.30-06 Tinned M2 Ball


I’m asking this for a friend. Is there any added value to the pre WW II Cal 30 rounds with the stannic stained “short range” 150 grain bullet? Dated FA 40. He has maybe a dozen of them.




Ray, If I read your question right you are talking about 30-06. The stannic stained (tinned) bullets were not “short range” but simply the early marking on the standard M2 Ball round to differentiate them from the M1 (172gr) that was still in service. The tinning stopped in September 1940. No added value.



Yes, I meant 30-06.

I know I am in trecherous waters here but I was of the impression that the 150 grain stannic stained cartridges were pre-M2 (1936 to 1940).

When military, NG, and civilian target shooters finally got their hands on some of the post-war M1 ammunition they immediately found that the extended range of the heavier bullets created a safety problem in that they exceeded the danger zones of most rifle ranges. The NG, with the backing of influential Army officers such as Cols. Whelen and Hatcher, requested the War Department to make up some ammunition “like the old 1906” and the order was given to manufacture 10,000,000 rounds of it. This “short range” ammunition had a 150 grain bullet of GM and it was given a stannic stain to distinguish it from the M1. Some of this ammunition reached regular army personnel who liked it because of the lessened recoil and it was suggested that it should be substitued for the M1. In 1940 this was done and the new cartridge (with some minor changes) was standardized as the Cal .30 M2.

OK, that’s the story I have been telling all my non-collector friends. Do I need to back-track and CMA ?



I suspect we are actually talking about the same thing here. The M1 172grain bullet was the result of WW1 experience and the use of machineguns at long range. While a bunch of people may have approached the government to load some 150 gr bullets, the official reason for changing to the 150-grain “M2” was the lower recoil. I have never seen any official reports calling it a “Short Range” but that doesn’t mean to say that it wasn’t called that unoffically (I wasn’t there!). Since the majority of service caliber match use between the two wars was with 172-grain bullets I don’t see that “Short Range” (implying reduced danger space) was THE driving factor.
Early M2 rounds from 1936 were actually called the M1906 and I had boxes so labeled. The M1 remained in service until almost the end of 1941 (one of the last lots was actually identified by a silver bullet tip, headstamped F A 41). In 1937, they introduced the stannic staining on the [new] M1906 to differentiate the [new] M1906 from the M1 and in 1938 they changed the name to the M2. My point was that the M2 was not a “Short Range” cartridge as a term applied to Gallery cartridges.



Understood. I put “short range” in quotes because, as you said, there was nothing official about it. My understanding of all this is from a shooters perspective based on contemporary writings by shooters. It is very likely that they may have overestimated their influence and role in the switch back to the 150 grain bullet.

Also, both Cols. Whelen and Hatcher were avid competition shooters and there was, I’m sure, some personal bias in the official decisions that they made while Commanding Officers at Frankford Arsenal.

I’m still confused about the adoption of the M2 ammunition. I thought it didn’t happen until 1940 and was timed to coincide with the actual issuing and use of the Garand which was standardized in 1936 but wasn’t available in any numbers until just prior to WW II.

BTW, I wasn’t there either. I’m not THAT old.