Italian 7.7 mm?

I have a box of 50 cartridges that I have a question about. hey are marked in Italian " per Mitragliatrici da 7.7 mm." I have checked other sources and can not find any reference to these cartridges. Does anyone have any info on them? Kevin

they are 303 british cartridges.Italian army used the 303 ammo and renamed it 7.7 mm Breda

Take a look here:
mitragliatrici means machineguns

Once again, you guys come through. Thanks for the help.

The place where I have my duplicates is an woodden ammo box of 1000 tracer 7,7 mm rounds.Tomorrow I will post here a photo of it,just to add some info


Note:your rounds are for machineguns only!They have the same case of the 303 british one but must not be used in rifles.
Italian army also adopted the 303 british with rifle load.
Both of them are called 7,7 mm breda,but this name should be related to those used in machineguns instead those used in rifles

Here is my box:

That whole box was tracers apparently (traccianti). Another interesting thing about the Italian 7.7 is that it is one of the only ways to find any .303 ammo in Armor piercing Incendiary - API. They had either a dark blue or dark green tip. Last time I checked, had some listed for sale, along with tracers & incendiaries.

Yes,it contained 1600 tracer M54 cartridges loaded with “Nitrocellulosa” (an english guy would say Cordite) and were made by SMI


Is there any way to collect rounds such as tracer, AP, Incendiary and API in Italy?

No,it is absolutely illegal.

Pivi–Nitrocellouse powders and cordite are NOT the same. They are entirely different types of powder. On English made military cartridges the letter “Z” in the headstamp is used to indicate a nitrocellouse loaded round while, before about 1920 a “C” was used for Cordite.

what is the base of the nitrocellouse?Maybe I made some confusion between nitrocellouse and nitroglycerin

So-called single-base propellants are essentially pure nitrocellulose. Double-based types comprise a mixture of nitrocellulose in its “guncotton” form and nitroglycerin; of these double-base types cordite is the best known. The Italian solenite is a similar propellant to cordite. JG

Pivi- Cordite is a mixture of 37% Nitroglycerine, 59% Nitrocellulose and 5% Mineral jelly. This is then usually extruded into long strings that are cut off to fit the case. The number of strings in a case are adjusted for the required muzzle velocity wanted. Cordite is a “double base” powder. Most Cordite is yellow-brown in color.

Nitrocellulose powders (almost all modern smokeless powder is of this type) are called “single base powder” because, unlike Cordite, it contains no nitroglycerine. It is made by mixing Nitric and Sulphuric acid with pure cellulose. This make “Gun Cotton”. In this form it is too explosive to be used in small arms cartridges. The 'Gun Cotton" is mixed with ether and alcohol which forms a colloid mass. This is then made into the desired shape, usually a short tube or flakes. After the ether and alcohol is removed the short tubes or flakes are usually coated with graphite to retard the burning rate. Most of these powders are black.

Thanks.I made some confusion between “WITH nitrocellulose” and “ONLY nitrocellulose”.If I understand you Cordite contains both nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin.Single base powders contain only Nitrocellulose without nitroglycerin.
So the only way to regulate the burning rate of a double base powder is extruding smaller or bigger diameter strings, shorter or longer pieces or drilling the pieces.In other ways there’s no way to regulate the burning rate through chemical additions

Ball powders and other single base powders can be regulated through the shape of the powder grains and theis chemical treatment


Pivi–I do not claim to be a gun powder chemist, but I think what you said about cordite is basicly correct. Cordite does come in various diameters plus chopped. I am not sure, but I do not think chopped cordite is used very often. There may be additives to cordite that help control the burning rate, but I do not know anything about them.

Your first comment about single and double based powders is correct.

Cordite is usually found in a form that looks like thin strands of spaghetti, often with a hole down the middle of the strand. There were various grades of cordite, graded according to outer strand thickness and different central hole diameter. These were used with different cartridges. As far as I know the diameter of the hole through the centre of the strand affected burn rate. Cordite can also be found as flat discs about 5mm across and small, very thin rod shaped grains about 4mm long resembling tiny rice grains. The disc and grain types are usually found in Revolver rounds such as .455 Webley and .380 British. I am unsure of the actual grade numbers but I’m sure someone else will know.

loading 303 british with cordite…