WRA 303 "fake"?

Is this WRA 303 with the “strange” shoulder a fake, or does the shoulder have a meaning? If yes what meaning?


In all likelyhood this is not a fake but rather a production error in the cartridge case draw/shoulder forming during production. Winchester produced millions of rounds of .303 ammuniton on contract with Great Britain in WW2 and most of the finished cartridges destined for use in rifles (as apposed to synchronized MGs) were only visualy inspected by line workers so one could expect a minor production error to slip by once in awhile.


Lube dents…,.excess of “Oil of Green Soap” used in the Lubing of cartridge brass during drawing and forming processes.

“Oil of Green Soap” is not an Oil, nor is it Green (in colour).

Soap, when made with Animal Fat and Caustic Soda, comes out as a semi-Liquid, oil-like goop. This is “Raw Soap” ( ie, “green”).
When this material is Salted, it hardens into the normal “Savon de Marseille” ( or white, hard, Laundry Soap, cast into big bars and blocks.

The commonest Drawing Lube used before the development of Sulfonated Oils (Synthetic) after WW II, was common Soap, unsalted…and mixed with water to give a slick lubricant for Drawing brass.

When I visited S&B back in 1993, they were still using a soap-based Lube…one of the 30 cal Deep-drawing machines ( for .270 Win cases) had a large foam of froth around it…too much water in the Lube Mixture.

Whilst in common reloading, lube dents are usually one or two, due to the slow application of pressure on the cartridge case in forming or Full-length sizing, But in Cartridge production, we are talking of Production velocities of Hundreds of cartridges-cases per minute…the excess Lube just hasn’t got the time to “escape” and so causes the concentric lube dents all around the case shoulder.

The defect is purely cosmetic ( both Factory and Handloader) and “blows out” on firing.

Doc AV

Hi bdgreen and DocAV

Tank’s for your reply, I would not have guess it was a production error.

From the shoulder position it looks like someone tried to make 30-40 ammo from .303" and used too much lube resulting in the oil dents.

If an attempt at .303 to .30-40 conversion with the original bullet in place, that would be a potentially catastrophic accident if they ever tried to fire it due to the larger bullet diameter used in .303, and the relatively weak Krag action with just a single locking lug.

However, maybe excess lube just forced the entire shoulder back so it appears to be a possible conversion. I would think this is more likely.