Kynoch 0,303" blanks

Amongst other goodies hauled home today were these three Kynoch blanks. They’ve got brass cases and black stained wooden ‘bullets’. One the base they’re all marked ‘Kynoch’ but one is marked ‘Bren’, another 'Vickers and the last ‘Lewis’.

Given that all these weapons used 0,303" why was it thought necessary to mark them differently? With these three, do I have the whole set or are there others still to be found?

Happy collecting, Peter

Peter - you are missing the ones marked Browning, Nambu, Spandau, Revelli, etc. JUST KIDDING. When I had my .303 collection, the three you have were all I did, and all I have ever seen with this type headstamp.

Your bullet sure looks black in the picture, but all of mine were blue wood bullets. I also had the “BREN” headstamp in two minor variations with a wad instead of a bullet, one with no visible colored primer seal like all the ones with the blue bullets in this series, and one with a purple primer seal. I don’t know the history of those at all - they could have been a different Mark of blank on left over cases, or cartridges converted to a different type for movie use. I simply don’t know. Nice headstamp series though! Always liked mine.

They are bulleted blanks and in the Bren the Blank firing attachment would break up the wooden bullet. I assume that the Vickers and Lewis gun BFA would also break up the wooden bullets. They used the wooden bullets in order that the machine guns would function. Not to be used in bolt action Rifles as the wooden bullet could kill or injure at close range as the Rifles would not have had a BFA fitted.

I have only seen Bren, Vickers and Lewis.

A rather long winded explanation, sorry ;)

@Enfield were you at Deepdale ? I was.

These blanks are commercial, not military contract rounds. They therefore do not necessarily conform to military specifications. I think that the bullets were dark blue stained and then dipped in wax. The wax has the effect of darkening the colour.



These are strictly Movie blanks, made especially to be shot in the corresponding weapons using blank firing attachments, rented by several Film Accessories Rentals companies, in UK or other places. In France, my friend the late M. Alexandre, from ALEXANDRE REGIFILMS, Paris, used to buy quantities of them for WWII or Resistance movie and TV makers, in the 60 and 70ies.

Alexandre was reponsible for the aluminum-cased .45"ACP cartridges made by Gevelot S.A., headstamped from his name A R F 73, in the year 1973, for the French movie “Borsalino”.


An interesting set of cartridges. But like Peter I have often wondered why they were marked individually for the different machine guns. Did each type require a subtle difference in its loading or bullet construction? Or perhaps more likely, were they headstamped according to the weapon that was actually going to fire them to distinguish them from rifle blanks?


There may be a difference in the loading due to the different actions of the guns. The Bren has a gas port part way along the barrel, needing pressure here to function. The Vickers is recoil operated and there is precious little recoil from a wood bullet. The Vickers uses a booster at the muzzle to push the barrel back.