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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 871
Location: Queensland, Australia
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As an aside, Carl's boxes are very good. Well worth a small space on one's study floor, shelf.....

AMB
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Carl Daeche


Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 45
Location: Broadstairs
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Cheers AMB for the words, glad to see you are still enjoying said box.

Dave, Any news or pictures how did the box come out?

All the best

Carl
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Adrian Whiting


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Dorset, England
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Neil,

Yes the Curtis & Harvey markings here are very interesting. One of the original boxes I have, for MkIII MHR ammunition (a MKIV for land service), is marked in the same place "RFG2", being the powder type. Interesting that this box (made 4 years after the one I have was issued so not too much of a gap) has the manufacturer rather than the powder type shown. Obviously C&H continued to make RFG2 under contract when that powder type was agreed on after the earlier Mks you mention that included their own No6 powder. I wonder if the powder type was shown when the manufacturer was the RM, and the manufacturer was shown if the rounds were filled with a contractor's powder? Not sure why this would be inconsistent.

Any ideas?

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Adrian
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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Adrian
the principal manufacturer would be Waltham Abbey, No2. I'll have a look in Temple tonight and see if they marked as such.

Neil

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Adrian Whiting


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Dorset, England
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Neil,

Sure. C & H made the RFG2 used in the MkIV round for example, although I absolutely agree the majority of service RFG2 was RM production. Labbett is well worth a check too, he tends to provide a little more detail on the manufacturers.

Take care

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Adrian
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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Adrian

According to Temple from 1874 with the adoption of the Mk111 round, powder was principally supplied from Waltham Abbey, "with the total requirement being made up from Trade Suppliers".

Regards
Neil

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Adrian Whiting


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Dorset, England
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Neil,

Yes indeed, Temple has a couple of references to private manufacturers being contracted to supply powder, thoguh very much in the minority. Labbett has rather more detail on that, including some of the contracts.

Looking at the 1888 Treatise on Arms and Ammunition I noted that SAA boxes were to be marked with the familiar labels and "Stencilled upon it also is its gross weight, date of packing, lot, and nature of powder with which the cartridges it contains are made up."

Strictly speaking for SAA I would have interpreted nature of powder to have been, for the MkIII cartridge, RFG2, but I guess that the protocol might have been to mark the box with the manufacturer if not RM at Waltham Abbey. If it was RM then the marking was the powder type. After all it would have been reasonable to proceed on the basis that if the box contains MkIII ammunition and the powder was supplied by a private supplier, the supplier should be shown as it would have been the powder type they supplied for that purpose.

This box also seems to have no date of packing stencilled on it. On mine this is on the wooden top section the other side of the sliding lid, same stencilling as the nature of powder, and the gross weight.

One thing the treatise does mention, was that the Govt explosive roundels were printed in red ink.

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Adrian
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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Adrian
I would need to see if the contractor made ammuniton (kynock, Eley) would mark their powder on the boxes. If my memory serves me correct I noted the C & H on a box I saw at Whittington Barracks. I have a full packet of unfired Mk3 ammo dated 1884 with the "K" manufacturers designation, also a full unfired packet of Eley contract ammo circa 1875-80 (No view hole), it is identical to the contract "E" ammo of 1888, the powder is not marked on the paper packet of either. Interestingly the Eley ammo lists as "Boxers Patent expanding cartridge" With boxers patent of 1866 that would give it a ten year patent protection, after that time anyone would make it, and the patent would not need to be shown, so presumably it does give an approximate date of between 1874-80.

I was reading up on the Mk4 ammunition, wan't that an experiment in trying to lower the recoil?, smaller bullet, with extra internal case rollings to reduce the powder charge.

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Jeff Dickinson


Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Baltimore, United states
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The packing date of that box is June of 78í. You canít see it in the thread pictures due to the angle of the shot.

Jeff
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Adrian Whiting


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Dorset, England
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Jeff,

Thanks for the info - excellent item there!

