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The short of it is that IVI ammunition was a company, formed in WWII, to produce small arms ammunition and explosives for the Canadian military. It was a Canadian Crown corporation that operated for close to 40 years until it was purchased in early 2007 by General Dynamics. Since then, the US has owned our small arms ammunition production. smile

I was in Borden teaching armament at that time. When the announcement was made, you could have heard a pin drop. We were stunned that Canada would no longer have ownership of its SA ammunition production.

Anyone who has spent time in the Canadian military will recognise the IVI headstamp. Here is a 5.56 headstamp. Also, the two 303 British headstamps on the right. The 303 headstamps represent two different loads. Until a few years ago, most of the 303 ammunition went to the Cdn Rangers.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]...[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

The 303 headstamp on the left is used with 180 gr soft point hunting ammunition. As far as I know, it is still offered by General Dynamics for sale. The one on the right is traditionally stamped, showing the year of manufacture (97) and the Mk of the load. In this case, it is Mk 8z. 8z ammunition has changed over the years. It was originally machine gun ammunition, said to burn out rifle barrels. Well, that was 80 years ago. Canadian made 8z has always been 175 grain BT ammunition made with a double base powder (not Cordite). Despite what you read on the Web, Cdn 8z doesn't burn out barrels. laugh

One other difference between the two 303 rounds is the lack of a crimp on the 180 gr. SP ammunition. Here is the crimp from the 8z cartridge.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Of interest, X Reload - x-reload.com - is located in Beloeil, Quebec. Beloeil was Canada's original Cordite plant, founded in 1910. In WWI, production expanded to Nobel, ON, just north of Parry Sound. In Canada, 303 British and other ammunition has not used Cordite or corrosive primers since the start of WWII.

---

Edited to add: At my website, I am asked, "I was told Hodgdon owns IMR Powder Co. If General Dynamics owns the Valleyfield powder plant in Quebec where IMR powders are made, then doesn't GD actually own it?"

Yes and no. Yes, General Dynamics owns the Valleyfield plant and manufactures the powder. It is sold to to Hodgdon, who owns the IMR name. So, Hodgdon is a reseller.

From the Genenal Dynamics website:

Being the established manufacturer of the legendary IMR powders™ for more than 30 years, GD OTS-Canada Valleyfield has gained substantial expertise in hunting and sporting applications including rifle, shotguns, pistols and muzzleloaders.

Extensive capabilities developed over several decades of operation have enabled the expansion of our product offering to a very wide range of applications such as rocket motors, igniters, high explosives fills and gas generants for civilian and military customers.

GD OTS-Canada Valleyfield ‘s production facility manufactures a complete line of single, double and triple base propellants for military and sporting applications, as well as a wide range of specialty products including high explosives fills, rocket propulsion ignition systems and gas generants.


https://www.gd-otscanada.com/product/energetic-materials/



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Steve Redgwell
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When I think Canadian ammunition “ I think CIL. Back in the early sixties they brought plastic-tipped bullets on the market but, if I recall correctly (always questionable) it was to protect the tip of the bullet from recoil damage in the magazine. A friend and I were wandering the streets of Brockville one evening when we stopped in a sporting goods store where they had some in th counter. The guy behind the counter was kind enough to get a box out and let us examine this amazing new innovation in ammunition. I think they were.30-06. As I recall, it was all round nosed stuff at that time, no attempt to improve ballistics, and the plastic tips were white.



Mathew 22: 37-39

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Originally Posted by cra1948
When I think Canadian ammunition “ I think CIL. Back in the early sixties they brought plastic-tipped bullets on the market but, if I recall correctly (always questionable) it was to protect the tip of the bullet from recoil damage in the magazine. A friend and I were wandering the streets of Brockville one evening when we stopped in a sporting goods store where they had some in th counter. The guy behind the counter was kind enough to get a box out and let us examine this amazing new innovation in ammunition. I think they were.30-06. As I recall, it was all round nosed stuff at that time, no attempt to improve ballistics, and the plastic tips were white.


