30-06 questions

here are some new cartridges that I found during the ECRA meeting in Switserland.
Maybe somebody can help me:

  1. lot of seven AP cartridges made by FN, headstamp F N 70
    one is “normal” the others have coloured markings.
    What is the meaning / purpose ?

  1. pulled a bullet from a 30-06 cartridge with headstamp RA H 18
    The bullet has a cross at the bottom. Meaning ?? anything special ??

  1. just to show you: grenade blank with headstamp F N 51, note the red
    [color=red]O[/color] which was used by the dutch for oefen (exercise/dummy) ammunition.

thanks for your help

I can comment on your item 3. Before the laws in Holland changed to accommodate cartridge collecting, a number of cartridge collectors could only collect inert specimens and the items had to be marked with the oval to show the item was inert. I have a number of 9mm’s in my collection that I got years ago (30+) from Dutch collectors that had this mark applied when they took the item into the police to have it marked. This is the story I was told back then. The mark may have been applied in other circumstances also. My guess is that this blank came out of an old Dutch collection.

You probably already knew all this.


Does the bullet in specimen 2 seem to be a standard U.S. M1906 type, with a 150 gr. spitzer CN jacket and knurled cannelure? JG


allthough being dutch, I have never heard of this law rule. However I know
from the time that I was in the army (as a quartermaster), we had a
lot of stuff (handgrenades, mines etc) for educational purposes that looked
like the “real” thing but were marked with a red O to show that they were inert.
On the other hand, I have never seen this on small arms ammo.

yes it is a “normal” 150gr CN, knurled cannelure bullet


Hi Lew and Rene
I am also Dutch but have never heard of that markings made by the police.
I have also seen this markings by the Army on stuff what was inertt .

I don’t want to steer this thread away from 30-06 but this seems a good point to raise the question.

It is thought that the Enfield chargers marked with an ‘O’ are of Dutch production, although I’ve never seen any evidence of this. Does anyone know if there is any truth in this? Have they ever been seen in Dutch service or carrying Dutch made ammunition?

In anticipation, Peter

Rene & gyrojet,

Until this thread I didn’t know the oval was used by the Dutch Army. I started corresponding with Europeans in the mid-1960s and that is when I was told this story. I have two rounds in my collection that came from a Dutch collection that were carefully inerted with a hole drilled in the case which was then filled and the oval added to the headstamp. I was told the police added the oval to indicate an inert cartridge. I have seen this mark used on 9mm cartridges in some collections so it is not unique to the two cartridges I have. That is the extent of my knowledge, but when I get home I will scan them and post them.

You have given me a new bit of knowledge to ponder!!! Maybe the information I received was wrong, or perhaps more likely, misunderstood.

Cheers, Lew

Rene: I don’t believe I’ve seen such a base mark on an M1906 bullet before, so I’ll add a note to my files and thank you for calling it to our attention, even if I can be of no help. JG

When I received my 9mm cartridges, with the oval Dutch inerting mark, I was told the same thing that Lew was. While I am not disputing the information about them being inerted for the Dutch Military, I cannot understand why the military establishment of any country would need to go through this. I can understand that at a time when cartridge collecting in Holland was much more restricted, why this would be done for collector’s ammunition. Regardless of that, below is a picture of the headstamps I have with this mark. All are 9mm Para. All but the “A AI” headstamp were blank cartridges. The “AI” headstamp is a ball round. The bullet has obviously been pulled to dump the powder, done with a pair of pliers, from the marks on it.

The Mystery is the blanks. The crimp on the aluminum-cased blank from NWM is completely intact. It has never been fired, and yet the primer is indented. Further, it weighs six grains less than my loaded specimen of the same headstamp, telling me there is no primer in it. How did they get the powder out? The mouth crimp on the Geco 64-date blank appears to have been squeezed open just a bit. There are some minor marks on the lobes, in an even line around the circumference, about 8 or 9 m/m below the tip. The powder would have to be very fine to have been dumped out thru the top though. The last round with Geco 1965 headstamp is a brass case with a black plastic bullet. It is of the common Geco type with four equidistant “crimps” consisting of a flange cut in the case mouth and folded over a shoulder in the plastic “bullet” to keep it from leaving the case. Neither the mouth of the case nor the crimps appear to be tampered with, although there is no powder in it, judging from weight comparison with a loaded specimen of the same headstamp.

There is a slight chance the mouth crimps have been opened - it is not identical in appearance to the loaded one - but if so, some real artisan went to a lot of trouble to inert this common round. Not so clear in my picture, the primer is indented on the Geco “65” blank as deeply as all the others are.

Collection of John Moss

I apologize for the poor quality of the photo that Joe posted for me. He is not responsible for it, I am. I made many efforts to scan this and for some reason, they simply would not turn out as well as previous ones. Oddly, they printed out on my lazer color printer fairly well, but look terrible on the screen. I ran them through photoshop to even get the red oval inert markings legible. At least one can see them in relation to the headstamps. I am beginning to think that the digital camera is superior to the scanner for this type of work. Hope to have my new Nikon up and running soon. Again, sorry for the poor quality of my work, folks.

According to Dutch military marking instructions the red ‘O’ is used for marking so-called ‘instruction ammunition’. The ‘O’ stands for ‘Onschadelijk’ or ‘Inert’.

This is basically inert ammunition used for teaching purposes in the Dutch army. The instructions also mention that additional registration information should be present on the ammunition, but I can also imagine that it’s somewhat difficult to extensively mark small arms ammunition with a couple of additional codes.

