.30 Light Rifle T116 gone bad


With all the recent posts about the .30 Light Rifle variations, I decided to dig out mine and see what I have. I found one, a T116E1 Grenade Cartridge (I think), that has started to leak goop from the mouth since the last time I looked at it.

My question is – is there any way to clean out the inside of the case without ruining it?

30 cal Duplex elongated neck blank?


Makes you want to cry, doesn’t it?

I don’t think there is any way to clean anything but the outside of a grenade cartridge. If somebody has an idea I’d like to hear it too.

The bulleted cartridges are just as bad. When they go bad you can pull the bullet to get inside but some times the bullet will take the neck along with it and the entire cartridge is ruined. I have ruined at least 3 or 4 of the FA 45 T-65s that way.

BTW, do you know what the proper designation is for the long-neck grenade cartridges? I have both FA 50 and FA 52.




The only other pre-NATO Grenade cartridge I have is F A 51 which is the same short necked case like the F A 52 shown. All my notes refer to the T116s as having short necks so I must have known something about the long neck ones at one time but I don’t anymore.



That is just plain sad. Not being politically correct, I worry about this kind of thing more than Global Warming, the Ozone Layer and Spotted Owls combined. Any chance I could sleep better nights because you tell me you used your pre-NATO grenade cartridge to clean out the chlorine dispenser in your swimming pool? Didn’t think so…

Have the mechanics / chemistry of this kind of thing been determined? I’ve heard sloppy powder manufacture process (solvent removal) mentioned in the past. It’s one thing to see a WWI round go bad but Post WWII stuff! Manufacturers probably don’t care as long as intended shelf life is exceeded so collectors will be the ones to learn the “when” part of the equation. If we know “why”, is there anything that can be done to prevent it anyway?



Here are my 4 pre-NATO Grenade cartridges.

left to right:

FA 48, T116E1
FA 50, T?, [color=#408000]green[/color] mouth seal
FA 50, T116E2
FA 52, T?, [color=#FF0000]red[/color] mouth seal


Pbutler–I have no idea if the following will work or not on your Grenade Launching round, but since if you do nothing you will soon have no cartridge, thus you have nothing to lose by experimenting for the rest of us.

I realize there probably a cardboard disc under the crimp, but at this point that is already gone. So, I suggest you use a hypodermic needle and squirt some acetone into the case through the crimp. Hopefully this will dissolve the powder and the green ooze. Try to use some acetone on the ooze on the outside first just to see if it does dissolve it. If it does, then two or three treatments with acetone inside should clean it out.

Be sure to do this outside or in a well ventilated room. Also remember, acetone fumes are heaver than air so they will flow down to your basement if done upstairs and they are VERY flammable. Once in your basement the fuems could be ignited by a furnace turning on, etc.


Cool long necks Ray. Interesting that it looks like the case heads have wide grooves of the 7.62 style rather than the '06 type as in the XM82 Blank posted by Chip Orr a while back. Special cases from day one. Curious the long neck was tried for the grenade cartridge. The blank long neck made sense for feeding the M60 but would doubt the grenade cartridge was intended for that gun…




Thanks for showing the long neck types. I don’t recall seeing one before. You list your F A 50 as a T116E2. Would that make my F A 51 and F A 52 T116E2 also?


I don’t know the specifics on what causes the breakdown. One thing for sure, its not caused from high humidity. That’s something we don’t have much of in Arizona.


I think I will try your suggestion but first I have to get a hypodermic needle. Where would one get one?



Don’t stake your fortune on my designations. I have always assumed that the T116 followed a similar line of progression as most other pre-NATO cartridges. That is, 47mm, 49mm,and 51mm cases. T116, T116E1, and T116E2. HWS III could prove me to be way off-base.


You made an interesting observation, one that I hadn’t considered. Since the “T” rifle was under development concurrently with the T65 cartridge, it may be that the long neck Grenade Cartridges were made to test in one of the prototype rifles???


