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  1. #1
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    couple of oddities

    Hi to all,
    picked up a couple of unusual rounds yesterday and looking for any information or ideas about them.
    The first is a .50" BMG round,which I am 99.9% sure is British due to the context it came from,has a purple bullet tip and no headstamp,I know purple tips were used for 'in house' tests by manufacturers in the UK but this tip is more of a lacquer type purple paint,others I have in my collection are 'solid' based painted tips. Also it looks to me that the extractor groove has been blackened.

    The second is a pair of 1959/61 dated RG L2A2 7.62x51mm cases that have been necked down to 6mm..at first I thought they had been necked down for commercial 243 WIN but a 243 Winchester bullet is far too tight to fit in the case,the case mouth crimp is a military type but smaller than the normal 7.62x51(photo is of a 61 dated 'normal' 7.62 L2A2 on the left),also being Berdan primed it is not usually the choice of re loaders.
    And of course the L2A2 headstamp does not always indicate that these were 'normal' ball cases as trials tracer,incendiary/tracers ect used L2A2 marked cases by Radway Green and Kynoch.

    Cheers
    Tony


    P6230015.jpgP6230016.jpgP6230017.jpgP6230019.jpgP6230021.jpgP6230023.jpg
    Last edited by smle2009; 23rd June 2012 at 11:06 AM.

  2. #2
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    The .50 looks very like a Kynoch made one to me. I have a very similar round with the clear purple lacquer on the tip. I will dig it out and photograph it later.

    Can't help on the odd necked down 7.62mm. It corresponds to no experimental I know of, and although the case date is no firm guide, the small calibre experimentation did not start until the late sixties. There was a lot of theoretical work done on calibres between 4.3mm and 6.5mm at that time and solid aluminium turned mock ups were made in a range of case designs, but AFAIK only the 6.25mm was ever produced as a live cartridge. I wrote an article in the ECRA Jornal about these trials.

    There is nothing in the NFC collection at Leeds that refers to necked down 7.62mm rounds but I suppose anything is possible.

    Regards
    TonyE

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  4. #3
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    Hi to both Tonys,

    I have a round like this, but mine is dated 1958, and has a RN lead bullet of 6.2mm diameter crimped in. I got it many years ago, but none of the experts I have shown it to have been able to tell me anything about it! The crimp looks a proper "military" style, but whether this was a "proper" experimental, or just someone's attempt to make a sporting cartridge, no-one seems to know for certain.

    Regards,
    Roger.

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    smle2009 (23rd June 2012)

  6. #4
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    Tony

    The pre-Nato Cal .30 Light Rifle cases were a favorite of wildcatters here in the USA. 6mm (.243) was one that was loaded as early as 1951 by simply necking down the 30 caliber case. If your case does not take a .243 bullet it is probably because it has been necked down but has not been expanded back up to the proper inside diameter. That is very common.

    Winchester made most of the Project SALVO cartridges in .18, .22, .25, and .27 calibers but not .243. However, I have Winchester cases dated as early as 1954 which are loaded as prototype 6mm Winchester cartridges. They (Winchester) officially adopted the 243 Winchester in 1955.

    So, my guess would be that your cases were necked down by a wildcatter to make a cartridge such as the 243 Winchester.

    I wrote an article for the International Ammunition Association JOURNAL that covers the various 243 cartridges made from the 7.62mm case. It's in Issue #465. I'll see if I have a photo that will show them.

    Ray

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    smle2009 (23rd June 2012)

  8. #5
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    Many thanks TonyE,Roger and Ray.

    Ray, I know nothing about reloading or wildcats,the one thing that puzzles me is the neck crimps,they are not the standard RG military crimp and that they are on this case would suggest that a bullet has already been loaded into these cases at some time,I presume that crimping a bullet in the case would be the last process in re loading?

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    Tony

    Yes, crimping the bullet is usually the last step in the reloading process, although it's not really that important in sporting ammunition, so many shooters will eliminate that step. There are dies that reproduce, very closely, the segmented military style crimps and that may be what was used on your cases.

