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Hi all,
got this little gem through the post today,a 280/30" experimental round for the EM-2 assault rifle,the info that came with it states that it has a fibre tip.
I have been unable to find out any more info re the fibre tip,so can anyone help with info as to what use or why a fibre tip?
Heastamp is RG 50 280/30.


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Your round is a Ball Type B to design D6/L/732. It weighs 140 grains and is a flat based lead cored bullet with a GMCS envelope. It has a compressed paper tip filler, not fibre.

Just like the .303 which was made with paper, fibre and ceramic tip fillers as well as the more normal aluminium, so some .280 bullet designs had paper or brass tip fillers. This served to put the C of G further back for longer range stability.

There were some 40 different ball bullet designs in the British 7mm series, as well as all the special loads like tracer, AP, API, Observation etc.


I should have added that your yellow tipped round should not be confused with the yellow tipped bullet with the CN envelope that appeared in 1951.

This is the Belgian S12 bullet and that round became the 7mm Mark 1z when Britain unilaterally adopted the EM-2 as the "Rifle No.9 Mark 1" in August 1951.

Many thanks TonyE,got a few more to find then!, Tony is it correct that this round was developed from the .276" P13 round? or was it from the .256"?

No, it was developed from neither. The .276 Enfield, .276 Pederson and the .256 (Japanese 6.5mm) are nothing like the .280/30.

In 1945 the Small Arms Calibre Panel was set up to determine the characteristics of the new british infantry round. They came to the conclusion that the calibre should be .276", or if tungsten penetrators were permitted, .256".

From this two cases were designed in 1947, the .270 and the .280. The .270 did not last long and was dropped in 1948. Specimens are very rare today.

The 280 was developed in a wide variety of loads until 1948 when the base diameter was altered to that of the US .30 round and it became the .280/30. This was hoped would make it more acceptable to the Americans by offering easy conversion of Garands and Brownings to the new calibre.

Development of the .280/30 (now called 7mm) continued until 1952 when new 7mm rounds were developed by Britain, Belgium and Canada (in the so-called BBC trials) to counter US opposition, These rounds were the 7mm 1st Optimum, 7mm 2nd Optimum, 7mm high Velocity and 7mm Compromise. None succeeded and we adopted the US T65 as the 7.62mm NATO in 1954.

First Photo shows (L. to r.)

7mm 2nd Optimum
7mm High Velocity
7mm Compromise
7.62mm T65 (British made)

The 280/30 First Optimum is not shown, but is the normal 280/30 with the bullet loaded slightly less deeply to allow a slight increasr in propellant.

Next shows the various .276 Enfield types and the last picture the .276 Pederson rounds. As you can see, they are completely different to the later .280 rounds.



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Left is the normal Royal Laboratory round with the "R^L" headstamp, but the one on the right is the Winchester made round headstamped "WRA Co. 8-16", which is thought to have been made to a Canadian contract.

This of course does not mean a great deal, as the Ministry of Munitions put a lot of contracts to the US through the Canadian government as they had better contacts. An example is the inspection by Canadian officers of the Winchester M1892 rifles for the Royal Navy. It is still a bit of a mystery though.

Many thanks TonyE,
Think I am on the slippery slope of experimentals,perhaps your next book could be British experimental SAA? It would make a refreshing change to the conflicting accounts of these rounds I usually come across!
All the best
has anyone got any spare of these rounds as I would like some, I have .303, 7.62 x 54R, 7.92, 7.62 x 51 & lots of comercial rounds for swaps


Peashooter - you should be able to find a pink or brown tipped .280/30 ball round and probably a .276 Pederson, as these are not particularly rare, but most of the others are not the sort of rounds that people have "spares" available. If they do become available it is usually from dealers.

One of the problems we all face is that there are more collectors than rounds available for many of these experimental loads. Some are just scarce, for example the .276 Enfield, which will cost you about 30 for a standard RL ball, whilst others like the .270 are the proverbial hen's teeth. A .270 ball round will cost you about 500 if you are lucky and the last .270 tracer I saw sell (in the US) went for about 1000.

I am fortunate to have begun collecting when things were not so money oriented, and I have a fairly good collection of British military ammunition.

However, keep hunting and the best of luck!

Here's a picture of my inert .280/30's. There are other colour tips I haven't got and the 2nd from left has a "fake" tip.

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British 7mm

A good selection.

Here are some of mine. First two pictures are all .280 (pre 1948), and the other three are all .280/30. All are either by Radway Green or Kynoch. Ignore the link attached to the green tipped .280/30. I thought this was a correct link for the .280 Taden machine gun, but it is not. It is an experimental 7.62 Nato link.

A couple more pictures to follow.



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More 7mm.

Two more pictures of British .280/30s and the third is of FN manufactured examples. Sorry they are not all to the same scale.




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7mm 2nd optimum

First picture is of 2nd Optimum rounds.

Canadian primed case H/s "DAC 52"
RG grenade discharger blank
RG Ball
RG ball with Belgian S12 bullet
FN made

Second picture are 7mm Compromise (7.62 T65 necked down to 7mm)
Three RG with different bullet types (bullets are shown pulled for weighing)
RG with Belgian S12 bullet
RG with Observation bullet

Third picture is more 7mm Compromise.

Fourth picture is 7mm High Velocity

RG grenade discharger blank
RG ball Type B
RG ball type AA
RG ball
RG with Belgian S12 bullet
RG experimental flechette (from 1960s)



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I know I said I have a few to get! but that is rubbing it in chaps! Great photos spudgun & TonyE.
Tony you have convinced me even more that you should write a book on experimentals,with lots of photo's!!:tinysmile_grin_t:
here you are tony,this is the only one i have of this type (pulled+inert)


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Nice round Spotter,waiting for a new display cabinet to arrive,think I should have orderd two! Problem is when a single round like this turns up is that you want to find another variant to go with it,then another and another!!!!
has anyone got any spare of these rounds as I would like some, I have .303, 7.62 x 54R, 7.92, 7.62 x 51 & lots of comercial rounds for swaps


Hi Richard,
There is one one SA at the moment,in the other catagories I think
Hi Richard,
Yep it's been snapped up,keep an eye on aptura think he's got a few of them