Question About 30 Caliber Headstamp


#1

Hi,

I picked up this 30 caliber tracer recently and I have never seen a headstamp like this one.

This is a Remington Arms cartridge and has the primer ring crimp like Remington, but I have no idea to what the “300” and “Z” refer. What does the coding on this headstamp mean? Was this lend-lease ammunition?

Thanks.

Heavyiron


#2

Yes, Lend-Lease ammo for the British, who were using some 30-06 weapons at the time (any weapons they could get hold of, for that matter); the “Z” shows it was loaded with single-base nitro powder, and the “300” was to differentiate it from their more common .303 ammo.


#3

This was ammunition made by Remington for the United Kingdom. The “300” is a common way for the Brits to express .30 caliber, and the “Z” indicates nitrocellulose powder. I don’t know if it was a paid contract or lend-lease.


#4

I don


#5

Thank you all for the great information. I would be lost otherwise.

Heavyiron


#6

If I am reading P.Labbett’s book correctly, .30-06 with this British style headstamp dated in the 1940-1941 range were purchased and that subsequent orders could fall into the “lend-lease” category. The British eventually using .30-06 headstamped, marked and packaged to normal US specifications. Interesting subject and if anyone can shed some light on the difference between England “placing large orders” for .30-06 ammunition versus ammunition supplied through the Lend-Lease program, I would like to read about it.

Could ammunition be supplied under Lend-Lease, since it was expendable?
How do you return something you used after the war was over if it is expended? Or, is my understanding of Lend-Lease flawed?

As a side note, my first experience in reloading ammunition involved a number of these U.S. made, Birtish marked cases. Man, those primer are crimped in good!

AKMS


#7

AKMS - I can;'t speak for any specific case, such as this .30-06 ammunition, but I think it is relatively common knowledge that some lend-lease was given with no idea of anything coming back after the war for two reasons - one, to help the war effort of allies. Two, and less altruistic, in return for “other considerations” such as permanent bases (to be retained after the cessation of hostilities in WWII), etc. That is what I have always learned, at any rate. It could be wrong, but I don’t think so.


#8

Just a foot note. The British army had used 30-06 rifles as a second calibre since 1917 when they took delivery of the P17 (Known in US as 1917 Enfield).
In between the wars the rifles were put into storage but were brought out again in 1939 mainly to arm the home guard.They were marked with red paint on the forend to indicate that they were not standard calibre. Pictures of the home guard almost always show them with P17s.

Pictures of Commandos in WW2 often show them armed with either P14 (.303) or P17 (30-06) rifles. You can’t tell from the pictures which they are.

A lot of .30-06 ammo was made in Britain, especially after the introduction of the .30 cal machine gun which was .30-06. Most I beliveve made by Kynoch.I think the machine gun ammo had ZZ on the headstamp but no doubt someone more knowledgable will confirm if this if its correct.


#9

[quote=“Vince Green”]Just a foot note. The British army had used 30-06 rifles as a second calibre since 1917 when they took delivery of the P17 (Known in US as 1917 Enfield).
/quote]

Sorry Vince, but I have to disagree strongly with the above comment. Do you have any evidence to support this statement? By 1917 there were sufficient SMLEs available that Britain cancelled 1.4 million P.14 rifles from the three US manufacturers, thus giving them the capacity to make the Model of 1917 for the US military.

The P.14s that had been delivered (1.2 million) were the rifles put into store until they underwent the Weedon rebuild in 1939. The M 1917s used by the Home Guard were those supplied by the US in WW2, not WW1.

The Royal Armoured Corps continued to use the .30" Browning after the war and having used up the wartime stocks of US ammo, Britain commenced to make .30" ball and tracer in the late fifties, continuing until the mid-sixties when the Brownings were replaced.

Both Kynoch and ROF Radway Green made the ammo, which did not contain “Z” in the headstamp. Typical headstamps were “RG 60 .30” and “K 59 .30”. The same headstamp was used for all loads, with the tracer having a red tip and sometimes a red p.a.

Loads were Ball, tracer, drill, dummy and blank. The blank was the only round with a specila headstamp “K 67 .30 L10A1”.

Regards
TonyE


#10

I just ran across an interesting piece of information from a list of cartridges that someone is selling.

One of the cartridges has the exact headstamp as mentioned above RA 1941 300 Z and is a ball round.

The description states this cartridge was made for the British Royal Air Force for their synchronized machine guns in aircraft.

As I think about the external primer crimp on this cartridge it does closely resemble the M1906 30 caliber design for aircraft machine guns made in 1917 to prevent the primers from blowing out. This is found on page 112 of Hackley, et al, Vol. I.

Due to the primer crimp, could this round have been made specifically for British aircraft machine guns?

Regards,

Heavyiron


#11

The rounds were certainly intended for the Browning guns used in RAF fighters that were equipped with .30" weapons. The spec. would have called for the primers to be securely crimped but I think that this was just the way Remington met that requirement.

In 1940 the British Purchasing Commission purchased supplies of .30-06 from two sources. One was Remington and the other was the US Government (before Lend-lease).

Remington initially supplied what was described as “Pattern 06” with a 150 grn. bullet, and the US supplied M1 Ball with FA29 and 30 dates.

Ordnance Board Proceeding 9713 of 4 Dec 1940 gave the results of velocity, accuracy and barrel life for both types, and stated "…Series [of test firings] were also included with pattern 06 ball: it is not intended at present, however, that this pattern should be introduced into the service.

Interestingly, the Brownings used in this trial were serial numbered A1, A2 and A3.

The ammunition purchased by the BPC in 1940 comprised;
From the US Government: .30-06 Ball M1 and .50 Br. Ball and "possibly AP"
From Remington: .30-06 Ball M2, .30-06 Tracer to US specification, .30-06 AP, .50 Br. Ball M1, .50 Br. Tracer M1 and .50 Br. AP M1.

Remington also supplied an experimental .30 AP round with a 153 grn streamlined bullet that omitted the base plug behind the core. They said they could not produce the normal US type in quantity. British tests showed the boat tailed type to be more accurate and equal in penetration to the US type.

Regards
TonyE


#12

here is the correct box to the above mentioned cartridge

cheers
Ren


#13

I believe that at that time if the headstamp included .300 it was for RAF use and if the headstamp included.30 it was for “normal” use.


#14

All British contract ammo produced by Remington that was specially headstamped used the .300 designation as that was British nomenclature at the time.

The use of just “.30” did not come in until after WWII when RG and Kynoch started production for the British military.

Regards
TonyE


#15

Tony,
Thanks for the correct info.