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Thread: Made Special for the RAF 303 Cartridges

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  1. #21
    Legacy Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    It wasn't just for the benefit of the fighter jocks.

    Think about all those .303 Browning MGs on all those bomber. Then, also remember that the fighters were primarily operated in daylight and the bombers at night.

    In daylight, excess muzzle-flash is "interesting"; at night it can be a whole lot worse than "annoying". Nothing yells "here I am" like cutting loose with the quad .303 Brownings in a Lancaster tail turret with Cordite ammo, which is why it was NOT done. But, never forget one of the key points in "Murphy's Laws of Combat Operations": "Tracer works both ways". With the aerial MG belts being filled according to the instantly mensurable sequence, "TITS", (Tracer, Incendiary, Tracer, SOLID (ball)), there was a LOT of two-way illumination whizzing around in the sky.

    Note the "fine print" on the packets that refers to being loaded with "nitro-cellulose powder". MUCH less muzzle-flash than from Cordite. And, as a bit of a bonus, having different burn characteristics, NC powder also burns at a lower temperature, hence less throat / leade erosion per round, per barrel.

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  4. #22
    Contributing Member rambo46's Avatar
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    I always wondered why these boxes were marked this way.
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  7. #23
    Advisory Panel green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rambo46 View Post
    I always wondered why these boxes were marked this way.
    The WRA ammo had more of a tendency to ctg case separations than Empire made .303". Difficult to clear a separated case from a wing mounted MG in mid air.

    ---------- Post added at 12:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:27 PM ----------

    [QUOTE=browningautorifleicon;526572]So, are you wondering if that's why they chose the number "48" for the cardboard boxes? I know we've discussed it before here.

    26 boxes of 48 .303" ctgs gives a 100% fill in a standard ammo crate.

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    Legacy Member bombdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    The WI is the coding for A.P the headstamp - R /|\ L is Royal Laboratories.
    Strictly speaking, no.. the W1 is the shortened designation. The original one is "CARTRIDGE, S.A., ARMOUR PIERCING, .303-INCH, W Mark I". The W indicates the design code.

    The official indication of an AP round is the green varnish in the cap annulus. (purple for ball, red for tracer)

    If this round is packaged for aircraft use, it is actually "CARTRIDGE, S.A., ARMOUR PIERCING, .303-INCH, W Mark I, SPL". introduced in 1934 and differed from the standard one by having a higher tolerance on length and having the glazeboard wad replaced by a strawboard one to reduced engine damage if it was ingested. It was the standard AP round during WW2. You can tell this is a "Special" as the date is stamped in full.

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    Contributing Member Sapper740's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    .......until the Hell cat came along the tactic was to dive on the Zero shoot them up and dive away not get involved in a dogfight with them.
    Maybe for the first 3 months of America's involvement in WWII but by September we had come up with the "Thach Weave" which nearly completely negated the Zero's superior performance over the Wildcat. The first time Lt. Commander Tadashi Nakajima encountered what was to become the famous double-team maneuver on the part of the enemy two Wildcats jumped on the commander's plane. He had no trouble in getting on the tail of an enemy fighter, but never had a chance to fire before the Wildcat's wingman roared at him from the side forcing him to dive and run for safety. By all reports Nakajima was raging when he got back to Rabaul at the effectiveness of the "Thach Weave".

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