38 Long Colt (bottle neck blank)

Can I get confirmation on what the below pictured cartridge is please. I have it listed as a 38 S&W, and show it pictured next to one. Any information on it would be appreciated. Thank you.


It looks like it’s a Long Colt. Here is an old list of some .38 Long Colts. It has not been updated…

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I have not seen a bottle necked blank for this round. What was the reason?

I could very well be wrong, but isn’t this one of those 4-in-1 shots for movies, blank firing etc, they could make one type and it’d fit in several calibers?
Or I could just be blowing smoke and be lost on the road of life

That is the 5-in-1 blank, for .38-40 - .44-40 calibers. A commercial load. This necked blank was also made in .45 caliber also. And they were Military.

This is 38 Long Colt Army blank is discussed in Volume I “History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition” page 5. It’s listed as “Model 1909” made from second-class and fired cases.

Thanks Rimfire,
Here is a comparison.
6x profile

.38 Long Colt: W.C.Co. 3-13 hs (Contract cartridge for Government)
.38 Colt necked blank: F A 8 07 hs (Model 1909)
.38 Colt straight blank: F A 6 05 hs
.45 necked blank: F A 12 10 hs (Model of 1910) Also for more “realistic report”, and made from reused Colt and S&W Schofield cases. HWS V1 pg14.
.45 Schofield: F 11 91 hs
5-in1 blank: WRA 5 IN 1 hs
I never did check to see which .45 the necked blank was for…Looks like for .45 Ball Model 1909.

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I second the query by Sportclay, WHY was the neck reduced?
Seems a lot to do just to make a blank, unless they wanted to be certain it was never loaded/reloaded as a live cartridge [i.e.: ‘second class cases’]?

Again according to Hackley, Woodin and Scranton the bottle neck was introduced to produce a louder report than the previous straight cased blanks.

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Thanks again Paul,
The necked .45 blank, was for a more realistic report also.

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Necked Revolver Blanks have
Two Major Purposes.

  1. The restriction ( Venturi effect) creates a louder “Bang”,

  2. As a result of the increased
    Powder deflagration Pressure and more complete Powder Burning Created by the reduction in case volume andthe pressure required to open the crimp.
    Minor Purposes:

  3. if the revolver is barrel- restricted at the Barrel Forcing Cone, ( .30 vent for .38, 9mm Vent for .45) the Jet effect caused by the narrower diameter of the necked case, ensures that there is little or no cylinder side flash at the cylinder-barrel space.

  4. Straight walled revolver cases with necked crimp are easier to eject from
    Both rod- eject guns ( Colt 73 and similar) and starwheel revolver guns ( Modern Colt and S&W),
    And breaktop Webleys.
    Un-necked ( straight) cases stick to cylinder walls.

30 years experience in Theatre and Film blank supply for our FilmGun
Business, and observing similar businesses in USA and Europe
( ISS and Stembridge, Calif.)

Doc AV
Brisbane Australia.

PS: just finished season at Conservatorium ( Griffith Univ)
of Kurt Weill’s " Street Scene" ( 1946)…set in New York; 8 shots fired ( 2 by Husband to kill wife, 2 to kill Milkman, 2 by Murderer at Police, 2 by Police return fire to subdue Murderer.
Guns used by Actors ( Colt 1909 NS, S&W M10; Both for show only;
Behind sets for Sound effects, Two Armourers, each with S&W M36 J-frame- small 5 shot revolvers, with .38 Special cases, Necked and crimped, with powder charge to give sufficient sound in an Opera Theatre, with all the sets, wing curtains etc to absorb sound.
Even the direction of the barrel( upwards and forwards, or upwards and backwards, give a different sound impression
( in this case, a Colt .45 against a Police .38.).

We used the M-36, for ease of use
( ex- QPS service for plainclothes officers…disposed of when they went to Glocks.).
And we have a range of .38 Spec.
Based blanks, 29mm, 24mm,
and 19mm, with different powder loads, for different Film and Theatre situations.
Details of Powder Charges and Type are Commercial-in-Confidence, and in any case, not permitted on this Site.

Doc AV.

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Interesting stuff. I enjoy looking at the the blank and shot loads. Subtle difference in then over time.
My interest is in the .32’s and the difference in the wads, sealers, necks and crimps is interesting.

Here is the .38 Long Colt straight case blank drawing from the Ordanance Pamphlet No. 1919.
Description of the Colt’s Double-action Revolver, Caliber .38 - Google Books

The Ordinance Pamphlet No. 1927 Has better illustrations and discussion of the 1909.45 Colt blanks. Still not enough to answer all the questions.

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