Search for a 1.5 L3A1

I have been searching for a 1.5 L3A1 anti riot baton round (rubber) for a very long time and have never seen one come up for sale, are they that rare.

Yes, compared to the various L2 and the L5 variants the L3A1 and L3A2 are hard to find. I have an L3A1, but I’ve not seen an L3A2.

My L3A1 (fired case) came with a pointed black rubber bullet of the type used in L2 baton rounds, but the correct projectile for the L3 is a flat nose PVC baton.

Thank you Tanegashimatomurata it is the pointed nose one that I have been looking for. These are the ones used in my time in the service. Did you get yours in the UK or US.

Thanks again

Interesting that you say you used a pointed nose L3A1, because the extracts I posted are from an official publication. I’ve not found any reference to the ‘rubber bullet’ being used in the L3A1.

The L2A2 and to a lesser extent the L2A1 rubber bullets turn up fairly frequently in UK auctions and on eBay (UK). My L3A1 was a UK purchase.

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My first tour was in April 1972 and the rubber bullets were used quiet a
lot at that time, my last tour was in 1976. As time went on from 72 the
rubber bullets were used less and less the same with CS gas.
At one point in that time period a rubber bullet was fired fro a ferret
armored car and that resulted in a young boy being killed.
I will have to keep my eyes open on E bay uk


I have heard before that the pointed rubber projectiles were changed to the flat type below the case mouth to prevent them from being modified.

There were rumours that British soldiers in Northern Ireland were cutting slots in the projectile noses and inserting a two pence coin. This was meant to increase potential for injury. I have no idea if there is any truth in that.

Never heard that one and doubt it. All equipment including rounds had to be accounted for about once a week while on tour, head stamps on ammunition was also checked at (least in my unit).
I did hear rumors of a stack of penny’s being put in the case in place of the rubber bullet. I also doubt that, filling that case up with penny’s would be quiet expensive for a soldier. Another rumor that U cell ( US D cell ) battery’s were being put in but I never saw it. I did see young kids in riots trying to catch the rubber bullets in dustbin (US Garbage can) lids. For a long time we wondered what they were doing with them. Given there shape and size there were a lot of rude jokes made about what they were being used for. Later we found out they were selling them to American tourists

cdiver, are you in UK ?

No I live in Florida. I have a sister in the UK, she has just got me a modern baton round but I am not sure about postage rules to the US

Never ever send ammunition, whatever kind it may be, by post.

Not sure why on this I get all my live ammunition for shooting through ups with no problems

Hi, just to confirm, the L3A1, which was known as the Round Anti Riot 1.5 inch Baton Long Range, always used the PVC 135g flat nosed cylindrical baton, topped off with a varnished card wad which was plain on early lots, but for most of it’s life had a large ‘L’ on it in relief. This change probably happened around the time that the XL5E1 ‘Medium Range’ experimental was introduced as it had a large ‘M’ in relief on a similar varnished card top wad. The L5 series Medium Range moved to an aluminium cup top wad (up until the L5A4B1 introduced in 1993), & a had a cream or white band around the case to signify Medium Range (apart from the last type, the German manufactured L5A7 introduced in 1999, although the Medium Range title was dropped as redundant for the L5A6 introduced in 1997). Unfortunately it’s quite common for collectors to be sold the wrong baton projectile in the wrong case, and the projectiles seated at the incorrect depth. The L3A2 is very uncommon, & I suspect it is the new case type that was seen after the change between the L5A3 & L5A4 that happened in 1982.
This image shows the L1A1 wooden baton round (used in Hong Kong, but never Northern Ireland), the L2A1 and L2A2 rubber baton rounds.
This image shows the L3A1 Long Range, XL5E1 Medium Range, and L5A3 MR

Here is some top wads - Top row, early L3A1, more common top wad with ‘L’ embossed: Bottom row, XL5E1 with ‘M’ embossed, and L5A3 aluminium cup ( early version, not anodised)

And finally, here is a page about the L3 series from an article I published in the IAA Journal (Issue 421, Sep / Oct 2001) on The History and Development of 1.5 inch Baton Cartridges in UK Service. I hope to write a second article on this topic in the future covering from 1999 onwards, and some additional information from the earlier years.

(Tanegashimatomurata, p.s., very nice to see your picture of a Schermuly Mk 1 Baton Cartridge Case! I knew these existed, but had never seen one before.)


Hmhm, well… this is Europe. Maybe we do not have the UPS-experience or are too careful or mindful not sending cartridges by mail.

I am no expert on Europe but my sister has just ordered a rubber bullet with case from ebay uk for me and was told delivery (uk) will be Thursday.

Thank you all I know know it is a L2A1 that I am looking for and ebay (uk) will probably be my best bet.

Thank you again

The baton rounds sold on eBay UK are used batons in used cases, totally inert and allowed by eBay UK’s policies which permits wood, plastic and rubber bullets as an exception to their usual ammunition prohibition. See extract below.

Pete, thank you for confiming that the L3A1 used a flat nose baton, and for your excellent photos.

I hadn’t seen your article but I will read through it in the members area.

Here are photos of the Schermuly Mk1, I find it interesting that they called it a Rubber Bullet but loaded it with a baton. The black baton shown was in the case when I acquired it. A lucky spot in an auction lot of effects from a former Royal Army Ordnance Corps officer.

The XL5E1 I had not seen before. The only experimental round I’ve acquired is the XL2E2 shown on the left of my previous photo. Additional photos below.

Looking forward to your second article.


Thank you again the round will be shipped via ups UK-US

I was thinking that it was possible that fired projectiles could have been modified after being found in order to spread the rumours.

Tanegashimatomurata, thanks very much for the close up pictures, great to see, particularly the Mark 1. The black baton you show is made from a harder rubber than the L2 series batons that Schermuly marked up as both rubber bullet and rubber baton. Here’s a few pictures from my collection of others related items.

From left to right, some experimentals, a ‘Baton Round Spec.’ Which was a generic loading, reloaded with different size propellant charges, an XL2E1, an XL2E2 (possibly relegated to drill / training use), and an XL8E1 proof.

Some Schermuly Mk 2 loadings, including baton flush with the case mouth, baton protruding load, and a 30 grain PVC load.

And some more Mark 2s showing on the right the markings used by Schermuly to indicate the type of load; solid black rectangle to indicate single baton, and three smaller black rectangles to indicate ‘multi-baton’ load.