Visual Headstamp Guide for the .303 British Service Cartridge

Pictures have been darkened and contrast added to enhance headstamp.
Clicking on a thumbnail will open a lightbox enlarged view. Clicking the view will close.

The 'Z' suffix Refers to graphite glazed nitro-cellulose propellant

The following is for those of you who are not Roman Citizens :) - I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X
 
 

A 80

 

Pretoria West Metal Pressings Pty. South Africa  

A - Pretoria West Metal Pressings Pty., South Africa

A or AI

Artillerie Inrichtingen, Hembrug, Netherlands. Became Nederland Wapen & Munitiefabrik'de Kruithoorn' NV,'s Hertogenbosch Later became Eurometaal.

 

AE

Arsenal do Ejercito, Lisbon, Portugal.

 

AOC 1340

Bombrini, Parodi et Delfino, Rome, Italy. Used on military .303 cartridges supplied to Egypt in the period 1948 - 1954.

 

Bombrini Parodi Delfino (Italy) disguised their contract for .303 for Egypt in the 1950's by "moving" their normal headstamp of BPD backwards one letter to AOC and using a false Arabic date of 1240 which is 1924 in the western calender.

The "AOC" is a Caeser Cypher made by shifting the letters one space in the alphabet. Hence "AOC == BPD".

AOC 1340

APX

Atelier de Construction de Puteaux, France. Manufactured during 1918... BNC, APNC,TR.  The 1931 round may not be crimped at all, yet the 1918 round has a very heavy crimp.                                 

APX - Atelier de Construction de Puteaux, France

A - VE

Atelier de Construction de Valence, France.

 

A.VIS

Atelier de Fabrication de Vincinnes, France.

 

B,J,M or N

Birmingham Metal and Munitions Co Ltd. Birmingham, UK. Company formed in 1897, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nobels explosive company who also owned a further Ammunition plant, fully acquired in 1907, at Waltham Abbey, Essex. BM&M had ceased Ammunition manufacture by 1920. The company was taken over in 1918 by Explosives Trades Ltd which became Nobel Industries, which was in turn was to become part of the new giant Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd when it was formed in 1926.

The headstamp code B denoting the manufacturer should not be confused with B as in BVIIZ which indicates incendiary Ammunition.

Types produced between 1897 & 1919.

 

BE or BE

Royal Ordnance Factory, Blackpole, Worcester, UK. This factory was part of the 1939 - 1945 war emergency expansion plan and was situated at Blackpole on the site of the earlier Government Cartridge Factory No 3 of 1916. Initially ICI Ltd were to have operated this plant but they were advised in 1940 of the change in plans and the factory was run as a Royal Ordnance Factory by the Ministry of Supply. This factory made and marked cases but filling was carried out at the Royal Ordnance Factory Swynnerton, Staffs. Cartridges were produced with the BE cases from 1941 to 1945.

BE - Royal Ordinance Factory, Blackpole, Worcester, UK
B↑E - Royal Ordinace Factory, Blackpole, Worcester, UK

BLANCH

J Blanch & Sons of Fenchurch St, London, UK. Made dummy drill rounds with a one piece tinplate case and bullet, having a crimped on base, in 1915.

 

BM

British Munitions Co Ltd, Millwall, London, UK. Believed to have manufactured from 1890.

 

BPD

Bombrini, Parodi et Delfino, Rome Italy. In addition to the .303 cartridges manufactured for Egypt this company also manufactured nitro-cellulose loaded 7.7 x 56R cartridges, which are interchangeable with the .303 round.

BPD - Bombrini, Parodi et Delfino, Rome Italy

BROWNING

Browning Arms Co. Manufacture thought to have been by Fabrique Nationale (National Weapons Factory) at Herstal in Belgium.  The bullet in the illustrated round was 180 gr, PSP type,

Browning

C..

Pirotecnico di Capua, Italy. Manufactured 7.7 x 56R bulleted blanks that are interchangeable with the .303 British.

 

CAC

Colonial Ammunition Co., Auckland, New Zealand. Produced .303 cartridges(Mk 6 Match)(Mk 6 and 6 converted), Blank (Mks 3, 5, 5z), BLK (Commercial), D (D Mk 9), Dummy (Mks 3, 4), Dummy (Non Regulation), Practice (Gaudet), Practice (short range... NZ pattern), 215 gr RNSP, 180 gr PSP, 180 gr HP, 174 gr PSP, 150 gr PSP, 130 gr PSP and 150 gr HP Sporting Ammunition, Mks 4 and 5 (Big Game Exploder) Sporting Ammunition, H.V. (Exploder) Sporting Ammunition.

CAC - Colonial Ammunition Co., Auckland New Zealand
CAC - Colonial Ammunition Co., Auckland New Zealand

CAC

Colonial Ammunition Co., Melbourne, Australia. Known to have produced during 1920-21.

 

CP

Crompton Parkinson Ltd, Guiseley, Yorkshire, UK, although filling took place at Doncaster (see below). This factory set up as part of the 1939-1945 war emergency expansion plan. Produced .303 cartridges during the period 1940 - 1944 in:- AP (W Mk 1)

CP - Crompton Parkinson Ltd, Guiseley, Yorkshire, UK

C-P

Crompton Parkinson Ltd, Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK. Production of Ammunition ceased in 1944. Known to have produced .303 cartridges in... AP W Mk, AP W Mk 1 Special, EAPA (1942)

 

D

Dominion Cartridge Co., Brownsburg, Quebec, Canada are known to have produced .303 ball cartridges.

