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1944 .303

Robert B.

Okay, so not very spectacular as these things go. The casing was found at a site in N.Devon where extensive training was carried out in preparation for D-day. The bullet was found entirely by chance in a muddy field not three feet from a pillbox that defended Duxford airfield during the war. Strange to think that the casing was last handled by someone that might have gone on to fight the opening throes of D-day.

In the background is a Bren .303 mag, also 1944 dated, although filled with inert 1945 'RL' no.7 rounds.



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Always interesting when you find things that have a bit of history.

Was the bullet from Duxford fired?

BTW, the "7" stands for Mark 7 ball, not "No.7"

I assume so, it was a single isolated bullet lying in the field. Mind you, adjacent to the pillbox is on odd place to find it unless it was fired at the pillbox (training perhaps? But then why mock-attack a position you would defend?). It hasn't any impact damage, hence my other thought was that it might be an expended round from a .303 fighter (e.g. Hurricane, spitfire etc) defending the airfield during the war.

Did you find it like this with the bullet in the case or did you put the bullet in? If you found it complete it might be a misfire & thereby technically still live!. Unlikely this is from an aircraft gun more likely a guards round from range practise.

The case was found in Devon and the bullet in Duxford.

I don't think even a .303 has that much range!

As above - each found as seperate items, re-united with a dab of 'all purpose' and a small fishing shot to rattle.

Ah - all is clear!
If you want to get into .303 you have picked a good one. This ammo was made by just about every country!
Googe .303 Headstamps & there is a very good web page that lists all known one with a full breakdown of all variants.
I have a canvas MGbelt of 178 - all different H`s & projectiles & only touching the surface with those.
If you are looking for more .303 I have loads of others for swap or sale.
.303 headstamps

The web sites for .303 identification are fine for basic information, but both the Cushman and the Harrington site contain a fair amount of mis-information. They appear to have been compiled by trawling information from various sources, not from a study of actual rounds. Also the nomenclature of some of the rounds is erroneous.

I only collect British and Commonwealth made .303 and I do not collect every date, but even so, my collection is about 1000 rounds.

As I make no claims to modesty, may I suggest you buy my book "Headstamps and Markings on British service .303 inch Ammunition". At least it is accurate.

PM me for details. End of commercial break!

Well, atleast .303's don't take up much space!!
I don't have much in the way of a collection yet, just a wooden chest in which I keep odds and sods. 12* .303 so far, mostly 1945 Rl, and a RG 55.

I'll put something in the swaps section.