1914 .45acp

I have 7 of these rounds, with the original magazine, from a M1911 carried during WWI. Are these a prize or just old cartridges?
The headstamp reads; F A 1 14.
The primers are sealed and the bullets appear to be copper-nickle plated.

Your rounds are standard U.S. Ball M1911 cartridges produced by Franford Arsenal, Philadelphia Area, Pennsylvania. The cases were made in January 1914 and they were likely loaded in that month or in February, depending on when in the month the cases were made. All the features of your rounds are standard for the time.

These are nice, early FA .45 rounds, but they are, generally speaking, fairly common among collectors. Some headstamp dates are rarer than others, but while I collect .45 in a very serious way, I do not collect every date, and so am not sure if “1 14” is a common date or one of the scarcer ones. Serial production of the Ball, M1911, started at Frankfor Arsenal in August 1911, although the first headstamp known for that year is dated in September (9 11). The bullet weight of your rounds is 230 grains, by the way. The bullet is tinned, while the very first bullets in 1911 were cupronickel jacket projectiles. Tinning was authorized in January, 1912.

If you have any other questions on these, follow up on this thread and someone will surely answer them.

Thank you John.

When you say the bullet is tinned, is that a tin dip or the like because the one I have before me has a slight scratch on it that exposed copper


If the magazine is an original from the period it is probably worth more than the cartridges. If it’s a Cavalry model it’s worth even more.


Supposedly the mag is original. The owner of the pistol gave me the mag with the cartridges still in it for a new mag and some “newer” ammo. I do not think he fired it before he died and a son-in-law got the gun after his death.

How would I know if its original. There are no markings on it.
Here’s a pic.


It’s hard to tell from such a dark photo. Magazines from the early days of the 1911 pistol were two-toned in color. The bottom half was blued and the top half was polished but not blued. The rivits that held the base were a little different than later ones and it takes a trained eye to tell the difference. The follower was, likewise, different. The early ones (followers)were of better quality while later ones were simply sheet metal stampings.

The one you showed is an infantry magazine. Cavalry magazines had a loop in the bottom that was used to attach a lanyard. Cavalry pistols had a similar loop in the butt to attach another lanyard. A Cavalryman had lanyards attached to all of his equipments and accoutrements so it could not be dropped and lost.

You might search the net to find a site or Forum that specializes in military pistols. You could probably get an indication of value there. I haven’t dealt in this kind of stuff for quite a few years. But, I’d bet it hasn’t gotten any cheaper.

Here’s a photo of an old Cavalry magazine from my collection.


A "tinned bullet jacket on American pistol ammo is usually a tin coating over a gilding metal (copper, basically) jacket.

Check your magazine on the top side of the floor plate - the part that sticks out in fron of the magazine body- to see if their is a letter on it. If so, it is a WWII vintage magazine. It does not look to me like the magazine is a WWI magazine. The have the top half or so “int the white” as they say, I believe because that part was hardened and didn’t take the blue. Later magazines are all blued. If there are no markings on the magazine of any type, then it will take someone who really collected .45 Autos in a serious way, probably, to tell you when it was made and whether it is a genuine GI clip or some after-market magazine. I suspect it will be G.I., but I don’t know that from your picture. Even a WWII magazine is worth more than the cartridges you mentioned, unless they are a rare date combination, which as I mentioned, I am not qualified to judge because I con’t collect dates and care nothing about having rare dates as long as I have a cartridge of all the identical characteristics.


Here’s a link to a site/forum you might want to look at.


Also, I just remembered this photo that I had that shows a CN bullet, left, and the tinned, right.