 

D, DF, N or S

Indian Government Ammunition Factory, Dum Dum, Calcutta, India. This factory manufactured cartridges for use by the British Army in India as well as the Indian Army. In 1918 this factory was capable of producing at the rate of about 10 million rounds per month. The example at right is of their manufacture. The far right image shows the unusual neck crimp consisting of three parts of the circumference of a circle and three small triangular indents. They produced .303 cartridges in... Ball Cordite MK2, MK2 Special, MK6 and MK7, Ball Short Range Practice I.P. Mk 1*, Blank, Dummy Drill Mk 1. Incendiary,and Incendiary No 2 Mk 1

 

DA

Dominion Arsenal, Montreal, Canada made .303 cartridges in... Ball, Cordite Mk 6 Blank, Nitro-cellulose L Canadian Mk 1 (1955 & 1956)

DA

DAC

Dominion Arsenal, Quebec, Canada manufactured .303 cartridges in...  AP (W Mk 1), Ball Cordite MK6, Ball Cordite MK7, Ball, Match

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7Z (Late Pattern)

Blank, Cordite Mk 5 (Canadian Pattern)

Blank, Nitro-cellulose L Mk 5Z (Canadian Pattern)

Drill, D Mk 6 and D Mk 9

Drill D 1942 (Canadian Pattern)

Incendiary, Ball MK 7

Proof, Q Mk 4

Tracer G Mk 1 (Canadian Pattern)

Tracer G Mk 1Z (Canadian Pattern)

The 1939 DAC Mk VII is a match grade (turquoise bands) made for the Dominion Rifle Association (the Canadian equivalent to NRA) clubs and was intended for target shooting. Further images are available on the supplementary page.

DAC

DAL or LAC

Dominion Arsenal, Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. Produced .303 cartridges in... Ball Cordite MK7.

 

DC

Defence Industries, Brownsburg, Quebec, Canada made .303 cartridges in... Gallery Practice Mk 1 (Black powder - Canada) Gallery Practice Mk 1 (Smokeless - Canada) Gallery Practice Mk 2 (Canada)

 

DC

Dominion Cartridge Company, military production was a simple D with a C-broad arrow for the Brownsburg plant which later became the Dominion Ammunition Division of Canadian Industries Ltd. They operated factories in Brownsburg, Quebec and Montreal, and the illistration is a sporting cartridge. The DOMINION headstamp was used on commercial ammunition from 1911 untikl 1955. They also produced .303 cartridges in... Ball, Cordite Mk 2, 4, 6 and 7

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7 (Canadian WW1 contract pattern) 1914-16

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7Z (Canadian Pattern)

Drill D 1942 (Canadian Pattern)

Tracer G Mk 2Z, G Mk 4Z (Canadian Pattern)

 

DCC

Dominion Cartridge Company, Montreal plant, dates and types unknown

D.C.Co. Dominion Cartridge Company, Montreal Canada

DI

Defence Industries, Verdun, Canada. Known to have produced .303 cartridges in... Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7Z (Canadian Pattern)

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 8Z (Canadian Pattern)

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Ballistite H Mk 1Z (Canadian Pattern)

Drill D 1942 (Canadian Pattern)

Tracer G Mk 2Z, G Mk 4Z, G Mk 6Z (Canadian Pattern)

DI - Defence Industries, Verdun, Canada

Do

Hirtenberg Patronenfabrik factory at Dordrecht, Netherlands produced .303 ball cartridges.

 

DOMINION

Made by CIL (Canadian Industries Limited) in Quebec between 1911 and 1955. They later switched to the headstamp "Imperial".

DOMINION - Canadian Industries Limited, Quebec, Canada

DWM

Deutsche Waffen Und Munitionsfabrik, Karlsruhe, Germany produced both ball and blank .303 cartridges.

 

E or EB

Eley Brothers, Edmonton, London, UK. Factory in operation 1828 - 1919. During WW1 Eley produced in excess of 209 Million .303 Mk 7 cartridges. Eley Brothers produced cartridges in... Armour Piercing Mk VII.W

Ball, Cordite Mks 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7Z

Ball, Short Range Practice (Gaudet)

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Ballistite Mk 1

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Ballistite H Mk 1Z

Drill, Mk 3, Drill Mk 3 Expedient

Explosive Pomeroy Mk 1, PSA Mk 1, PSA (VII.A) MK 1

PSA Mk 2 and PSA (VII.AA) Mk 2

Incendiary BIK (VII.K) Mk 1

RL Tracer Mk 1, Tracer SPK Mk VII.T and SPG (VII.G) Mk 1Z

E - Eley Brothers, Edmonton, London, UK

E (reversed) or unstamped

Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan. Fabricated nitro-cellulose loaded Imperial Japanese Navy Year Type 92 Machine Gun Ammunition, which is interchangeable with the .303 cartridge in... Armour Piercing, Ball, Incendiary- [Phosphorus filling] & Tracer

 

F or AF or SAAF

Small Arms Ammunition Factory, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia. Known to have produced .303 cartridges in... Ball, Cordite Mk 7

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Ballistite H Mk 1Z

Drill, D Mk 6

 

FC

Federal Cartridge Co, Anoka, Minn., USA. Known to have produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 jacketed soft point sporting Ammunition with 180 gr and 150 gr bullets.

FC - Federal Cartridge Co. Anoka Minn, USA

Fiocchi

Fiocchi Munizioni (Fiocchi Ammunition) is one of Italy's largest and oldest manufacturers of ammunition. Fiocchi Munizioni was founded on 3 July 1876 in Lecco, Italy, by accountant Giulio Fiocchi.

