Help ID 3 x 303's

Hope someone can help with data on these 3 little devils, details are

  1. R arrow L 1942 V11this is a SHOT round, nice roll over crimp to a Brown wad, case length is 1.50 in

  2. K53 L5Z Blank, 6 point crimp, case length 1.56in

  3. US contract W.R.A.1941 .303 Black Tip


OK so far so good, my questions are this, from my smallish 303 Library I can find no data at all on a Shot round with a 1.5in case, the same for the 1.56in Blank round, the US 303 with the Black tip I have no data, primers and crimps look factory, the US round has 3 crimps in a 4 position layout. thanks Randy

The black tip round looks like a reload using an Argentine HE-Obs. bullet. Does it rattle?

The “three stab primer crimp” on the W.R.A. round is probably caused by a defective crimping tool. The W.R.A. contract ball rounds usually have a four stab primer crimp. This crimp pattern is sometimes in multiples, resulting in eight or twelve stabs!


As far as I know, no one has ever found out why the short “K L5Z” blanks were made. That headstamp can also be found on crimped blanks made from regular un-cut .303 cases.

two on left, tool blanks?

Thanks for the answers guys

jonnyc. after several vigorous shakes there was no rattle

tony. I thought about a “heavy duty” took blank for the middle round, but what for ? the roll crimp round is shot loaded, ??. Randy

The first two are similar to those hard to identify percussion primers for the propelling charge of WWI mortars (like the 6" mortar) but I don’t expect to find these with a 1942 or 1953 date. I have a round identical to number one which is loaded with shot, has a cardboard closure and /I\ /I\ 1941 BIZ headstamp. I was told it was modified by Hy Hunter for Indian smooth bored SMLE rifles. These are shown in 1955-56 advertisements like the one below:

I agree with Jonny regarding the third one, the bullet looks like a 7.65 mm Mauser HP Dordrecht “Reglaje” (spotter) bullet. Don’t use a bullet puller on these!

The shot loads with the rolled crimp are relatively common in the UK. I do not think that they are reloads by Hy Hunter because the primers are unlacquered and uncrimped which would not be the case if they were made from boken down rounds. Also they are frequently found on cases with incendiary headstamps.

I suppose it is possible they were made from broken down Blank L Mark V blanks originally made from reject cases but I think that would bring a whole different set of problems in emptying and trimming to form the roll crimp.

They are very well made but for the moment must remain a minor mystery.

The same applies to the short Kynoch blanks.

I agree that the black tipped round looks like a reload with an HP bullet. The late Bob Farris loaded thousands of these and I have put a good few through his Vickers in days past.


Thanks for the imput gents, I guess its a matter of wait and see what comes up, someday hopefully a collector will turn up a packet or other info, so its back in the ??? box for now. Randy

This is a packet of a .303 short cased blank variation with the roll crimp and a reported black powder load. However, this is a standard Mk V packet and tell us nothing about its intended purpose or maker. Tony, any thoughts?

i think someone has been playing silly games with that packet, as they appear to be stuffed with cotton wool as a wad!

The genuine British short cased rounds have a card wad.


Tony, thanks, these certainly look like something homemade, like you suggest.

From the photo they look like standard blanks which have been sawn off at the base of the neck, the “roll crimp” appears to be the original case shoulder. Perhaps this was done to add lead shot or something below the cotton wool wadding.


That had occurred to me as well Dave. Look at the surface of the top of the case, it is quite rough and unlike what one would expect if it had been machine rolled from a straight case.