one I’ve never seen before!

On closer inspection it has been double stamped by two manufacturers.
‘R/|\L 1942 W I’ and stamped over the top of the ‘RL‘ marking is, ’RG 1943 L V’.

I had a search on here for double stamps, but they seem to be the same stamp done twice. Anyone else seen a headstamp like this on a .303?

Pretty cool cartridge, though!

303

Best regards,

Simon

2 Likes

When I was collecting .303 years ago, I had two “double-stamp” British made .303s in my collection. One was a correct loading for the headstamp, as I recall, so likely simply was missed in inspection. The other was a blank with, again from recollection, a blank with a ball headstamp, probably with the case used for a blank because of this small imperfection, which of itself, doesn’t harm the utility of the case.

Since your blank has an armour-piercing headstamp (“W”), I assume it was also rejected for the original purpose and turned into a blank. Military blanks in many countries were made on over-run and rejected cases, where the defect did not effect safety in firing a blank.

It is simply a bunting error, in my opinion. I don’t know the sequence of case manufacture of British .303 well enough to know why this occurs, however.

John Moss

John Moss

John is certainly correct in rejected 303 cases being used for blanks and I have a number of examples. All of the blanks I have in my collection that were made from rejected cases are not over-stamped and retain the original headstamp.

The main question for me is why this case is stamped by two different manufacturers - Royal Laboratory and Radway Green, whose factories were situated almost 200 miles apart. I know R^L did make L V cases and I’d always assumed that R^L would have produced these blanks. However, is it possible that R^L sent cases to RG for loading?

Mayhem - good eye!!! I did not notice at all that the double-stamp represented two different factories. Examples of double-struck headstamps are not particularly rare, but with two different markings…??? Great catch!

Now I will have to look closer at my few double-headstamp auto pistol cartridges.

John

It’s certainly quite an oddball. Two makers and two different years, too!

I’ve found tonne loads of cartridges made as blanks from reject cartridges, and some with double strikes and one with a missing year.
I’ve shown this example to various .303 collectors, and they’ve never seen one like this!

Thought this would be quite an interesting one to share. :)

Best regards,

Simon