A cautionary tale – in pictures!

During the clearance work I found another .303 cartridge. The headstamp was pretty dirty and or corroded, and in my ignorance, I tried cleaning it with a brillo pad and some meths.

.303 cartridge. Note the red annular ring.

.303 cartridge. Note the red annular ring.

Lettering on headstamp appearing.

Lettering on headstamp appearing.

Red paint on annular ring disappearing as stubborn dirt is also being removed.

Red paint on annular ring disappearing as stubborn dirt is also being removed.

Writing on headstamp just about fully revealed; red paint just about lost.

Writing on headstamp just about fully revealed; red paint just about lost.

The last picture reveals the red paint has just about all been removed, however both the writing and the firing pin indentation are very much visible. Better conservation techniques may have enabled all its features to be revealed and conserved.

The headstamp revealed the lettering:

B /|\ E   1942   G II

This identifies it as the cartridge of a .303 tracer bullet made in 1942, in the Royal Ordnance Factory the Royal Ordnance Factory in Blackpole (not Blackpool), in Worcester. The red paint (before it got removed!) confirms it was a tracer bullet.

The oval shaped indent in the middle was from a firing pin of the same shape – which means it was fired from a bren light machine gun. Every half dozen or so bullets was a tracer to help keep the gunner on target.

A Bren gunner of 8th Royal Scots at Moostdijk,...

A Bren gunner of 8th Royal Scots at Moostdijk, 6 November 1944. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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One thought on “A cautionary tale – in pictures!

  1. Pingback: Fifth Dig Day | Newmarket Hill

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