30-06 question

Just dismantled this 30-06 round because it had a green mushroom growing out of the neck area [quite tasty when fried]…anyhoo got the case all cleaned up with the vinegar and baking soda baths. Is this a match round? Did they use boat tail bullets in 30-06 this earily?


173gn FMJBT, made from early 1920s to 1939 or so, when replaced by re-birth of original M1906 cartridge, with new 152 grain FMJ (flat base) and new Powders. ( so the new garand Rifle would function properly)

The M1 Cartridge was developed after long experiments from 1917 tp 1921-2, on long range shooting of Browning MGs at Daytona Beach using Swiss M1911 projectiles and appropriate loads to get maximum MG ranges of 3,900 to 4,400 Yards. (Read Hatcher’s Note Book).

The “National Match” cartridge was an outgrowth of the M1 cartridge, produced in the late 30s right through to the 1960s ( cases are marked “NM” or “MATCH”.

The “FA 30 R” cases were originally a Rifle Grenade launching developments, using the Ball round and a “capture” ring in the grenade ( Viven-Bessiers System).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

I hate to contradict you but the “F A 30 R” cases had nothing to do with Grenade launching developments. The "R stood for “Rifle” - short for “Rifle Anneal”. This was to differentiate it from normal cases and actually indicated a reduced anneal to increase bullet pull. It also had the side effect of making the case neck more brittle.

The Small Arms Ballistic Station at Daytona Beach Florida didn’t open until 1919 (not 1917 as you indicate). The tested many loads there - not just the Swiss Profile bullet. These tests even included a boat-tailed round-nose Krag bullet !!

The F A 30 R case was used in the National, International AND Palma matches and some FA 30 R rounds were Berdan primed.

The “National Match Bullet” is a misnomer as the first National Match bullets were normal 150-grain, flat-based M1906. This then went to a 170-grain flat based bullet (1920). From then until 1928 a variety of 170-172 grain bullets were tried with varying boat-tails and in 1928 they started using the 172-grain M1 bullet.

Chris P.

Doc is partially correct. The long range trials started in 1917, but in Mass near Springfield Armory. They were then moved to Miami in 1918 and finally to Daytona in 1919.

Chris probably knows the dates but I believe the earliest “R” anneal cases were FA 20. The hard anneal cases would not function well in MGs, often pulling off the case necks during extraction, thus the headstamp marking to ID them.

Surplus “R” cases were also used for Blanks, Gallery cartridges, and the VB Grenade cartridges. Possibly others as well.


The “R” cases were intended for match use. SURPLUS match cases so marked were used for the usual dummies, gallery and blanks and one lot of the VB Practice grenade launching cartridges (FA 22-R). Your comment makes it sound like the “R” cases were intended for dummy, blank and gallery rounds.

The “R” indicated a hard (ie: reduced) anneal - in other words the case necks were harder than the normal ball rounds because they were not annealed for so long. Normal ball rounds intended for service use including MGs had a longer anneal.

The earliest “R” case I am aware of is F A 21-R, I have never heard of a F A 20 R case but would be delighted if one turned up!

Chris P.


I should know better than to comment on something that I know so little about. I edited my post.

I have not seen a FA 20 R but thought I read a reference to one, somewhere, maybe in some of Col Whelen’s writings. ??

The latest that I have is FA 30 R which is one of the Berdan primed Match cartridges. Are there any later ?


I’ve not seen or heard of a later date than FA 30 R (but never say “never” and always avoid “always”). I did have a FA 39R reported to me but it turned out to be an FA 39P (P for Palma) with a ding on the “P”.

Chris P.

This has been a pretty testy discussion thus far, with at least a couple of contributors sent off to lick their wounds somewhere; anyone else care to try slipping something by the professor? ;-)

I knew all that stuff. I was just testing him. ;)

Chris doesn’t really know any of that stuff. He just looks it up in some book that some guy named Punnett wrote…

I just ha a vision from the 30-06 God…all is forgiven…BUT DONT PUSH IT!!! LMAO

Thanks Chris!


Sorry guys - didn’t mean to come across as a know-it-all. Ray and Doc have both “educated” me many times.

After 30 years of researching 30-06 someone asked me how much I knew and my answer was “less than 10 percent” ! I think that number is probably decreasing by the day.

Chris P.


You are the" know it all of 30-06 " Thank for god people like you, And the many others on this site. Or we all would be clueless!



I was close but no cookie…here is a FA 21-R