What is a British "proof of work" cartridge with green primer annulus

Decided to start a new thread on this subject.



I have a similar item picked out of a box many years ago - clearly this was an accidental loading. I also have one in .38" Enfield MkII. Folklore states that there were some deliberate SP loadings for special use made by inverting the jacket - but I have no documentary evidence. Mispacking did happen - my one and only 9mm MkII Daily Proof of Work (green primer annulus) came out of a box of regular ball ammo………

I have never heard of a “proof of work” cartridge. I have never documented a green pa on a British 9x19mm, though I have seen green pa on Canadian 9x19mms from WWII.

Mannlicher, could you tell us more about this round (headstamp, etc, and more about the use of “proof of word” rounds? A photo would be great!


Will do a photo next time I visit my collection which is remote from me at the moment. Daily Proof of Work means just what it says - during the production process one box is given a green primer seal and at the end of the production process is test fired and so in theory none ever leave the factory. I don’t know exactly what period the process was used - but I also have a couple in 7.62 NATO (GB 57 + L2A2 and RG 67 + L2A2). I visited RG in the early 70’s and saw a box full equivalent of 9mm P’s being taken off the line just prior to the primer sealing stage and manually being given a green base seal wash. Haven’t catalogued my 9mm P’s yet so no headstamp to hand.

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Great info!!! I had never heard of this.

I wonder if this was a RG process or one used by other British or Commonwealth factories?

Has anyone else seen these Green pa rounds??


These are refered to here in the UK as Daily Proof and can be found in 5.56mm. I can only assume a few of the selected box are test fired and the remainder are then sent out for issue.

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Thats a really interesting piece of information.

Could possibly be one explanation for odd rounds from Footscray which turn up from time to time with a black stripe across the base. On the other hand they could be for a dozen different reasons.


I’m still trying to find the background for this ,303 ball round. The five random centre punch marks would seem to indicate a series of ???


As far as I can tell the ‘daily proof’ rounds in the UK are predominantly a Radway Green practice, the earliest example I have is a MkVII .303 ball round (RG 56 7), the latest is the same as Jims, the boxes for these 5.56mm daily proof rounds are indicated by two self adhesive white plastic tags marked either RG or RO (Royal ordnance,even though they were no longer a Royal ordnance by this time), I presume they also did this with 7.62 Nato and 9mm but I have not found examples of these…yet!


Inspectorate of Armaments (British)

Notes on Inspection


Chapter IV

Small Arms and Small Arms Ammunition Group

  1. A proof quantity of approximately two rounds per thousand is selected from each lot of 200,00 to 250,000 rounds of S.A.A. as it is manufactured. This is fired as quickly as possible so as to obviate waste of labour involved in inspection of a lot which has failed at proof.

  2. The proof quantity is fired for accuracy, velocity, pressure, freedom from hangfires and functioning in all weapons for which it is designed. In addition, a small number of rounds is used for tests of airtightness, liability to season cracking and other qualities. These tests vary with the type of ammunition.

  3. The proof quantity is very small compared with the bulk of delivery and can scarcely be considered in itself as an adequate test of quality and uniformity. By maintaining quality control graphs of the results of each delivery however, a clear record is available of the quality maintained by each manufacturer and early indication of any tendency to deterioration in quality is obtained so that it may be investigated and corrected without delay. Graphs may also be used to control certain manufacturing operations.

  4. The physical inspection of the ammunition consists of an automatic gauging operation which rejects any round outside a predetermined tolerance in any of its more important dimensions, an automatic weighing operation with most calibres which rejects any round high or low to weight, and a visual inspection which rejects any round with serious blemish or fault.

No mention of changing the colour of the primer annulus, but as can be seen, explains the process of proof inspection.

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This is a late-comer clarification, but thought I would add it in. The green primer seal on Canadian cartridges (example DI 44 9 MM) of 9 x 19 caliber, Mentioned by Lew, denotes a different feature than does the green primer seal on the British “proof of work” cartridges.

From 1943 until some time in 1944, the internal base of the Canadian Defence Industries Ltd cartridges was flat, but with a concave into the primer pocket. Production was changed to a rounded internal base in 1944, and this last type had a green primer seal for identification. (Reference: IAA Journal Issue 429, Jan/Feb 2003, “Defence Industries Limited 9mm Parabellum Ammunition, additional information,” by John Moss, Woodin Lab.)

John M.