Help with .303 British

OK, so what is the best way to tell the difference between:

DI which is Defense Industries, Verdun Canada and D| which is Indian Dum Dum?

I have several of each and they both look the same. I have tried to look at the “I” part to see if some look longer but I’m really having a hard time.

Did the Dum Dum rounds ever have the “DI” down in the lower left quadrant or was that only Defense Industries?

If you look at the link below, and I know there are some other mistakes to correct on that page, I show a picture for a dum dum round but is it actually Defense industries?? I think the key may lay in the positioning of the headstamps portions.

Any other comments are welcome for the chart I’m putting together.


On the referenced website page, your first entry under DI which describes Indian production has the wrong headstamp picture. The headstamp is pure Canadian.

Admittedly, I didn’t look at the others, as pressed for time right now and am sure we will get detailed answers from the .303 guys. I used to collect them, and recall no Indian-made .303 that should be confused with any Canadian round - they simply don’t look the same, but no time to go through my files to cite specific examples.

I have a side question about Gevelot & Gaupillat Freres (one of the headstamps). Were they actually brothers? Or each of them had a brother? I had a feeling they were just un-related business partners.

This is another one of those internet errors that started on one site (cushman I think) and had been perpetuated across a number of sites.

DI is the code for Defence Industries of Canada. it has nothing to do with the Indian arsenal at Dum Dum. For a start, Defence Industries was a WW2 facility and Dum Dum ceased at the end of WWI.

What is confusing people is that the code for Dum Dum is simply “D”, but that the Indian government ownership mark of a small letter “I” surmounted by a Broad Arrow also appears on these rounds. This mark was introduced in 1896 and appeared on all Indian produced SAA until independence in 1947. It is the symbol between the “K” and “F” of Kirkee and also appears on Northern and Southern Circuit headstamps (“N” and “S”). Quite why it is shown on some sites as a longer vertical stroke I have no idea.

For .303 inch, the normal Dum Dum headstamp is the “D” at nine o’clock and the Indian ownership mark at three o’clock.


Hello. Mike…

UMC is not United Metal Cartridge…It is Union Metallic Cartridge Co., Bridgeport, Conn.


Thank you everyone for the inputs.

Now I need to find a printable font to represent that I with the broadarrow above it.

Hey, as a Computer guy, maybe I should develop a Windows Font set with all those cool little symbols in it.

Feel free to chime in on any other data on that page. It is not intended as a catalog of any one collection but as a reference for samples of each manufacuterers headstamp style.

I really just put this up for my own reference when I go to shows and such on the hunt for my collection but I have no problem sharing with others :)


Your page in the link is basically a re-hash of the data on the Dave Cushman site, which I find has numerous errors and inconsistencies. For a start, there is a perfectly good system of British nomenclature so why invent a confusing new one? For example, why use “IBMK6Z” for the Incendiary Mark VIz when the correct title “B MkVIz” would do?

It is also repetitious, e.g. for Eley Brothers “Explosive Pomeroy Mk 1, PSA Mk 1, PSA (VII.A) MK 1”. They are all the same round.

WARNING -Commercial Break!
Have you got my books on .303 headstamps. They have far more info and I promise you are far more accurate!


Tony, I regret I do not have your books but I do like to look through the set my good friend Gerald Morris got from you at SLICS this last session.

I admit that the text part of my little page is copied from that Cushman site. I wanted that to start with and then I planned on editing it up. Cushman passed away in 2011 and there are no copyright problems.

Again, I just wanted to have a visual reference for myself that I could access from my iphone when I’m at shows and such. That’s the reason I hung it off my Glasspar boat website instead of creating my own dedicated site for .303 . . . guys like you have done all the work already.

I agree on the codes, I just grabbed what was on the Cushman site and decided I would change that out when I got to it.

Again, this was just to act as a visual reference for myself and I’m just looking for valuable input from you smart guys :)