NHS .303 British

Does anyone know made the unheadstamped .303’s, that came in this?

The cartridges look like the two on the right-GMCS
And the base looks like the two in the bottom-
The upper left, with 3 primer stabs and also GMCS, is from Portugal I was told.
The upper right, with CN bullet is also unknown. I know there are probably a lot of unheadstamped .303’s, but any idea’s?
Thanks, Dan

The primer size gives them away…looks like .217" Standard
BERDAN…definitely Not the usual .250" British Berdan for
Portugal made .303 from 1922 to 1937 ( AE)with a Roth anvil .250" Primer; then restarted in 1949 ( FNM) with a standard Berdan .217" Primer. The three stab crimps are typical FNM, and I have seen unheadstamped .303 mixed with FNM 50, 51 ammo from Portuguese Sources post 75.

The question, is, packed in a British-style crate??? ( looks Indian) could link it to the Indian
Annexation of Portuguese Goa, on thecoast south of Bombay,
and repacking of acquired .303 ammo from the Portuguese Administration there.
The “NK” means “unknown”,
making the Use Early notation imperative. Must have been a substantial amount of ammunition to necessitate repacking and Early use notation.
Doc AV

Hi Dan,

Made by Pakistan Ordnance Factories -reportedly in 1981- and imported into the States during 2017.




Thank You Fede and Doc! 3 out of 4 is great.
Any guesses on the CN bullet with smaller round brass primer? Also without bullet crimps.

You are right about the first one, it was made by FNM of Portugal.

The one with oval primer, CN jacket and groove is believed to be a Winchester product, but this is not confirmed.

Does it say “For early use only” on the crate? If so, what does it mean?

Thanks again Fede.
The W 15 and 16, and an AS (American Standard?) round look about the same. I’ll get a weight sometime, and see what that says. (I’m not done!)
Vlad, the use early I think Doc covered. “The “NK” means “unknown”,
making the Use Early notation imperative.”…which I think means, if they work good - great, but don’t use last and hope they work!

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Dan what were the rounds packaged in, You show the outer packaging box but what were they packed in inside the box. Have you pulled any of the rounds there may be clues on the bullets or in the case


I asked if they were packed in the box Fede shows. I’ll let you know when I find out, but it will be a while. Edit to add:
Yes, my fast friend said they are packaged in boxes as Fede shows. And they are 174 grain bullets.

The contents ( W15, W16, AS) indicate Portuguese Origin…
The Portuguese in 1919, received Large quantities of .303 ammo from Britain, for their SMLE rifles and Lewis/Vickers guns acquired during and after their participation on the Westtern Front.
Similar mixed crates came out of Mozambique inthe late 70s after the collapse of the Portuguese dictatorship.
I am mistified bythe Pakistan connection. It was India that annexed Goa,1961, and well before the 1975 events…might have been before the India-Pakistan wars IE, annexed by India, repacked, capturedby Pakistan in ?1965, 71? Wars and then sold off to Century, ( who also handled the Portuguese and Mozambique .303 as well, similar HS mix.)
Will check dates of Indian annexation of Goa, and I-P war…checked and corrected.
Doc AV.

Doc AV, for clarity, from left to right; FNM, unknown (possibly WRACo), POF (x2).

Wooden box and 20 round carton belong to POF unheadstamped cartridges.

The unknown cartridge looks like those headstamped W 15, W 16 and variants marked AS (“American Standards”) made by WRACo. They have no relation with the wooden box shown above, India, Mozambique or Portugal.



Doc, The cartridges are not mixed in the Crate. The crate has the bottom two cartridges in the nhs base picture. The top two are just other unheadstamped .303’s I have.
The Crate has boxes like Fede posted. The one cartridge pictured with primer stabs is Portuguese, and the other with CN bullet might be by Winchester. OK?

Fede beat me to it.

Well, that sort of clears it up for me…I was assuming all the cartridges were from the same find, in the wooden box.
Just going back to my crate from Mozambique via Century,
It contained AE from 1922 to 1937, W15, RA16, USCCo17,
And also some FNM 50.
The AE cartridges have a variety of powder types, and the 1927 ones are loaded with W15 bullets. Primer cups change from rounded to flat in 1930, and some 1937 have normal 2-hole Berdan, the 1936 and before are all Roth patent single anvil flash-hole.
And even though the.303 AE cartridge is named 7.7 Md 1923, examples with 1922 exist.
Also, a packet with Md.1919 was found in crate…obviously for the US contract .303 dumped by Britain onto Portugal…much of it with cracking necks which the Portuguese dismantled and re-used the Projectiles.(AE 1927).

Doc AV

Thanks Doc, Your crate sounds a lot more interesting!