Live round? Dead round?

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Magnas
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Live round? Dead round?

Post by Magnas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:07 pm

I was back on Dumbarton Castle foreshore (Glasgow) again this morning. Low tide was an inconvenient 6am but I managed to get there about 5am. By the time I'd found a bagful of the usual bullets the tide was on its way in so I started to make my way back towards the carpark. That's when I found this at about 5 inches in the mud.

I played safe and took it to the local police station so I didn't get the chance to measure it properly (so not asking for an i.d.) It looks like a .303 from the very useful links in this section but I couldn't find any that had the crow's foot like this one.

Crow's foot mark - VII - 1941

My real question is whether this is a live round or not. Is it live simply because it is still in its casing or is there a way to tell if it is deactivated or in some other way safe?
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Tetra73
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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by Tetra73 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:19 pm

I am no expert but as far as I know its live as there is no dent (for want of the proper term) in the center bit on the back of it

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by lewscope79 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:34 pm

Live .Primer not been struck

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by sweepstick47 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:37 pm

You were right in your actions, it appears to be a 1941 .303 Ball live round. ss47 ::g
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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by Magnas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:54 pm

Thanks for the replies. I did wonder about that round thing (primer - thanks lewscope79) on the base but more about whether it had been depressed or not, rather than if I could see a mark on it. Still I'll know for next time.

Funnily enough the policeman didn't seem too interested until I mentioned it was from 1941. I think he must like history because his eyes lit up and then he wanted to see the Victorian ones in my find bag. Might have a new detectorist on the horizon.

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:56 pm

It’s indeed a live .303. A single crows foot was the makers code for the Royal Ordnance Factory Radway Green, Crewe, Cheshire, dated 1941. ‘VII’ means it is a Mk 7 ‘Ball’ round (a Ball round is an ordinary standard bullet). ROF Radway Green was setup in 1940, and cartridges made in 1940 and ‘41 only, were marked with the crows foot. In 1942, the marking was changed to the ‘RG’ initials which is still in use today.

You did the right thing handing it in, live bullets require a firearms license to own, even in relic condition. ::g

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by Bootneck45RM » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:29 pm

Simon,
You're a blessing to the EDDMDC, spot on as always (remember the Nordenfeldt round).
Ask Andy next time you see him, he's got a souvenir for you.
Dont think youll have one 🤔.
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Len
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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by littleboot » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:35 pm

As a footnote to this...I regularly used the railway between Stoke and Crewe and Radway Green had a station on it when the factory was going. I was doing an art course at Alsager college (part of Crewe and Alsage campus of Manchester Metropolitan Uni (as it is now). It had started as a teacher training college after the war to address the shortage of teachers for the new education act.
Anyway, it had originally taken over the camp for workers at the factory. The Nissen huts (which had been in turn used by the first students) had gone by my time there in the late 79;s and brand spanking new buildings replaced them. Except for the central mess building. A low-rise building with rounded bricks on the corners. They had kept it because they had tried to knock it down and failed.....it was built to withstand bombs etc I suppose! :)
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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:51 pm

Bootneck45RM wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:29 pm
Simon,
You're a blessing to the EDDMDC, spot on as always (remember the Nordenfeldt round).
Ask Andy next time you see him, he's got a souvenir for you.
Dont think youll have one 🤔.
Regards
Len
Hi Len,

Thanks very much. :) Yes I remember the Nordenfelt. I hadn't seen it before Brian picked it up, it surprised myself that ID'd it from 15ft away! lol =))
That's jolly nice of him. See you at the next meet. :)

Best regards,

Simon
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https://wartimedalditchcamp.wordpress.com/about/

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by Magnas » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:25 am

Thanks again everyone! That's an astonishing amount of information considering I had it in hand for less than half an hour and with no actual measurements either.

I like the fact the crows foot was used as the maker's mark for such a short time.

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by Incognito » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:33 pm

Even if the primer has been struck, as long as the bullet is still in the casing and that assembly is still intact then it should be taken as live if found/unknown source. Sure, there might be deactivated losses, and often the powder or primer has become inert, but sometimes not, and sometimes it is more sensitive than when manufactured, which is why anything that is possibly live in any way should be handed in. Even the primer caps are capable of causing serious damage if played with.

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by Bootneck45RM » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:45 pm

Incognito wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:33 pm
as long as the bullet is still in the casing and that assembly is still intact then it should be taken as live
Good reminder incognito, a misfire was bad enough to extract safely, and a hang fire was even worse. No surprise one of the (I)immediate (A)ctions on the range was to get the round in question into a heavy metal box and get the armourer to deal with it! Happy days 👍😀
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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by LloydF » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:57 am

Just a question about the "crows foot stamp" - I was under the impression this meant "sold out of service" ie to a non military organisation?

Is this incorrect? (just thought I'd check after some knowledgeable answers)
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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:42 am

LloydF wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:57 am
Just a question about the "crows foot stamp" - I was under the impression this meant "sold out of service" ie to a non military organisation?

Is this incorrect? (just thought I'd check after some knowledgeable answers)

The Crows foot arrow stamp is the marking for British military ownership, used on all British military equipment. It has been used since the 1500’s and is also used by commonwealth countries in their own way (eg. Canada has the crows foot arrow within a letter ‘C’, India has the arrow with a letter ‘I’ below it, etc).
A sold out of service mark would an ‘X’ as a cancellation mark, or have another arrow stamped next to the previous arrow (stamped ‘point to point’ to form an ‘X’ to show sold out of service).

In this case of the .303 round, the arrow is used for a makers mark to help keep the secrecy of the factory during wartime, which of course is no longer a secret. ::g

Best regards,

Simon
Military Firearms and Ammunition Historian, and published author to that effect! 13 years experience of collecting, researching military ordnance and weaponry!

https://wartimedalditchcamp.wordpress.com/about/

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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by LloydF » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:25 pm

Ahh thanks for that! I had a Martini-Enfield 303 rifle amongst my collection, now that I think about it, it was double stamped, the report someone gave me on it just mentioned the crows foot referring to sold out of service.

I think I still have a picture somewhere.
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Re: Live round? Dead round?

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:40 pm

LloydF wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:25 pm
Ahh thanks for that! I had a Martini-Enfield 303 rifle amongst my collection, now that I think about it, it was double stamped, the report someone gave me on it just mentioned the crows foot referring to sold out of service.

I think I still have a picture somewhere.

20190527_171257_compress56.jpg
Nice one. ::g Yeah, two arrows pointing towards each other like your Martini is sold out of service.
Love the markings. I noticed the ‘R.I.C’ on the brass ‘ID Disc’ - The Royal Irish Constabulary, issued on the 1st July 1904. Nice bit of history.
Interesting that a police issue firearm was later sold out of service to the public, don’t think that would happen today! ::g

Best regards,

Simon
Military Firearms and Ammunition Historian, and published author to that effect! 13 years experience of collecting, researching military ordnance and weaponry!

https://wartimedalditchcamp.wordpress.com/about/

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