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Thread: .303 British ammo in Afghanistan

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    .303 British ammo in Afghanistan

    Have found the following .303 Headstamps. All ammo berdan primed

    British factories
    /|\ = UK Government Property. Formerly the badge of the Sidney family, the broad arrow (or "Devil's Claws") symbol was appropriated by the British government to indicate the item was government issue
    The 'Z' suffix Refers to graphite glazed nitro-cellulose propellant

    B/|\E
    Royal Ordnance Factory, Blackpole, Worcester, UK
    Ball, Mk VII 1941 dated

    K or KYNOCH
    Kynoch & Co, Witton, Birmingham, UK.
    Ball, Mk VIIZ 1918 dated
    Ball Mk VII 1933 and 1937 dated
    Armor Piercing, W Mk I 1940 and 1941 dated

    K5
    Imperial Chemical Industries Kynoch factory at Kidderminster, Worcestershire., UK
    Armor Piercing, W Mk I 1942 dated

    R/|\L
    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. Arsenal est in 1670
    Ball, Mk VII 1941 dated

    Canadian factories
    DAC
    Dominion Arsenal, Quebec, Canada
    Ball, Mk VII 1941 and 1942 dated

    DI
    Defence Industries, Verdun, Canada
    Ball, Mk VII Z 1942 dated

    Indian factories
    K/|\F
    Indian Government Ammunition Factory Kirkee (or Kirkee Arsenal), near Poona, INDIA
    Ball, Mk VII 1936, 1938 and 1942

    Some cases are sterile and those have copper jacketed bullets. Guns I get to shoot the ammo out of BREN Mk 2 LMG, Pattern 1914 (Remington produced) and a No 1 Mk III (GRI, 1945)

    CD
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    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17' & 18'

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    That's some interesting information.
    A great example of the influence of the British empire and proof of the longevity of metallic cartridges.

    What's the story behind the sterile (unmarked) casings? Local production or made for clandestine services ?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    That's some interesting information.
    A great example of the influence of the British empire and proof of the longevity of metallic cartridges.

    What's the story behind the sterile (unmarked) casings? Local production or made for clandestine services ?
    Don't know about the serial ammo. Found in Taliban caches.

    CD
    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17' & 18'

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Combat Diver View Post
    Don't know about the serial ammo. Found in Taliban caches.

    CD
    I wonder if that was introduced into that region by the U.S. government during the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation?
    OR
    introduced into that region by some other government entity during that time frame?

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    How is the .303 you are finding for hangfires?

    The silver looking jacket material is cupro-nickel and the source of the great lumpy looking, accuracy destroying, fouling common in early smokeless guns. The "Ordnance Department Metal Fouling Solution" , commonly known as "Ammonia Dope," was the answer, sort-of, when the problem arose in the US Army.
    Cupro-nickel was fine in the Krag but the increased velocity of the .30-06 cartridge the fouling quickly built up to problem levels. The dope would dissolve the metal fouling alright, but it was tricky to use. The "dope" was poured into a rifle barrel with a "corked chamber". A piece of rubber tubing was placed over the muzzle to allow the dope to cover the muzzle and prevent any air getting to any metal exposed to the dope. Any contact with air would ruin the barrel within a few minutes. Needless to say, Ammonia Dope was not exactly a welcome solution to
    the problem, but came under the heading of "what price accuracy". If the chamber plug became dislodged while the solution was in the bore, the stuff would run down into the receiver and cause extreme rusting wherever it touched the metal. At best the dope was a nuisance and at worst, a disaster. The formula for the dope for those of you who are curious was:

    • Ammonia Persulphate 1 ounce
    • Ammonia Carbonate 200 grains
    • Stronger Ammonia Water (28%) 6 ounces
    • Water 4 ounces


    The solution had to be made up fresh for each use. If the dope became "stale" it became corrosive to the barrel. After a 20-minute treatment, the solution had to be immediately poured from the bore. The bore was then dried and oiled. This treatment dissolved the metal fouling and left the bore pristine for further firing. Needless to say, the troops (and competition rifle shooters) looked for alternative methods of reducing the irritating cupro-nickel fouling. The British used a cleaner called Motty Paste which was a form of jeweler's rouge which had to be used along with a lot of elbow grease to scrub it out.

