Help needed with (inert) ICI .303-25R


#1

I’ve been reading some recent threads and some from back in 2009, trying to obtain more information on a .303-25R.

It was indicated that the .303-25R was a type of Australian wildcat, primarily from Bertram, with a headstamp of: BB .303/25

Was the appended cartridge made by Bertram, or made for Bertram by ICI?

Any additional background, or date estimate, would be greatly appreciated.

Sam3


Australian 303/22 cartridges
#2

Sam3
I just posted several other Australian boxes on the thread you mention. You will see many other makers offered this case type.
This is not Bertram production but the Imperial brand, box below.
Bruce Bertram’s production has “BB” at 12 & the 303/25 at 6, in very fine / thin letters.
Imperial


#3

Hi Pete,
Many thanks for your reply…and wonderful to see such a colourful box.

Do you have any feeling as to when manufacturing, by ICI, was taking place?

Regards,
Sam3


#4

No idea & did you look at the others, on the 303 / 22 thread Dann started?

Did you know the Australian & the New Zealand folk have great clubs & publish great news letters.

My impression is that a good number of those members only collect local OZ or NZ ammunition and as such don’t visit here often. So they would be the best place to ask specific questions.

The back page of my catalog has contact information (see below) Also the IAA membership secretary. Gary might be of help…
back cover.pdf (30.2 KB)


#5

Hi Pete,
Will follow up your leads.

Have found in:
The Birmingham Cartridge Manufacturers , Page 184, by C.W.Harding.

The drawing date for .303"/.25" for ICIANZ was 20.11.1961. Ref: APS/554.

Regards,
Sam3


#6

Ta Sam3


#7

.303 wildcat derivatives date from before WWII for a number of reasons, relating to import restrictions, need for suitable meat and skin calibers more powerful than Lever action calibers, state prohibitions, etc.

Factory production began in the 1950s, with wartime machinery bought from discontinued gov’t factories
Super Cartridge Co. ( ex old MF plant Melbourne)
Riverbrand ( ex Hendon South Aust. MH AND MJ plants)
Both makers started by reloading and reforming spent military berdan brass with RWS .250" primers; Riverbrand also had new cases (berdan) supplied by Footscray MG now MF ) with RBA stamp. Powder was war surplus IMR 4740, a Dupont powder made in Australia during WWII. About halfway between 3031 and 4895. We cried when it ran out.
ICI-ANZ , a subsidiary of ICI Britain supplied ammo made with Boxer primers from the 1960s till the early 80s. Inthe 1980s, all three makers had closed down for various reasons ( financial and age of owners for Super and RBA, Company re-organisation and leaving the ammo industry for ICI )

Calibres variously supplied on the .303 case were
.303 soft point ; .303/270; .303/25 severalcase lenghts;
.303/243; .303/22—3 case lengths and a rimless version as well.
There is a .303/ 7mm for converted M93/95 Boer Mausers’ a 7.7x54R (for NSW .303 prohibited) ; a .303/350 aka “Territorian” for Northern Territory Water Buffalo and Crocodile hunters.

Bertram only started making .303/25 cases in the late 1990s.
All these calibers are effectively obsolete now ( no one makes factory made and loaded ammo, although there are some custom loaders who assemble using US OR PRVI BRASS )
AVB TechServices supplies ALL The .303 derivatives
made from (now) Hornady/Prvi/Starline supplied new Boxer brass, either from inventory for the commoner sizes…270, .25, .243, .22 and 7.7x54R. All the others are on a make to order after checking chamber details from customer…not all .303 derivatives are equal.
Allformed cases are trimmed where necessary and neck and shoulder annealed…with flame mark left ( not polished off).
All forming is done sequentially so as not to damage the brass. The sloppy tolerances of chamber neck dimensions require no neck reaming of cases…original derivatives were straight formed from military ca okses, so resulted in thick necks…esp.the 22’s.

Regards
DocAV
Brisbane.


#8

Hi DocAV4901,
Many thanks for your detailed background and insight into these unusual cartridges…greatly appreciated.
Regards,
Sam3


#9

Yes good info on these companies , thanks