Latyesat .303 Find


At the Brisbane “The Big Show” Arms and Militaria show, I picked up from another dealer, an Ice cream bucket of Mixed Mark VI and Mark VII
(WW I and Interwar and some WW II) .303.

Upon just sorting aimlessly through them, I came across a Red primer ring (annulus)…Tracer…Mark GIIz…MS 44 ( Salisbury Annex, South Australia )… an uncommon ( I would say rare) Aussie Cartridge. In excellent condition except for an “Age Crack” in the neck, barely visible.
Cupro-Nickel Jacket Bullet, but Neck Mouth Crimped, Clean brass case (Original patina)…NO neck anneal visible.

One of a single lot of some 4,5-5 Million Tracer Rounds Filled by MS, with Nitro-Cellulose Powder (“z”) ( Unknown whether imported DuPont or from the then newly-built Mulwala Explosives Factory ( DuPont designed and built it) in Eastern Australia.

The rarity comes not from the relatively small quantity made, but the fact that they “failed Proof” and were subsequently Destroyed by Burning—something to do with the trace compound not reliably igniting… ( Powder flame or Trace composition or both???).

As a result very few survived after the war.

Anyway, finally I got one that I had heard of, seen in books, ( there are Two HS Variants ( MS and Ms) ) but had never come across…along with a 1919 CAC mark VII ( first year of Aussie made and loaded Mark VII; 1918 CAC Mark VII dates used imported G&B Bullets.

The Ice-cream bucket contained a little collection of odd dates and types spread from 1910 to the 1950s. It re-ignited my Collecting interest
( I had sold off my large .303 collection some time ago, as I didn’t have time to dedicate properly to it…I suppose I will keep the “More interesting” Ines, and trade/sell off the rest next Gunshow…

Doc AV
Brisbane Australia



Ah, true joy. Don’t you just love when that happens?
That is one of the best things about cartridge collecting. That bucket might just as easily have been purchased by a brand new collector, and now look at the exciting rarity he would have, something not found in the best of collections. It is good that you looked and were able to recognize your prize.


Alas, Thre is also the chance that the lot could have been bought by some shooter who would take great delight in turning all that ammo into once fired brass, blissfully ignorant of there being anything significant about all those little letters and stuff on the cases.

At least we could hope that such a person might also be blissfully ignorant of the hazards of corrosive primers, and suffer a badly rusted barrel for their efforts.


A nice round, Doc. I am fortunate in having had one for may years.

I have recently picked up one of the 1915 CAC Australia with the small primer, another rare round hard to find.