Palma Cartridges


#1

Here are six Palma cartridges from my collection.

l to r

  1. 7.62MM NATO, 1999 matches in S. Africa
  2. 7.62MM, 1988 Matches in Australia
  3. 7.62MM, 1976 Matches in USA
  4. 7.62MM, 1972 Matches in USA
  5. Cal .30 M1906, Matches in USA
  6. 30-06, 1924 Matches in Canada

Ray


#2

Ray, let me show my complete ignorance in this matter by asking the following question. Let’s say there is a Palma competition in Australia. Let’s say there are 100 competitors total. Let’s say each supposed to fire 100 rounds total. Does that mean Remington produces 10000 rounds and exports them all to Australia? Or they make twice as much and keep half here (from which your cartridges would have come)? Or Remington is contituously producing and storing high quality ammo for future matches? How does that work?


#3

Vlad

That’s not an easy question to answer.

A distiguishing feature of Palma is a level playing field. No competitor is supposed to have an advantage due to equipment. Rifles have to meet very strict standards. In general, the only cartridge that is used today is the 7.62MM NATO or it’s commercial equivilent, the 308W. ( In the USA, some matches can be fired with the 5.56x45.) Rules call for an unmodified 7.62mm case and a maximum bullet weight of 155 grains. International Palma tries to maintain that level playing field by having all competitors use the same ammunition. It is actually issued on the line similar to the way the old National Matches were conducted. Competitors pay for the ammunition either directly or through entry fees. The host country is responsible for supplying the ammunition. To keep things fairer still, some even issued the rifles to be used. After the matches the competitors could buy the rifle and there were always collectors and other shooters waiting to buy any that the competitors did not want. (Host supplied rifles was stopped in 1983)

From time to time, a commercial company will manufacture a special lot of Palma to commemorate an event such as the USA 1976 Bicentennial. They do this partially as a promotional and public relations thing. The WW 1976 ammunition was made in one lot of 25,000 rounds. I believe they gave boxes away to competitors, as souvenirs, and anyone could buy it if they so chose. You can still find boxes of it for sale on the various auctions. I believe Australia had the 1988 ammunition maufactured to their specs especially for the matches which was the first ever held in OZ. In 1979, New Zealand hosted the Matches but there was no commercial manufacturer in NZ so volunteers handloaded all the ammunition required, using Australian components.

Lapua just recently started manufacturing their own Palma ammunition with a small rifle primer. It may catch on, or it may not. There will always be a commercial manufacturer ready to jump in and cater to the matches.

That’s the way it was. I can’t say how things are done in the 21st Century but I would guess it’s similar if not the same. But, some young Palma shooter will probably chime in and tell us that things are different now and old men should stay in their Century.

Ray


#4

Ray,

Some great head stamps there. Thanks for sharing.

What is the significance of the “200” in the “30-200-06” of item #5? Bullet weight I assume?

Dave


#5

Yes Dave, it is a 200 grain bullet. It was loaded to 2500 fps and was also used as an Olympic cartridge that year.

That was a quaint time don’t you think. Shooting a 30-06 in the Olympics! It’s down to BB guns now and they’ll probably outlaw them eventually and make one of the video games an official Olympic Sport. Virtual shooting.

Ray


#6

Ahhh! Perhaps a venue for Virtual Cartridges? I must get to work on that post haste!

Dave


#7

An update to my description above. I’ve heard that Palma rules have been or will be changed to specify the legal cartridges as 308 Winchester and 223 Remington. This was/is necessary because of State Department rules and regulations that severly restrict commerce in military arms and ammunition. I guess they can’t differentiate between a 7.62MM NATO used in competition and one used in warfare.

So, we no longer have any US National Match ammunition and now even Palma has gone from a service ammunition competition to all civilian. We joke about it but maybe the future really will be virtual weapons and ammunition.

Ray


#8

A clarification on what Ray says about host countries providing the ammunition. This may be the case now but in days gone by each country provided its team with its own ammunition – normally of a caliber then in use by that country as its basic service rifle cartridge

For example, the 1907 matches were hosted in Canada. The US team used the .30-40 Krag (Hudson-Thomas bullet) and the Canadians used the .303 Ross.

The 1913 match was hosted at Camp Perry with teams also fielded by Canada, Argentina, Peru & Sweden. The US team used the .30-06 (USCCo ammunition), the Canadians stuck with their .303 Ross with the extremely pointed bullet. The Swedish team used the 6.5x55mm and Argentina and Peru the 7.65mm Mauser.

The Palma Match is a “challenge” or “invitational” match and while the US team practiced and had ammunition made for them they had to wait until other countries responded before they knew if the matches were going to take place. In fact between 1928 and 1966 there was no Palma matches but Palma ammunition made for those years is not uncommon (understandably). In addition, major manufacturers like Winchester and Remington packaged ammunition that they had developed for the various teams for commercial sale. By the way, the original Palma Trophy (7.5 feet high, 280 ounces of silver, designed by Tiffany & Co) went “missing” sometime between 1928 and 1966. A new trophy was designed and donated by Herbert Aitken of Eau Claire Wisconsin in 1988.

