.32 Colt Pistol String Tied Ammunition Packet, Assumed To Be British. What Is The Story Behind This Packet?

Packet photo posted here by Geoff Morton: https://www.facebook.com/groups/523895124821475/user/100038207822362/

So for this packet-
Who, why, when, where? Was this for police/military use? Repacked in 1935? Jacketed or lead bullet? Possible headstamp?

Thanks for any info.


As I’m not a fb member I can not see the link, but it looks to be repacked by E. F.? - Eley Factory??? as a WAG & can’t currently think of anything else.

Some US Generals carried the .32 ACP chambered Colt auto as I believe an issue weapon.

The British would probably have been issued a Webley Revolver but I suppose like our General officers they also had a choice.



All that is posted on this in the link I listed is the photo of the packet, no information. That’s what cranked up my curiosity.


The RFC and its successor, the RAF, were issued with .45 Colt 1911, .455 W A Colt 1911,
Not Revolvers. Officers usually also had a Private Back-up Pistol, usu. a 1903 Colt .32 or a FN 1910, also in .32.
I have a 1903 Colt with RAF stamps ( .32ACP); could be either WWI or II. Ammo for .32 ACP was usually civilian mfd., in Britain.
This 1935 Repack was probably old stock checked and repacked from earlier commercial packets.
Interesting find. Could packet be
unwrapped and HS determined?


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Have no idea, as indicated above this photo was posted on a cartridge collecting facebook page with no information about the packet.

Interesting Doc & thanks for the not revolvers information.
I kinda figured the M1903 Colt, but wasn’t sure.

I too have a M-1903 Colt given me by the London proof master via John Wilkes in 1968 which came in as a lend-lease, aka the “Give a gun to Britain drive to arm the home front”. Have shot it & no problems so no idea why the proof master was holding it, but I also have another thought which I won’t go into here.

What are your thoughts on the “E.F.” repack? Any ideas who E.F. was?

could the 32 be the amount and not the calibre?

That is a “Private” FB group, simply called “Cartridge Collectors”, created 2019-09-19, and I believe it is based/originated in England.

There must have been continuing demand for 32 Auto from some part of the British Army, this entry appears in a Purchase Ledger held in the British national archives titled “Ammunition Stores 1936” (SUPP 4/221).

Nota Bene; This ledger is for Army stores, the Admiralty and Air Force had their own order and supply systems, with their own records that I’ve not been able to access up until now … frustratingly.



Interesting idea!

But then it would be unusual to have labeled packets without a caliber designation.


Pete is correct about the Colt Pocket Hammerless Models 1903 and 1908 (the latter .380 caliber) pistols, which were general issue, at least in the Army, for General Officers for years. Of course, they could carry any pistol they wanted, but those were the issued handguns. They were generally marked “U.S.Property,” and depending on when made and issued came in blue finish or parkerized finish. They were also carried by some OSS personnel as well as C.I. and C.I.D investigators, generally concealed.

John Moss

Further thinking on the “E.F.” could this be Expeditionary Forces?

Was anything like this still thought of in 1935?

Thanks, but as not on fb, private or public means nothing.

As I know next to nothing about cartridges, this is just an idea that occured to me … can we be certain that this is a military item ? The military can be very officious and I’m wondering if there might not be a bit more information on a military re-pack, or at least a Property mark.

I suggest this as London’s Metropolitan Police had available to them a short-recoil Webley & Scott pistol chambered in .32 ACP that was in use until at least the end of the 1930’s. My copy of Gordon Bruce’s book on Webley pistols is still stashed away in a packing-crate but I have an idea that the pistol was also used by other police forces in Britain.


Could the repacker have been KF Kirkee?

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Hi Brian,
I’m very likely miles wide of the mark, but it struck me a bit odd how the packet description is set out, especially as it’s assumed it’s British. 32 BALL ect?


Interestingly the 32ACP was still held in stores as the 7.65 Browning in 2006 at least (date of document) for use in the Walther pistol for the British millitary.
Please excuse the photos, I’m nowhere near a scanner at the moment

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Actually, in the case of “private” groups, you can not see or reply to their posts unless you are a member of that particular group.