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Old April 28, 2013, 08:36 PM   #10
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,160
The stake crimp is specified on .303 British military ammo (the other case here is commercial ammo). There is some shoulder variation in .303, not important because the case is supported (headspaced, if you will) on the rim and the shoulder just hangs in there in the chamber.

In the early days of "small" caliber ammunition, the neck allowed the use of a large case with a heavy powder charge while firing a bullet of smaller diameter and lighter weight for higher velocity, but the cases were still rimmed. Later, Mauser figured out that if the resulting case shoulder was made uniform and the chamber made to conform, the case could be supported on the shoulder and the rim could be done away with, making feeding easier.

There is a current myth that the .303 is supposed to be supported (headspace) on the case shoulder and that if the case does not fit the chamber perfectly as well as stop on the rim, some kind of disaster will occur. Not true; the chamber can be made with very generous space with no effect at all except for problems resizing cases for reloading, something that did not concern the British army one bit.

Jim K
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