Identification help required with a .303 (Dummy or Drill)


This Dummy, or Drill round, is of all brass construction, with a ‘plug hole’ approximately half way down the case.
I could not find any reference in Fred A. Datig and I am informed that there is no reference in B.A Temple No4 (I or II).

It is know that the round was in circulation during WW2. However; it is not known if it predates WW2.

Any background information would be much appreciated.

View showing the ‘plug hole.’

No headstamp:

Headstamp view

Showing one piece construction:



This is a British dummy round commonly referred to as the ‘Thomas French’ pattern and was made by Kynoch on behalf of the firm Thomas French & Co. These were issued during small quantities during WW2. I do not think, however, that the small drilled hole is original to the round and I’d suggest that somebody has drilled this at some point after manufacture.


Supposedly Kynoch made these Thomas French DRILL (Expedient WW2) pre war for Thomas French and Sons of Manchester, but they were never formally approved, even though issued in quantity. They are also known in plain brass and also fluted.

I agree with Jim that the hole in the side should not be there. At least my examples do not have one.



The TF&S brass dummy .303’s were used in the TF&S factory. Every new .303" fabric belt was passed through a loading machine and filled with these brass dummies. The filled belt was then inspected before being emptied of dummy rounds and packed for despatch. The dummies were used over and over again as long as they were serviceable.



Hi gravelbelly,
A fascinating insight into the conscientiousness and the work ethic of that time.
It would also explain why my example looks so battered.
Many thanks,


From a contemporary Thomas French & Sons Limited catalog:

Note that the use of dummy rounds is mentioned in the description provided for the .303 fabric belt