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303 Machine gun belt

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303Guy View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 19 2013 at 6:46pm
Can anyone identify this machine gun belt.  I got it today with a sporter SMLE I bought.  The ammo is 1942 Mk VII.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2013 at 7:26pm
Interesting, I have a couple of hundred PPU 303 cases which have marks showing they clearly were held in a disintegrating belt. I'd like to know what your belt is too. I think that 303 disintegrating link belts may have been used in Browning aircraft machineguns: http://www.rjmilitaria.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=207.

Unfortunately I didn't check the seller claim that my cases were boxer primed - they're berdan. Luckily I've located a hydro-punch decapper.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArcherSix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2013 at 11:09pm
I'm not 100% on this, but that looks like someone stuck .303 rounds into Soviet pattern links. They look likt the non-disintegrating belt that goes with the RPD LMG. The 'finger' coming out of the individual link it supposed to snap into the 7.62x39 rounds extraction groove.
Like I said, I'm not 100% but I think that's what you have.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 10:08am
These aren't disintegrating links, there are linked with spiral spring wire like some MG34 or MG42 belts.
 
Its possible that these might still work through a Vickers or Browning that normally used cloth belts, though not made for that purpose.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 10:23am
Could this be a PK belt when the PK was still in 7.62 x 54?  I think the PKM is in 7.62 x 39?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 5:10pm
The 7.62x54 does not fit and I can't find my 7.62x39 cases.  The latter does seem plausible. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 5:52pm
 Is the ammunition unfired? Are you going to try it?
I have a few of those cases in my kit somewhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 20 2013 at 8:12pm
It has been thirty plus years since I have "played" with Russian ammo so it is only a guess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2013 at 2:22am
They are good rounds, unfired and no, I won't be firing them.  Apart from being old and cordite, they have a novelty collectors value to me, even if they don't belong in the belt.

I never knew or dreamed that the 7.62x39 would have been used in a belt fed machine gun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2013 at 4:36am
The 7.62 x 39 is an interesting round.

The first time I saw it was in 1966 when my brother showed me an SKS and ammo.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2013 at 4:38am
The 7.62X39 beltfed guns are not used by major militaries near as much these days. Effective body armor has greatly reduced the viability of such a cartridge at the range where a beltfed squad auto would be best employed. Now days its greatest effect would be at close range where a AK would work just as well.
Even terrorist prefer the main battle cartridge chambered LMGs these days, using Iranian copies of old Soviet 7.62X54 guns and refurbished WW2 LMGS like the Bren and MG42, sometimes rebarreled to 7.62 NATO. They've even found 1919A6 and BAR in terrorist weapons caches in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
 
There are plenty of these still 7.62 beltfeds still available in the third world, and I've heard of some contractors using these for close range vehicle defense and to engage crowds of rioters who aren't well equiped or armored.
 
The 7.62X39 cartridge case has similar shape and dimensions to the front half of the .303 case. Some Enfields have been converted to 7.62X39 by simly setting the barrel shank back and using the remaining portion of the .303 chamber.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2013 at 5:14pm
Interesting!  Well, I haven't looked for those case but I'm sorta thinking it is a 7.62x39 belt in which case I can get some milsurps to populate that belt with.  I'd still like a piece of 303 belt for those rounds.  Maybe I'll just leave it as it is to hang up in my loading cabinet.

I don't plan on re-chambering a 303 to 7.62x39 but I do plan on joining a 22lr barrel to a 303 chamber to form a 22/303 wildcat for cast bullets.  A 16 twist can stabilize a 60gr bullet with a low muzzle blast cartridge.  The 22/303 is very close to a rimmed 220 Swift but a 22lr barrel won't last with full power jacketed loads.  I do have a 14 twist barrel steel 22lr barrel from a Toz but I want that one for a 22 hornet or 222 Remington.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2013 at 2:00am
Originally posted by 303Guy 303Guy wrote:


I don't plan on re-chambering a 303 to 7.62x39 but I do plan on joining a 22lr barrel to a 303 chamber to form a 22/303 wildcat for cast bullets. 



Pig Erm.... is that not potentially catastrophic? Would a 223 barrel not be a wee bit stronger?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2013 at 3:47am
Yes it would be but the barrel itself will take a lot of pressure before it bulges and I plan on only shooting low pressure loads with cast.  I suspect the steel I have is actually barrel steel - not 4140 like the Toz barrel is supposed to be - as used on early rifle barrels.  I'm concerned about bore wear, not steel strength.  If I can determine what steel is used I might be able to shoot jacketed bullets and that would be great.  Those wee 22's are hard to cast!

The barrel I have is a Cooey Model 75 which I think is the Canadian military 22 training rifle.  Anyway, it has a sharp high pitched ring to it when flicked with a finger.  I also have a Gecardo barrel which sounds like the Toz and a 303 barrel - a dull thud with no ring.

The advantage of a large case with such a small bore for cast bullets is the case volume keeps the pressure down by virtue of its size and still produce decent velocities, up in the mid 2000's.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2013 at 5:48am
You need help mate LOL
But I can't criticize too much, I compress the loads in my 223 deer rounds. 1.9cc of H4895 will fit in at a squeeze and it is VERY flat shooting.
Good luck, It would be interesting to see pics of the loaded round and the rifle.Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2013 at 6:30am
Might be a good idea to use a shortened case or a chamber with shoulder set back to avoid some heir in the future running a full power 22/303 through it.
If left full length with shoulder set back you would have a longer neck which would cover the lube grooves of cast bullets avoiding contamination by grit, and be sure of the gas check being held by the case neck so no gas checks come off prematurely.
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