To Aussie 303 collectors


#1

I picked up 4 boxes of 303 ammunition today from a deceased estate auction.
Two are Super brand- one purple box, one red and white box.
One box of Sportco ammo- red and white box with a brown stripe and an unidentified box red and white in colour with an L inside a 6 sided box in 2 locations on the front. All are 140gn soft points. Sorry I cant post photos. My PC wont allow it.
Is there any collector value to these and can anyone identify the last mentioned. If not, they will be going down range and I`ll keep the boxes just for their nice appearance…Sorry its so vague.


#2

The Boxes you mention are all collectible…try the ACCA (Aussie Cartridge Collectors Assoc.) for more details.
The cartridges inside, depending on whether they are reloaded or bullet- substituted Military cases, or “New” Boxer cases, will also be a determinant in value.

As to “shooting them down range” besides wasting collector ammo, the primers on most of these will be cactus, as they are now over 50 years old; especially the Berdan (Military) cases. Bad storage contributes to both cracking of the case necks and deterioration of the primers.

Over the past 20 years, all the old Super brand ammo in the multicoloured boxes have shown this cactus quality. Super closed in the late 1970-early 80s. Bertram did take over the machinery and the Brand, but did not produce much ammo ( except for .310 Cadet and a very small amount of .303/25 loaded ammo).

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
Brisbane


#3

A couple of pics that might match what you have.
First pic - top one might be your unidentified one plus a different Sportco one below. I have always just assumed it to be Lapua but not sure if it was loaded by them or just using Lapua Projectiles. Mine had military loads with the projectile pulled and replaced with soft point hunting projectiles.

And some “red and white” Super boxes. Not sure which you have or even if it is another version.


#4

What are the cartridges in the box with the “7.7 x 54” label?


#5

They are a slightly shortened 303 that was produced to get around some laws in some states of Australia that prevented ownership of “military calibre” 303 Brit.
The rifles had their barrel removed and a couple of threads removed before being replaced resulting in a slightly shorter chamber that would not chamber 303 Brit cartridges. The shortened cartridge was named the 7.7x54.

Another pic that would probably match the mentioned Purple box.


#6

Thanks DocAV. Alpinehunter. Those photos of yours are perfect matches for each of mine. I will just keep them in my collection. All the brass in the Super and Sportco boxes is new boxer variety; the "Lapua"is a variety of British military brass (51,53,55) with replacement projectiles. The brown stripe I inadvertantly added to the Sportco box is actually on the Super box.


#7

Extra; I only paid $12 for each box… well worth the price for such attractive boxes.


#8

Sounds like you bought them because you liked the look of them which is always a good reason! I am no expert but $12 is a reasonable price for the full boxes. I would have expected maybe $20 a box sold as either ‘imperfect shooting ammo’ or for collecting however they can certainly be picked up cheaper at times though. They are not rare or uncommon but they are interesting and there are plenty of variations to pick up in the Aus made boxes. A number of calibres and colour combinations plus the other brands like Riverbrand, Myra, Sniper etc

DocAV, any idea how long Bertram made 303-25 ammo for? and 310?

I have this box of Bertram 303-25 headstamped BB 303/25
The projectile is a little crude in manufacture and the cases are all uniformly slightly stained black which seems to either be done during manufacture or as a result of the process and time. I have heard there are two address sticker variations and maybe other recycled Super boxes.