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British experimental .50 ammo

paul the grenade

Well-Known Member
Hi Guys.
heres an article i found in an old Guns Review mag from 1981 that you might find interesting.
Cheers, Paul.


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British .5"

Fear not, those experimantal British .5" rounds and projectiles form the late Peter Labbatt's collection are safe in the hands of a collector in the UK.

Any British made wartime .5" round is quite hard to find these days, even regular service loads, let alone the experimental types.

I have British ball, tracer, drill, Incendiary Mark I and Incendiary Mark II rounds plus a solid AP shot that is not illustrated in Peter's article but is from the same series.


The incendiary rounds have a noticeably sharper point than the American fifties.


Also, the Incendiary Mark I has a very small hole in the point closed with solder, in the same manner as the early versions of the .303 Incendiary B Mark VI. This was thought to aid ignition when the bullet struck but was found to be unnecessary in service as the sensitivity of the SR 365 incendiary composition was adequate. The solder can just about be seen in this picture.


Thanks Paul, that's a good article.
Just a couple more pictures to add to Tony's.
Tony, is the case the correct one (see headstamp).
All inert/empty etc.


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Yes. Nearly all the British fifties were loaded on Spennymoor (SR) cases. The only exception I have is the Incendiary Mark I which is loaded in a Canadian Defence Industries case. I am quite sure though that it was loaded in the UK, probably at Spennymoor.

There are other examples of this. The Kynoch .45ACP Tracers were loaded by them on similar Defence Industries cases and the bullets modified from US ball bullets.

Headstamp of my .50 B Mark I.