Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

303 ammo .... I/D please?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by P95Carry, May 31, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    I have all sorts of old 303 ammo lurking around and rediscovered this recently. IIRC (I have had it ages) .... it is tracer but ... I seem to remember that maybe tracer in larger cal's needs over 100 yds before it ''lights up''.... and so when I tried a coupla rounds a while back ... only at 100 yds ..... didn't prove anything!

    Prior to being able to try it at longer range .. any ideas from ammo experts? Don't think it's AP but .. open to suggestions.

    BTW .. headstamp is F N 52 .. probably cordite I'd think and corrosive .. treated it as such anyways..


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    FN is most likely Fabrique National in Belgium, with 1952 as the year of manufacture.

    Most likely cordite, as it doesn't seem to have the standard headstamps for smokeless powder.

    Tossup on the corrosive.
     
  3. nemesis

    nemesis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    Texas, On The Border
    It's definitely Fabrique National but I think it's also Bren or machine gun ammo and it's loaded to a higher pressure than a Lee-Enfield should be subjected to. I have a box of similar vintage ammo, still in the box. It's specifically marked for the Bren, with cautions to not use it in rifles.
     
  4. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Thx for your thoughts - but .... I don't think I was very clear ... I only think it's tracer ..... does anyone recognize the colors on bullets for I/D purposes.?? Tracer/AP? What should it be?

    Point taken BTW re pressure factor ... A useful thing to be mindful of.
     
  5. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Bakersfield, California
    can you scan the headstamp?
     
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    10,477
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    It's definitely not BREN ammo. Bren guns never used belts. Maybe a Vickers MG.
     
  7. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,032
    Location:
    S.E. PA, USA
    The belt is actually disintegrating links for a Browning machine gun. The Brits did use Brownings in 303 in early versions of the Hurricane and Spitfire.

    Ammo is FN, made in Belgium and is probably not cordite as I believe the Brits were the only one to use cordite propellent. The Belgins did use lots of British equipment post-WW2 until they re-equiped with their own production.
     
  8. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,887
    Location:
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    FN made in 1952. NOT Cordite, but almost certainly corrosively primed. Not sure if the purple tip indicates tracer. Belted for use in a .303 Browning. All you need is a Spitfire to shoot them from. :)
     
  9. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Further thx ... in case of interest ... here's small pic to show headstamp. I'd agree about manufacture of course .. and as mentioned not cordite .. realize now that Brits only ones using that pretty much.

    I am still assuming tracer for this cullet color but .. one small point - I would have expected this to be supplied loose if tracer, cos IIRC, tracers added to belt one per 5 or 10 . in other words belts made up specially ... odd maybe to have all these together on common belt.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    OK, I think I have a solution...

    Likely not tracer.

    Most likely heavy ball ammo, which is logical for use in a machine gun.

    The Belgians during this time were apparently following standard French marking practices, and violet stood for heavy ball ammo.

    As far as I cant tell the British never used purple for a bullet tip color.

    There is some indication that FN HAS loaded cordite ammunition on contract, but it most likely isn't given the absense of a headstamp indicator.
     
  11. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Many thx Mike ........ I think I'll pull one and see what is there .... weigh bullet etc ......
     
  12. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Mike .... further info in case of interest .......

    Pulled a round and this is what we have .....

    Powder ........ flake

    Bullet ....... weighs in at 168 grn (some std ball bullets I have are 174 ... fairly standard IIRC). So ... not specifically a heavy-weight but ...... I have added two closer shots of bullet ... which you can see is long. In the base is a metal insert, quite hard ... but oddly enough a sorta ''brassy'' color. Thought it might have been a steel core insert but now not sure.

    Maybe now if I get to it ... section this bullet and see what core actually is. First a pic of all components ..........

    [​IMG]


    Then, two views of bullet .... showing something of base appearance and length... depth of field a bit problematic.

    [​IMG] ......... [​IMG]
     
  13. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Ok ...... curiosity got the better of me!! I wanted to do a longitudinal section (still might, on another bullet) ..... but holding it for that is tricky.

