A .303 secret?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by hansvonhealing, Nov 27, 2005.

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  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?
  2. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    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.
  4. Thanks 4(T).....
  5. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    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?
  7. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    My Great Uncle had been withdrawn to be an initial formation/selection cadre NCO for the Commandos in late May 1940 as he was a professional soldier rather than a volunteer and was hard as a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. 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. 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. 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......
  14. This picture shows the different Marks.