+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Need help to ID ammo

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    Member Jaxson50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Last On
    Today @ 12:52 AM
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    46
    Local Date
    12-18-2018
    Local Time
    01:13 PM

    Need help to ID ammo

    I ran across a ammo can full of 7.7X56R Ball
    The box reads 7,7 X 56 R BALL RIM3 Z057A8/80

    Any ideas what this is? A few websites suggest it is SA .303 Britishicon but before I do anything I'd like to be sure
    Last edited by Jaxson50; 11-28-2018 at 06:50 PM.

  2. Thank You to Jaxson50 For This Useful Post:


  3. # ADS
    Friends and Sponsors
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Milsurps.Com
    Posts
    All Threads
    No Drill-Tap scope mounts for Mosin Nagant, Mauser K98K, Yugo M48, Swedish M96 and M38, Swiss K31, K11, 1911 and more! Bringing mil-surplus rifles to modern standard without damaging historical values! We specialise in military utensils and artefacts such as helmets, daggers, medals and badges, etc.  The on-line store is intended for personal browsing and searching of collecting objects. All items are provided historical value only and can be used for home collection or other purposes except of fascism, Nazism or other extremism manifestation or its propaganda. LIMITED TIME OFFER FROM THE AMERICAN GUNSMITHING INSTITUTE: Get Immediate Online Access To AGI's NEW Armorer's Course for Glock Pistols, Covering Every Generation of Glocks, Including the Latest Model 42/43 and Double Stack Pistols for ONLY $7.00! Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles We pride ourselves on being the new lowest price listing service, and the simplest to use. If you need to buy or sell collectible firearms or any firearm in your legal possession, then this is the place for you. If you’re a big collector clearing house, or other seller that could benefit from a Premium seller account, then we can also support you here at Armory.Auctions LLC. Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

  4. #2
    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last On
    Today @ 11:24 AM
    Location
    Southern Corner Western Australia
    Posts
    5,489
    Local Date
    12-19-2018
    Local Time
    04:13 AM
    Real Name
    CINDERS
    The .303 Britishicon (designated as the 303 British by the C.I.P.[2] and SAAMI[3]) or 7.7×56mmR, is a .303-inch (7.7 mm) calibre (with the bore diameter measured between the lands as is common practice in Europe) rimmed rifle cartridge first developed in Britain as a black-powder round put into service in December 1888 for the Lee–Metford rifle. In 1891 the cartridge was adapted to use smokeless powder.[4] It was the standard British and Commonwealth military cartridge from 1889 until the 1950s when it was replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO.[2

  5. The Following 3 Members Say Thank You to CINDERS For This Useful Post:


  6. Avoid Ads - Become a Contributing Member - Click HERE
  7. #3
    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last On
    Today @ 02:57 PM
    Location
    Central Ontario
    Age
    72
    Posts
    874
    Local Date
    12-18-2018
    Local Time
    03:13 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxson50 View Post
    I ran across a ammo can full of 7.7X56R Ball
    The box reads 7,7 X 56 R BALL RIM3 Z057A8/80

    Any ideas what this is? A few websites suggest it is SA .303 Britishicon but before I do anything I'd like to be sure
    It is my understanding that it is South African, sold off as surplus by their prison system. Had been intended for their Vickers guns.

  8. Thank You to tiriaq For This Useful Post:


  9. #4
    Member Jaxson50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Last On
    Today @ 12:52 AM
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    46
    Local Date
    12-18-2018
    Local Time
    01:13 PM
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by tiriaq View Post
    It is my understanding that it is South African, sold off as surplus by their prison system. Had been intended for their Vickers guns.
    Do you know if it’s safe to use in other .303 rifles?

  10. Thank You to Jaxson50 For This Useful Post:


  11. #5
    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last On
    Today @ 11:24 AM
    Location
    Southern Corner Western Australia
    Posts
    5,489
    Local Date
    12-19-2018
    Local Time
    04:13 AM
    Real Name
    CINDERS
    Not sure if the Vickers MkVIII round was loaded a little hotter but it did have a BTFMJ projectile better for a long range beaten zone by the M.G's whereas the normal MkVII round was a FBFMJ there has been copius written on the SMLE and the BT projectile not obturating initially as good as the FB projectiles ability to seal and suffer less blowby.
    Anyway those that will be able to expand the answer should be along shortly.

