30-06 Cartridges

Everybody collects 30-06. Whether you call it a 30-06, Cal .30, 7.62x63, or .300, it’s a rare collector who doesn’t have at least one tucked away somewhere. There are so many variants that you could spend a lifetime trying to find one of each. For a beginning collector, wanting to build a collection quickly and cheaply, he or she could do a lot worse than the 30-06. Here are just a few of the less common ones. They are all U.S., which you have to expect because that is my main interest. In two parts. Excuse the quality of the photos. There’s a foot of snow outside and I don’t have my shoes on.


  1. Cal .30 M2 with a Jetalized bullet. A black protective treatment of a steel jacketed bullet.

  2. Cal .30 M2 Tracer. The white tip was used for a short time in 1942 and 1943. All other M2s had red tips.

  3. Cal .30 T44 Frangible. Ordinarily Green/White tip, this one escaped the green paint, somehow.

  4. Cal .30 M1917 Tracer. Instead of a colored tip, this early tracer had a blackened case for ID.

  5. Cal .30 M1. Not what it seems, this is an M1 made for the USN in 1941. To distiguish it from the M2 which had a GM bullet by that time. It’s not an API.

  6. Cal .30 M2. Entire case and bullet is Teflon coated for lubrication.


  1. Cal .30. Remington manufactured with 280 grain bullet, for recoil tests. That is one BIG bullet.

  2. Cal .30.1908 experimental Gallery Practice Cartridge, with 198 grain lead bullet.

  3. Cal .30 SALVO II Triplex loading. Three 61 grain bullets. The SALVO I Triplex load used a long-neck case.

  4. Cal .30 Wood bullet for use with Viven-Bessieres Grenade Launcher. ca. 1921. Withdrawn from service because of accidents.

  5. Cal .30 M1918 AP. CN bullet and no tip color. An early Cal .30 AP.

  6. Cal .30 M1917 Incendiary. Flat-nosed CN bullet. Another early cartridge.

Ray, great images, 30-06 is certainly an interesting field.
Any chance we could see the tip of the incendiary #6 on the second image?

Ray, great post! Thanks for sharing.


Here’s the tip. It’s really just a simple CN flat point. This one weighs 150 grains. A solder plug closes the base and there is a tiny hole in the side (arrow) that’s filled with a fusible alloy, to permit ignition I suppose. The flat nose was supposed to cut a larger hole in the target. In 1918 the nose was rounded a little in order to feed better in MGs.

There is quite a bit of information on the early Incendiaries in HWS I, as I’m sure you know.


Ray, thanks! That on the side is lead (or solder) which will melt due to the friction in the barrel (heat).
Yes, I know HWS I+II and I am looking forward to III.

Hi Alex,

Here is a picture of a sectioned round. The lead core is in two pieces - the base which is soldered in place to seal it and a centrally located grooved piece. The base is tapered to allow the phosphorus to be next to the vent hole. The forward piece has 3 deep grooves so that the entire phosphorus charge has access to the vent hole.


Paul, great cutaway (as usual). This makes it one of my favourites now!

Ray, thanks for the great information and pictures.

on another note, sorry I did not respond to your email before, I’m working 12 hour days and dead beat. I did get the check though :)



No problem. I’m just happy that the bank cashed it. ;)



lovely cartridges (what else could I say), but I have to make a small correction to your number one.
You write: also called . . . . etc etc (see above) but actually there are three different coatings.

I tried to make a picture of the series in my collection.


From left to right: Bonderized, Luberized, Jetalized
and they go from dark grey to black.
It is hard to see on the picture, but the right one really has the darkest color.
Maybe one day I will have the photography skills of some on the forum and I can make decent pictures.

I could add some info to the incendiary ones, but I am planning to write something for the IAA journal,
so that has to wait here.


Thanks Rene. I was hoping you’d offer some comments.

So, should I change the description to read only “jetalized”? I really wasn’t sure if the other coatings were the same. Now I know.


No Problem Ray, any time . . .

Let’s put up some more 30-06’s


Early Rifle Grenade Launcing cartridges
Left to Right
H/S RA 17, cartridge for the signal light grenade for the US NAVY
H/S FA CWG 20, Chemical warfare Grenade
H/S FA 18 RIF. G., Rifle Grenade
H/S FA 21-R, experimental Grenade Lauching with celluloid bullet

Early Armor-Piercing cartridges
Left to Right
H/S FA 3-17, experimental Gardner, bullet is marked A.B. Co 17 on bottom
H/S FA 18, M1917 with Clay bullet
H/S FA 18, M1918
H/S FA 18, experimental AP with exposed blunt steel nose
H/S FA 32, experimental Tull Bryant bullet

Armor-Piercing Incendiary
Left to right
H/S FA 43, API T15 first lot with blue over black tip
H/S FA 45, T15, boat-tailed bullet
H/S TW 53, M14 A1


Some really good ones, Rene. Thanks for sharing.

I noticed the condition of the first one, MO118. It seems that they are always found corroded or in bad condition. Could that be because they were stored and used in a marine environment?


Very interesting images! These are hardly ever seen over here in Europe.

Actually I have a full box of these.
The labelling is very interesting.

and this is how the cartridges looked like, before

and after some cleaning

The cleaning was done over a year ago. It seems that the corrosion comes back slowly.
I always thought that it was due to the mixture of black powder and nitro powder, but
I could be totally wrong.
If anybody has a good idea how to clean the cartridges and prevent further destruction
I would love to hear that. Problem is of-course that you can pull a bullet and drop the powder
but with blanks that is no so easy.


Would it be possible to clean these using lemon acid? Just make sure the tip is above the acid, so it doesn’t go inside the cartridge.

CLR will dissolve the scale very nicely, but the problem is you’re still left with pitting. No way to get rid of it,.

Ray, was there a change order on the white tipped tracer or a shortage of red lacquer for a while.


I only know what is reported in HWS II. When the M2 was adopted it was white tipped to identify it from the M1. But, there were also red tipped M2s. Also white tipped with an extra cannelure (shown) and red tipped with an extra cannelure, which I also have. A lot of changes for a cartridge that only survived a few years.

Another interesting thing about the M2 is that it’s often found in cartons labeled as M1. I have 3 such boxes. Evidently a wartime expedient. No doubt a lot of them have been overlooked because of this, which helps to make them a little less common and more collectable.


Somewhere in my stuff I have one of these 30-30 blank labels. This is very interesting as I always assumed it was for 30-30 Winchesters not 30-06s. I will have to go look for it.
Thanks for the information.