Lorenz cartridges


#1

I found this mention of Lorenz cartridges in the printed accounts of the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, the accounts are for the financial year 1888-1889.

What is a Lorenz cartridge and how did it differ from the regular 0,303" ammunition of the period?

happy collecting, Peter


#2

A ‘Lorenz’ cartridge would refer to a cartridge produced/designed by DEUTSCHE METALLPATRONENFABRIK LORENZ (predecessor of DWM) which was generally referred to as ‘LORENZ’ and operated from 1878-1889. This company was owned by Heinrich Wilhelm Lorenz (1842-1926) who was one of the great engineers and entrepreneurs in Baden in the last quarter of the 19th century.

It is interesting to note that in 1889 Ludwig Loewe & Co purchased Lorenz holdings temporarily and a week later they together with Pulverfabrik Rottweil-Hamburg and Vereinigte Rheinisch-Westfälische Pulverfabriken formed DEUTSCHE METALLPATRONENFABRIK KARLSRUHE (DM-K) but all three companies retained their own identity.

DM-K listed the 303 British as case #371 which would be c1890/1891 which may match Peter’s info.


#3

Peter, in my opinion this pre-1890 document is probably a reference to Lorenz Ammunition and Ordnance Co. Ltd. I’m not sure if .303 Mk II ammunition manufactured by this company was ever identified by collectors but I’m sure that Tony can answer this question.


#4

Peter:

Following up on Fede’s answer……The “British” Lorenz Ammunition Company (formally Latimer Clark & Muirhead) of Millwall, London was owned by Heinrich Wilhelm Lorenz (i.e. DWM). This company became involved in early 303 trials in 1888 after it was noted early on that the lead cored copper jacketed Rubin bullets were prone to splinter and separate on impact. They and Friedrich Hebler offered uncoated steel bullets as an alternative. Initial concern over unwanted barrel wear was settled when 3000 rounds were fired through one barrel and no excessive wear was noted. A further concern over potential rust was not, however, completely solved and the use of these bullets was dropped. The notation of a .303 Martini-Henry action rifle linked to “Lorenz” in your document probably relates to this research effort. As it was very early in the .303 development, I would guess that the “Lorenz” cartridges were Rubin type rimmed cases with Rubin profile bullets. Perhaps there is a sample of one of these uncoated steel bullets up at Leeds.

Source: Appendix D, Progress Report #4, Committee of Small Arms (PRO…SUPP 5 / 912)

David McKay