The Boy’s anti-tank round appeared on the blog a few years ago here. I have recently been able to acquire a complete clip of five inert Boy’s rounds and so tonight we are revisiting the topic to look at this set:This particular clip is particularly impressive when laid alongside a charger of five .303 blanks:These clips were not used to load the rifle with like that of the Lee Enfield, but rather to hold a magazine’s worth of ammunition together in one easy to handle package. The clips are made of brass, with a flat spring in the base to provide some pressure to hold the rounds in place:This charger is stamped ‘CHP’ and the date of 1941:CHP stands for ‘Charles Pugh’ who manufactured the clip. Other clip markings include ‘MS’ for Meyer & Sons, ‘MUL’ for Midland Utilities Ltd and a Canadian manufacturer ‘VEP’ which were Villas Enamel Products of Orillia, Ontario.
The rounds had to be removed from the clip in order to load the magazine, and the manual for the Boys explained the procedure to load:
The magazine- Holds five rounds. Inside is a platform and a powerful spring.
To fill- Hold the magazine in one hand, resting it on the knee or on a solid surface. Press down the platform and insert the base of the cartridge under the magazine lips. Push the cartridge into the magazine. Continue this action until the magazine is filled.
To empty- Push each round forward with the nose of a bullet and remove.
Interestingly the rounds in this set include both those produced at Kynoch and those from Radway Green:The dates of these rounds indicate production continued into 1943, long after the Boys was obsolete as an anti-tank rifle. Its continued service came about as it was an excellent anti-materiel rifle that was effective against pill boxes, machine gun nests and lightly armoured vehicles and even the US Army borrowed a small quantity to use in this long range role.
These rounds are of course inert, and to comply with UK law where there are restrictions on the ownership of even inert armour piercing rounds, I am assured that the heads have had the bases cut to destroy their ballistic abilities and prevent them from being fired accurately- thus making them legal to own.