After the Second World War the British
army needed to find a new rifle cartridge. They used the rimmed .303 British for
decades and it was obsolete by now so they had to replace it.
During the Second World War the German
army had developed an intermedium cartridge (the 7.9x33mm kurz) for their
assault rifle the mp43. After the Second World War the UK investigated the
technical development of this captured rifle and its cartridge.
The advantages of a short cartridge were
the amount of rounds an individual soldier could carry and the increased
firepower. (It is easier to manipulate the rifle when fired fully automatic.)
The ideal caliber panel conducted a
theoretical study to find the ideal caliber and they came up with 2
possibilities; a .250 with tungsten carbide core or a.276 round if tungsten
carbide cores were forbidden.
With this information the British army
designed two new types of ammunition, a .270 round and a .276 round.
The .270 Enfield was produced in 5 different types, but after 17 month the .270 project was terminated in favor of the .280 development.
(ball, ball, API, tracer)
Two types of ball rounds were developed; one with a lead core and a paper tip filler and one with a mild steel core and a lead sleeve. Both rounds weighted 100 grains. The first had a blue tip and the second a plane bullet tip.
.270 ball round with orange laquered aluminium case and a plane tip, headstamp R.G. 48 270 (Collection of mr. J. Miles)
The .270 Tracer round had a copper internal tracer cannister, and was marked with a white bullet tip. The tracer bullet weighted only 93 grains.
Armour Piercing / Incendiary (API):
There was also an API round produced. It was identified by a black bullet tip. The API bullet had a hard steel core and a GM envelope.
Not much is known about the .270 observation but it is probably of the same design as the .280 observation.