    Decided to do cross section approx ''on the thirds'' ...... and below is pic .. (best I could manage without setting up special lighting).

    The pieces are all viewed from bullet front orientation ...... so, nose (left) was cut off middle section (center) and rear of middle section is same cross section of course as front of rear part (right). get the drift? Hope so.

    This shows several things ....... firstly, the front third X-section went thru outer steel and then exposes soft core .. lead one would assume.

    The rear third X-section is interesting ... first we go thru outer steel jacket, then another layer (of the brassy color material) and finally a core. This is quite hard and seems to contain a sorta purple ''matrix''.

    From this I have to come to conclusion .. for now at least ..... that this has to in fact be a tracer. The ''base cap'' evident from earlier pic of base does I think probably ''burn thru'' whilst high temp gases present ... and then the core can ignite ... constrained within the ''brassy'' color enclosure.

    As I mentioned in my first post ..... I am led to believe that many 30 cal type tracers cannot ignite fully in just 100 yds .... if we assume MV of 2400 fps then after 100 yds ..... there will be an elapsed time of some 125 ms, plus an amount due to velocity fall-off .... say 150 ms or so. This is not all that long and then perhaps full ignition is achieved and the ''burn'' maybe lasts out to 500 yds (maybe an approx elapsed time of around or approaching one second).

    [​IMG]

    Do you think this makes sense ... Mike??
     
  14. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Sorry if pics don't show ..... damned server is messin about .. again........ take another peek soon.
     
  15. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Wow. That's certainly interesting, P95.

    I'd have bet that this would have been heavy ball.

    I can't find any indication in any of my references as for whom this would have been made.

    Not to bust your chops or anything, but sectioning an unknown bullet is NEVER EVER a good thing to do.

    Sometimes even pulling unknown bullets is never a good thing to do.

    .303 has been made in MANY variants, including incindiary AND explosive.

    It's unlikely that you would have tied into an explosive bullet made at FN after WW II, but anything is possible.

    A friend of mine some years ago showed me a cartridge he picked up from a junk dealer at a gun show...

    A Japanese 7.7 round with an explosive bullet...
     
  16. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    I did take considerable care mike .. aware that I was slightly into the ''unknown'' .... I wore my thick leather welding protection jacket and real thick eye protection glasses, over my own! And went slow!!

    Did prove rather interesting tho eh!
     
  17. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    You need to go to the range and shoot a few of these over the 600 meter course to see if they trace.
     
  18. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    My thinking exactly .... trouble is to get more than 100 yds (local range) means a bit of a trip ..... will do tho sometime.
     
  19. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Mike...... if ya see this ...... an update for ya!

    Used the base section from the ''pieces'' I had sectioned ...... and set it up in my forge .... in amongst refactory brick etc . put on some protection and applied torch.

    Some delay, which included an apparent melt out of small qty of lead and then ...... FFshhhh!

    Red trace phosphor burn! The piece fell on floor but was all burned out in .. what .. maybe .5 second.

    So yep .. this is tracer .. now to try it at a longer range when i get chance.:)
     
  20. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Bakersfield, California
    You have a forge? That's Worth like 350 Kickass points.
     
  21. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Pretty cool, K!

    Now if we could only figure out for whom this was made!

    It doesn't correspond to any marking schema I've been able to identify.
     
  22. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Andrew ...... probably not quite the picture you may have!! It is actually a very crude device! I maybe should have said ''forge''. It resides next to my weld bench.

    It does however - and has for years - proved invaluable for many things .... by directing a gas torch onto refractory brick pieces, sitting on top of larger bricks, I can get a good hot area, for case hardening for example .... and sometimes by shuffling the bricks around make a small enclosure ... which can act as a small kiln effect, tho not easy re temp control.

    Here is a pic ...... somewhat burned out in center where refactory bricks are, cos of very bright sun .... but you'll see ...... it may only be worth just a coupla kickass points!:p

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Uh, you didn't attach the picture...
     
  24. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Shows for me Mike .... unless there was a server glitch givin a red ''x''. This is same link again ..

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Bakersfield, California
    it's 200 kickass points at least.


    can you hammerforge barrels? :D
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page