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Today's Moment of Collector Zen...

 Given this from yesterday: "The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.). S.A. 2575 would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition."

It's a Good (and apt) Thing that this arrived yesterday... a cherry box of 250 rounds of belted Mark VII .303 for the Vickers machinegun, carefully packed in March of 1944. A little bit of history.


11 Comments

South African, no less!
 
 As I read your post, you reminded me of a moment in my past.  As an 8-year-old boy I used very poor  judgment with my father. I said, “ Dad, it's only a .22 Caliber rifle.” Little did I know, I really aggravated by father. He told me, “I want you to grab that rifle,  that is only a .22 caliber and bring it with .22 caliber shorts and you're going to learn some lessons by experience.” We went to one of his friends who  was a butcher and he got some bones from   freshly slaughtered animals, the shinbone  of a bull in the  wing bone of a  chicken. Both of them were still warm and had blood on them. As I remember it, he put both bones  suspended from a rope and each bone had a weight at the bottom of it, Then he said, “I want you to just watch.” First, he shot the shinbone and it shattered and then he shot the wing bone, which caused the bullet to ricochet.  Then, he took the box and  asked me to read the warning out loud. “Lethal to 1 mile.” Even then, he did not argue, he presented  you with the facts and let you draw your own conclusion. I learned my lessons.

It was interesting, because about 3 or 4 years later, the local police chief came to my father with a problem.  The property across the street from my house had been sold and they were tearing down all of the trees. But they were not taking them away but limiting them in huge piles. The local  bay rat population saw this as urban renewal housing. This was not your small lab rat, but these rats were over a foot long, not including the tail. One lady had  a pie cooling off on the window sill and it fell on the ground. One of these rats balanced that pie on his nose and carried it into the wood pile. This was a problem that needed to be solved. Remember, this is something that happened a little more than 50 years ago. My father came to me and asked if I wanted to be a part of the solution, just shoot into the wood piles and use 22 shorts. There was one more thing, when you see a police car or any car, stop shooting! Only local people used to our street anyway and they were the ones who wanted this problem solved, so they didn't dare complain. There was only one incident that really blew my mind, one day the police chief'  stopped by the house to talk with my father and me. He said “It seems like we are working out the problem, I have just one suggestion, try using .22 Longs" and he handed me  a half a dozen boxes of .22 Longs. I looked over at my father and he said, “Boy, take them.” I will never forget that day  and I live in South Jersey.
 
Neffi,
R.L stands for the Royal Laboratories at Woolwich, south east of London.  This is the site they are using for the Olympic Shooting events, and has largely been overtaken by cheap housing.  The headstamp will most likely be RL 3.44 VII.  They still have an artillery museum there, and I have sent John photos we took when visiting in 2009.  The I.S.A.A. under the broad arrow is the acceptance mark for the Inpectorate of Small Arms and Ammunition.  I don't know why it is marked "for machineguns only" unless it is because of the belt, as Mk. 7 is interchangeable.  Some of the later Mk. 8z is loaded hotter for machine guns and has a boattail bullet that can be hard on the throats and bores of rifles as the stiff bullet may not fully seal the bore.  (Ask me how I know this!)  PP in Yugoslavia and successors made quite a lot of 8z.
 
 I doubt the amendment is going anywhere. It might, and odds are long, make it through the collection of morons known as the Senate, but it will not even be considered in the House. Too many remember what happened in 1994 and 2010 and will view the amendment as a normal person would the plague.

Boat tail bullets tend to be hard on barrel throats in any quick firing rifle. I'm not sure why as the time of exposure to the hot propellant gases is only marginally longer and boat tail bullets aren't any less efficient at sealing the bore. It could be that the Mk 8 bullet was stiffer in the jacket than others, but I have no way of knowing that.
 
We all know the tragic number of crimes committed with a Vickers gun in .303.....

Next thing you know, some kid will be bringing one to school.  
 
 If they're my kid... *two*.  One with a smooth jacket, one corrugated.

 
SezaGeoff, thanks for the info! I saw the SA and ran with it...
 
 And saved me having to do it, too!
 
Mister Armorer, let me show you what YOUR son had in his locker!

http://www.terresdememoire.com/GB/sites/machinegun.html
 
 Not *my* son, Mr. Regis. I rather think that if it were my son, they would look like this, properly configured and with needful accoutrements for indirect fire, as well as direct fire.  And enough ammo to be useful.
 
That'd be a big locker. 

Does the collection of yours include a Lee-Metford?