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  1. #1
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    .303 MkVII lower case darkened but why?

    good morning, please see the attached photo of a .303 MkVII dated 1937 (its a 4 figure date). The lower portion of the case is darkened. Can anyone tell me why this should be?

    many thanks, dave
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    Hi dave, i think it could be one of these used for match shooting, i should have added,they were done like that to distinguish them for normal rounds.
    Andy
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    Last edited by Andysarmoury; 12th February 2018 at 09:25 AM.

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    nice one Andy, many thanks, Dave

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    Dave,

    If it is for Match Rifle, and as such has a boat-tailed bullet, it should have the letters "SL" [for "Stream Line"] in the headstamp, and be made by Kynoch. However, the specimens that I have seen all have the two-digit date.

    I have seen similar rounds made by Greenwood & Batley, with blackened head, and 4-digit date (but only 1938), but I have not been able to find out the significance of the black stain. Kynoch seems to have had a monopoly of supplying ammunition for the "Match Rifle" competitions at Bisley (they donated all that required for the competitions in the "Hopton" Aggregate), but I suppose G&B could have tried to provide such ammo for the shooters for commercial purchase, but I have never seen a box that indicates this, or seen any other evidence to suggest this was the case.

    Roger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ydnum303 View Post
    Dave,

    If it is for Match Rifle, and as such has a boat-tailed bullet, it should have the letters "SL" [for "Stream Line"] in the headstamp, and be made by Kynoch. However, the specimens that I have seen all have the two-digit date.

    I have seen similar rounds made by Greenwood & Batley, with blackened head, and 4-digit date (but only 1938), but I have not been able to find out the significance of the black stain. Kynoch seems to have had a monopoly of supplying ammunition for the "Match Rifle" competitions at Bisley (they donated all that required for the competitions in the "Hopton" Aggregate), but I suppose G&B could have tried to provide such ammo for the shooters for commercial purchase, but I have never seen a box that indicates this, or seen any other evidence to suggest this was the case.

    Roger.
    Doh! just as I thought I wasn't confused any more. Thanks Roger, back to the drawing board! I'll pop the bullet and have a look - and just after I'd packed them all away too!

    Dave

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    Dave, try it against a charger and I think the dark portion will match the depth of the charger, seen this time and time again where rounds have been stored in chargers for long periods of time...the full year date,up to 1939,would indicate that your round was originally aircraft grade.

    Tony

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    Dave, The bullet is not a usual British one as it has knurling at the case mouth and the case has crimping in the neck. Something not quite right.

    Relbut

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    when I find it again (in a box of hundreds) I'll pop the bullet, try it against a clip and see if that tells us anything. Thanks, Relbut & SMLE. Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by relbut View Post
    Dave, The bullet is not a usual British one as it has knurling at the case mouth and the case has crimping in the neck. Something not quite right.

    Relbut

    Yes, you have a point there, only knurling I have come across on English .303" projectiles are on some tracer and incendiary rounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smle2009 View Post
    Yes, you have a point there, only knurling I have come across on English .303" projectiles are on some tracer and incendiary rounds.
    I have ten .303" cartridges with the visible knurling at the case mouth into which the case mouth was crimped. They were already pulled when I got them and no powder was present. The headstamps are U 15 VII and they all have the darkened case at the lower portion. The bullets are ball, flat based, CN jacketed, non-magnetic and all have a second, wider, knurl low down inside the neck containing wax sealant. The exposed lead alloy at the base is stamped U.

    The upper edge of the blackening on the cases looks too regular to me to be caused by chargers. Wouldn't a charger stain be mainly on opposite sides and vary in height? Also, as rounds in chargers have staggered rims shouldn't any staining be darker on the ones touching the bottom of the charger than on the other two?

    gravelbelly

 

 
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