 

Exported Mk7 type Ammunition in the 1950s from Italy.

 

FN

Fabrique National d'Armes de Guerre, Herstal, Belgium produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges in... Ball, FN 8/7

Blank

Bulleted Blank

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, H Mk 7Z, M11 and M12

Incendiary

Tracer L83

Jacketed soft point sporting Ammunition

FN

FNB

 

Fabrique Nationale Herstal, Herstal, Belgium  This FNB headstamp round was equipped with a 174 gr, Mk VII bullet.

FNB - Fabrique Nationale Herstal, Herstal, Belgium

FNM

 

Fabrica Nacional de Municoes e Armas Legeiras, Moscavide, Portugal. Known to have produced nitro-cellulose loaded 7.7 x 56R ball Ammunition which is interchangeable with the .303 cartridges

FNM - Fabrica Nacional de Municoes e Armas Legeiras, Moscavide, Portugal

FNT

Fabrica Nacional de Espana, Palencia, Spain. Made .303 cartridges in... Ball Mk 7Z.

 

G, GB or GBF

 

Greenwood and Batley, Leeds, UK. This company manufactured Ammunition from an early stage, finally ceasing production in the late 1950s. They had a filling factory at Abbey Wood and later during the 1939-45 war a filling factory at Farnham. The headstamp code G, denoting manufacturer, should not be confused with G as in GIV indicating a tracer cartridge. During WW1 Greenwood & Batley are known to have produced in excess of 705 million .303 Mk 7 cartridges. They are known to have manufactured .303 cartridges in... Ball, Black powder Mk 2

Ball, Cordite Mks 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Ball, Match

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7Z

Bulleted Blank Mk 6

Drill, D Mk 6, D Mk 9

Dummy, Drill Mk 5

Proof OSP

GB - Greendwood and Batley, Leeds, UK
GB

GA

Grenfell and Accles Ltd, Perry Barr, Birmingham, UK. The company was formed in the early 1890s having acquired the Holford Works of the National Arms and Ammunition Company and was in existence for only a short time. Known to have manufactured Black powder Ball Mk 2 .303 cartridges from 1891 - 1896.

 

G18F1 or C18F1

Government Cartridge Factory No 1, Blackheath, Staffs., UK. This factory was built in 1916 and was administered on behalf of the Government by the Birmingham Metal and Munitions Co. .303 cartridge production started in early 1918 and continued until late 1918 when the factory ceased production altogether. Type in production... BNCMK7Z.

 

G..F3 or C..F3

Government Cartridge Factory No 3, Blackpole, Worcestershire, UK. This factory was built in 1916 and was administered on behalf of the Government by the Kings Norton Metal Co. Production of .303 cartridges did not start until late 1918 and the production of all Ammunition ceased in early 1919. Known to have manufactured .303 cartridges in... Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7Z and SPG Tracer (VIII G)

 

GKB or K

George Kynoch, Birmingham, UK. This company was first formed in 1862 and manufactured percussion caps. It became G. Kynoch & Co Ltd in 1884 and by then was manufacturing metallic Ammunition. It became Kynoch Ltd in 1897. Prior to the formation of Kynoch Ltd (see Kynoch) it produced .303 cartridges in... Ball, Black powder Mks 1 and 2.

 

GEVELOT

Gevelot & Gaupillat Freres, Paris, France. produced .303 ball cartridges for export.

GEVELOT - Gevelot & Gaupillat Freres, Paris
Holland
 
 

Holland

Holland

Hornady

Hornady manufactured their Custom brand of nitro-cellulose loaded .303 Ammunition in the following sporting cartridges... 150 gr Spire Point Soft nosed and 174 gr Round Soft nosed.

 

HN or H↑N

Royal Ordnance Factory, Hirwaun, South Wales, UK. This factory was set up as part of the 1939-45 war emergency expansion plan. It was involved in the production of .303 cartridges in only a very limited way and is known to have manufactured Tracer G Mk 2 (in cases dated 1943 and 1944).

H↑N - Royal Ordinance Factory, Hirwaun, South Wales, UK

HXP

Greek Powder and Cartridge Co, Athens, Greece made nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges in... Ball, L1A1 to British Government contract(1982-85) Ball (1969) Blank 

HXP - Greek Powder and Cartridge Co, Athens, Greece

IMPERIAL

Canadian Industries Ltd, Montreal, Canada and Plattsburg, NY, USA. Produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 sporting Ammunition in 180 gr jacketed soft point. The imperial headstamp is from was used in the 1955 - 1976 era.

IMPERIAL - Canadian Industries Ltd, Montreal, Canada

INTERARMCO

International Armament Corporation (INTERARMCO or INTERARMS) was founded by Samuel Cummings in 1953. INTERARMCO was located in Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Thought to have been manufactured by Fabrique Nationale Herstal, Herstal, Belgium for Interarmco.

