.30-06 blanks made from fired cases


I received the following email:

'I command the American Veterans Honor Guard, a Washington state non profit corporation. We provide Military Funeral Honors which includes firing of M-1 rifles.
We have two wooden boxes marked as above (Cartuchos De Fogueo FA.90). The contents is 1000 30.06 blank rounds in folded plain (unmarked) cardboard containers, which are stacked in the wooden boxes front to back (so the taper fits). The cartridges have various headstamps, such as FN65, FA42, WCC 54, TW54, 1M30 30 66, RA55, LC67, WRA54, FN52, LC66, RA57. LC53, etc. Nearly all have a blue lacquer sealant on the crimps.
My concern is the probability that these will be corrosive, although I understand that those mfr’d after 1957 are o.k. I would appreciate any comments you would make on this as I try to keep my equipment in good shape, and my men safe from explosions

I would expect these are smokeless, as they should date no earlier than the latest headstamp date on the reloaded cases, which is 1967. Could the marking F.90 on the indicate a 1990 production date? Anyone know anything about these blanks?


In any case , corrosive primers are not a big problem, A modification to cleaning routine is all that is required. People managed with them for many years and never gave it a second thought. A couple of pints of boiling water down the barrel, dry and oil is the stock answer but a good spray with WD40 is the modern solution. Probably the the best option for cleaning such a rifle whatever the primer. They don’t have copper fouling to worry about.


The manufacturer of these Blanks has obviously used once-fired cases, as the cases are “crimped” and sealed with “blue lacquer”. Also, there is a mixture of Boxer primed ( US headstamps) and Berdan headstamps ( FN, IM,)
The US has, up till the 1990s, never “crimped” its M1909 type .30 cal blanks (they were wadded only and lacquered Red).

The language of the Box is Spanish, so I would suspect a Central or Southern American origin for the Blanks.

Maybe an examination of further of the case headstamps will give an idea of Which country made the Blanks…because aside from the US origin cases, there are some “native” cases present ( “IM” ), as well as the ubiquitous “FN”, which everybody in Latin America used at one time or other.

BTW, IM is “Industrias Militares” in Spanish, and could relate to several Latin countries.

I would say they are of late manufacture…1980s to 1990s, and so the primers would be NON-Corrosive irrespective of the headstamp.

BTW, US-made M1909 Blank Cases loaded by Lake City (but with Mixed headstamps from the 40s to the late 60s) and “filled” in the late 1960s, were Non-corrosive. WE have thousands of them, from several Movies, which were originally sourced in Jordan and the UK, which LC had assembled in the early 1960s, for “Foreign Aid” using up cases either “recovered” from Ball ammo, or Reloaded using fired Ball cases.

ONly a close examination of the cartridge cases of the Blanks as they are now may give some indication as to their origin.

If they are M1909 Blanks with the Crimp added and re-varnished, they may be part of the 1960s LC production…in that case, there should be the remains of the Circular wad Cannellure in the neck, visible at the end of the star crimp folds…Also, the Primer Pocket crimp is less evident on "reloaded "Ball cases.’ AS Vince Green noted, in either case, Corrosive or Non-corrosive), cleaning the rifles with a Water based cleaner, followed by normal cleaning ( or the British “Hot water in Bore” method) will prevent any rusting effects due to any corrosive salts.

Interesting cartridges and as yet un-identified provenance.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics Film Ordnance Services
Brisbane Australia.

BTW, the latest .30/06 Blanks being supplied by the US Army for Veterans funeral salutes are made by CBC (Magtech) of Brazil…New cases, star crimped mouth. ( 2008 manufacture, I think).


DocAV and Vince,
Thank you very much for your responses. I will pass the information you have provided to the emailer and see if I can get him to provide some pictures that might be used to further determine where and when the blanks were made…


The primary user of “IM” on headstamps is Colombia. In fact, I am not sure I have seen “IM” standing alone used on ammunition from any other country in the Spanish-speaking “New World.” I’d have to think long and hard about that.

Colombia is also one of the few countries in South and Central America that have used the .30-06 cartridge over a long period. There are a couple of others - Brazil comes to mind - but perhaps it is more than coincidence that this ammo, with a Spanish-language box label, has only one headstamp from a Spanish-speaking country, IM, and that country was a heavy user of the .30-06 caliber.



“IM” stands for “Industria Militar” Bogotá - INDUMIL. There is the profile and you will also find algunos imágenes: http://www.indumil.gov.co/articulo/contenido/17-historia



A number of years ago (1991) I picked up some examples of Columbian reloaded .30 Cal. M2 Ball at the Mesa, AZ gun show. The seller had quite a number of US style 20 round boxes and was selling full boxes or any single round from some open boxes. The label was for .30 Cal. M2 Ball and Columbia was mentioned but I don’t remember exactly how now. I didn’t buy a full box.

The individual rounds have a light green primer and case mouth seal. The primers have a 3-stab crimp.

The headstamps were various like the ones on the blanks in this thread.

One thing is for certain; Columbia did reload M2 Ball ammo (shown below) and very well could have reloaded the blanks described in the thread

.30-06 (7.62 x 63mm) Manufactured by Industria Militar, IM, Colombia and a?

Colombia was certainly a user of .30-06 cartridges, as the rifles sold to the colombian military in 1955-58 by DISA / Madsen (Which for some obscure reason are always called M47) were chambered in .30-06.


Mausernut - we sold some of those DISA rifles in our store. Interesting that probably the last military bolt-action rifle procured for general issue (not counting sniper rifles, special ops stuff) was a split bridge Mannlicher-style, complete with muzzle-brake, I remember some had in the left side of the stock below the action a big black plate with a nice Colombian crest on it; others did not have this plate. Fun to think back about the great era of surplus arms, no for the most part long gone.


