14.5 mm x 51 mm mystery ammunition

I found these interesting cartrages with the dimentions of 14.5 mm x 51 mm. Maybe they were some sort of tracer round for a Russian or Chinese 14.5 mm cannon? Anyone have any idea what these are I can not find any information on these.

14.5 mm spotter projectile?

These are a German development and are basing on the 14.5x20R Kleinstkanone M34. This was a tiny bolt Action rifle with a artillery laying mechanizm.
There is also a subcaliber System for These.
The 51mm case came after the war and found it’s way into many armories of NATO countries and maybe some others.
The original 20mm case was used by Czechoslovakia and is still used today in Czechia and maybe Slovakia. The latest I saw from them was “environmental friendly” leadfree ammo.

There is a great article (by Will Reuter) on this caliber in the IAA bulletin #470 from 2009.

If these are dug from the ground and in the U.S., then they are the likely the result of having been fired as a projectile that was stuffed into a 20ga shotshell (which went into the dirt and did not detonate). That sort of aftermarket “exploder” shotshell spotter was a fad for a few years from around 2005-2010 mostly, when for some reason a bunch of these projectiles hit the secondary market as surplus.


Matt, not all of them are meant to have a spotting charge, some are just tracers. It depends much on the version.

Shooting these from a shotgun? This must be technical aided Darwinizm then.

Just for interest a photo of one of these projectiles disassembled.
In UK use they are supplied to us from DAG,Germany and have been given the L2A1 nomenclature.


Tony DAG/RWS is the original developer. I am not aware of any 14.5x51R licences granted to others.
If so the US might be licenced. All others I have seen in the past were made by DAG.

Alex, these rounds were also manufactured by Nico/Weber, Lake City, CBC, IOF, and I may be missing others. The former were certainly made under an agreement with DAG, but I’m not sure about the rest. LC rounds were prototypes and tests made under a product improvement program, so likely not licensed.

Fede good to see.
Who was IOF?

IOF stands for Indian Ordnance Factories, and production take place at the Ammunition Factory, Khadki. This is a current product.

Sorry Alex,there may be some confusion here as I didn’t mention the US or being made there under licence,but they were supplied to the UK by DAG.
Photo should clear up what I said about having a UK L nomenclature


Its ok Alex, they put warning labels on the packages ! …

This is normally how these 14.5s are encountered here in the U.S., in these uncrimped 20ga shells that can be handloaded into pump gun chambers, or straight into single / double barrel guns. The IAA has received questions from law enforcement before about these actually since they look something like a mini-grenade to those unfamilliar with them.

Matt, how do these stabilize then?

I still would not fire them from a shotgun.

I don’t know how they stabilize, and likely don’t very much. The shot to shot consistency of accuracy is probably poor, but then they are basically just used with the notion of shooting fireworks from a shotgun, and they usually go boom when they impact a solid target. That bit about the warning label was in jest, but nevertheless a real label.

What would the designation be for the disassembled yellow-version that Tony shows above? How does it differ from the red / yellow tip or the other yellow tip which looks to have a dimpled nose?

Did the Swiss military continue to use the short case (20mm) into the 1980s?

Why Swisss? The Czechs did and still do somehow.