Identification Request E .118. V11

I am looking to identify the following old cartridge.

The image is poor but the cartridge is marked

E .118


And help would be greatly appreciated


Mk VII .303 British round made by Eley in 1918. The “I” after the “E” appears to be a mark on the brass and not an actual stamp. To me it reads E . 18 VII.

Mk VII .303 inch Ball as Mayham notes, but I think between the E and the 18 is an arrow. A broad arrow signifies Government property.

This is all I have that’s close.


Eley didn’t use the broad arrow in their headstamp. Only a few of the 40 UK manufacturers of .303 British used it:

^ - Radway Green (1940-1941)
^^ - Spennymoor (1940-1942)
B^E - Blackpole (1939-1945)
H^N - Hirwaun (1939-1945)
R^L - Royal Laboratory (1888-1945)
R^L.(date) - Royal Laboratory Factory 3 (1917-1918)
Source: Tony Edwards. Headstamp Guide - .303 inch British Service Ammunition, 2011 (pp.121-122)

It is the same HS as shown by Dan

Although I wouldn’t attempt to say if there is a broad arrow on the headstamp of this example as the photo is rather ‘fuzzy’ PetedeCoux is correct in that broad arrows were also used on some .303" headstamps as a Government acceptance/ownership mark, including Eley, usually because the case/brass was supplied to the manufacturer from a ‘outside’ contractor…numerous examples of this can be seen in Tony Edwards books.


I agree that a better image is needed but the only example I can see of an Eley Mk VII case showing a broad arrow shows two. Neither of which are between the E and the year. I still believe this HS doesn’t have a broad arrow, which would be the norm for Eley manufactured rounds.

Thank you all for your feedback.

Here are better quality images of the round.

I think Mayhem is correct with the identification.


Just looked though my War One era MK VII J’s, G’s, E’s, M’s, N, & B’s 1915-1918 (perhaps 50 rounds?) & none show a broad arrow, but for this one with two, and it’s pre-WWI. ( it has a GM-jacketed bullet)

Thanks for sharing this Pete.

To me, it looks like they were added after the headstamp was done. I’m not saying these are not factory stamped, as the spacing appears to be the same as the examples shown in the drawings in Tony Edwards’ book. I suspect they were a second bunter and the final position on the head was random, hence the overstamping on the “V” on your case.

Your correct, definitely added later, my remark about the bullet’s GM jacket now installed, as the original MK VII should have been a CN-jacketed bullet.
Sorry I didn’t make that clearer.

You are correct Pete. I’ll admit that I really didn’t notice that comment, as I was too fixated on the headstamp itself!

Is it still loaded?

I wonder if someone pulled a bunch of rounds to remove the cordite and then lost track of which projectile went back into which case. I picked up a few some years ago where this had happened. They were in my collection to fill some gaps whilst I waited for an original, unmolested round to take its place.

I have a MkV1 headstamped: E.13 arrow V1 arrow as well as the same
date without the arrow. I cannot supply a photo but I thought the arrows were acceptance marks.

I’ve always wondered about the use of the broad arrow on ammunition as being a sign of an acceptance mark and exactly what it indicates. If it were QC on ammunition then a lot of rejected cases or finished rounds would have the broad arrow already in place. The practice of stamping the broad arrow on after the round has passed QC could explain the second process of adding the broad arrow, as seen in Pete’s example.

I don’t know the answer and don’t recall reading anything definitive about it, so I am simply speculating here in the hope that someone may be able to add more info, insight or other theories.

Not all manufacturers included a broad arrow and when looking at the list of manufacturers of service ammunition in the UK it is the minority that included a broad arrow in their headstamp. At the start of WWII Radway Green, Spennymore and another that I cannot recall (but didn’t make .303) simply used one, two or three broad arrows to keep the real identity of the factory locations a secret. A lot of Ministry of Supply/Government factory manufactured ammunition didn’t use them either.

If we look at Australian made .303 service ammunition, it was only the factory at Footscray that used the broad arrow and only in the pre-WWII period.

I’ve already explained to you that the broad arrows are Government acceptance marks for cases that were supplied by outside contractors…if you need definitive reading on this subject have a look at page 12 of Tony Edwards book ‘Headstamps and Markings on .303 inch British Service ammunition’


Yes - you did and after going back to Tony’s book I see hes comment about the stamp being applies afterwards. I had completely forgotten this and had referenced his other book in my earlier post, so thank you for pointing that out.

Tony states: “…most ammunition purchased from commercial contractors was overstamped with one or two Broad Arrows to signify Government ownership.” So it is ownership as opposed to acceptance, which indicates some sort of QC. It also supports my previous statement that Eley didn’t include the broad arrow in their headstamp.

what I said, Government property.

The broad arrow is found on any number of things, not just reloaded or new ammunition.

And use of the double broad arrows was not restricted to .303; I have a .455 revolver mk. IV by Kynoch that also has the stamps. Per Labbett’s .303 book the use of this specific type of marking was current from about 1907 to 1914. Jack

I might be able to answer the reason why Eley didn’t include the broad arrow in their headstamps, headstamps that include the broad arrow are from Government factories(Royal ordnance factories) Eley was not a Government factory but was a main contractor to some of them,but if Eley sub contracted all or part of a contract the sub contracted ammunition,which would have manufactured with a Eley headstamp, had to be marked by Eley (or other ROF) with the two broad arrows as an acceptance mark, this was also done with commercial ‘buy ins’, the phrase most commonoly used for this at the time was ‘accepted into service from the trade’, so these two ‘added’ broad arrows are acceptance marks but they do have a ‘double barrel’ meaning as the design of the broad arrow is registered as a government ownership mark for all stores therfore they are also government ownership marks

That is correct Jack, the classic example of this is the MkIII .450 Adams which were mostly commercial ‘buy ins’ with the headstamp ELEY 450 overstamped with the two broad arrows,there was also a small ‘run’ of these from Royal Laboratories which is reported to have used cut down MkIII .455" Webley cases…this has never ‘sat well’ with me as the MkIII Webley headstamp includes C,for cordite and the R^L MkIII Adams does not?