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Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

Article about: Hello I recently recovered over 300 .303 armourers inspection rounds from what I believe to be a WW1 era army camp site and am looking for any information on the headstamps. Most of the head

  1. #1

    Default Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    Hello

    I recently recovered over 300 .303 armourers inspection rounds from what I believe to be a WW1 era army camp site and am looking for any information on the headstamps. Most of the heads are in not great condition but have managed to clean up a few and was wondering if anyone can help in de-coding them for me?

    As I clean them up, I will post some more but here's 4 to start.

    any info greatly appreciated.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    For precise identification we need pictures and/or more detail. Do the cases have any holes in them? Are the bullets round noded or spitzer?

    If the cases have no holes they are "Cartridge S.A. Dummy .303 inch Inspectors Mark III" if round nosed or Mark IV if spitzer.

    They are Canadian and were made at Dominion Arsenal. The cases were originally intended for normal Mark VII ball rounds but have been used for dummies, a not unusual practice. The Mark III and Mark IV Inspectors' rounds were introduced at the same time in October 1911 (to latter to match the introduction of the Mark VII ball round) by List of Change Paragraph 15761. They are filled with coal dust or similar to replicate the weight of a loaded round.

    There is a possibility that they are drill rounds rather than inspection dummies, but in that case I would expect the cases to have holes drilled. Whilst the Canadians broadly followed British practice with their ammunition there are a couple of specifically Canadian local pattern rounds.

    Regards
    TonyE
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  3. #3

    Default Re: Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    Tony - Have a look in the archaeology forum............Harry has posted a group shot of his finds there. The majority don't appear to have been drilled.

    http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/battle...erload-196923/

    Nice that you got some headstamps there Harry Is it my eyesight or does the one top left look slightly bigger than the others ?


  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    Thanks Steve for that.

    The rounds are the Canadian version of the Inspectors' Mark IV.

    Regards
    TonyE
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    Quote by Steve T View Post
    Is it my eyesight or does the one top left look slightly bigger than the others ?

    does look bigger doesn't it but have double checked and it is the same size - I used a scanner to get the images so assume some kid of optical illusion.

    - - Updated - -

    Quote by TonyE View Post
    Thanks Steve for that.

    The rounds are the Canadian version of the Inspectors' Mark IV.

    Regards
    TonyE
    Thanks Tony.

    As I clean them up, if I come across any different headstamps I'll post them up here

    rgds
    m

  6. #6

    Default Re: Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    Sorry if this question is a bit dumb, but what exactly were inspection rounds used for and why the distinction between these and drill rounds? The main reason I ask is that I am trying to ascertain if they were were disposed of in the WW1 era as no longer fit for purpose (i.e very limited life), or if they could have been made in 1914-18 but still being used for whatever purposes in the 1940's (as still a current calibre) and disposed of then. I have cleaned up a handful and they still have a fair amount of the silver colour remaining so should make a good diplay piece when I have finished the other 300 odd...

    many thanks
    Matt

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    Drill rounds were, as their name suggests, used to train troops in weapons drill. They only needed to conform to live rounds in shape and needed to be as distinct as possible to avoid confusion with live rounds. This was achieved at various times by plating the case, red wood bullets, holes drilled or red flutes in the case.

    Inspection rounds on the other hand were only for use by armourers and needed to conform exactly to live rounds in terms not just of shape but also in weight. This was because they were used to test weapon functioning, spring tensions etc. Also, because they were only to be used by experienced weapon technicians there was less need to have distinctive markings, normally just plating being adequate.

    Pictures show a variety of drill rounds from the Mark I onwards.

    It is quite possible that the Inspection rounds you found were used in WW2 but I think it is unlikely. It is much more feasible that they were dumped after the Canadians left the camp. Where was this? Was it near Asford, as this was the HQ of the Canadian armourers where many Ross rifles had their chambers enlarged after the problems encountered in France.

    Regards
    TonyE
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    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  8. #8

    Default Re: Armourers .303 inspection rounds - help on headstamps

    Thanks for the info Tony

    Not near Asford, but near the Surrey/Hampshire border where a lot of Canadians were billeted pre D-Day, though it does appear that there was a WW1 Canadian presence as well, given the 1914 pattern Maple Leaf cap badge I found in same general area.
    rgds Matt

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