30-06 yellow tip


#1

Does anybody have any ideas about this one?
h/s DEN 42 with a yellow tipped GM non-magnetic FMJ
the tip colour looks like it has been dipped and the neck crimp is original.
I was told that it was probably a fake. And heres where it gets interesting.
I found another one… in a swaps bin on the other side of the world.
Is it possible for both to be fakes when found so far apart, the tip colours/cartridges are identical.


#2

I, too, have seen a number of these DEN 42 yellow tip and all appear to be fakes - yellow added after loading on normal ball bullets. The adhesion of the paint to the tip is poor, suggesting it was added later.

Until I hear differently with supporting documentation, I’m going to assume they are not factory.


#3

Chris P

Do you have a guess as to what they (the fakers) were trying to fake?

Ray


#4

[quote=“Chris P”]I, too, have seen a number of these DEN 42 yellow tip and all appear to be fakes - yellow added after loading on normal ball bullets. The adhesion of the paint to the tip is poor, suggesting it was added later.

Until I hear differently with supporting documentation, I’m going to assume they are not factory.[/quote]

Is it possible that this soft paint is marker paint added in the field to show the strike on targets during training? If the ammo was not fired then the marker paint would remain in place. In which case it is not a fake, just a normal ball round prepared for a training mission. Is that mark below the shoulder from an MG link, if so it supports the marker paint theory?

gravelbelly


#5

Gravelbelly–It could be marker ink but in my experience with it, it is normally extended about half way down the bullet, not just on the tip.


#6

I agree with Ron. Marker paint, to be effective, needs to be soft or it just doesn’t mark the target (I’ve tried it with 7.62Nato). I don’t believe they are “fakes” in the strict sense of the word but possible someone, maybe a shooter, marking a batch of ammo prior to going to the range - but not for “target marking”.

To be a fake, someone had to have a prototype in mind unless he was aiming (!) at the gunshow crowd where they seem to swallow any story (“These yellow tips were a signal to the guys manning the targets to tell them it was tea-break”). I know of no prototype yellow tip rounds from 1942, and certainly nothing from Denver Ordnance. But I’ve been surprised before (back in 1976).


#7

I have several “target marking” rounds. The headstamps are all circa WWI and the color agent is very soft, certainly a colored wax or wax-like substance.

Where Chris and the authors of HWS don’t list a yellow tipped DEN 42 loading in their incredibly detailed references, unless these rounds represent some super secret OSS loading, I have absolutely no doubt they ain’t “legit.” It is not simply a matter of these gentlemen “writing the books” but the undeniable fact even a casual reading of those books demonstrates the depth of the research behind their efforts.

.


#8

While I appreciate the sentiments, researching 30-06 only proved to me how LITTLE I know. That old adage "never say ‘never’, always avoid ‘always’ " is true here. Someone may find evidence that supports the theory that these were factory even though they don’t look legit to me.

As collectors, the unusual excites us so we have a tendency to want to accept the unusual stories. I have often said that our greatest research tool is a healthy dose of skeptimism - you have to ask “why would they load a round like that?”

In this case, the paint looks as if it was added later because of the uneven flaking - typically what happens when paint is applied without cleaning the bullet chemically to remove oil and oxides that occur naturally in all metals. This suggests a delay between manufacture and painting.


#9

I have only seen one photograph and description of airmen applying marker paint to bullets, and that was many years ago. They poured some paint into a shallow metal tray, coiled up a length of belted ammo, lifted it up and lowered it into the tray to dip the bullets. The belt was then set aside for a while to allow the paint to set up a bit (to avoid clogging up the belt feed tracks in the aircraft). I would expect the amount of paint on the bullets to vary considerably.

gravelbelly


#10

Gravelbelly–Your description of how it was done is correct. And, yes, the level on the bullets did vary, but we tried to keep the dipping pan level to about 1/2 the bullet.

It really is not “paint” that is used. It was Lithographic Ink. This would develop a tacky film over the outside in about 10 minutes but would remain gooey under the surface for weeks. The overall look is much thicker looking than the yellow on the bullet tip pictured here.


#11

[quote=“Ron Merchant”]Gravelbelly–Your description of how it was done is correct. And, yes, the level on the bullets did vary, but we tried to keep the dipping pan level to about 1/2 the bullet.

It really is not “paint” that is used. It was Lithographic Ink. This would develop a tacky film over the outside in about 10 minutes but would remain gooey under the surface for weeks. The overall look is much thicker looking than the yellow on the bullet tip pictured here.[/quote]

OK Ron, I must defer to the knowledge of one who “has been there”. It just seemed to be one possibility to explain the odd coloured tip. We didn’t use the coloured tips for practice in the Royal Navy, if the target was hit we claimed it was our shot that hit it! I once asked the question “How can we tell if an aircraft is hostile or friendly?” and was given the reply; “To a ship, an aircraft is considered to be hostile until it has committed an unhostile act!”

gravelbelly


#12

Has anyone considered pulling the bullet on one of these and seeing if it is something other than a standard M2 ball? The paint on the bullet in the photo looks pretty convincing to me. Yellow was used by some other countries to identify an observation load; could these DEN 42 cartridges have been produced for one of our allies, or perhaps have been loaded or reloaded surplus cases?


#13

Guy,

That is an interesting idea. Some US cartridges supplied to the UK had non-standard tip colours so it is likely that others exist. For example, the UK ident for A.P. was a green primer annulus varnish, no tip colour, but US contract A.P. loads turn up with green bullet tips instead of the US standard black tips. The UK used a yellow primer annulus varnish, no tip colour, to identify “Ballistic Standard” cartridges, did the US supply such cartridges to the UK?

gravelbelly