    Gilding metal proved to be the eventual answer.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    Although the region is awash with the attempted "Foreign Sales" and "Foreign Intervention" products of centuries; I would postulate that some of that STERILE ammunition may well be the product of China, Russia, Pakistan, or even India as they attempt to influence various local powers in the area. Many would argue that there is no reason for a "Current" political influence to provide an older style ammunition (.303 British) as they are technologically defunct; but the possession of older firearms and handing them down through generations is not uncommon in the less affluent portions of the Wold (or even here in the good ole US of A).
    Last edited by MUSTANG; 12-24-2018 at 05:40 PM.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    How about the U.S. government providing ammunition to indigenous forces friendly to the U.S. and already armed with Lee Enfield rifles during the Soviet occupation (79-89).

    We had a desire to support forces friendly to us during that time but would want plausible deniability that we were supporting those forces. Whose hands that ammunition later fell into is anyone's guess.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 12-24-2018 at 02:14 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the US also provided some sterile headstamp .303 made by WCC in the 1980s when the Afghans were fighting the Russians. The great majority was lead core MkVIIz loaded with 40 grains of WC846 powder. There was also some loaded with leftover 7.62mm SLAP tungsten projectiles and 42 grains of WC680 which was tested at CSTA Aberdeen Proving Ground for function in the BREN gun.

    There was also normal headstamped MkVIIz made in the 1980s for the Canadian Rangers.

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    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    This is the most interesting thread I have read in along time. Thanks for posting
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by one-eyed fat man View Post
    How is the .303 you are finding for hangfires?

    The silver looking jacket material is cupro-nickel and the source of the great lumpy looking, accuracy destroying, fouling common in early smokeless guns. The "Ordnance Department Metal Fouling Solution" , commonly known as "Ammonia Dope," was the answer, sort-of, when the problem arose in the US Army.
    Cupro-nickel was fine in the Krag but the increased velocity of the .30-06 cartridge the fouling quickly built up to problem levels. The dope would dissolve the metal fouling alright, but it was tricky to use. The "dope" was poured into a rifle barrel with a "corked chamber". A piece of rubber tubing was placed over the muzzle to allow the dope to cover the muzzle and prevent any air getting to any metal exposed to the dope. Any contact with air would ruin the barrel within a few minutes. Needless to say, Ammonia Dope was not exactly a welcome solution to
    the problem, but came under the heading of "what price accuracy". If the chamber plug became dislodged while the solution was in the bore, the stuff would run down into the receiver and cause extreme rusting wherever it touched the metal. At best the dope was a nuisance and at worst, a disaster. The formula for the dope for those of you who are curious was:

    • Ammonia Persulphate 1 ounce
    • Ammonia Carbonate 200 grains
    • Stronger Ammonia Water (28%) 6 ounces
    • Water 4 ounces


    The solution had to be made up fresh for each use. If the dope became "stale" it became corrosive to the barrel. After a 20-minute treatment, the solution had to be immediately poured from the bore. The bore was then dried and oiled. This treatment dissolved the metal fouling and left the bore pristine for further firing. Needless to say, the troops (and competition rifle shooters) looked for alternative methods of reducing the irritating cupro-nickel fouling. The British used a cleaner called Motty Paste which was a form of jeweler's rouge which had to be used along with a lot of elbow grease to scrub it out.

    Gilding metal proved to be the eventual answer.
    Not having any issues with hang fires out of these .303 guns. Case separation is another story. Both of these separated last time I fired the BREN. First failure was the neck one, then the gun still fired out of battery till second split case jammed the gun up. First round to go was a Canadian DI Mk VII 1942 case. Second was a unmarked case.

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    CD
    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17' & 18'

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GARD72977 View Post
    This is the most interesting thread I have read in along time. Thanks for posting
    Yes, it is interesting.
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  12. #12
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Is it my old eyes or is the picture out of focus making the P 14 appear to be shortened?Robert

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcast416taylor View Post
    Is it my old eyes or is the picture out of focus making the P 14 appear to be shortened?Robert
    Must be the angle as it has not been shortened.

    CD

    ETA Post 1,000 and Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! (0100 hrs here)
    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17' & 18'

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    In the movie 12 STRONG there are a few scenes where Smellies are shown. Musta had a good tech advisor.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    Here was one answer to corrosive primers in the Lee Enfield. A funnel designed to fit the chamber of the rifle so it could be dosed with hot water.


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    Could also be used for convincing guys to talk !

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6.5 CM View Post
    Could also be used for convincing guys to talk !
    Works that way inserted from either end BTW...
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

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    Best to have TWO ---- you get the picture ?

    P.S. Gather you are a 61 Baker fan ?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    The 1918 MkVII ammo fired without issue today. Hit 6" high at 25m dead center (sights not zero'd).
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    CD
    De Oppresso Liber

    Irag: 91,03,04,05,06,08,09',15' & 16'
    Afghanistan: 09,10,11',14',17' & 18'

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check