Hopefully simple...303


#1

I just found this box of ammo at a local dealer. I’m not holding my breath it is something rare and I shall be able to retire from the proceeds, but I am just plain curious. I was going to attach a photo but find no provision to do so. Perhaps I haven’t posted enough; I mostly read here.

The box is a very ordinary brown cardboard irregular hexahedron. It is bound with what appears to be a pre-made label tape with the following legend:

(Main body of printing all centered on tape)
32
CARTRIDGES
.303 INCH
Mk 7
(British Broadhead Symbol - I don’t have a character for it)
C.I.A. §
P.O.F.

(Hand stamped date:) 30 MAY 1967 A

P.A.S. (in smaller font, left justified)

Obviously, it is the Mk 7 version of British .303 rifle or machine gun ammo. I found a site on line to decode “P. O. F” into Pakistan Ordnance Factory (Rawalpindi, Pakistan). I can assume the date on the box - hand stamped - is the manufacture date (to be precise the date this lot of ammo and in particular this box was released for shipment) and the purple ink circle with number in the upper right hand is the inspector’s number (if my experience with buying underwear is any guide). I understand the “Mk 7” and the Broadhead mark.

What does “C. I. A. §” mean? I’m sure it’s not a big secret, but I don’t know.

The P. A. S. probably means something as well. Please.

And finally, is it worth keeping in the box without opening? Or is it ‘ordinary enough’ to open so I can display the individual rounds?

Thank you very much.


#2

This box came from Pakistan.


#3

POF is Pakistani Ordnance Factory. Lots of this came through as shooting ammo a few years ago. Doesn’t have a great rep at the firing line.


#4

I suspect the C.I.A. § is some sort of proof mark. Probably Pakistan’s version of the C.I.P. or SAAMI.


#5

I believe C.I.A.§ means Chief Inspector Ammunition (Pakistan) as per I.S.A.A. on British ammunition meaning Inspector Small Arms Ammunition.
Les


#6

LesB is correct.

Cheers
TonyE


#7

From a collector’s standpoint, due to the huge importations of this ammunition into the USA, Pakistani .303 is worth whatever shooters are paying for MILSURP this days. It is very common. Of course, in the long run, that is good. There was a time when almost noone had any Pakistani cartridges in their collections, and now most anyone who collects what ever it comes in, .303, 9 mm etc. have nice little collections of it, including box labels. It does, of course, belong in collections, no matter the quality of the ammunition, good or bad, and no matter how common. This just allows all of us to enjoy have some in our collections. Monetary value is a far, far, far second to that, for most of us.


#8

Thank you all very kindly. I suppose it is a character flaw, but I really hate not knowing something rather obvious and simple. Then again, I am sure many of you share this same idiosyncrasy.

Mr. Moss. Thank you for your thoughts. I found this stuff and thought it would fit well in a display (still in theoretical planning stages) of my WWI era Mark III SMLE. Obviously, something dated 1915 or so would fit better, but this is the best ‘vintage’ ammo I have found at this time. I will probably now - carefully - open the box and take some photos of the ammunition itself. I may even shoot a couple rounds to determine the velocity and such. But I don’t plan on shooting it all up nor maintaining the package intact in a shrine.

Just for clarity, I’m more of a gun collector than ammo collector. All the ‘vintage’ ammo I have is for concurrent display with the ‘vintage’ firearms I have.

For instance, I have a few rounds of ammunition and a couple of boxes for ammunition to accompany my “Art Deco” .32 Automatic collection.

Again. Thanks for the information.


#9

If you have any great desire to go down the WW1 SMLE display route contact me off forum on a PM. Not just ammo, uniforms, badges all sorts of collectables are available. I am a member of the Western Front Assn and have supplied a lot of stuff to re-enactors, museums etc for display. I am currently reloading dummies for a whole aircraft display of MG belts at a museum in Britain. And Hi to Nebraska, I know it well, my good friend Jim Taylor came from Omaha. There was a WFA branch there somewhere. I can’t ask Jim anymore, he has passed on.


#10

Old Man Montgomery - Well, you could call me Old Man Moss, I think. I fully understand where you are coming from in your collecting. My first collection, as a teenager, was British Service Rifles. Those were the good old days of decent Enfields costing US$9.95 at the local surplus mart. Some of the scarcer models Like Number I Mark V and No. 5 Mark I Carbines were a whopping US$39.95.

I went from there, after leaving the Army, to collecting full-size military and commercial auto pistols (there weren’t so many commercial ones in the late 1950s). I actually started with Lugers, but branched out. I originally wanted to get one cartridge of correct manufacture and time-frame for each of the pistols. Then, I started collecting all the accessories, such as holsters, ammo, ammo boxes and the like. Eventually, for many reasons, I sold the pistols and accessories, and kept the cartridges. Today, I have somewhat over 12 or 13,000 auto pistol cartridges and perhaps about 4,000 boxes. Not the greatest collection of any caliber in the world, but not a bad one.

So, be careful my friend. Thos “bullets” take up less room than guns, are usually cheaper, and are pretty interesting in their own rights. You could end up a cartridge collector. In the interim, welcome to this Forum. I have always said that it is patently impossible to separate guns from ammunition. You needn’t collect both, but the collector of each needs an understanding of the other. A gun without ammunition is a useless pile of metal and wood (or these days, regretably, plastic); a cartridge without the device to fire it is nothing but a curiosity.

Edited to complete an incomplete word (“without”) only.


#11

[quote=“JohnMoss”]Old Man Montgomery - Well, you could call me Old Man Moss, I think. I fully understand where you are coming from in your collecting. My first collection, as a teenager, was British Service Rifles. Those were the good old days of decent Enfields costing US$9.95 at the local surplus mart. Some of the scarcer models Like Number I Mark V and No. 5 Mark I Carbines were a whopping US$39.95.[/quote]I remember the days of Lugers going through the mail for $39.95 from Century Arms - I think. Garands were $69.95. In about ten years, both firearms had increased in value about ten fold. (Sigh…)

[quote=“JohnMoss”]So, be careful my friend. Thos “bullets” take up less room than guns, are usually cheaper, and are pretty interesting in their own rights. You could end up a cartridge collector.[/quote]There are worse fates. And I am one already, although not of serious note.

[quote=“JohnMoss”]I have always said that it is patently impossible to separate guns from ammunition.[/quote]Without question, and on several levels. For instance, developing a fully automatic ‘machine gun’ prior to the development of smokeless ammunition was a silly prospect. There would be a cloud suggesting the end of time.

Seriously, the development of both goes hand in hand. I find an interest in the history of how things fit together - and I’m sure it’s a common interest around here.

[quote=“JohnMoss”]You needn’t collect both, but the collector of each needs an understanding of the other.[/quote]Note my signature line.

And thank you all most kindly for the welcome and the information.