Help to identify a .303 British

OK, so my good friend Gerald Morris and I are trying to figure out this .303 cartridge. It appears from the headstamp to be Dum Dum Arsenal southern circuit but the broad arrow is not present above the I. The other thing is that the projectile does not seem to fit with Southern Circuits timeline of 1895-1913. Pics are below and any help would be greatly appreciated.

I’m new to this so please forgive anything obvious that I may have missed.


Neither the small primer nor the coppery bullet jacket seem to suggest a pre-WW.2 British connection. Jack

I can’t get to my office right now, but for some reason I’m thinking it is Italian.

I am confident that it is not an Indian round from Dum Dum for all sorts of reasons.

Southern Circuit never made Mark VII ball
The bullet is GM or GMCS, neither of which were in use in the period in question.
The purple annulus was not introduced until 1918 by which time the Southern Circuit headstamp was not used.
As already stated, there is no Broad Arrow over the “I”.
The cap is too small.

It may be Italian as Jonny suggests, but I would lean towards French.


Having so elegantly disposed of Dum-Dum Southern Circuit, the question now remains ?Who and Where and When?

Further pointers>>>Primer Diameter: Italian 7,7 cases have a .250" Berdan primer ( same as British)…Primer Annulus colour is correct for British made cartridges, but Italian??; This cartridge looks like a .217" Berdan primer???

The Neck Crimp is also correct for British-made Cartridges up to the mid- 1940s… NO ( or indistinguishable) Primer Crimp, so therefore not likely to be an Aircraft use 7,7/.303.
Now “French or ???”…Not having seen many French made .303s ( 7,7) to compare with, but knowing the French had detailed headstamps, one could propose another maker…the Czechs, maybe or even the Spanish or Estonians?
or Finns ( Sako?)
BTW, what is the source of this cartridge case?? (Mixed Milsurp of Eastern European origin, or otherwise?) And since there is no year date, is it actually “military” or just a “commercial FMJ?”

And I assume the propellant is Nitro-cellulose? What type (Flake or Tubular?)

How many questions there are to be answered…just like a Forensic Post Mortem!!!

Doc AV

OK, I checked my log book. I have the same round and I have it listed as “Italian?”. Not sure why, but that’s how I id’d it a few years back.

Thanks for ALL the information. I’ll list it as Italian for now and research it from there. I’ve just got to know who the manuafacturer is and the approximate year. ;)

I can’t help with the identification but just wanted to comment that one of this rounds was found in Egypt. I wonder if this could be a Shoubra product or maybe a contract for Egypt or a nearby country.

It would help to know if this cartridge has a gm or gmcs jacket We would then be in a better position to consider Yugoslavia as its source. Jack

Mine is GM.

Why not throw Yugoslavia in as a possibility then. Certainly that heavy annulus seal has a Balkan look to it! Jack

Sorry guys, I had a busy night last night. I just checked the projectile and it is NOT magnetic.

Hope this helps :)


I have just had a e-mail chat with Bill W at the Woodin Laboratory and he says these are almost certainly Egyptian made at Factory 10. He says the round is otherwise identical to the one with the Arabic headstamp “|. |.” and he found his in a box of repacked Egyptian .303 with mixed headstamps.


I might have found mine in a batch of mixed BPD and AOC rounds, giving me the idea that it was also Italian. Good work, Tony, thanks.

That clandestine AOC/BPD ammo was supplied Egypt so that fits entirely.


You guys are all awesome! I knew joining this group was a good idea. Thanks everyone for all the information.

I am truly hooked on cartridge collecting!!!


“S I” If Egypt, “Shoubra Industries”???
( El Shoubra, factory #21, I think, in the Delta.)
Just a Way out guess!

Doc AV.

Shoubra is 27.

I also have one which is loaded with a GM bullet and I found in Egypt while I was living there.
Still have some friends in Egyptian Air Force and will ask them if they can find some information about it.