Neil,

Yes that's right. The MkIV was approved for manufacture (though not published in the LoC) in December 1874. It flowed from some complaints of excess recoil when compared to the Snider. A 410gn bullet was utilised along with about 80gns of C&H powder. Experiments at the RL at Woolwich showed that it did indeed reduce felt recoil to Snider levels.

At that time there were already some 23 million MkIII rounds in stock and so the plan was to hold on replacement until those stocks were used up.

Although some sources indicate the MkIV was never "issued" Woolwich records appear to differ. These show that 7800 rounds were issued in the 1873/4 year, 1,912,870 were issued in 1874/5, 1,036,980 in 1875/6 then 577,580 in 1877/8 and finally 5000 in 1879/80. Of course there may be some lack of clarity in the use of the word "issued", in that some may interpret this as not being for active service, which may well be correct. Perhaps this would be similar to the arrangements where Contract E and other rolled were used for recruit and Annual Musketry Practice whilst solid drawn was used for active service once those rounds were available.

In any event the complaints about recoil had dried up quickly and in April 1875 the decision was made that MkIII manufacture should be resumed. The round was resealed on 4th September 1877.

Incidentally I wasn't necessarily envisaging the C&H marking being applied only to boxes they might have made up - assuming the contractors ever packed the boxes. I had in mind this marking to the box being applied when RL made the rounds using, in this case perhaps, C&H powder and then went on to pack the boxes at RL, marking them with the powder used for that batch. You might be ahead of me here of course, but I have never found references to the contractors doing anything other than making the rounds, i.e. no references to them packing boxes and sealing them. As a result I tend to think of the contractor's role as providing any ammunition intended for military service in bundles and these being packed at RL so that a proportion could be examined first. Apols if I have misunderstood what you might be suggesting in your first line, its just that I can see several ways of doing things here!

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Adrian
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Adrian Whiting


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 76
Location: Dorset, England
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Just re-reading that and thinking I have used the term "contractors" too broadly!

What I had in mind was that a trade powder manufacturer, such as C&H, would occasionally be contracted to supply RL with powder. When RL made up rounds with that powder they may well have gone on to mark the box with the powder manufacturer used, as the "nature of the powder".

Trade cartridge manufacturers, such as Kynoch, would be contracted to supply complete rounds. When they did so I appreciate they would need to pack their rounds in some form of box for transport anywhere but where these rounds were for British Military Service I would not be surprised to find that the rounds went to RL who conducted inspection and then boxed them in service boxes. Of course another route would be to inspect them at the manufactuers and allow them to box and seal, but I have found no reference to that route being taken. The label and any other markings applied to packaging to show a commercial manufacturer do not have to have been applied by that manufacturer.

I am not sure I am making this concept any clearer so will give up here!

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Adrian
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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Adrian
I got it... I inspected two period boxes at the new Mtonjeneni museum, which I left with my tongue dragging the floor. This is the best collection of AZW relics I have seen, in one case an original MH box with over 500 spent cases from Isandlwana aroud it!,

I digress, there was two good boxes, on caught my eye.. I'll post some images of it, R ^ L on the bands, but clearly marked C & H, the other just RFG2. What I did not appreciate is the fixing of the tin lid. This appears to be a pre cut panel that is actually soldered onto the lining, ovelapping the softened edge aperture. In reality this would be easy to remove, but would prevent damp ingress. I have done sone detailed images for you.
Neil

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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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Adrian
I should have checked back in this forum link Lavaga did it for me.

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Bazza


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 10
Location: Swansea, South Wales
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What is the wording on the label on the top of the box? I cannot read it very well..any help with the wording would be very much appreciated, great topic and info
Very Happy
Bazza
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Neil Aspinshaw


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 289
Location: Loughborough
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An interesting footnote to this discussion, albeit a long time since it was held. The type of powder and date of manufacture of the boxes was not ordered until 21st June 1880 after velocity tests beginning 21.2.1880.

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MH Ammunition Box
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