INTERARMCO

J 18

Birmingham Metals & Munitions Co./Nobel, Birmingham, UK

 

K or KYNOCH

Kynoch & Co, Witton, Birmingham, UK. This firm was first formed by George Kynoch at Witton in 1862 as a manufacturer of percussion caps. It was changed to a limited company in 1884 as G. Kynoch & Co Ltd and by then was manufacturing metallic Ammunition. A further reorganisation and expansion followed in 1889 when George Kynoch was ousted from the management and this then culminated in a further change of title to Kynoch Ltd in 1897. During the period ending with the 1914-18 war Kynoch, which by then was the largest of the British commercial Ammunition manufacturers, owned rolling mills at Witton, at Lodge Road, Birmingham and at Eyre Street, Birmingham. At various times it had propellant factories at Arklow, County Durham, making cordite, at Warsboro Dale, Yorkshire, making black powder and at Kynochtown, Stanford Le Hope, Essex, making smokeless powder. In addition to these plants the original cap production was maintained at Witton. Later, effective tracer and incendiary composition operations were also carried out at Witton. After the war in 1918 Kynoch Ltd, in common with most other British small arms Ammunition manufacturers, was merged into Explosives Trades Ltd, later to become Nobel Industries. In 1926 when Nobel Industries became part of the new Imperial Chemical Industries, the old Kynoch factory at Witton was retained as the Ammunition centre as part of the Metal Group within ICI. The propellant interests being concentrated mainly at Ardeer within the Nobel Division of ICI. In 1962 the Metals Division of ICI was reorganised as a separate company known as Imperial Metal Industries (Kynoch) Ltd. During WW1 Kynoch produced in excess of 2,373 million .303 cartridges.

The following .303 cartridges were produced by Kynoch... Armour Piercing Mks VII.S, VII.P, VII.W, W Mk 1 and W Mk 1Z

Ball, Blackpowder Mk 2

Ball, Cordite Mks 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Ball, Match

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mks 7Z and 8Z

Ball, Short Range Practice

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 8z with Aluminium Case

Blank, Ballistite L Mk 9Z

Blank, Black powder Mk 2

Blank, Cordite Mks 4 and 5

Blank, Nitro-cellulose L Mk 5Z

Bulleted Blank, Black powder Mk 1

Bulleted Blank, Mk 6

Bulleted Blank, L Mk 7

Bulleted Blank, L Mk 10

Cartridge Line Thrower H Mk 2

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Ballistite H Mk 1Z

Drill, D Mk 6, D Mk 8, D Mk 9 and D Mk 10

Dummy, Drill Mk 4

Greener Triplex Cartridge

Incendiary Buckingham Mk VII.B

Incendiary Ball MK 3, Ball MK 4Z*, Ball MK 6, Ball MK 6Z,

Ball MK 7 and Ball MK 7Z

Practice Tracer PG Mk 1

Proof Q Mk 3

Tracer, Self Destroying

Tracer Mk VII.G, G Mk 1, G Mk 2, G Mk 2Z, G Mk 3,

Tracer G Mk 3Z, G Mk 4, G Mk 5, G Mk 6, G Mk 6Z,

G Mk 7, G Mk 8 and G Mk 8Z

Triple Ball Experimental (1918) See... Pawnbroker special

180 gr Jacketed soft point sporting Ammunition

Streamlined Pattern 1927 Match Cartridge

Streamlined Pattern 1936-37 Match Cartridge

Streamlined Pattern 1947 Match Cartridge

Bulleted blanks for Bren, Lewis and Vickers

French Drill Cartridge

Experimental armour piercing

Experimental semi-armour piercing

Experimental armour piercing tracer

Experimental armour piercing incendiary (1956)

Experimental tank piercing (1940)

Experimental Tracers

Experimental Observation

Experimental Bulleted Blanks

K - Kynoch & Co., Witton, Birmingham, UK
K - Kynoch & Co., Witton, Birmingham, UK
KYNOCH - Kynoch & Co., Witton, Birmingham, UK

K2  

Imperial Chemical Industries Kynoch factory at Standish, near Wigan, Lancs, UK. This factory was set up as part of the 1939-45 war emergency plans and produced its first complete .303 rounds in October 1940. Known to have manufactured .303 cartridges in... Armour Piercing, W Mk 1 Special

Ball, Cordite Mk 7

Shot Cartridge

Tracer G Mk 2, G Mk 3and G Mk 6

K2 - Imperial Chemical Industries Kynoch factory at Standish, near Wigan, Lancs, UK

K4

Imperial Chemical Industries Kynoch factory at Yeading, Hayes, Middlesex, UK. This factory was also set up as part of the 1939-45 war emergency expansion plans. Cartridge cases were being produced by late 1940, but the ball bullets were still being imported into the factory in 1941.This factory produced... Ball, Cordite Mk 7

Tracer G Mk 2,G Mk 3, G Mk 4, G Mk 5 and G Mk 6

K4

K5

Imperial Chemical Industries Kynoch factory at Kidderminster, Worcestershire., UK. Set up as part of the 1939-45 war emergency expansion plans. Known to have produced .303 cartridges in... Armour Piercing, W Mk 1

Ball, Cordite Mk 7

Incendiary Ball MK 7Z

Tracer, G Mk 2, G Mk 3 and G Mk 6

K5 - Imperial Chemical Industries Kynoch factory at Kidderminster, Worchestershire, UK

KF or K

Indian Government Ammunition Factory Kirkee (or Kirkee Arsenal), near Poona, INDIA. In 1918 this factory had the capacity to produce about 5.4 million rounds per month.

They manufactured .303 cartridges in... Armour Piercing W Mk 1 and W Mk 1 IP

Ball, Cordite Mk 2, Mk 2 Special, Mk 6 and Mk 7

Ball SBall MK 1

Blank

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Cordite H Mk 3 and H Mk 5

Drill, D Mk 6 and D Mk 7

Lachrymatory Cartridge

Observation O Mk 2 and O Mk 3

Tracer G Mk 1 and G Mk 2

K broad arrow F

KN

Kings Norton Metal Co., Birmingham, UK. This company was formed in 1890 at Kings Norton, it owned its own rolling mills and had a loading plant at Abbey wood in Kent. Cases were made in Birmingham then assembled and loaded at the Abbey Wood Factory, next to Woolwich Arsenal.