For our Dutch readers, the full text can be found online here:
mpbundels.mindef.nl/40_serie/40_ … stuk_6.htm


The basic legal structure regarding firearms and ammunition as we have it has been introduced around 1977 and drastically modified in the late 1990s, introducing a permit-construction at the same time.

I tried to find some examples of regulations that predate 1977 but hat no luck so far. Next sunday there is a Dutch NVBMB meeting and I’ll try to ask the club veterans if they can remember the state of affairs that existed before 1977.

It is not difficult to assume that collecting of ‘training material’, marked as such was allowed by certain police departments at the time before there was a special collector’s arrangement.

[quote=“JohnMoss”]It is clear that this mark is used by the Dutch Military. However, what is not clear to me is whether or not it was carried over to possession of inert specimens by collectors. Nothing shown or said yet confirms or rules out that use. I simply cannot imagine going to all the trouble to mark struck-primer pistol and rifle cartridges just to use them for instructional purposes, I can understand it for large-caliber ordnance, especially explosive ordnance.

My rounds came from either Belgium or Holland, I do not remember exactly from where or from whom I got them, since it has been probably 25 or 30 years ago - about 1968 or 1969 I think from where they are entered in my catalog. I was not in contact with any Dutch collectors at that time. I did have many contacts in Belgium, and I believe I may have received them from Emile Timmerman. Whoever it was, they seemed positive that the rounds were actually marked on behalf of civilian collectors. Of course, that could be totally wrong. I don’t have any idea what Dutch laws were at the time in respect to cartridge collecting, only the impression that they were stricter then than they are now. No matter - to me, they are more interesting for their overstamp than for who it was done for. For any purpose, it seems a tedious way to identify something as insignificant as a struck-primer, powderless cartridge. It sounds like something the California Department of Justice would dream up, in my State and Country.[/quote]

Edited for spelling & grammar only

Computers mystify me. I assumed I was simply editing an answer I made where, as usual, I found some typos, but it reprinted my answer as a quote.
It now appears twice.

If one of the administrators wants to delete my last answer before this, it is fine with me. It is a duplicate. I will just let my bad typing stand in the original.

Crimped blanks don’t always open out when fired.

WE have found that because of pressure considerations with Blank Fire Adaptors used in Movie Guns (this occurs also with Military BFA attachments as well) a Blank cartridge can discharge, and the “Back pressure”(in a AR or MG) can reseal the crimp like new…minus some of the red lacquer.

Other times, with a properly adjusted BFA, the crimp opens out to varying degress.
In over restricted (or fouled ) guns, the crimp is actually collapsed back into the case, or “gas dents” occur down the sides of the case.

We find this (re-sealed crimps) all the time with AMA .30/06 blanks (ADF used), when we recycle the brass for forming into other (shorter) blanks by trimming off the crimps before decapping hydraulically (AMA cases are Berdan Primed., and loaded just sufficiently to function a Military .30 cal BFA; with Movie BFAs they actually open out quite regularly.( We calibrate guns individually, not the “one size fits all” Military BFA.)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

That could explain the rosebud crimped all metal blanks, but it doesn’t explain the plastic-bullet blank, which when fired, split open at all or most of the four pre-stress lines 100% of the time.

At any rate, not really important. Someone figured out how to inert these and keep them in their original basic configuration. More power to them.


I have the three examples pictured below. Again all have the red oval. When I look close at these three, all have had a hole drilled in the case and then filled.

I think you can see the filled holes in these cases from this picture. there are marks where someone has brushed/filed/sanded the area to make it flat again.

Given the quality of the work to restore these three rounds, I wonder if they really are collector cartridges or if they were made for some kind of display purposes by the military. The inerting is very well done. I only noticed it when faced with the same issue you face, “how were these inerted”.

Like your round, my geco rounds have impressions that are too big to be firing pins. Clearly the one can’t be a firing pin since the primer bent down and over the primer anvil but the the anvil is not deformed.

A lot of effort was expended on inerting these rounds and restoring the appearence which argues against them being random refugees from Dutch collections. I also note that two of my cartridges have headstamps identical to yours and the ovals are even in the same position. I’m convinced that Vlim and Dutch are correct and these were made by the military for display or training purposes.

How are the holes in the cases filled?

Lew - well, that answers the question of how they got the powder out! Mine inerted blanks had holes in them too - not so obvious as the ones on your rounds, but they are there. I never noticed them at all. Of course, my “ball” round does not, because they simply pulled the bullet out and dumped the powder.

I have no doubt now that these were not done by police for collectors. If so, the man-hours wasted on such a silly project on behalf of civilian collectors would have caused a stir! I can’t even believe the military would do such a thing! Absurd for such inconsequential cartridges. You want to teach about them and don’t want live rounds - fire them, draw pictures of them, take a photograph of them, section them, etc. Glue them to a board with the hole turned towards the board. Diozens of ways to do it more sensible that this. The Dutch Army Ordnance Corps must not have had much to occupy their time. It is funny, too, that they went to all the trouble to keep the blank crimps intact and fill in an unsightly hole in the case, and then pulled the bullet out of the ball round with a pair of pliers or with a collet-type bullet puller (terrible things for any purpose) that left four big scars on the bullet.

By the way, all three of your blanks are identical in headstamp to mine, if the lot number on the Geco one with plastic bullet is “14.” It kind of looks like “11” in your picture, but I think it might be “14” like mine.

Just started laughing so hard I could hardly type to finish this. I can’t get over the effort put into such a silly thing!

I won’t make any value judgements on why these were made. Somebody, for some reasons we don’t have any insight into today, thought this was a good idea and worth the effort. Sure would be nice if some of the Dutch collectors knew what the reason(s) were.