Those were called Sabre Tips. One of a few innovations that were slightly ahead of their time. The rest of the world caught on about 20 years later. Now, it seems that everyone is using polymer tipped bullets. We also had Kling Kor ammunition, which were bullet jackets crimped to the cores.

The first picture is a RN Kling Kor. The second, Sabre Tips. The third another Kling Kor.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Imperial was the last name used for civilian ammunition in Canada. The company folded in the mid 1980s. That's when we saw a lot more US product to make up for the loss of Imperial. The last Imperial ammunition I bought was 22LR.


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Steve Redgwell
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I almost think I have some Imperial.22 HP ammo.



Mathew 22: 37-39

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smile. You probably do. They packaged 22 LR ammunition in plastic boxes with gold paper labels at the end .


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Steve Redgwell
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"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." - anon
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Steve;
Top of the morning to you sir, I hope the day's not too cold or snowy out east and you're all keeping warm, well and dry.

Thanks for the thread, it's interesting to see where Dominion and Imperial ammo has ended up for sure.

Here's a bit of a smattering of .22 ammo boxes from the late '20's or early '30's forward to the end of their production.

[Linked Image]

The center fire boxes are all mostly the older ones, though a couple look to be the same vintage as one of yours.

[Linked Image]

While I did have a chap let me know how to read the date codes on the boxes, I'll admit to not having taken the time to do so yet so my dates are an educated guess.

All the best to you all this weekend Steve.

Dwayne


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The ammunition they produced in the 1980s had the shiny gold and black packaging. I grabbed a box of 180 gr KKSP off the shelf for another photo op. smile

This box is beat up from carrying it in my small pack, but you can still see the shiny exterior. These were the round nose KKSPs that were very popular once upon a time. I don't remember seeing Remington or Winchester at the hardware store. It was all Dominion/Imperial stuff, including shotgun ammunition. Like a lot of people, I bought Imperial ammunition at the gun shop, or at Crappy Tire, if there was a sale.

I believe that RNs are still a good choice for brush hunting. And while some may not believe that, they have worked for over a hundred years in the 30-30 and a few others.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This is the Imperial headstamp.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here's a better picture of the bullet.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This last picture is the packing that was used the last few years before Imperial ceased production. At the time, it was the only rimfire maker that used plastic boxes. If you look closely, you can see the Valcartier Industries name on the box.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Safe Shooting!
Steve Redgwell
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"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." - anon
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Originally Posted by cra1948
I almost think I have some Imperial.22 HP ammo.

Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
smile. You probably do. They packaged 22 LR ammunition in plastic boxes with gold paper labels at the end .


I wasn’t clear enough. .22 HP. meaning .22 Savage High Power.



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That's neat. Do you still shoot that cartridge? smile


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Interesting!


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My dad had Imperial 22 lr ammo. He had it for 60? yrs. I still think I have a few . I used one a few years ago to shoot a coon in a trap . It didnt seem very loud at all, but it killed the coon anyway. I figured it didnt have much power left after 60 yrs.


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It was odd when Imperial stopped selling ammunition. There wasn't any big announcement. They just stopped. In the 1980s and before, you used to see a lot of Imperial/Dominion/IVI ammunition on the US side of the border. It was probably guys coming into Canada that picked up some ammunition while they were here. I never did ask anyone who lived just over the border if there was any for sale in the stores there.


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Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
It was odd when Imperial stopped selling ammunition. There wasn't any big announcement. They just stopped. In the 1980s and before, you used to see a lot of Imperial/Dominion/IVI ammunition on the US side of the border. It was probably guys coming into Canada that picked up some ammunition while they were here. I never did ask anyone who lived just over the border if there was any for sale in the stores there.