According to Chris Punnett’s book, rosette crimped blanks attributed to Columbia have a green tip seal. An earlier thread started by Dr. Schmitt suggests that these green tipped blanks are in fact grenade launching cartridges, not “noise” blanks. Noise blanks are described as having wood bullets.

The date range is right for these to be Columbian remanufactured and the similarity to the cartridges and plain boxes makes me concerned that these might be grenade blanks… although the Spanish translation of the crate markings is “Blank Cartridges”. I suspect that the “FA.90” refers to the model number, not a manufacturing date.



The INDUSTRIA MILITAR (INDUMIL) website has some historical notes that clear up a couple of points.

Apparently in Chris Punnett’s book on 30-06 (which I don’t have) in the Columbia section there is a picture of a box with INDUSTRIA MILITAR and General José María Córdova printed on it. They were not referring to the General himself but to one of the three factories that compose INDUMIL

Quote (translated by Google) “Military Industry has its origins in 1908 when it organized the National Workshop Mechanic Arts "depending on the Ministry of War. In 1954, given the demands of new structures and broader objectives MILITARY INDUSTRY establishing as an autonomous entity, then as Industrial and Commercial Company of the State, beginning with its first factory called General José María Córdova ", for making weapons and small caliber ammunition for military use as a priority. The Factory “Santa Barbara”, was founded in 1955 as the second operational unit with machinery and equipment for the manufacture of heavy artillery ammunition for the Armed Forces, beginning operations in 1964. Finally Explosives Factory “Antonio Ricaurte” was created in 1963 with the character of Commercial Company Limited and in 1968 goes on to become the third operating unit of the Military Industry.”


Here are pictures of the crate and the blank cartridges. They have green sealant, as mentioned by pbutler and shown in his photos, as well as the triangular or three stab primer crimp. If these are grenade blanks, as AKMS points out, should they be used for saluting purposes in the M1 Garand?


Given that the Crates are marked “Cartuchos de Fogueo” which is definitely “Blank Cartridges” in Spanish, and there is no mention of "Cartuchos de “lanza”?( trans/sp) ( Launching) , then I would say they are at least safe for use with Bolt Action Rifles.

Colombia had a large number of (converted) Mauser rifles on its books up to the 1980s…and probably these served mostly for training and ceremonial uses…
AS to the Green lacquer, is this Indicative ONLY of Launching cartridges?

What is written on the “Launching Cartridge” label?

Is there a matching “Blank Cartridges” label to compare, or are the Blanks all in “anonymous packets”?

Finally, to clear up the problem, has anybody cut open one of these supposed Blanks to see what Powder is in them?

Blank Powder is usually very fine grained, or flake, and very fast Burning; conversely, GL Cartridges have a slower burning Powder, in order not to shatter the grenade, or the rifle, when launching.

Questions that should be answered, before using the cartridges in a Garand, unless it is WITHOUT any Blank-Fire restrictor ( ie, hand operation, open bore only).
I understand there is a Drill ( I have seen it) where M1s ( and M14s) are used for multi-fire volleys,( with-out BFAs) and using “Hand eject and reload”, used by both USMC and USA.
In M1903s and M17s, it should not pose any problem.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics Film Ordnance Services
Brisbane Australia.


[quote=“mausernut”]Colombia was certainly a user of .30-06 cartridges, as the rifles sold to the colombian military in 1955-58 by DISA / Madsen (Which for some obscure reason are always called M47) were chambered in .30-06.

The rifles were designed by Madsen in 1947, hence the usual model designation. The ones sold to Colombia were either produced at the end of the 1940s and put into storage as there were no buyers at the time or they were made in a small batch, reputably for the Colombian Navy, sometime between 1956 and 1958. Either way they were sold off as surplus with almost all the rifles and bayonets showing little or no sign of use.

The rifle is the culmination of military bolt action design. Imagine an aperture tangent rear sight with windage adjustment … on a service rifle!

But I could easily get led off topic here so I’d best not continue …

Happy collecting, Peter


I believe the last bolt action rifle used for general issue was the Indian Ishapore 2A1. This was based on the SMLE but chambered in 7.62 Nato. It was not a converted rifle but made from new in 7.62 calibre. It was adopted in 1963.


I think that the correct denomination for grenade blanks in spanish would be “cartuchos de proieccion”


Thats a difficult one because of the term “general issue”. Most nato forces still have bolt action sniper rifles in use today.
In the British Army the old .303 sniper rifles were brought back into service use by the late RM sgt Pete Bloom as part of the “shoot to kill” program in the 70s and maybe 80s. (A name too politically sensitive and subsequently deleted from the record) during the Northern Ireland troubles.
Pete was a friend and we shared many a beer in the clubhouse of the Artists Rifles, he died a young man from something akin to motor neuron disease about six years ago. I would nominate him as the second father of British sniping.


Falcon, I was speaking by Design. Although India did begin using, as a supplement to the 7.62 NATO Caliber FAL, I believe, a 7.62 x 51 mm form of the enfield No I Mark III*, the fact is, the same rifle but in .303 was in use in that country for the better part of a century. It represented only a change of caliber, nothing more.


@ enfield56: I suggest you keep an eye out for our coming DRS / DISA timeline at Arma-Dania. It is under development right now, but it will take the exported guns and present them seperately from the danish military guns at this site:
vaabenhistoriskselskab.dk/ar … n_list.php
It has been suggested that we include an english summary for each gun.

Soren (editor, automatic weapons, Arma-Dania)


Those sure look like the cartridges that Dr. Schmitt was adamantly referring to as grenade launching cartridges. But I still have to question this based on the crate markings alone…