.30-06 grenade launching

I found these two .30-06 and this clip together in France.

What are these cartridges ? US model ?


Thank for your help.


Although this looks like the WW2 era M3 Grenade launching cartridges, and the earlier versions first made starting in 1924, there is no record in Hackley Woodin & Scranton Volume 1 of a cartridge like this being made in 1917.

There is mention on page 159 of a 1917 made cartridge for Navy use in projecting a signal light with a FIVE point rose crimp, while the cartridges above use a SIX point crimp. The USN examples are reported as headstamped RA 17 or REM-UMC 1906 with black shellac dipped case mouth which may extend as far as the shoulder. And also with FA 18 headstamps having a wax-like material over the crimp for waterproofing.

Blank cartridges in 1917 were the Model of 1909 type with a paper cup wad and rolled crimp with shellac coating.

My personal opinion is that these cartridges are later movie blanks loaded on FA 17 cases. Maybe Doc AV would know more about these.

It is interesting that the clip appears to be more or less of the same period as the headstamp date. Jack

These two cartridges and the clip were found on a battlefield of the 14-18 war.

The SIX point rose crimp looks like the french rose crimp of the first Lebel cartridge for the 1915 Feuillette grenade.


Objects found on a battlefield does not always prove they were there at the time of the battle.
These are possibly blanks loaded outside the normal U.S. military channels and brought to the battlefield for use during a ceremony marking the 1st, 5th, 10th anniversary of the battle.

All the U.S. .30-06 caliber rifles I am aware of firing rifle grenades during WW1 used VB type launchers and grenades which used ball cartridges for the grenade launching.

Reminds me of the story of a crook a few years ago who would take recent .45-70 cases with him to the Custer battlefield, drop them on the ground, pick them up and then sell them as “picked up on the site of the Custer massacre.”