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Old January 31, 2013, 05:30 AM   #36
Rainbow Demon
Senior Member
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
FWIW the .303 british was determined to be "too powerfull" & "Excessive", after [email protected] & there were serious attempts to replace it with something having ballistics akin to the 30-30.
All the Main Battle Rifle cartridges were in that same boat, the Germans and Russians being among the first to look to intermediate cartridges for autoloaders.

The 7.62 NATO was not much more than a rimmless .303, with case better suited to mid length stroke autoloader actions.
There was a slight edge in velocity, mainly due to better propellents.

Ballistically the 150 gr commercial loads mentioned early are a duplicate of early NATO Ball ballistics.

The MkVII bullet caught a lot of flack because of excessive tissue distruction of non fatal wounds. Its killing power was never in question, but the lack of high quality anti-biotics among the AXIS powers medical corps (only the U S could mass produce Penicillin at that time) meant fewer survivals of wounded men and a much higher amputation rate because of tissue disruption and fragmenting.
A similar issue came up when some 7.62 ammo was found to fragment in much the same way, that ammo being officially pulled from production, the fragmentation was blamed on improperly made jackets.

A penetration of sand bags or packed earth of 48 inches is often quoted for the .303. That did not match the results of my own tests with the MkVII ammo so I did some searching and found that this was the figure for the MkVI bullet. Later manuals state that the pointed bullet (MkVII) gave penetration of more like 42 inches, which is optimistic to say the least.
The older round nose bullets of the MkVI .303 and the .30-40 Krag out penetrated any of the later spire point Ball rounds of the same or lesser weight despite higher velocities.
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