    Here are two photos. The first shows 3 of the wildcats made from the Cal .30 Light Rifle brass. The second shows the stages of the Winchester prototypes and the final 243 Winchester.


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  11. #7
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    Hi Ray,
    my first thought was the 243 Win as said in my first post on this,the things that made me have doubts was the neck crimp suggests it was loaded at one time but a 243 Win bullet is too big to fit in the case,which after pulling or firing should fit with ease?,the bullet tried was from a Norma and has a purple plastic tip,none of the 243 Win I have here have neck crimps and I thought re loaders avoided Berdan primers like the plague?....sorry for the daft questions Ray but I really know next to nothing about re-loading ect

    Tony

    P.S. just noticed that the 1959 dated cases are stamped R.G.?
    Last edited by smle2009; 23rd June 2012 at 10:25 PM.

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    Tony

    When forming a case to another caliber, or when reloading a case already formed and fired, the first step is to resize the outside to the basic dimensions. This is done by running the case into a full-length resizing die. Because different brands of brass have different case neck wall thicknesses, the neck is sized smaller than necessary and then the inside of the neck is expanded back up to the size needed to hold the bullet tightly. This expansion can be done as a part of the resizing, or as a seperate step. My guess would be that your cases have been de-capped and then resized, but the neck has not been expanded, giving the appearance that it will not accept a .243 bullet. If the neck is sized with an expander ball or mandrel of approximately .240"+/-, it will then be correct for a .243" bullet.

    You are right, Berdan primed cases are not the favorite of re-loaders. But millions of them are re-loaded each year, all around the globe. With the proper tools it is not much more difficult than re-loading Boxer primed cases.

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  14. #9
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    Hi Ray,
    thanks for the explanation,forgive me if I'm having a blonde moment here but there is one thing that still puzzles me so will try and explain the path I'm going with this;
    These cases have neck crimps,they are not the original military crimps as can be seen from the photo('normal case is from the same manufacturer and year),do neck crimps survive re forming/re sizing? if so why is there no sign of the original military crimps?....to crimp the bullet it must be in the case,therefore these cases must have been re sized to take the bullet then crimped?,so these cases must have been fired or pulled but this would mean that if .243" a .243" bullet would fit in the case...which they do not,you could 'hammer' one in but not without 'bulging' the neck,so my thinking is that these cases were done for something smaller than .243"?

    All the best
    Tony

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    Original neck crimps can survive re-forming to another caliber, and many reloads thereafter. Or, I should have said, segmented type crimps. A roll crimp is usually ironed out in the forming process and you seldom can find any vestiges of it. As I said before, there are loading dies that give a segmented type crimp that is hard to tell from original military and/or factory crimps. If you are sure that the remains of the crimp on your cases are not original, perhaps they have been reloaded and crimped with such a die.

    If you can measure both the outside and inside neck diameters, you will have a very good idea of what diameter bullet it was intended for. A full length .243 Winchester sizing die will give an outside diameter of approximately .260" to .265" and, with a thick walled military 7.62mm case, an inside diameter of about .230". Obviously, this is far too small for a 6mm bullet. But, when the neck is expanded with a 6mm mandrel, the inside diameter will be .240" +/-, a perfect fit for the bullet. The outside diameter will then be about .275", well below the specifications for a maximum .243 Winchester.

    I know that an unidentified case or cartridge can stimulate one's imagination, but I think what you have are nothing more than 7.62mm military cases that have been formed into a .243 Winchester. I have made hundreds of such cases myself. Dimensions tell the entire story and you may have the makings of a .230", or even a .224" wildcat. Measure them and you should be able to tell, or possibly only add to the mystery.

    It's also possible that you have what some collectors call a "dingbat". That's a case or cartridge that someone made for no apparant purpose other to see what it might look like. Or to fool unsuspecting collectors. Or to start lengthy Forum disscusions.

    Ray
    Last edited by raymeketa; 24th June 2012 at 06:43 PM.

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