Acetone isn’t that bad. I use it all the time and I still have all my - hmmm, what was the question again? It’s the primary ingredient in nail polish remover and you see ladies in the beauty salons sitting with a cigarette in their mouth while the attendant splashes it on their nails.




State laws vary but in NY one can have up to (10) needles/syringes without a MD perscription. I use big 30ml syringes (less than $.25 ea.) with a heavy needle (took the sharp off it) for applying bore solvent to patches. I simply visit my friendly pharmacist. You would likely want a smaller syringe with a fine needle (30 Ga.?). The plungers tend to swell with solvents but should last to get the job done.

While it seems Ray spends more time than I do in Beauty Salons (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) I would avoid smoking around acetone, use it in well ventilated area and keep it off your hide. It soaks in real quick and the fact that you can smell it on your breath after extended external exposure (3 “ex” words in a row!) probably means something…

Good luck!


How big is the hole in the end of the crimp? If it is large enough I would try to push a few holes through the topwad with a skewer or drillbit or something similar. The acetone may help break down the “gunge” but you could also try boiling the case in a pot of water to break loose and remove the rest of the case contents. Just a suggestion


As for where to get syringes, talk to anybody that has been a diabetic for awhile. Personally I have been diabetic for 30 years and use 2 syringes every day. Most people only use them once and then throw them away. If you know a diabetic on insulin you should be able to get a good supply of them in no time. If anybody wants some, send me a buck for postage and I will send you as many used ones as you want. Don’t worry–I ain’t got no bad VD disease, just diabetes and it ain’t catch’n. Besides acetone will wipe any of them bad germs in short order.


Ray , You quoted HWS III in your reply about Grenae launching cartridges, Has that volume come on the market yet.? Ray Hayes


Ray said [quote]HWS III could prove me to be way off-base.[/quote]
IOW he was not quoting what it says, but surmising that it might prove him to be in error with his statement (or it might show that he was correct).


I neglected to say that the long-neck cartridges could have been blanks, ala the current M82 made by ATK. But it would seem odd to me that FA would make a long-neck blank with both types of mouth crimp when the short grenade cartridges traditionally had the rosette crimp. That kind of stuff could lead to some serious wrecks, IMHO.



What happens if one shoots a corroded round like the above pictured? Is the primer still alive? Would it open the crimp and clean out the junk?



If we say the T116, T116E1 and T116E2 are short neck grenade cartridges for the 47mm, 49mm and final 51mm cases, perhaps the long neck, petal crimps are blanks as you suggest? I’ve always wondered why I haven’t seen .30 LR/ 7.62 blanks before the ‘58 XM192 that is like the classic M1909. The old story (for which I have no real documentation) is the long neck M82 was developed as a need for feed function in the M60 and the good ol’ M14 had no problem with the short case blank. The long neck XM82 worked in both and was adopted (not without problems in the M14!). This could all be true, yet, perhaps early long neck petal crimps were needed for other applications in the early '50s (T48 or …)?

Maybe I should just calm down and wait for HWS III…



Well, sometime within the last 6 months my second T116 Grenade cartridge has gone bad. I don’t know what’s causing it but whatever it is it’s a relative rapid process. None of my other cartridges show any signs of this phenomenon. So it must be something related to the Grenade cartridges themselves.

I have a friend who is a collector/dealer who says he has heard several reports of the T116’s going bad: something to do with the powder. Has anybody else seen or heard of this?


Everyone of these I’ve seen does this, sooner or later.
Has to be the poorly washed nitro powder, what else could be reacting like this?
See the same on older rounds with early types of smokeless powder.

However I have no proof.


Thanks Pete for the confirmation. Luckily I only had two of them.

A word of caution for anyone who wants to open the crimp and clean out the inside of the case. The corrosion, or whatever it is, has caused the brass at the mouth of the case to become brittle and it will split or break very easily. So, proceed with care!