30-06 proof rounds?


#1

I came across these recently they look like standard ball rounds. They have not been reloaded and look original to the box. The call-out for 30-06 doesn’t seem like a military label but I don’t know. Headstamp U 42


#2

I do not now of PROOF round being loaded at Utah Ordnance Plant. Caliber .30 High Pressure Test cartridges were typically loaded at Frankford Arsenal utilizing FA headstamped brass. Winchester did make there own and so did other commercial plants, but U O P?? Supposedly FA produced an average of 40 thousand rounds a day of HPT cartridges in there prime of June 1943. I do not see a need for another ordnance plant to set up production also. Yes, the black ink over stamping on the box “30/06”, no way, unless it was contracted for a commercial US military arms producer… The whole thing just does not jive.

joe


#3

The “PC” suffix on the stamped lot number seems unusual.

I highly doubt this was an official U.S. military sanctioned marking or “proof” cartridge.
My guess would be that these were normal ball loads which were pulled and had powder charges modified to proof standards (whatever whoever loaded them specified) and the bullets reseated, so they would probably appear normal.

Remember, lots of gunsmiths were making sporter rifles after WW2 and many might have proof tested them, especially if made from foreign rifles brought home by returning military personnel. Thus the incentive for some sort of home made “proof” cartridges.


#4

Yes, missed that “PC”. The lot number range without the “PC” is correct for Utah Ordnance Plant. The “PC” I do not have on any of my Utah Ordnance Plant boxes. I can see a custom loader/reloader stamping the box after alteration, but adding a “PC” to the lot number, why?

joe


#5

These cartridges were loaded in the 1960’s by National Ordnance, Inc. of South El Monte, California, likely to proof test their M1903A3 rifle production. Chris mentions these cartridges and their boxes in pages 16, 273, 296, and 329 of his book.


#6

Fede,

Good research as always.
Why in the world would they go so far as to add a “PC” after the original lot number is beyond me.

Joe


#7

Fede,

Are you sure, I have heard mention of CADMUS INDUSTRIES in South El Monte. John Arnold and Wyant LaMont.

Joe

Edit: Never mind, now that my brain woke up, it is one in the same outfit. They made all those 03-A3 rifles that are very questionable at best. I think they also went by Santa Fe Arms. Also a bunch of re-welded M1 Garands, 1911’s M14’s and so on. Yea, now I remember.


#8

Thank you Gentlemen that is interesting. It makes sense the party I got this box from was a long time friend of Wyatt Lamont.


#9

My SWAG on the “PC” in the lot number is that it signifies an internal identification at the Utah Ordnace Plant. A pilot or pre-production lot,a check lot, or something like that. The U headstamp was not used until late 1942 and so these cartridges may have been part of the change from the original UT headstamp. Or, maybe the first loading with the GMCS bullets. Hand stamping the lot number in that manner is typical.

I don’t think the lot number has anything to do with the use of the cases for loading the proof cartridges.

Again, this is only my SWAG.

Ray