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  1. #1
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    Early Mk V Blank

    I have a Mk v .303 blank that is head stamped K V Arrow Arrow. I understand K is Kynoch, Arrow Arrow is Spennymoor, V is Mk 5 , Crimped neck means blank. The thing I'm confused by is the cartridge is boxer primed. I thought the last blanks using boxer primers was a Mk IV, after which they went over to Berdan Primers (were talking pre 1900 here I think, not modern Boxer primed carts ) Ill try posting a picture later... Has anyone got any more info on early boxer primed mk V blanks?
    Cheers
    Gary

  2. #2
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    Gary,
    the double broad arrow on this blank has nothing to do with Spennymoor , a double broad arrow on a headstamp where there is already a manufacture mark, K Kynoch, indicates that a trade pattern/commercial/outside contractor round/cartridge has been excepted into service.

    Tony
    Last edited by smle2009; 10th July 2017 at 06:51 AM.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks Tony, it did say "possibly spennymoor" in my book...
    So, if its a commercial pattern would that explain why a Mk V blank has a boxer primer ?
    Cheers
    Gary

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    Hi Gary,
    the ministry of supply factory, Spennymoor, Yorks did use two broad arrows as a manufactures mark on .303" from 1940-41 although they also used SR from 1939-45.
    ROF Steeton and Thorp Arch used three broad arrows on early 20mm.
    Radway Green used a single broad arrow as a makers mark also during 1940-41.
    Two broad arrows used on a headstamp that already has a makers mark was 'accepted into service' marks.
    You could well be right about the reason for your blank having a boxer primer but also Kynoch could not be relied on to manufacture to 'the norm' at the best of times and did also lose several government contracts because of this.

    Tony
    Last edited by smle2009; 11th July 2017 at 08:19 AM.

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  7. #5
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    The plot thicken's, I have just found more info in the reference material I inherited from Tony Edwards/Peter Labbett.

    From Tony Edwards notes - “The over stamp was used between about 1907 and 1914 and signified acceptance by government inspectors. I know it seems laborious, but when a batch of contractor ammunition passed proof and was accepted for service it was run through another die and over stamped with the two broad arrows. The outbreak of WWI seems to have put a stop to that practice.”

    More from Tony - .303 blanks headstamped: "K /|\ /|\ V"

    Cordite Blanks L Mark V, not blanks converted from Cordite Ball Mark V. If they were converted rounds the headstamp would have been K C V, as Ball Mark V rounds were only made during the period when C for cordite was included in the headstamp.

    Your rounds date from the period around 1907/8, as they are undated (and thus pre 1908) but do not have the C code for cordite, which was dropped from headstamps around 1907, although formal approval for this was not given until 1913. During this period there were considerable anomalies in headstamping practice with respect to the Cordite identifier.

    Also, during this period (c. 1907 - 1913) all rounds purchased from commercial contractors were overstamped with one or two broad arrows to denote government ownership, as yours is.

    Is the colour of your K V blanks a very yellow brass? I ask this because I have weighed a couple of these K V blanks and they were too light for normal .303 spec. When I sectioned an example I found that it was made with a semi-balloon head case, definitely not British spec! Were Kynoch trying to save money on a government contract? Seems unlikely.



    All the best
    Rich
    Last edited by peashooter; 12th July 2017 at 12:18 AM.

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  9. #6
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    Here is a photo of the K V blank on the left and a normal .303 case on the right. As you can see, the K V is of much lighter construction, with thinner case walls and a much weaker head.




    Rich
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #7
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    Is the colour of your K V blanks a very yellow brass? I ask this because I have weighed a couple of these K V blanks and they were too light for normal .303 spec. When I sectioned an example I found that it was made with a semi-balloon head case, definitely not British spec! Were Kynoch trying to save money on a government contract? Seems unlikely.

    Hi Rich,
    One of the first things I noticed was the weight compared to a normal mk v blank, and yes, its a yellow colour. I'm glad I rescued it as my mate was about to fire it at a mock battle.... I'm putting it in my "treasured" collection.

    Thanks for everyones help. I do like my reference books but they don't tell me everything...

    Cheers

    Gary

  11. #8
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    No probs, I am just really lucky to have inhereted all Tony Edwards and Peter Labbetts reference materials and notes. I am nowhere near reading it all yet with 45,000 pages I have a way to go but there is so much info and most of the time some official document to back it up.

    all the best
    Rich

 

 

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