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Cartridges based on the .303 British

At the end of the Second World War, Australia found itself with large stockpiles of 303 service rifles. During 1948 onwards, restrictions were placed on jacketed ammunition by the government and that had the effect that various individuals started wildcatting the .303 British case. From and old 1991 ECRA newsletter, there were some colourful names attributed to these developments namely: 303/22 WASP, 303/22 SPRINTER, 303/22 FALCON (also known as the full length), 303/22 RIMLESS, 303/243, 303/25 (or 303/250), 303/250 MAGNUM (an Australian Ackley type, or straight shouldered version of the .303/25), 303/250 RIMLESS, 303/27, 303/27 MAGNUM (also an Australian Ackley type, or straight shouldered version of the .303/27, 303/38 and the 7.7x54R.

The SPRINTER, FALCON, 303/25, 303/27 and the 7.7X54R went into commercial production and many were made from military cases by the RIVERBRAND Company, who marketed these cartridges under the RIVERBRAND, VIPER, SNIPER, SPRINTER, BENZ, MYRA, POLLARD and SPORTCO brands. The SUPER CARTRIDGE Company also produced sporting ammunition, but closed down in the late 70’s – early 80’s. The brand as well as the machinery was taken over by Bertrams.

This is a listing of mainly .303 British based developments with measurements

CARTRIDGE RIM Ø HEAD/BASE Ø SHOULDER CASE LENGTH BULLET Ø
303 WASP 13mm 11mm 33mm 44mm 5.6mm
303 SPRINTER 13mm 11mm 41mm 52mm 5.6mm
303 FALCON "FULL LENGTH" 13mm 11mm 45mm 56mm 5.6mm
303 RIMLESS 11mm 11mm 41mm 52mm 5.6mm
303/243 13mm 11mm 44mm 56mm 6mm
303/250 13mm 11mm 44mm 56mm 6.5mm
303/250 RIMLESS 11.5mm 11mm 45.5mm 56mm 6.5mm
303/270 13mm 11.75mm 44mm 56mm 7mm
7.7X54R 13mm 11.5mm 43mm 54mm 7.7mm

  

This cartridge has a 50mm case length that is shortter than the 303/22 Sprinter listed below. There were a lot of wildcatters that were active during those early years and many of these experiments did not make it to commercial production.

303/22 SPRINTER

  

This cartridge has a 52mm case and was produced commercially by Riverbrand as the 303/22 SPRINTER.

  

The cartridge above has a 55mm case length and a 43mm shoulder that might have been one of the wildcat experiments that did not make it to commercial production.

303/22 FALCON

The specimens below are the 303/22 FALCON that were produced by Riverbrand and is also known as the "FULL LENGTH." It was also one of the earliest attempts by a Mr. J. Black in the search for higher velocities. The problems experienced however were the same as those by South Africa in the development of their version of the full length 303/243 called the 6mm MUSGRAVE and that was that the correct powders were not available to achieve what they set out to achieve and secondly that the old military rifles were not made to handle the higher chamber pressures needed to achieve the higher velocities to equal the then newly developed 243 Winchester. 

  

  

                              


303/25

This was a very successful development and was produced by all the major Australian manufacturers.

                              

  

                              

                              


303/270

  

  

  

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