The .303 British Service Cartridge

WWI & WWII headstamp markings


Headstamp markings

/|\ Royal Ordnance Factory, Radway Green, Cheshire, U.K. (1940 - 1942)
A F Small Arms Ammunition Factory, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia
A /|\ F Small Arms Ammunition Factory, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia
B Birmingham Metals & Munitions Co. Ltd., Birmingham, U.K.
BE Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Blackpole, Worcester, U.K.
B /|\ E Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Blackpole, Worcester, U.K.
BM British Munitions Co. Ltd., Millwall, London, U.K.
CAC Colonial Ammunition Co., Melbourne, Australia
CAC Colonial Ammunition Co., Auckland, New Zealand
CP Crompton Parkinson Co. Ltd, Guiseley, Yorkshire, U.K. (1939-1945)
C-P Crompton Parkinson Co. Ltd, Doncaster, Yorkshire, U.K. 
D Dominion Cartridge Co., Brownsburg, Quebec, Canada
DA Dominion Arsenal, Montreal, Canada
DAC Dominion Arsenal, Quebec, Canada
DAL Dominion Arsenal, Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
DAQ Dominion Arsenal, Quebec, Canada
DC Dominion Cartridge Co., Canada
D /|\ C Defense Industries, Brownsburg, Quebec, Canada
DF Indian Government Ammunition Factory, Dum Dum, Calcutta, India
DI Defence Industries, Inc., Verdun, Canada
D Indian Government Ammunition Factory, Dum Dum, Calcutta, India
E Eley Brothers, Ltd., Edmonton, London, U.K.
EB Eley Brothers, Ltd., Edmonton, London, U.K.
F Small Arms Ammunition Factory, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia
G Greenwood & Batley, Ltd., Leeds, U.K.
GA Grenfell & Accles, Ltd., Perry Barr, Birmingham, U.K.
GB Greenwood & Batley, Ltd., Leeds, U.K.
GBF Greenwood & Batley, Ltd., Leeds, U.K.
GKB George Kynoch, Birmingham, U.K.
G 18 F.1 Government Cartridge Factory N1, Blackheath, Staffordshire, U.K., 1918
G 18 F.3 Government Cartridge Factory N3, Blackpole, Worcester, U.K., 1918
H /|\ N Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Hirwaun, South Wales, U.K. (1939-1945)
J Birmingham Metals & Munitions Co. Ltd./Nobel, Birmingham, U.K.
K Kynoch & Co. (Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd.), Birmingham, U.K.
K2 Kynoch (I.C.I.), Standish, Lancastershire, U.K. (1943-1944)
K4 Kynoch (I.C.I.), Yeading, Hayes, Middlesex, U.K. (1942-1944)
K5 Kynoch (I.C.I.), Kidderminster, Worcester, U.K. (1944)
KH Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Khamaria Arsenal, Jubbulpore, India
K F Indian Government Ammunition Factory, Kirkee Arsenal, India (1940-1945)
KN Kings Norton Metal Co. Ltd., Birmingham, U.K..
KYNOCH Kynoch & Co. Ltd. (Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd.), Birmingham, U.K.
L Lorenz Ammunition & Ordnance Co., Millwall, London, U.K.
LAC Dominion Arsenal, Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
M Nobel Explosives Co. Ltd.., Manchester, U.K.
MAXIM Maxim Arms Co., London, U.K.
MF Small Arms Ammunition Factory N1, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia
MG Small Arms Ammunition Factory N2, Footscray, Melbourne, Australia
MH Small Arms Ammunition Factory N3, Hendon, Australia
MJ Small Arms Ammunition Factory N4, Hendon, Australia
MQ Small Arms Ammunition Factory N5, Rocklea, Australia
MS Small Arms Ammunition Factory N7, Salisbury, Australia
MW Small Arms Ammunition Factory N6, Welchpool, Australia
NA National Arms & Ammunition Co., Birmingham
N Indian Government Ammunition Factory, Dum Dum Arsenal, Calcutta, India
P Peters Cartridge Co., Kings Mills, Ohio, U.S.A.
PC Peters Cartridge Co., Kings Mills, Ohio, U.S.A.
RA Remington Arms Co., Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.A.
RG Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Radway Green, Cheshire, U.K.
R /|\ G Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Radway Green, Cheshire, U.K.
RH Raleigh Cycle Co., Nottingham, U.K.
RL Royal Laboratory, Woolwich Arsenal, Kent, U.K.
R /|\ L Royal Laboratory, Woolwich Arsenal, Kent, U.K.,
ROF.B Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Blackburn
RR Co Ross Rifle Co., Montreal, Canada
RW Rudge Withworth Co., Nottingham (1914-1918)
SAAF Small Arms Ammunition Factory, Footscray, Melbourne, Austrralia
S Indian Government Ammunition Factory, Dum Dum Arsenal, Calcutta, India
SR Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Spennymoor, Durham, U.K.
S /|\ R Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF), Spennymoor, Durham, U.K.
TR Dominion Rubber & Munitions Co., Three Rivers, Quebec, Canada
U South African Mint, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
U <> South African Mint, Kimberley, Republic of South Africa
US US Cartridge Company, Lowell, Mass., U.S.A.
VC Defence Industries, Ltd., Verdun, Quebec, Canada
W Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.
WCC Western Cartridge Co., East Alton, Illinois, U.S.A.
WRA Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.

 


Colour coding

Headstamp ID Primer annulus Bullet tip Other feature Functional type
VII or VIIZ Purple None None Light ball
VIIIZ Purple None None Heavy ball
G1, G2, G3, G7 or G8 Red None None Tracer
G4, G4Z, G6 or G6Z Red White None Tracer
G5 or G5Z Red Gray None Tracer
W1 or W1Z Green None None AP
B4 or B4Z Blue None Step in bullet jacket Incendiary
B6 or B6Z Blue None None Incendiary
B7 or B7Z Blue Blue None Incendiary
O.1 Black Black None Observing
PG1 or PG1Z Red None Blue band on case base Practice-tracer
H1Z None None Front half of case blackened Grenade-launching
H2 None None Entire case blackened Grenade-launching
H4 None None Case blackened 3/4-inch from each end Grenade-launching
H7Z None None Rear half of case blackened Grenade-launching

The suffix "Z" indicates that graphite-glazed, single-base nitrocellulose propellant was used.

The absence of the suffix "Z" means that the propellant is unglazed, double-base cordite.

Patrice COLMANT 2008