  12. Thank You to CINDERS For This Useful Post:


  13. #6
    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Last On
    Today @ 02:00 PM
    Location
    Centurion RSA
    Posts
    259
    Local Date
    12-18-2018
    Local Time
    10:13 PM
    Real Name
    Daan Kemp
    That is normal 303 ammunition loaded by PMP in South Africa in 1980 for the military. Prison use was incidental. Not loaded for Vickers as all the Vickers had been withdrawn from service and disposed of by then; and rebarrreled to 7,62 before that AFAIK. Production continued probably because somebody forgot to terminate the contract although I believe the air force were still using helicopter mounted twin 303 Brownings very effectively in our bush war. From discussion with the infantry they only used normal 303 ammunition for Vickers and didn't have any clue of hotter loaded.

    173gr spitzer flat base bullets. Probably still cordite loaded, so pour a liter or two boiling water through the barrel after shooting when you get home, allow to dry [couple of minutes as the barrel is then very hot] clean and put away. Normal LE procedure and very effective still. Put thousands of these through my BSA No 1 Mk 3* and the barrel is still spotlessly shiny with sharp rifling.

    I wouldn't hesitate to shoot it. If you weren't a bit far I would come and collect it.

  14. The Following 3 Members Say Thank You to Daan Kemp For This Useful Post:


  15. #7
    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last On
    Today @ 11:24 AM
    Location
    Southern Corner Western Australia
    Posts
    5,489
    Local Date
    12-19-2018
    Local Time
    04:13 AM
    Real Name
    CINDERS

    For information and posterity

    So information is not lost here is an article from EnfieldRifles.com;
    Its long but they have done a good job I feel.

    .303 Britishicon, Mk VII ball & the “bore-killing, hot Mk8Z”


    So, here I was somewhat bored, surfing the various Enfield forums & I got to wonder about some ammo I had acquired. It was headstamped as Prvi Partizan (“nny-85” headstamped) Mk8Z in .303 British. This is the “bore killing uber hot machine gun ammo, never to be used in rifles”. What was this stuff in reality?

    Being me, I pulled down a couple of dinged up rounds & did some testing & guess what I found? There’s more than one kind of “Mk8Z” & it differs quite a bit by country/manufacturer. A bit more research & I worked out that a lot of us are actually making & shooting modernized Mk8Z-type ammo & our bores are doing just fine.

    OK, let’s start at the beginning. What’s “real Mk VII” in detail?

    In 1910 the British "War Office", part of the "Ministry of Defense", “sealed” the design & nomenclature of British Mk VII service ball ammunition. “Sealed,” means no changes, ever the spec is cast in stone & can’t be un-done, or modified without some serious pre-planning. It’ll probably become a new Model, Mark, or at the least get a (*) added to denote it’s different from “regular issue stuff”.

    Such was the case with the MkVII (or Mk 7, after 1945) ball ammo. It was a 174 Gr FMJ flat-based bullet with a “tenite, (cellulose plastic)” fiber or aluminum internal core at the front & a lead core behind that. B.C. was 0.467. Propellant was charge weight that could vary from 35 to 38 grains, averaging 36.5 grains of “Cordite”, (the standard 58% Nitro-glycerin, 37% Nitro-cellulose and 5% Mineral Jelly) propellant of most British ammunition. Muzzle velocity was 2440 FPS & pressure was 52,900 PSI. (Current SAAMI specs are lower at 49,000 PSI, but that was yet to come, as were modern measuring techniques for pressure). 45000CUP was the actual measurement used at the time. There was a card disc over the propellant used as an anti-ablation shield to reduce flame-cutting erosion of the bore.

    So. What’s different about a MkVII(7) or Mk VIII(8), or Mk8(z) round, designed for use in the Vickers machine gun for long range shooting?

    A few things actually & there are several variants on the basic Mk8 Mk8(Z) design. It was never “sealed” like the Mk VII(7) was, so changes were easy.

