South African .303 British U 44 VII - Pretoria or Kimberly?

According to Tony Edwards, WWII South African .303 British was manufactured by the South African Mint in either Pretoria or Kimberly, using U or U◊ as the manufacturer code on the HS. I’m not questioning Tony’s information.

Source: Edwards, A.O. Headstamp Guide .303 inch British Service Ammunition. 2011 (p. 124).

The round that I have in front of me was made in 1944 and should therefore have been made in the Kimberly factory. However, the diamond is missing from the HS.

All of my other Kimberly produced ammunition shows a decent space between the U and the diamond, that would lead me towards ruling out a broken bunter (even when considering the mark on the head). However, all of my Kimberly examples are full date rounds.

I wondered if some cases were produced in 1944 at Pretoria as they were gearing up to bring that factory back on line the following year? I think this is a long shot, especially production didn’t resume at Pretoria until September in 1945 but the only other thing I can think of is a simple mistake when the bunter was drawn up and made. I’d welcome any thoughts or comments?

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I can’t answer your question but can confirm the find. Note green mouth seal in the 3rd round.

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There are a few discrepancies in the dates in the headstamp guide and the on the website, I spoke to Tony about this and he acknowledged them but never got chance to do anything about it. He had the same round in his collection to which he referenced “the Mint Pretoria” on his reference list. There are a few other dates that crop up that don’t fit known dates, unfortunately we will never know unless documentation comes to light.

I would hazard a guess at an incorrect bunter being used or just an old bunter being used to show SA production, date and Mark of round?? We may never know.



Thanks Richard. Hearing how Tony referenced it is useful. I know there are many mystery rounds and unanswered questions out there but hey, that is what makes this hobby interesting and challenging.