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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About 20 years ago, my father bought this case of British 7.92 ammo for the colossal sum of $6.00. I was not with him when he bought it, but he said no one at the auction knew what 7.92 was, so only one other person placed a bid. Anyway, he figured I would know what it was, so he brought it home.
Back around 2000, shortly after he bought it, I fired a few rounds through one of my Hakim’s at some steel plates, which it readily laser-beamed through. I also tried to cut one of the bullets into with a hack saw blade, and it skated across it like glass once it cut through the jacket. So it does have a hardened core. I never tested it with a grinder, but I have read that the core is tool steel, not tungsten. The case has been ‘hiding’ in the back of a dark storage room for the past 20 years, so I thought I’d shed some light on it.

From what I have found on my research, this ammo was made by the British specifically for the Czech-designed Besa machine gun. The metal ammo cans inside the crate are stamped with “H B & S” and dated 1943. Each can most likely originally held a 225 round belt of 7.92. The cans were re-packed with seven (perhaps originally eight) boxes of loose rounds packed randomly with 35 – 45 rounds per box. Each box has blue or green reinforcing tape on the corners, and are taped closed with filament reinforced packing tape. One of the tins has an added box of .303 British ammo, but I’m not sure if it was originally added to the crate, or added later after importation into the U.S.A.

The head stamp on the ones I have looked at are all marked ( K2 44 over WIIZ ). From what I have read, K2 designates it was made by Kynoch at their wartime factory in Standish, UK. The ‘44’ designates the 1944 date of manufacture. The ‘W’ indicates its armor piercing projectile, and the ‘IIZ’ indicates the Mark IIz projectile shape, which had a slightly longer boattail, probably for better long distance accuracy. Each projectile has a silver cupronickel jacket.

The green painted crate is stamped ‘ABL 1943’ on the top of the vertical side supports. The front side is stenciled with ‘600’ and ‘7,92-AP’ in white paint, presumably indicating it contains 600 rounds of 7.92X57 ammo. The bottom of the crate has ‘H 29’ over ‘IE’ burned into the wood with a hot branding iron. On the outside of each of the short end walls, a large ‘M 7’ is affixed with slotted countersink wood screws. The M and 7 appear to be made of cast aluminum, but I didn’t remove them to verify. The vertical supports of the crate are reinforced to the bottom with steel brackets, and the lid is secured with two half-bands secured with slotted pan-head screws. On the inside bottom of the lid, there is a packing or inspection label printed and filled out in Arabic. As of now, I have not attempted to translate it or ascertain its country of origin, but I suspect it is a North African country – not an Arabian country. If this did come from a North African country, I can only imagine this crate bouncing around on the back of a British tracked vehicle in early 1943, chasing Rommel’s forces across the sands of Tunisia. Than again, the label may trace it back to Iraq, Jordan, or Syria

Sites I gained info from.
https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/7-92mm-besa/7-92mm-besa-armour-piercing
http://militarycartridges.nl/uk/792x57_besa.htm
http://www.armourinfocus.co.uk/churchill/restoration/stowage/ammo.htm

I have never seen any other case like this before. Have any of you? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.













 

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Seen many of that crate type, but always filled with .303. Nice ammo! I suspect it is a mark II bullet and the “z” indicates nitrocellulose powder vs cordite, but I bet the Brits never loaded 7.92 BESA ammo with anything but nitrocellulose.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Seen many of that crate type, but always filled with .303.
I went back and looked at another website I saw that shows a can like mine. It states the cans were loaded with belted 7.92, but I'd bet it was used universally to hold .303 and 7.92. The link below is a little confusing, as it mentions them loaded with a 255 round belt. It then mentions the ammo was loaded in 225 round belts. I tend to think the '255' is just a typo.
Here's the link. I added it to my original post.
http://www.armourinfocus.co.uk/churchill/restoration/stowage/ammo.htm
 

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I went back and looked at another website I saw that shows a can like mine. It states the cans were loaded with belted 7.92, but I'd bet it was used universally to hold .303 and 7.92. The link below is a little confusing, as it mentions them loaded with a 255 round belt. It then mentions the ammo was loaded in 225 round belts. I tend to think the '255' is just a typo.
Here's the link. I added it to my original post.
http://www.armourinfocus.co.uk/churchill/restoration/stowage/ammo.htm
This is the common content/label of that crate for me. British & Pakistani .303
 

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Mine same crate, cardboard boxes appx 48 rounds per box, gm clad jackets, mine some click-bang ammo. Cores grin at hacksaw like my dog with tummyrubs. Century purchase. UPS "drop off", crate damaged, or dropped off of some sort of trucks in the 50 years of travels. As you say, bullets put holes thru lots of stuff. Hard stuff, thick stuff, dont matter. .217 berdan primed, powder still good, primers may get tired, mine no interior deterioration.
 

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Seems that the Arabic written slip has a date of it of 5/71, when I guess the ammo was checked.
 

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Your Dad made a good purchase! The "W" on the headstamp does indeed mean AP. Worth some money on GB., but some states won't allow it. I have a box of .303 British like those.
VWMAN.
 

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The form is in Arabic, so the last source is most-likely Iraq or Egypt. I don't see anything on the form to tell me which, but I am a VERY minimal readier of Arabic.
 
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