Produced .303 cartridges up to 1919 in... Armour Piercing VII.F, VII.FZ and VII.W

Ball, Cordite Mks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7

Ball, Match

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mk 7Z

Blank Cordite Mk 5

Bulleted Blank Mk 6

Dummy, Drill Mk 3, Mk 3 Expedient, Mk 5

Explosive RTS (VII.R) Mk 2

Incendiary BIK (VII.K) Mk 1

Incendiary Buckingham (VII.B) and Ball MK 3

Tracer SPG Mk VIIG Mk 1 and Mk 1Z

Experimental RTT Explosive Cartridge

Experimental Blank Cartridges

KN

L

There is some confusion over this headstamp code as both Lorenz Ammunition and Ordnance Co, Millwall, London, UK and Ludlow and Co, Wolverhampton, Staffs, UK are believed to have used the letter L as their code and both manufactured .303 cartridges between 1887 and 1890. Both firms are believed to have manufactured .303 Black powder Mk 2 Ball Cartridges

 

L-E or U

Remington UMC, Bridgeport, Conn., USA. {On UK Government contracts 1914 - 1915}. manufactured nitro-cellulose loaded .303 Ball, Mk 7 cartridges

 

M

Nobel Explosives Ltd., Manchester, UK. Manufactured .303 cartridges between 1914 - 1918 in... Ball, Cordite Mk 7 and Explosive, PSA Mk 2

 

MAXIM

Maxim Arms Co.,London, UK. The cases were made by BSA for Maxim machine guns in the 1890s. Cartridges known to have been manufactured in: Ball, Cordite Mk 2

MAXIM Arms Co., London, UK

MEN

Maschinenfabrik Elisenhutte, Nassau, West Germany. This producer has now become Metallwerk Elisenhütte GmbH Nassau. This company produced .303 ball cartridges during 1988 [Harrington website].

 
METALLVERKEN

METALLVERKEN

MEXICO

Fabrica National de Munitions, Mexico City, Mexico produced .303 ball cartridges.

 

MF or AÎF

Small Arms Ammunition Factory No 1, Footscray, Victoria, Australia. manufactured .303 cartridges in... Armour Piercing W Mk 1

Ball, Cordite Mk 7

Blank, Cordite L Mk 5

Blank, Mk 9Z

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Cordite H Mk 4

Drill, D M 7/N

Incendiary Ball MK 7

Proof Q Mk 3 and Q Mk 4

Tracer G Mk 2 {Australian Pattern}

MG

 

Small Arms Ammunition Factory No 2, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia. 1940 - 1949. Changed to "MG" in early 1940. The G denoted Gordon Street, Footscray.Known to have manufactured .303 cartridges in... Ball, Cordite Mk 7 and Incendiary Ball MK 7.

MG

MH

Small Arms Ammunition Factory No 3, Hendon, South Australia. Wartime factory used from 1940 to 1945. Known to have produced .303 cartridges in... Ball, Cordite Mk 7

Blank, Cordite L Mk 5

Tracer G Mk 2 {Australian Pattern}

Incendiary Ball MK 7

MH

MI

Societe Meridionale d'Industrie, Robert Paulet & Cie, formerly called Cartoucherie Leon Paulet, Marseille, France made 7.7 x 56R ball cartridges.

 

MJ

Small Arms Ammunition Factory No 4, Hendon, South Australia. Wartime factory used from 1941 to 1945. Produced 303 cartridges in... Ball Cordite MK7.

MJ

MKE

Makina ve Kimya Endustrisi, Kuruma, Turkey manufactured 7.7 x 56R ball cartridges.

 

MQ

Small Arms Ammunition Factory No 5, Rocklea, Queensland. Wartime factory used from 1942 to 1943 when factory was closed. Produced .303 Ball Cordite MK7.

 

MS

Explosives Factory, Salisbury, South Australia. This was not a Small Arms Ammunition Factory. "MS" Only found on Tracer G2 and G2Z. 1944. Metal components made at M J. Australia... made .303 Ball Cordite MK7 and TRGMK2Z {Australian pattern}.

 

MW

Small Arms Ammunition Factory No 6, Welshpool, Western Australia. Wartime factory used from 1942 to 1945

 

nny See PP

 

 

NORMA or norma

Norma Projectilfabrik, Amotfors, Sweden produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges in... BBLK, 130gr, 150gr, 180gr and 215 gr jacketed soft point sporting rounds.

NORMA - Norma Projectilbafrik, Amotfors, Sweden

OFN

Government Ordinance Factory, Lagos, Nigeria produced .303 ball cartridges.

 

P or PC or PETERS

Peters Cartridge Co., Kings Mills, Ohio, USA. Produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges in... Ball, Mk 7. British military contracts between 1914 & 1917, Ball, Mk 7Z (Canadian Pattern). On British military contracts 1940-45 180 & 215 gr jacketed soft point sporting Ammunition

PETERS

PMC

Precision Made Cartridge - Eldorado Cartridge Corporation (was Patton and Morgan Corp., and Pan Metal Corp.) PO Box 62508, Boulder City, NV 89006. The PMC head stamped Ammunition for ECC has been made in Korea, the Philippines, Mexico and the Republic of South Africa. I am also told that PMC originally stood for "Pan Metallic Corporation" and they were initially made in Korea.

