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.303 Headstamps

John B

What is the rarest Headstamp on a MKV11 .303?

I would love to know, I have some Birmingham metal works 'B' and a 'G' but only one Rudge whitworth Cycle company 1915, I haven't seen many of them

I am not sure what the rarest Mark VII ball headstamp is. Certainly one contender would be the National Brass Co headstamp of "H 16 VII" which was a US contract round from WWI. I have one and it took me thirty odd years to find it.

As for other types, the .303 Mark III ball is probably the rarest. When the only one known in private hands came up for sale a couple of years ago I was present when it changed hands for 3,500.

Then there is the .303 Incendiary Mark V. This was a base fused incendiary sealed in 1938 but never issued. i know of only a couple of those in the world.

Again, not strictly ball, but the early AP with a steel point filler replacing the aluminium one, the Mark VIIS is pretty rare with that headstamp. The only one I know is in the IWM collection. Similar rounds headstamped with a normal ball headstamp occassionaly turn up though.

Finally, I guess my full length rolled case blank for the Maxim gun is pretty rare. The only other I know is in the US (looted from RL in the fifties) and is unfilled.


Phew!......... Certainly a mine of information Tony.:congrats:

I have a blank similar to the one shown, in as much that it has a solid crimped end. RL with Roman numerals 11, and a letter by the side, which i cannot make out. would that be run of the mill?

I have about 2000 .303's locked away, many of which I have never bothered to look at, perhaps I should start looking

Your blank couls be a full length Cordite Mark II, but I would need to see a picture.

One I forgot to mention is the ball VII made by the Ross Rifle Company in Canada. Headstamps are "RR Co 16 VII" and also 1917. I do not have one here, although I have one in Canada awaiting collection. They are hard to find.

Where are you based? We ought to have a chat. I am in South London.

Bury St Edmunds sunny Suffolk, although i come from the smoke:tinysmile_shy_t:

I'll try and post a picture later