    The biggest difference was the bullet. The ballistically inefficient Mk VII round with its drag inducing flat base was replaced by a couple of different boat tail designs. Boat tails reduce drag, increase the BC of the bullet & allow it to fly on a flatter trajectory, increasing the effective range over a similar flat base one. The Mk 8 bullet was a 175~190-grain boat tailed, streamlined, steel jacketed bullet. Initially the boat tail was not full diameter but “stepped” with a flat annular base with the boat tail starting at a slightly reduced diameter. This was done in an attempt to stop rifling erosion, resulting in blow by & reduced accuracy. Because of its design the Mk 8 bullet was found to have a different issue, stiffness. Compared to the relatively soft Mk 7 it didn’t obdurate as well, so conforming to the rifling, particularly in worn, or cordite-eroded 2-groove barrels, was less efficient. At that point the stepped boat tail was dropped in favor of a “normal” full diameter boat tail design.

    Slightly more “neonite”** propellant was added, giving a muzzle velocity of 2550 ft/s (780 m/s) and somewhat better ballistics. Chamber pressure was higher, at 40,000–42,000 lbf/in˛ (about 280 MPa). These were the “Hotter, Vickers machine gun only” ammunition that started the whole debate off. Neonite** incidentally is NOT cordite, nor a derivative of it. The closest current propellant to it is IMR 3031, a nitro-cellulose powder!

    But there wasn’t anywhere near the standardization that existed with Mk VII ammo because of the “sealed changes” in design!

    So is ALL Mk8Z a bore killer, or are there variations that are less damaging?

    Some surprising things I’ve discovered about Mk8Z ammo. It varied way, way more than thought, look at these pull down figures!

    Mark VIIIz Spec - bullet 175~190 grns +-2 grns, propellant 37 to 40 grains “neonite”** . Velocity 2,360~2,550 fps.
    Spennymoor 1941 - Bullet 175.0 grns, prop.38.0 grns
    RG 1944 - bullet 176 grns, prop. 36.5 grns
    Spennymoor 1944 - bullet 174.5 grns, prop. 37.5 grns
    Spennymoor Ballistic Standard 1944 - bullet 174 grns, prop 36.5 grns
    RG 1945 - bullet 174.5 grns, prop.36.75 grns
    RG 1948 - bullet 177 grns, prop 37.0 grns
    IVI 1985 - bullet 175 grns, prop 37.5 grns
    (The ballistics of the IVI Mark 8z was arranged to be between the Mark 7 and Mark 8z suitable for the No.4 rifle with 300 yard battle sight).

    I weighed & measured the COAL of a S/A "R1M3Z ~ A80" (which is Mk VII spec, including the filler-tipped 174 Gr bullet), & the "nny-85" ball round, heres the results for loaded, unfired rounds:
    R1M3Z
    Length = 3.0285"
    Weight = 408.7 Gr.
    Powder charge was 39.6 Gr of a stick powder similar in appearance to IMR 4895, but there’s no way to tell what exactly it was. The bullet was a FMJ FB 174 grain MKVII.


    nhy-85 Mk8Z
    Length = 3.053"
    Weight = 405.5 Gr
    Powder charge was 38.4 Gr of a stick powder similar in appearance to IMR 4895, but there’s no way to tell what exactly it was either. The bullet was a boat tailed 190 gr FMJ.

    Now for the big surprise! The Prvi Partizan MkVIII(z) variant is slower than South African R1M3Z. It also has less recoil (big surprise there.)
    Chronograph results.
    R1M3Z 174Gr ball
    Average = 2525
    Low = 2497
    High = 2592

    Prvi Mk8Z 190 Gr ball BT
    Average = 2359
    Low = 2335
    High = 2359
    (All velocities instrumental @ 10' from a standard No4 Mk2 barrel).

    The SA R1M3Z is about on the ball for weight. Military .303 weights are 174gr bullet, 195 gr case and about 35-40 gr prop. With 38gr prop and a 190 gr bullet it suggests the PPU has a case of about 177 gr.

    For comparison purposes, case weights & thickness vary a lot so its misleading to just weigh a loaded round to see whats insde it:
    empty (fired case) weights
    S/A R1M3Z = 201.4 Gr
    nny = 178.2 Gr
    R-P commercial = 160.9gr
    PPU = 173.3gr
    HXP = 186.7
    RG-50 = 185.7 Gr.
    (This is actual British-made Mk VII ball, so I include it as a reference for weights.)

    So all Mk8Z is not created equal at all!

