A .303 secret?

#1
I faintly remember reading a website which claimed that the .303 military bullet had a secret. Apparently, it contained an aluminium cone which caused it to become unstable upon hitting - making it the first 'tumbling bullet' - is this true?
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#2
Sounds like an expensive trick - if true
 
#3
Hardly a secret: billions of the rounds were made.

Standard military MkVII ball does indeed have an alloy or wood insert in the nose. It serves the dual purpose of moving the centre of gravity to the rear of the bullet, thereby improving its ballistic properties, and also - yes - producing a greater energy transmission on impact.

It was never a secret - the MkVII was developed over years of research and replaced earlier solid, round-nosed bullets that had poorer properties. The resulting round is one of the all-round best ever cartridges ever: it can shoot at one moa at 1200 yds in the right rifle, it has also been used to hunt elephant. The Germans did complain about it in WW1, but since they led with the spitzer bullet in the first place (albeit solid tip) and a few other less-than-sporting inventions, it was never an issue.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#5
4(T) said:
Hardly a secret: billions of the rounds were made.

Standard military MkVII ball does indeed have an alloy or wood insert in the nose. It serves the dual purpose of moving the centre of gravity to the rear of the bullet, thereby improving its ballistic properties, and also - yes - producing a greater energy transmission on impact.

It was never a secret - the MkVII was developed over years of research and replaced earlier solid, round-nosed bullets that had poorer properties. The resulting round is one of the all-round best ever cartridges ever: it can shoot at one moa at 1200 yds in the right rifle, it has also been used to hunt elephant. The Germans did complain about it in WW1, but since they led with the spitzer bullet in the first place (albeit solid tip) and a few other less-than-sporting inventions, it was never an issue.
True, but the wound effects of .303 led to the Le Paradis massacre in May 1940. Members of the SS-Totenkopf Division - most of whom had never previously been in combat - thought that the Brits were using 'Dum-Dum' ammunition as the result of the 'soup-plate sized' exit wounds inflicted by standard MkVII rounds and SS-Obersturmfuehrer Fritz Knoechlein decided to make an example by having 100 or so British POWs, many of them wounded, shot.
 
#6
Hmm, bullets causing nasty wounds, shocker, Ive heard a rumour that some could also be fatal. is this true?
OS
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
cpunk said:
4(T) said:
Hardly a secret: billions of the rounds were made.

Standard military MkVII ball does indeed have an alloy or wood insert in the nose. It serves the dual purpose of moving the centre of gravity to the rear of the bullet, thereby improving its ballistic properties, and also - yes - producing a greater energy transmission on impact.

It was never a secret - the MkVII was developed over years of research and replaced earlier solid, round-nosed bullets that had poorer properties. The resulting round is one of the all-round best ever cartridges ever: it can shoot at one moa at 1200 yds in the right rifle, it has also been used to hunt elephant. The Germans did complain about it in WW1, but since they led with the spitzer bullet in the first place (albeit solid tip) and a few other less-than-sporting inventions, it was never an issue.
True, but the wound effects of .303 led to the Le Paradis massacre in May 1940. Members of the SS-Totenkopf Division - most of whom had never previously been in combat - thought that the Brits were using 'Dum-Dum' ammunition as the result of the 'soup-plate sized' exit wounds inflicted by standard MkVII rounds and SS-Obersturmfuehrer Fritz Knoechlein decided to make an example by having 100 or so British POWs, many of them wounded, shot.
My Great Uncle had been withdrawn to be an initial formation/selection cadre NCO for the Commandos in late May 1940 as he was a professional soldier rather than a volunteer and was hard as a really hard thing. He left for the UK a couple of days before his company was captured and murdered....a very lucky escape.
 
#8
Oneshot said:
Hmm, bullets causing nasty wounds, shocker, Ive heard a rumour that some could also be fatal. is this true?
OS
I heard that they do sting a bit, but haven't been hit with one that I know of so i can't really comment from a personal view. Before anyone offers, I'm ok really, no need to shoot me, honest
 
#9
Yeah, a sucking chest wound is usually a good indication that you're losing a fire-fight. I've spoke to some people and they have assured me that it does hurt!!
 
#10
It was the old 215 gr round nose bullet that was used on Ellys.

The very attributes that make the spitzer a good manstopper make it a poor choice for pachyderms.

I'll get my anorak
 
#11
Can elephants use guns?

is that where the term elephant gun comes from?
 
#12
theoriginalphantom said:
Oneshot said:
Hmm, bullets causing nasty wounds, shocker, Ive heard a rumour that some could also be fatal. is this true?
OS
I heard that they do sting a bit, but haven't been hit with one that I know of so i can't really comment from a personal view. Before anyone offers, I'm ok really, no need to shoot me, honest
You'd think so woudnt you, but wasnt there a Para in the Falklands who took three rounds of 5.56 in the leg, and didnt notice until after he'd cleared the enemy trench and fired the Argies head off of his bayonet? 8O

Could just be a Para thing I s'pose. :wink:
 
#13
yeoman said:
It was the old 215 gr round nose bullet that was used on Ellys.

The very attributes that make the spitzer a good manstopper make it a poor choice for pachyderms.

I'll get my anorak
No need for the anorak, very useful information if you're hunting with a .303. The 215gr is still made today, far better for big game than the very pointed spizer as it doesn't get deflected -vital organs deep behind big muscles and bones etc.
However, the .303 was simply not powerful enough to safely take against dangerous game but as a mankiller it was perfect......
 
#16
Oneshot said:
Hmm, bullets causing nasty wounds, shocker, Ive heard a rumour that some could also be fatal. is this true?
OS
Only if taken internally.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#17
pitbull said:
Yeah, a sucking chest wound is usually a good indication that you're losing a fire-fight. I've spoke to some people and they have assured me that it does hurt!!
The writer Auberon Waugh managed to shoot himself seven times with a .30 Browning MG whilst on active service in Cyprus in the late 1950s (he had noticed that it didn't seem to be properly fixed onto the mount in the turret of his Ferret and had gone round the front to wiggle the end of the barrel, causing the whole belt of 250 (?) rounds to be expended). He claimed that it didn't begin to actually hurt until several hours later, though he felt winded - several of the bullets had gone through his lungs - and was disturbed by the sound of blood gushing out. Ouch.
 
#18
Auberon Waugh tells it better... "Kiss me, Chudley!" :D
 
#19
Okay spotters, what do the small (VERY small) markings on the base of a mk VIII .303 round denote? That's on the projectile itself, not the cartridge case.
 
#20
Awol said:
Okay spotters, what do the small (VERY small) markings on the base of a mk VIII .303 round denote? That's on the projectile itself, not the cartridge case.
It means " I have no friends or social life and must get out more."
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top