View Full Version : Mark VIII .303 Ammo

May 9, 2009, 12:00 AM
Since we're on the topic of Enfields, I have 2 boxes of Prvi Partizan ammo labelled Mark VIII. It's actually labelled in Cyrillic and the primers are sealed, I am assuming this is genuine military ammo. Anyway, I've read it is made for the Vickers machine guns and generally should not be used in Enfields because it is loaded very hot. I'm thinking about pulling the bullets, loading it to my specs and reseating the bullets. Old powder makes great fertilizer....

Or should I just shoot it, it's 30 rounds.

May 9, 2009, 06:22 AM
A cruffler who doesn't visit Box o' Truth? Blasphemy!

Here's a link where the Mark VIII in the SMLE had disastrous results...for a squirrel:

(Doesn't sound like an issue.)

May 9, 2009, 06:28 AM

May 9, 2009, 07:21 AM

The British army stipulated that the MkVIII ammo was not to be fired in the SMLE because it burned out the bore at a fast rate. If you care about maintaining the condition and life of your barrel I strongly advise you don't fire it.

Box of Truth is a good site but I don't think they always have the best info on milsurps and Enfields.

Best, Tiki.

May 9, 2009, 07:41 AM
I went and did a search and Wikipedia tells me that the problem is the boat-tail bullets, not the hot load. Is that true, or is it a combination of both?

Would they be OK for an Enfield if I pulled the bullets and dropped the charge?

If not, I will pull the pullets and toss them but at $21 for a box of 100 bullets that are currently out of stock, I hate to toss them.

May 9, 2009, 08:30 AM

As usual Wikipedia is only half right ... the story of the boat tails is largely relevant to the No4 2 groove barrels specifically - not so the other numbers. The facts of the matter have always been that they were not designed for the SMLE - only for the machine guns and the hot load is certainly one of the issues. Barrel life was said to be halved using the MKVIIz and MkVIII ammo so I'd stick with the British Army specs rather than Wikipedia.

Here is the real reason why ...

Caution should be exercised when considering the use of the MkVIII round though, especially in older Long Lee’s or SMLE’s. According to Labbett & Mead's ".303 Inch" ballistics for the MkVIII it is listed as 20-21 tons/sq versus 19.5 for the MkVII with a muzzle velocity of over 2500fps as opposed to the 2440fps of the MkVII. At 2240lb/ton, this means pressures of up to 47,000psi, which is chasing at the heels of, if not breaching, current published safe pressures for the Lee action. I must thank Dr. Justin Moretti for bringing this potential hazard to my attention.

Cheers, Tiki.

May 9, 2009, 12:51 PM
So based on all the information, I decided definitely not to fire the mark VIII's. I had hoped I could salvage the bullets and/or brass.

Apparently not.

Not only are the cases Berdan primed but the bullets are so incredibly tight, they are destroyed upon removal and the process of yanking the bullets even broke my shellholder!

So now I have have 29 emergency rounds, for when the SHTF. Unless anyone would like to take them off my hands?

May 10, 2009, 10:24 AM
I have removed bullets that were in tight by rolling the neck between to pieces of steel.and if you think about it why not pull the bullets and drop the powder charge 10%.nothing wrong with bullets.Privi is good ammo made in serbia. sold by GRAFS.I use the brass in 6.5 jap/carcano and 8 mm lebel.plus loaded 7.65 argentina.
as far as that goes the german ammo with 190 gr is all machine gun ammo.
that about the pressure is sort of odd as I understood the enfield was rated at 45,000.thats the SAAM spec. 22 tons is 44,000 lbs.
The enfield is a very good long range shooter.it shoots better at long range than most other military rifles. :rolleyes::eek: