Electric Primer 7.62mm Match


Speaking of electric primers, I think I asked about this one once before but cannot remember where, or if, anyone answered. So, here it is again.

From the 1950s, a grooveless, electric primed, 7.62mm Match? cartridge. Anybody know what it was called and, more important, the rifle it was supposed to be used in ??

Photo on left shows the primer. Right shows an unfinished case and the bullet.


.308 Rimless , Grooveless , Electrically-Primed Match Ctge

I have- thought to be a French made primer, a solid copper alloy bullet & said to be made by Winchester as a high precision match cartridge.

What is the bullet weight?


These comments are based on a conversation with an individual who worked on the project at Winchester in the late 50’s/early 60’s.
The project was an in-house funded effort to improve accuracy for the AMU. The rimless cartridge used a French electric shotgun primer. There were multiple bullet designs - flat base and boat tail, position and number of groves on the bullet etc. The cartridges were fired from a test barrel using a universal receiver and a gain in accuracy at 200 yards over the conventional match round was achieved. I don’t have any information on why the project was terminated.

I have examples of the bullets shown by Ray that were fired from test barrels with a constant twist and gain twist, but I can’t say it these were fired from electric or conventionally primed cartridges (the individual didn’t recall testing gain twist barrels, so these bullets may not be related to the electric primed match program).

Ray - what are the dimensions of the primer pocket on the unfinished case you show? Based on the photo, it looks too small to take the electric primer. I have a similar case but I’m not convinced that mine is an unfinished case for the match round. Based on x-rays, simply enlarging the primer pocket diameter would still not accommodate the electric primer. I’ll try to post x-rays of the match round. The individual above did not recall any tests involving rimless conventionally primed cartridges.



Thanks Pete and Dave

Bullet weight is 177 grains, 1.425" long. Solid turned copper or GM.

The “unfinished” case does not belong to me. The owner told be it was unfinished. That’s why I used that description. It’s obvious that the pocket would never accommodate the electric primer of the loaded cartridge. It appears to be a conventional primer pocket but I’m only guessing, based on the photo.

My loaded round has a primer pocket that is approx .310" - .315" diameter. I can’t measure it any closer than that without punching out the primer. The “flashhole” appears to be a raised projection inside the case base, about .115" in diameter, sealed with some sort of dark color material. I assume this is typical of the French primer?

FWIW, powder is a very fine spherical, 43.7 grains. OAL is 3.120".

So Dave, I take it that there was no rifle as such. Only a test barrel and receiver?



Ray, regarding its primer, I can comment that this electric type was designed in 1956 by Charles Rouby of the Société Moderne de Fabrications Mécaniques. The 1959 catalog by this company offered loaded shotshells, new primed empty cases and electric primers in bags of 100. Some shotguns and cartridges were imported into the States during the 1960’s.



That’s my understanding

X-ray of the electric primed cartridge together with a conventionally primer cartridge. One day I’ll get one sectioned.

The unfinished case I mentioned has Winchester associations. However, I have European draw pieces that look identical suggesting that un-rimmed and un-grooved cases are part of one method of making normal cartridge cases. Of course it is possible that if this is the situation, cases at this stage were then modified to make the electric primed case.




Two different primers in French “Ammunition Electric” inner reinforced (steel lined at the base) black paper cases.

The NATO primer is missing a central contact as shown in the shot shells.



Mine appears to have a central contact point surrounded by a gray insulating material. It doesn’t show up well in the photo.

Is it correct to call this a “NATO” cartridge since it is a Winchester experimental?



well, sure it is Ray, unless your picking nits again then you would be 100% correct it isn’t a NATO.


Mine does seem to have the same construction as yours now that I look closely at both photos. The insulator and contact point color being the so close to the same fooled me & I probably should have used a glass.



I’ve been known to pick a nit now and again, but this was not one of those times. Made by Winchester, supposedly for AMU, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say it’s a 308 Winchester? Most of the Match ammunition made by WW for the AMU is labeled as such. Remington, OTOH, . . .



Here’s a picture of a few other projectile variations.