11.63 x 33mm belted query


I have recently acquired what I believe may be a genuine military-issue 11.63 x 33mm belted cartridge (AKA 458 x 1.5" Barnes) and would like some help in verifying (or disproving) its authenticity. I read an older post in the forum archives that sheds some light on the subject and it appears that it matches the information given there. It has a case length of 33mm (1.30") and the headstamp is W-W SUPER 458 WIN MAG. The bullet is a 500 gr. FMJ roundnose. I bought it at auction from the estate of a collector who most likely acquired it from Aberdeen Proving Grounds, but there was little other helpful information that came with the round.
Does anyone have a copy of the article about this cartridge in the IAA Journal #444, p.125 that you could send me? Also, I understand that Woodin Labs was involved in the development of this cartridge. Does anyone have contact information for Bill Woodin? While I’m not planning to sell it, I’m curious to know what it would be worth if it is genuine, as it is apparently a rather scarce item. Any guesses? If anyone has this cartridge in their own collection or knows more about it than is in COTW, I would love to hear from you. Thanks!



Dan, Bill Woodin’s email address is woodenlab@q.com. FAX number 520-298-1007. I have one identical to yours except it is head stamped “Barnes Ammo”. I don’t know any history about it, not even when or where I got it. Bill


I too, had one of the “BARNES AMMO” 1.3" (33mm) headstamped cartridges, and also one of the original 1.5" (38mm) case length versions.

Unfortunately, this is a cartridge that is very easy to fake. I don’t think there would be any way to tell a fake from one manufactured by the military.

Buyer beware.

Back issues of the JOURNAL are available via the IAA Home page. I don’t think it would be appropriate for a member to copy articles. I will say that the JOURNAL article is a very short critique of the COTW entry and really doesn’t provide any additional information.




I found the following written at a different forum:
Back in the early 1960’s the late Frank C. Barnes developed a cartridge: .458 X 1.5" (11.63 X 33mm Belted) that was subsonic with a 500 grain bullet & a velocity of around 1,100 FPS. It was an experimental cartridge used in heavy barreled bolt action rifles during the Vietnam War. If you’re interested in a low velocity cartridge this might fit your needs. More on the History of this round can be found in the 6th edition of Cartridges Of The World on page 281.
What are the Nam era rifles mentioned above?



AFAIK the rifles were bolt action sniper types. Scoped, silenced. Probably R700 or W70.

Barnes’ original wildcat was 1.5" (38mm) long. The military shortened it to 1.3" (33mm). Barnes had basic cases made up (full length, 2.850") for use by wildcatters. They were headstamped BARNES AMMO and most of the 11.63mm cartridges that you see had that headstamp.

BTW, the W-W SUPER headstamp that the OP mentioned was not used until the very late 1960s which puts his cartridge right at the borderline. I’m not saying it’s fake, I’m just saying.



Limited War Sniping by Peter Senich 1977

The contract was with AAI Corporation .

Two Model 70 .458 rifles and two thousand round of modified ammunition were delivered at the end of the contract .(page 85)

A supplement was added to the contract to improve the ballistic and firing signature and to fabricate six rifles and 9,000 rounds of ammunition for OCONUS evaluation.( page 86)



How about a picture of this cartridge. Dimensionally, it is not exactly a “Typical” rifle or sniper cartridge. For us ignorant folk, it would be nice to see a picture of this thing.


deleted as wrong category



Stonewall - Thank you. Interesting Rifle and cartridge. Out of my field, but any ammunition holds interest for me, especially stuff out of the ordinary like this. I’ll have to measure a cartridge I got from Tom Dunn years and years ago. I don’t even recall its caliber, but I still have it. It is based on a belt magnum case, but I don’t recall it being either anything “Barnes” or a “.458.” It was actually represented as a cartridge for some kind of experimental auto pistol, but once I saw it, while I did keep it, I felt that was not very likely.

Added: I found my cartridge and notes for my round. It is not the one in question here. I will open a new thread to see if anyone can give me more information on it.


Here are some pictures of the cartridge. I understand that the book The Long-Range War by Peter Senich about sniping in Vietnam has information about the Silent Sniper System and this cartridge that was developed for it. I don’t have the book (yet), but if anyone else does I’d be interested in knowing what it says. AAI was apparently contracted for the rifle conversions and the ammo; what is “AAI”?


AAI Corp. was formerly known as Aircraft Armaments, Inc.


They have had their hands on a lot of exotic small arms R&D projects: SPIW, DBCATA, SFR, SBR, TRICAP, CAWS, ACR, OICW, and most recently, LSAT/LWFA. One of their most prolific creations was the M203 grenade launcher, developed as part of the GLAD project.


The Long-Range War by Peter Senich has only a couple pages on this with no new information from his other books.

The one picture of the cartridge headstamp shows W-W SUPER 458 WIN MAG credit :Woodin Laboratory.