'Re-bulleted' military .303 British in re-labeled box


#1

Here’s an interesting box of .303 British cartridges that had their full metal jacketed bullets replaced with soft point bullets in Finland for Interarms. There is no ‘keep out of reach of children’ warning on the box and the Interarms address does not include a zip code so this box was probably sold by Interarmco prior to 1962. Most of the cartridges are headstamped R^L 1939 VII. I suspect the box held 7.62 Russian cartridges originally.

The Interarmco label:

The original box label:


#2

I think they did that in several calibers. I recall having a 7.62x54r cartridge in my collection years ago with a military headstamp and a soft point projectile…

AKMS


#3

Guy,

Interesting to see that recycled box. From a long ago junk box pick I have three other headstamps from that retro-fit import program:

K1940 C II
R^L 1939 G II
1944 DI Z

Now I’m curious if they reused the powder that came in the original cartridge or replaced it with a consistant new load. The packaging suggests the former.
Perhaps I’ll break out the puller and play “Whack-A-Mole” to see what’s inside…

Dave


#4

Dave,
These cartridges still have the cordite and card wad. They also have a fairly distinctive 6 segment neck crimp extending .035" down from the case mouth.


#5

Guy,

Thanks for that. Went and got those examples out. Giving the old shake test, it seems they just replaced the bullet. The Canadian “Z” headstamped item (Nitrocellulose Powder) is the only one that has a “loose powder” sound. Makes sense to me and no need for the puller…

Dave


#6

Guy, make please some photos of this box from other views


#7

Most of the “Re-Bulleting” was done for Interarms in general ( sometimes with proprietary shop labels for the UK) and was done in the early 1950s, when Sam Cummings first started Interarms.

The Lapua factory did the work, and by the early 60s, was using its own Red and white packets for 20 rounds of the cartridges ( other packs include 10 round 7,9mm, with cases of Czech origin)

They tended to keep the original loading, and the Bullet exchange was "like for like’ Weight and profile.

Some of Interarms .303 ( later) had the headstamp ringed out ( by lathe turning a groove), But information suggests this was done in Pakistan.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics


#8

[quote=“DaveE”]Guy,

Interesting to see that recycled box. From a long ago junk box pick I have three other headstamps from that retro-fit import program:

K1940 C II
R^L 1939 G II
1944 DI Z

Now I’m curious if they reused the powder that came in the original cartridge or replaced it with a consistant new load. The packaging suggests the former.
Perhaps when I’m done preparing my 2009 taxes tonight (traditional Bourbon consumption for the event, of course) I’ll break out the puller and play “Whack-A-Mole” to see what’s inside…

Dave[/quote]

Dave, I think that your headstamp K1940 C II should read K1940 G II, G being the code for tracer, C was the old code for cordite but fell into disuse when cordite became the normal load for most UK small arms ammo. The primers, crimp and purple cap seal all appear original and the cordite is not easy to get out of the case because it is packed in before the case is necked. For a commercial operation it would not be cost effective to substitute a different powder for the cordite.

gravelbelly


#9

Gravelbelly,

Thanks for that input. Never thought too much about that headstamp, but it being a “G” sure does make more sense. Corrections have been made!

With a little magnification my fading eyesight can see a bit of a leg to the “C” as seen on the left. The R^L headstamp on the right leaves nothing to the imagination.

Dave


#10

Here are the pictures of the box that 2moutrage asked for. Its not much to look at; and I had to put a piece of cardboard inside to get it to hold its shape. An edge of the cardboard is visible in the picture.


#11

Did not this project to re-bullet military loadings of .303 include Finnish-made .303 (7.7m/m) cartridges? I seem to recall having seen such but am not sure. I also wonder, judging by the dates shown here, if this British-made ammunition wasn’t originally supplied to the Finns during the Winter War of 1939-40 for use in Finnish Air Force planes. It’s hard to see how the DI 1944 Z round would fit into this story, so maybe that one was fabricated elsewhere. Jack


#12

Jack.

You may be very correct that my retro-fitted .303s are from a different source. While Interarms (etc. from Alexandria, VA) was a major player in providing “blasting” ammunition durring the era, I didn’t get these from a box and don’t know their true origin. The products of this company were everywhere when I obtained these so I made the unsubstantiated link. I also note the “knob-like” bullet point on my examples that are not present on Guy’s cartridge show in profile.

L-R: 1944 DI Z, K1940 G II, R^L 1939 G II.

Dave


#13

Thanks Guy.
It really box for 7.62х54R


#14

DaveE,
Actually, the tips on yours are similar to most of those in the box - I think they are just deformed. I intentionally picked out the one that showed the least damage. The necks on the first two of yours look right also.


#15

Guy,

The crimps would all look pretty much the same if the case lengths were equal. The one on the right has a longer case but, while not clear in the picture, the crimp has the same segmented format. Interesting to note the different shoulders found on the same caliber. Headspacing on the rim allows for some significant variation!

Dave