PMC - Precision Made Cartridge,

PMP

Pretoria Metal Pressings (Pty) Ltd., Pretoria, South Africa made nitro-cellulose filled .303 cartridges in... 174 gr Full jacket boat tail bulleted Ammunition

150 and 174 gr jacketed soft point sporting Ammunition.

PMP

POF

Pakistan Ordnance Factory, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Known to have produced .303 cartridges in... B, BLK, GLB, Proof (Mk 3).

POF

PP or nny

Prvi Partizan, Titovo Uzice, Yugoslavia. (Yugoslav arsenal code PPU, which in Cyrillic looks like 'nny'.) Their latest address is... Prvi Partizan, Milosa Obrenovica 2, 31000 Uzice, SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO, Phone: +381 31 511 382, Fax: +318 31 515 350 Email: office@prvipartizan.com The Prvi Partizan company was founded in 1928. In those days it was operating under the name FOMU - Arms and Ammunition Factory Uzice involved in shotgun Ammunition manufacture. The factory had developed pistol and revolver Ammunition production by the year 1938. This factory has produced .303 cartridges in... Ball, Mk 7, 7Z , 8 and 8Z and various sporting loads. Since the break up of Yugoslavia the factory is in Serbia and Ammunition is sold in boxes that have the Wolf brand.

NNY - Prvi Partizan, Titovo Uzice, Yugoslavia
NNY - Prvi Partizan, Titovo Uzice, Yugoslavia
PP - Prvi Partizan, Titovo Uzice, Yugoslavia
PP - Prvi Partizan, Titovo Uzice, Yugoslavia

PS or S

Pirotechnico Militar de Seville, Spain made 7.7 x 56R cartridges which are interchangeable with the .303 cartridge in... Ball and Tracer (Green tip).

PS - Pirotechnico Militar De Seville, Spain

RA

Remington Arms Co.,Inc., Bridgeport, Conn., USA. Nitro-cellulose filled .303 WW1 Contract Pattern cartridges were produced during the period 1914 - 1917 as. Ball, Mk 7.

 

RA

Raufoss Ammunisjonsfabrikker, Raufoss, Norway produced .303 ball cartridges c 1934

 

REM-UMC

Remington-Union Metallic Cartridge 1911-1960, then became R-P (Remington Peters)

REM-UMC - Remington-Union Metallic Cartrdige, USA

RG or

Royal Ordinance Factory, Radway Green, Cheshire, UK. This factory was part of the 1939 - 45 war emergency expansion plans being situated near Crewe and is still in operation. Production of the .303 cartridge commenced in 1940 and the last known production of this cartridge was in 1973 with Mk 7Z Ball and Dummy Drill cartridges. Initial Radway Green production used a single arrow as the headstamp code and this was replaced in 1942 by the RG code.

Armour Piercing W Mk 1, W Mk 1 Special and W Mk 1Z

Ball, Cordite Mk 7

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mks 7Z and 8Z

Blank, Ballistite L Mk 9Z

Blank, Cordite L Mk 5

Blank, Nitro-cellulose L Mk 5Z

Bulleted Blank, Nitro-cellulose L Mk 10Z

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Cordite H Mk 2, H Mk 4 and H Mk 4Z

Drill, D Mk 10

Dummy Drill 1973 Pattern

Dummy, U Mk 5

Incendiary Ball MK 6, Ball MK 6Z, Ball MK 7 and Ball MK 7Z

Proof, Q Mk 3

Tracer G Mk 2 and G Mk 8

RG - Royal Ordinance Factory, Radway Green, Chesire, UK
↑ - Royal Ordinance Factory, Radway Green, Cheshire, UK

RH

Raleigh Cycle Co, Nottingham, UK. Made Ball Cordite MK7... 1941 - 1945.

 
RIVERBRAND

Riverbrand Ammunition Company was founded immediately after WWII in South Australia using machinery acquired from SAAF numbers 3 & 4 (MH and MJ) at Hendon, SA. The owner was Syd Churches who also had a hand in the original “Taipan” Bullet company also of South Australia.

Initially they made remanufactured .303 using Military (berdan) Cases, reprimed with Non-corrosive RWS primers, and Taipan Bullets. When Riverbrand got into making Boxer cases, the initial lots were also marked RBA...this changed to the full "Riverbrand" stamping as the quality got better.

Riverbrand folded up in the late 70s early 80s ( the owner retired/died) and there just wasn't the market for a second factory of commercial ammo in Australia.

The Bullet making machinery from Riverbrand and Taipan ended up in Qld, with another Hobby bullet maker, who retained the Taipan name. It is still in operation, but at reduced production since the major toolmaker/die setter died a couple of years ago. Most of the machinery is Waterbury-Farrel (USA) or Heine and co (Sydney); all WW II acquisitions in the big ammo factory expansions.

 

RIVERBRAND

RL

Royal Laboratory, Woolwich Arsenal, Kent, UK. Woolwich Arsenal, of which the Royal Laboratory was only a part, is situated in South East London on the River Thames. The Arsenal dates from 1670 and has manufactured many different items of warlike stores for the armed forces. Ammunition was made at Woolwich long before the adoption of the .303 cartridge in 1889. Ammunition production ceased completely at Woolwich in 1957, the last known production of .303 Ammunition there being Mk 7 Ball in 1957. The Woolwich site apart from containing all the supportive facilities for the research, design, development, inspection and testing of Ammunition also included an extensive range complex on the Plumpstead Marshes. In addition there was a filling area not far away in the vicinity of Abbey Wood.

