Pistol subcaliber cartridges by MPS and RDF-Need Help

Back in early May another thread http://iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15763&hilit=RDF+MPS&start=30 drifted into this subject. Since it is an entirely British question, I tried out the BOCN for the last couple of weeks but no replies so I thought I’d post it here and see if anyone has some additional insights. Fede, not surprisingly, had the best info I have gotten on this subject in some years.

Any help appreciated!


[quote]I thought you guys would be the perfect group to answer the questions below!

First, I have a keen interest in subcaliber devices for pistols. Some time ago I ran across a piece of kit by MPS (Millard Bros Ltd, Motherwell Scotland). The outer box and the contents are pictured below in the first two photos. This kit was in 38 Special but the drawing on the cover indicates it likely occurred in 45ACP and probably other calibers. The contents give no hint of what these other calibers may have been.

These black plastic MPS subcaliber have an aluminum insert, pictured above right, and use a round lead BB in the tip.

The MPS subcalibers look a LOT like plastic subcalibers made by RDF Systems Engineering Ltd in Godalming, Surrey. An example of the brown 9mmP RDF subcaliber is pictured below next to an MPS 38 Spl subcaliber. Also pictured is the box for the brown RDF subcaliber. I have similar black and gray 9mm subcalibers in my collection.

I strongly suspect that RDF and MPS had some sort of relationship. My brown RDF in the collection has a bore of 4.29mm and a brass insert and will not accept the aluminum insert from my 38 Special set, nor will the gray RDF I have. My black RDF is loaded with a ball in front and primer in back so I can’t test an MPS insert.

The brown RDF in my TARP box has a bore of of 4.54mm and quite happily accepts the aluminum insert from my MPS 38 Spl set.

Has anyone seen other variations of either the MPS or RDF material? I’d be delighted to document other items, and better yet aid them to the collection.

Does anyone have any ides what the relationship was between MPS and RDF??? The fact that some RDF subcalibers are made for MPS inserts seems to me to make a relationship of some sort extemely likely. The fact is, I cannot confirm that the three individual items in my collection are actually by RDF, but they were passed on to me as RDF by people who should know-people as clever as Tony E! The only items I have that I can confirm are RDF came in the box pictured above, and these are the ones that accept the MFS inserts!!!

I hope someone can shed some light on this RDF/MPS relationship. Perhaps some new items will show up also!

Any help is appreciated.


Fede provided a photo of an MPS set very like mine, but which included black 9mmP plastic subcaliber rounds with the MPS aluminum inserts-images at URL cited above. This continues to point to some kind of relationship between the two companies.

Any Ideas???

Lew, I researched a little more and this is what I have found:

RFD Systems Engineering Limited at 77 Catteshall Lane, Goldalming, Surrey, was a company who between 1975-78 developed several apparatus for target shooting training using a cinematographic projector. Besides those in 9 mm, it also marketed TARP adaptors for 5.56x45 caliber weapons made of brown, cream, white and black plastic, these using different types of primers.

This company designation was used until December 31, 1980, when it changed to GQ Defense Equipment Limited (same address). Training kits for 9 mm, .38 Spl, 5.56x45 and 7.62x51 mm calibers were offered until at least 1986. These were made in brown and black plastic, also using various types of primers. A patent for this design was applied on September 26, 1980 and granted on April 7, 1982.

In 1982 adaptors in 5.56 mm caliber were made by Nouvelle Cartoucherie de Survilliers in France. Colors reported are the same as above, but also including one made of red plastic. I don’t know if all British adaptors were in fact made by NCS, but it is likely.

During 1981-82 a training kit for revolvers and pistols was distributed in the States by Taurus International Sales Corp., Huntington, NY. It was made by Millard Brothers Limited of Motherwell, Scotland and marketed as the “Diana MPS Conversion System”. Then, in 1982-83, it was distributed by Barnett International, Inc., Port Huron, MI, which also presented this product at the Shot Show 1982 held in Atlanta, GA.