In 1956-57, an order was fulfilled at the Fábrica Nacional de Toledo in Spain, for one million .303 MKVII ball cartridges. The contract was awarded by Egypt. Order number was 5-4-55/R and the cartridge would be known as “7-Z .303” in the factory. Leftover cases were later loaded with soft point hunting bullets for the civilian market and are not hard to find.
The spanish cartridge was based on the current british round at the time, and some samples were adquired in the UK. High pressure, low pressure and ball cartridges were brought to Spain, in the quantity of a wooden crate of each type.
The specifications for the Spanish cartridge were:
- Crimping force: => 27 kilograms.
- Powder weight tolerance: 0,1 g.
- Velocity 731,50 ± 12 meters / second.
- Mean velocity variation will not exceed 9,15 m. - calculated at 27º C.
The acceptance tests would be those applied to Spanish light ground machine gun ammunition (medium quality).
They were to be waterproofed by applying a lacquer seal around the primer and a varnish coat inside the case neck.
Both the British and the Spanish rounds have gilding metal bullet jackets with a crimping cannelure.
Here I am presenting a 50-round box of the low pressure test rounds. There are also similar carton boxes for high pressure test cartridges, with the pressure figures varying accordingly. The ball cartridges came in the standard 15-round cartons of no special interest.