The following .303 cartridges are known to have been produced since 1889... Armour Piercing Mks VII.S, VII.P, VII.PZ, VII.W, VII.WZ, W Mk 1,

W Mk 1 Special and W MK 1Z

Ball, Black powder Mks 1,and 2

Ball, Cordite Mks 1, 2, 2*, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Ball, Match

Ball, Nitro-cellulose Mks 7z, 8z & 7z RC (reduced charge)

Ball, Short Range Practice, Cordite Mks 1,2,3 and 4

Ball, Short Range Practice (Gaudet)

Blank, Black powder Mks 2 and 3

Blank, Cordite, Mks 2, 3, 4, 5

Blank, Cordite L Mk 5

Bulleted Blank, Black powder Mk 1

Bulleted Blank, Cordite Mks 1, 6

Bulleted Blank, L Mk 7

Bulleted Blank, L Mk 10Z

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Cordite Mks 1 and 2

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Cordite H Mk 2

Cartridge Rifle Grenade, Ballistite H Mk 1Z

Cartridge Discharger, Black powder E Mk 1T

Drill, Magazine Rifle Mk 1 and 2

Drill D Mk 6, D Mk 6*, D Mk 7, D Mk 8 and D Mk 9

Dummy, U Mk 5

Dummy Drill Mks 3, 4, 5, 6

Dummy Version of Explosive R Mk 3*

Inspectors Dummy Mk 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Explosive R Mk 1, R Mk 2, R Mk 3, and R Mk 3*

Incendiary Buckingham (VII.B), Ball MK 1, Ball MK 2Z, Ball MK 4,Ball MK 4

Ball MK 5, Ball MK 6, Ball MK 6Z and Ball MK 7

Instructional Mk 6

Machine Gun Blank, Cordite Mk 1

Machine Gun Dummy Mks 1 and 2

Observing O Mk 1

Proof, Cordite Mk 1, Mk 2, Mk 3, Q Mk 3, Q Mk 4 and Q Mk 5

Shot Cartridges

RL Tracer Mk 1

Tracer SPK(VII.T) and SPK(VII.TZ)

Tracer SPG(VII.G) Mk 1 and SPG(VII.G) Mk1Z

Tracer G Mk 1, G Mk 1 Special, G Mk 2, G Mk 3 and G Mk 4

Experimental steel anti fouling bulleted rounds

Experimental Armour Piercing Tracer (1917-18)

Experimental Armour Piercing Cartridges

Experimental Bulleted Blanks

Experimental Explosive, RTS and RTT Cartridges

Experimental Grenade Launching Cartridges

Experimental Lachrymatory Cartridge

R broad arrow L - Royal Laboratory, Woolrich Arsenal, Kent, UK

RNRA

Rhodesia National Rifle Association nitro-cellulose loaded .303 Mk 7z Ball manufactured by FNM of Moscavide in Portugal.

R-P

Remington Arms Co, Bridgeport, Conn., USA made nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges in:- 180 & 215 gr jacketed soft point sporting forms.

R-P - Remington Arms Co, Bridgeport, Conn., USA

RR or RRCO

Ross Rifle Co, Montreal, Canada. Produced .303 Mk 7 ball Ammunition in cases believed to have been made by Eley.

RTS

Richard Threlfall and Sons, UK... explosive anti - Zeplin cartridges.

R..W

Rudge Whitworth Ltd., Tyseley, UK. This company was the only new commercial Ammunition manufacturer put into business by the Government as a result of demand in the 1914 - 18 war. They received their first Government contract for the supply of Mk 7 Ball Ammunition in 1915 and continued to produce .303 cartridges from 1915 - 1918 in... Ball Cordite MK7, DUMK5, I (Buckingham VII.B), I (Ball MK 1),I (Ball MK 2Z), TR (SPG VII.G), TR (Mk 1Z).

S&B

Sellier & Bellot, 180 gr full metal jacket and 150 gr soft point sporting, both types boxer primed.

S&B - Sellier & Bellot

SBR

Sellier & Bellot, Riga, Latvia... produced .303 ball cartridges c 1937

SFM

Societe Francaise des Munitions, Issy - les - Moulineaux, France manufactured nitro-cellulose loaded .303 ball cartridges for export pre 1939.

SI

SI

SI

SMI

Societa Metallurgica Italiana, Campo Tizzoro, Italy made nitro-cellulose loaded 7.7 x 56R Ammunition types B7756R and TR7756R.

SMI - Societa Metallurgica Italiana

SR or ↑↑

Royal Ordnance Factory, Spennymoor, Durham, UK. This factory was part of the 1939-45 war emergency expansion plan. It began production of .303 Ammunition in 1941 initially with the headstamp code of two arrows replacing these in 1942 with the code SR. The Spennymoor Ammunition was filled at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Aycliffe, Durham. Types... B, MK7, MK8Z, IBMK6, IBMK6Z, IBMK7, IBMK7Z,LTBLK (Mk5) were manufactured.

SR - Royal Ordinance Factory, Spennymoor, Durham, UK.
↑↑ - Royal Ordinance Factory, Spennymoor, Durham, UK

SUPER SPEED

see Winchester below.

SUPER X

SUPER-X

TM..B

Pirotechnia di Bologna, Italy produced nitro-cellulose loaded 7.7 x 56R Ammunition, interchangeable with the .303 in... B and TR.

THOMAS BLAND & SONS

(stamp require verifying) made .303 ball and sporting Ammunition.

U or SAM or

U ◊

South African Mint, Pretoria, South Africa... U code from 1939 - 1961 and SAM 1962 onwards. (When U is used with a diamond this represents the Kimberley factory... B, Ball Cordite MK7, TRGMK2, Semi AP (F Mk 1), Jacketed soft point sporting.