Steve, I lived just over the border…within sight of Brockville, ON. I think I bought the aforementioned Imperial ammo at The Sports Mart in Ogdensburg (right across The River from Prescott, ON.) I wouldn’t say it was everywhere, but it was not uncommon, especially in the less mainstream cartridges. Of course, the border was a lot friendlier place in those days.

To answer your question about whether I use the .22 HP anymore, I play with it. I make .22 HP brass from.30-30. I try different bullets. I haven’t done anything with it in several years.



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22 Savage HiPower ammunition hasn’t been manufactured in quite some time. European 5.6x52R is close but most find the bullet too long to stabilize in the Savage 1899’s rate of twist. Some guns will stabilize it decently enough, mine does not. I use cast bullets sized to .228”.

When I duck hunted in the early ‘80’s we used Imperial 12 gauge shotshells almost exclusively, #5 and #6 shot. They had high brass and dark blue plastic. The sight of them still brings back fond memories of those early morning hunts.

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Originally Posted by cra1948
Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
It was odd when Imperial stopped selling ammunition. There wasn't any big announcement. They just stopped. In the 1980s and before, you used to see a lot of Imperial/Dominion/IVI ammunition on the US side of the border. It was probably guys coming into Canada that picked up some ammunition while they were here. I never did ask anyone who lived just over the border if there was any for sale in the stores there.


Steve, I lived just over the border…within sight of Brockville, ON. I think I bought the aforementioned Imperial ammo at The Sports Mart in Ogdensburg (right across The River from Prescott, ON.) I wouldn’t say it was everywhere, but it was not uncommon, especially in the less mainstream cartridges. Of course, the border was a lot friendlier place in those days.

To answer your question about whether I use the .22 HP anymore, I play with it. I make .22 HP brass from.30-30. I try different bullets. I haven’t done anything with it in several years.


It makes sense that CIL ammunition would be available that close to the border. Like you say, the border was a lot friendlier back then.

Originally Posted by Nick1899
22 Savage HiPower ammunition hasn’t been manufactured in quite some time. European 5.6x52R is close but most find the bullet too long to stabilize in the Savage 1899’s rate of twist. Some guns will stabilize it decently enough, mine does not. I use cast bullets sized to .228”.

When I duck hunted in the early ‘80’s we used Imperial 12 gauge shotshells almost exclusively, #5 and #6 shot. They had high brass and dark blue plastic. The sight of them still brings back fond memories of those early morning hunts.

Nick


I never duck hunted, but I used to get inexpensive upland No 6 shot. I would buy a couple of boxes to do me for a couple of years. Do you know who makes the Canadian Tire budget shells?

Edited to add: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/search-results.html?q=imperial%20shells

They have these listed at Canadian Tire. None in stock, but the reviews are saying that they are available again. Maybe IVI is testing the waters.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Steve Redgwell
www.303british.com

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." - anon
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I have no idea who manufactures Canadian Tire ammunition. I haven’t bought any ammunition from them in years, I now reload for everything, rifle and shotgun.

I still have some full boxes of Imperial 22LR ammunition. Can’t bring myself to breaking that seal and shooting them. We shot a lot of them as kids in an old Cooey single shot. Iron sights only.

Nick

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I just added a picture to my post. Imperial ammunition seems to be available again. Seasonally, I expect.


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Steve Redgwell
www.303british.com

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." - anon
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Same box as in the early ‘80s. The maple leaf on the upper left corner of the box suggests it is made in Canada.

Nick

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Yes. For shotgun ammunition anyway, it looks like they are selling to the public again.


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Steve Redgwell
www.303british.com

"Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution." - anon
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I can’t find much online about the new Imperial shotshells other than sales promotion. Some threads say that they are assembled in Canada from imported components but there is very little about who is doing it. One source said it was Challenger and that they were licensed to use the Imperial trademark. This may be only speculation as I couldn’t find any other supporting information. A few reviews stated that the steel loads were very good. I haven’t purchased or shot any.

Nick

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