I recommend “The History of the Palma Trophy Match” by C.C.C. Cheshire and Ted Molyneux’s excellent review of the ammunition used in the various Palma matches published in 1995 by the [British] NRA.


#9

Chris is right about the old days (before WWII) and the modern matches after 1966.

I think the day will soon come when teams will once again supply their own ammunition with only very basic criteria contained in the rules. The reason - many shooters feel that some host countries sometimes stack the deck in their favor by providing ammunition that was appropriate for their own rifles but not rifles from visiting countries. A couple of countries are especially suspected of such shenanigans (no names from me).

It seems that no International sport is lacking in controversy.

Ray


#10

Ray,
Here’s a colorful box of rimfire cousins of your Palma cartridges.


#11

That is a nice red box, how old is it?


#12

Great box, Guy!

My question is the same as Vlad’s…

Here is a “Dog Bone” version. Pardon the plastic wrap.

When I get big I want some of the neat stuff like Ray has…

Dave


#13

The red boxes were made between 1928 and 1942. According to Tony Dunn’s A Catalog of the .22 Boxes of the U.S.A., in 1933 Remington began stamping these boxes on the bottom with the code ‘VEEZ 33’, the two digits being the date. In 1935, they introduced a hot dip wax bullet lube developed by Peters and acquired by Remington when the bought Peters in 1934. The boxes of cartridges that used this lube were stamped ‘VEEZ 73’. This particular box is one of the VEEZ 73 boxes. The two digit date stamp continued, apparently for those cartridges not using the new lube. Production of the red boxes ended in 1942. Here’s a picture showing all sides:


#14

Dave,
Your box should have been made from 1946 until 1953.


#15

Guy,

Thanks for the additional info and pictures of your really nice item. Also thanks for the date info on my “Dog Bone” version.

In following this interesting thread Ray started, based on the dates there were no actual Palma Matches cited by ChrisP, both of these rimfire boxes were made for the commercial market using the “Palma” tag as an indicator of match quality ammunition. If I follow it all right, the two represent Remington’s rimfire offering under that name for 1928 to 1953 (I assume a break in production for WWII).

Great topic and now I’ll have to add the reference material ChrisP mentioned to my ever growing list of “gotta get” reading!

Dave


#16

Dave

I know nothing about 22 RF Palma. Is there any connection between it and CF? I’ve never heard of any. But, I learn something new almost every day.

Ray


#17

Ted Molyneux also wrote an article entitled "Cartridges used in Palma Matches. I don’t know exactly when it was written, but it covers up to 1988. Edward D. Andrus, Director, Competition Division, NRA of America, write an article entitled “History of the Palma Match.” Again, I don’t know when it was written or where it appeared, although likely in the American Rifleman, because my copy is in extract form. the format of my copy intimates that it was printed for some sort of small, looseleaf binder. Perhaps NRA could provide information on it to those that are NRA Members.

There is also the article “A history of the Palma Match,” by Hap Rocketto. I found it in april of 1999 at shooters.com/ps66.html I don’t know if it will still be there.

Later, I will have my friend Joe post a picture of some Palma marked boxes - two .308 Winchester and one .22. I had a few more, but suppose I gave them away some years ago, as I cannot find them in my odds and ends.

John Moss


#18

Ray,

I think the only connection to the Palma Matches the rimfires have is the use of the name. I had thought that perhaps they had been a promotional product given/sold in conjunction with the matches but the years of the actual matches doesn’t jive. Therefore, I assume that Remington just used the name to promote a line of “match quality” ammunition. There is a nice Remington box from the earlier 20’s than the one Guy showed in the article on .22 rimfire boxes on the IAA homepage that perhaps was distributed like I thought. But, no, not really Palma cartridges. Modern .22 boxes are marked “dangerous within one mile”, but I doubt they would work well at 700 yards and beyond for target use! Thus my comment to the effect that the items you showed at the beginning of this thread are the “real deal” and something I hope to be able to collect in the future…

I am curious if other calibers were labeled with “Palma” that were obviously not intended for the actual matches.

John mentioned an article that may be of interest and I think this is a direct link: shootersjournal.com/Features … aMatch.pdf

Dave


#19

I have one of those boxes. There’s a rubber stamp in faded red at the bottom side which reads “N 01 L” if I’m not wrong.

On one side it says: “.22 Palma Cartridge. These cartridges are adapted for all kinds of shooting where a high degree of accuracy is required.”

The opposite side reads: “These cartridges are exceptionally accurate for use in all standard single shot and repeating rifles.”

The cartridges have a copper case, a lead bullet and an “U” headstamp.


#20

The picture speaks for itself. I am not into .22s, so cannot accurately date the .22 box. I agree that they really have nothing to do with the center-fire Palma Matches, and were probably just an advertising thing.

Of course if there were ever any smallbore matches under the Palma name, then that is different.

Collection of John Moss