U - South African Mint, Pretoria, South Africa
U ◊ - South African Mint, Pretoria, South Africa
UMC

United Metal Cartridge Co., Bridgeport, Conn

U.M.C. - United Metal Cartridge, USA

US

 

United States Cartridge Co, Lowell, Mass., USA made nitro-cellulose loaded .303 Ball Mk 7 cartridges during 1914 - 1917.

The finishing date has been called into question... By finds made by 'Juergen' from Magdeburg, the four Headstamps illustrated at right were all found in the same cache of Ammunition that was made between WWI and WWII.

The very poor quality crimp shown at upper right is typical of worn out machinery that had been patched up to reach the end of WWII.

It might be speculated that the 'missing' primer crimp is also due to faulty machinery or broken tooling.

US - United States Cartridge Co. Lowell, Mass
U.S.C.Co. - United States Cartridge Co. Lowell, Mass, USA

VE

Cartoucherie de Valence, France have produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 Ball cartridges

VPT

 

Valtion Patruunatehdas, Lapua, Finland produced Ilmavoimat Konekivaarin Patruuna Kal 7.70 machine gun cartridges, which are interchangeable with the .303 cartridge in... 'Special' B, 'Special' AP.

VPT - Valtion Patruunatehdas, Lapua, Finland

W or WRA

 

Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, Conn., USA. Known to have made nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges for 1914 - 1917 military contracts as... B, and Mk 7.

During WW2... B, Mk 7Z (Contract Pattern),Scott multiball (duplex) and 180 gr jacketed soft point sporting Ammunition.

WRA - Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, Conn
W - Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, Conn
W.R.A. Co. - Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

WCC or WESTERN

Western Cartridge Co., East Alton, Ill., USA. Known to have produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 cartridges in... B, Mk 7Z (WW2 Contract Pattern).

WESTERN - Western Cartridge Co., East Alton, Ill., USA

WW SUPER or WINCHESTER

Winchester Western (unsure which factory) 180 gr 'Power Point', brass trimmed to 2.208", Boxer primed, overall length 3.055", muzzle velocity 2367 fps.

W-W SUPER - Winchester Western, USA
SuperSpeed - Winchester, USA

W-W

Winchester Western Division of Olin Industries, New Haven, Conn., USA. Produced nitro-cellulose loaded .303 180 gr Jacketed soft point sporting Ammunition.

 

y

Toyokawa Naval Arsenal, Japan. Known to have produced nitro-cellulose loaded Imperial Japanese Navy Year Type 92 Machine Gun Ammunition which is interchangeable with the .303 cartridge in... AP, IP, TR, B.

 

ZV

Zbrojovka Brno, Brno, Czechoslovakia made .303 cartridges in... B, Mk 7, MK 8Z

 

 

CHINA made some 7.7mm rimmed Ammunition for use in captured Japanese machine guns from 1945 onwards. This cartridge is interchangeable with the .303 British cartridges.

 

 

EGYPT produced .303 ball Ammunition at the Government Arsenal Shoubra, United Arab Republic and Factory No 10 at Alexandria in Egypt.

 

Misr or Egypt. 1952-58 ????

See information below.

EGYPT

 

ETHIOPA manufactured .303 ball cartridges c 1959

 

 

FRANCE manufactured several variants of the .303 cartridge, including:- B, TR, I, AP, AP with Tracer.

ج

IRAQ is known to have produced .303 Ball cartridges, but details are missing. Iraqi Stamps often have a triangle and symbols, the images at right were provided by Lee Ratcliff. Note the poor centering of the primer crimping groove.

The headstamp symbol shown with the dot inside is “Gimel” or the third letter of the Aramaic alphabet. The picture to the right is a cartridge produced in 1958. See picture at the bottom of this document.

IRAQ

 

ISRAEL manufactured .303 ball cartridges at the Government Arsenal, Tel Aviv, Israel. c 1948

 

 

JAPAN is known to have manufactured nitro-cellulose loaded Imperial Japanese Army Year Type 89 Machine Gun Ammunition, which is interchangeable with the .303 cartridge, without any headstamp codes in... APNC, TR.

 

7.7  7  3-1

JAPAN is also known to have manufactured nitro-cellulose Imperial Japanese Navy Year Type 92 Machine Gun Ammunition, which is interchangeable with the .303 cartridge, at their Aichi Naval Arsenal, Toyokawa Naval Arsenal and Yokosuka Naval Arsenal in the following types... APNC, TR, B, HE (Violet Primer), IP.

 

 

SPAIN manufactured .303 Ammunition and used it on a limited scale during and after the Civil War of 1936 - 39.

 

Reference Data
 
Modern Arabic Numbers – Used to decipher Iraq headstamp above.
Iraqi Numbers
   
Egyptian Headstamps (United Arab Republic, Arab Republic of Egypt)
 
Misr U.A.R. (With Syria) U.A.R. A.R.E
1952-58 1958-61 1961-71 1971-
   
Headstamps for Egypt follow the common standard. Country Abreviation is at 12 o'clock, date code at 6 o'clock. Sometimes factory ID is at 3 and 9 o'clock. During Egypt's history, the country was referred to by several names. With the revolution of 1952 it was refered to as Egypt (Misr). This changed with the formation of the UAR (United Arab Republic) which included Syria. Syria dropped out in 1961 but UAR was still used as an ammunition mark. In 1971 the country was renamed the Arab Republic of Egypt and the headstamp changed once again.