French 7.7mm armour piercing?


#1

I do not have this cartridge in my possession but the owner is trying to establish what type of bullet is loaded in this French 7.70mm case. The headstamp is A.PX.1.30 D and he describes the bullet as being blackened, weighing 146gns, and having only a small diameter hole in its base. My first thought was that this is armour piercing however he says it has an open nose. He actually says he can see silver metal inside the nose. These three photographs are the best I can provide but the last image does indeed appear to show a small hole in the nose. Any thoughts please?

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#2

I should have mentioned that he describes the bullet as being ‘slightly magnetic’ but not to the degree that he would expect of an armour piercing bullet.


#3

worked on that photo a little. The area around the hole looks to have lip, which it shouldn’t have even with the side lighting, if it was factory.


#4

Pete, I’m more inclined to think that these are factory produced (he has three identical specimens) but I think the tip of the jacket has been cut away revealing the steel core inside. I cannot find a drawing or sectioned photograph of a French 7.7mm AP anywhere to confirm that the core does extend right up to the tip.


#5

Hi Jim
I don’t have a drawing either, but most all of the AP rounds I’m aware of have lead at the tip to help provide balance.


#6

Ah, that makes sense. So there would most likely be lead surrounding the core and beneath the jacket? The owner says he thinks he can see lead in the small opening. I have found an old document of Peter Labbett’s in which he describes a French 7.7mm armour piercing bullet as weighing 145gns so that would fit in with this nicely.


#7

Jim, there is no lead inside as per the French.
The jacket is solid brass or tombak.

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#8

Nice Alex, learn something new every day here.


#9

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#10

Thanks for posting that drawing Alex, that is a big help. It does however differ from the bullet in question in that the drawing is of a flat-based bullet while the photo appears to show a boat-tailled bullet. Perhaps there were two variants?


#11

I wondered if it was a APT loading, but the boattail isn’t quite the same.

Paul


#12


#13

Jim, you are right!
How does your bullet look at the base?

Maybe our French friends can chime in?


#14

Alex, I am afraid I do not have the bullet…I only have the photographs. However, the owner describes the base of the bullet as having a very small hole in the centre similar to that shown in your drawing.


#15

Ok, then I guess it is a variant of the AP shown in the diagram.

Maybe someone else will know?


#16

I do also have a French dwg of an AP bullet with Lead around the core I just cant get it to upload, I will try and re-scan the drawing and upload it, but it is definitly not the one in the photo the profile is different and no hole in the bottom.

Both attached drawings show the small hole in the bottom of the bullet Jim

Richard.


#17

Excellent drawings Rich, thanks for posting them. My interpretation is that the drawings show two differing bullet bases - the top drawing has a slight boat-tail while the lower drawing has much more of a flat base. Unfortunately neither drawing accounts for the hole in the nose. I shall contact the owner and see if I can get some better photos.


#18

I now have one of these cartridges in my possession and I’ve taken some close photographs of the bullet. Having examined the nose I am not of the opinion that there is a deliberate hole in the nose, if anything it is just a slight depression, but I would not think it is there for a purpose. I have scraped at the centre of the depression with the tip of a scalpel and I cannot see any lead or anything other than the jacket. The back end of the bullet looks very similar to 7.5mm MAS AP bullets - I am convinced that this bullet is armour piercing. It does appear that there were at least two patterns of AP in this calibre, boat-tailed and flat based.

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#19

Thanks Jim
I see the tip does have a small lip.


#20

Yes it’s a AP. Two patterns: the first with the APX4 bullet from Puteaux, then it changed in 1917 for the pattern you have. No lip, just a slight deformation of the tip.

Domi