    Bullets can vary in weight, velocities likewise & several different propellants are used. The reason cited for the “Machine gun only” restriction was because of the combined effects of cordite erosion (amazing as there was no cordite in them) & boat tail bullet shape & construction. Not one cause, but a combination of things. Flame temperature, bullet construction & bullet shape all combining to have a negative & damaging effect. Where does that leave us today? There have been improvments in powders, better designs of bullets & so on. Can we make, or use something with the better performance of the “Long Range Mk VIII(z)” or are we stuck with the Mk VII including it’s flat base limitations?

    Well whats a”regular, average, normal” Mk8(z)?
    Using the widely varying components & velocities of the different versions of the round, somewhere between a 175gr & a 190 gr FMJ BT with a BC of between 0.470 0.485 & bullet doing somewhere between 2550FPS at the muzzle & 2359 FPS at 10 feet with somewhere below 42000PSI of chamber pressure.

    Heres my suggestion. We not only can do a better MKVII(z) but we have been dong it for quite a while with a great deal of success & no horrible barrel damage.

    How ?

    Use the Hornady .311” 174 gr Matchking, or the similar Hornady #3131 .3150" 174 Gr FMJ-BT!

    Propel it with 41.6 gr of IMR 4895 for 2450 FPS, or 43.0 gr of .IMR 4320, for 2470. None of these exceed the lower SAAMI pressures of 49,000 PSI. & The Sierra Match King’s BC of 0.499 & better construction will allow full upset for full obduration of the bore completely eliminating the blow by problems of the old Mk VIII bullets, while gaining the trajectory because of its better design & boat tailed shape. The lower flame temps of modern powders should help as well. In fact they have been doing just that at matches for years, we simply didn’t recognize it!

    **”Neonite” is a nitrocellulose propellant, as referenced in both 1920's "Dictionary of Explosives" as well as the 1944 edition of the "Textbook of Ammunition".
    Neonite loaded ammunition, both pistol and machinegun, is listed with the 'z' designation, the chopped cordite loads for pistol ammunition being clearly differentiated from it.
    Last edited by CINDERS; 11-29-2018 at 11:17 AM.

  16. #8
    Member Jaxson50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Last On
    Today @ 12:52 AM
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    46
    Local Date
    12-18-2018
    Local Time
    01:13 PM
    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the information, I will need more help soon, we are cleaning out a storage bin full of ammunition of various makes and calibers.

  17. #9
    Really Senior Member Merle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 05:07 PM
    Location
    Mercer County, PA, USA
    Age
    70
    Posts
    275
    Local Date
    12-18-2018
    Local Time
    03:13 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Daan Kemp View Post
    That is normal 303 ammunition loaded by PMP in South Africa in 1980 for the military. Prison use was incidental. Not loaded for Vickers as all the Vickers had been withdrawn from service and disposed of by then; and rebarrreled to 7,62 before that AFAIK. Production continued probably because somebody forgot to terminate the contract although I believe the air force were still using helicopter mounted twin 303 Brownings very effectively in our bush war. From discussion with the infantry they only used normal 303 ammunition for Vickers and didn't have any clue of hotter loaded.

    173gr spitzer flat base bullets. Probably still cordite loaded, so pour a liter or two boiling water through the barrel after shooting when you get home, allow to dry [couple of minutes as the barrel is then very hot] clean and put away. Normal LE procedure and very effective still. Put thousands of these through my BSA No 1 Mk 3* and the barrel is still spotlessly shiny with sharp rifling.



    I wouldn't hesitate to shoot it. If you weren't a bit far I would come and collect it.

    Actually it has been a bit mild in my experience, so I use it exclusively in my Ishy No 2A.

  18. Thank You to Merle For This Useful Post:


+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. 7mm Ammo for FN 49
    By USMC-EOD in forum Ammunition and Reloading for Old Milsurps
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-01-2012, 04:13 PM
  2. Not Your Usual .303" SAA Milsurp Ammo- (Link to the Ammo Forum)
    By jmoore in forum The Lee Enfield Knowledge Library Collectors Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-05-2011, 11:51 PM
  3. Ammo for My RC
    By ledge in forum Mauser Rifles
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-29-2010, 03:27 PM
  4. Bad Syria 7.5 ammo French ammo reloaded
    By rayg in forum Ammunition and Reloading for Old Milsurps
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-27-2009, 01:08 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts