Tropical ball

#1
Shooting 303s as a cadet in the early eighties. ISTR the AMMO boxes always seem to be marked up as "tropical ball"

What did this mean?

What is/was the shelf life on stuff like this?

Cheers7

Mechy
 
#2
Shooting 303s as a cadet in the early eighties. ISTR the AMMO boxes always seem to be marked up as "tropical ball"

What did this mean?

What is/was the shelf life on stuff like this?

Cheers7

Mechy

"Tropical" indicates that the box was sealed against environmental conditions.

In the old wooden crates, the ammo was inside a sealed tin inside. In the later all-metal boxes, often the sides of the lid would be sealed with bitumen and the rounds in plastic packs. Some of the metal tins (i.e. like the modern ammo tins) were almost impossible to open because of the sealant!

As regarding shelf life, the Army will have a time duration based on some guesstimate - maybe a year in hot climate, etc. Hence all the ammo that gets destroyed in Afghanistan, etc. Thats really a modern HSE thing; in the past ammo was stored for decades in places like Hong Kong or Singapore.

In practice, ammo stored in reasonably dry conditions remains perfectly functional for up to a century. The only thing that really deteriorates is the primers of ammo made in the 1930s or before - the compound becomes inert after a while, so you get a "dud", even if the propellant is fine.

We in the historic rifles shooting community often use ammo that is up to 100 years old; British cordite .303" was amazingly durable stuff.
 
#3
Not the kind of rash developed operating in Caia with 99% humidity and 38 degree heat for weeks at a time during the floods then.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
I do recall a rather good Reels evening at Stanley Fort with the Black Watch. Slightly less formal than a ball but plenty dancing to make one's balls sweaty
 
#5
I do recall a rather good Reels evening at Stanley Fort with the Black Watch. Slightly less formal than a ball but plenty dancing to make one's balls sweaty
Tunes of Glory with John Mills and Alec Guinness?
 
#6
Thanks for the reply @4(T)
 
#7
So, why were we holding stock of .303 in the eighties? Was it just so us wee cadets had something to blatt off?

From 82 to 87 I never saw 7.62, even on camp with the CTT.

.303, 9mm and .22 RF was all.

Just curious.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
Was a cadet in the 80's all we ever fired was .303.
The armoury had several sections in which were Number 4s, SMLEs and even Martini rifles, though we never got to fire those. And a few other odds and sods.
 

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