ID help please


I have two cartridges that I can’t identify.

  1. 303 British with a wooden bullet marked A AI 52.
  2. I think it’s a 303 British with a “silver” bullet marked H 38 with a star next to the 38.
    My camera won’t focus clearly on the headstamp.


Your first round is a bulleted blank made in The Netherlands by Artillerie Inrichtingen in 1952. The designation for this round would be .303" Patroon Losse.
Your second round was also made in The Netherlands but by a subsidiary of the Austrian company Hirtenberger. They owned a plant in a town called Dortrecht.


Would the 38 be the date? Any meaning to the star? Is it 303 British?


I suspect the ‘38’ would be the year of manufacture but I can’t say that for certain. I’m afraid I don’t have any idea what the significance of the star might be. Yes, it is a .303".


Thanks for all your help Jim.


The cartridge marked H 38.was produced in 1938 by the “Hirtenberger Patronen-, Zündhütchen- und Metallwarenfabrik, Austria for the KNIL. ( Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger = Royal Dutch East Indies Army)

The “N.V. Nederlandsche Patronen-, Slaghoedjes- en Metaalwarenfabriek” Dordrecht stopped production in November 1934.


Dots on the i, please. Correct name is Dordrecht.


This is a great forum. No drama just good info. I also have one marked AOC 1340. They were in a box of WWII British ammo. Are any of them worth anything, if not, I will put them down range. The British are going in my WWII display.


AOC 1340 = > .303 Brit "AOC 1340"


Thanks bdgreen. I misspoke before. The Dutch round will not go down range.


Just a general comment, for information: not all Dutch ammo which looks like .303 is actually .303 - the Dutch also had in service a 7.92 x 57R round for use in machine guns. It was in service between 1908 and 1940.

You can see a pic of it in the third ammo group photo in this article:


Tony, will the Dutch 7.92 x 57R round chamber in a 303? The “H” round I have will.


I very much doubt it. You can see the two side-by-side here (.303 on the left). The main difference between them is that the 7.92x57R has a less tapered case, measuring c.10.95 mm just below the shoulder, compared with 10.05mm for the .303.


I don’t have a micrometer to check the dimensions but I can see the difference in the case taper and the bullets. My bullet and case looks nothing like the one on the right but is a match to the one on the left.


1908 as introduction date of the Dutch 7.9x57R is too early.
It was introduced only after WW1 by converting 6.5 mm Schwarzlose machine guns. This was the time when long range machine gun fire was deemed to dominate future battlefields. This thinking led, apart from the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Italy to adopt powerful MG cartridges of around 8 mm calibre. The U.S. adoption of the M2 bullet, German adoption of the sS bullet as standard for rifle and machine gun as well as the French 8 mm 32N and 7.5 mm 33D heavy bullets for machine guns also are due to this thinking.
Ironically, in WW2 mortars turned out to be much more effective in this role and these powerful 8 mm cartridges disappeared.
Dutch bullet diameter is that of the German 7.9 mm calibre (8.2 mm) and you cannot chamber it in a .303 weapon.

Edit: Soviet 7.62 mm D bullet also falls in this “long range” category as does the Polish 7.9 mm D bullet.


Minor correction to JPeelen’s synopsis: the U.S. bullet optimized for long range use was the M1; its successor, the M2, was in effect a return to the original 150 gr. pointed flat base M1906 design. Jack


Sorry, Jack
you are of course correct.


Again, thanks for all the help and info. You are all a wealth of knowledge.