.45 ACP Benicia Arsenal Roll Test relabeled FA box, 1938


Something new to me from SLICS-

Due to some .45 ACP cartridges receiving incorrect powder charges (double or triple powder charge) at Frankford Arsenal in the late 1930’s, ordnance facilities were required to conducted roll tests. Cartridges from the time frame in question were rolled down a ramp (plate glass). The distance traveled by each cartridge was compared to the distance traveled by special check cartridges that were either over weight or underweight. After testing, correctly loaded cartridges were reboxed and relabeled for use. Source: History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition , Vol. 1: 1880-1939
Front, top and back of the Benicia Arsenal over label:




do you know if this was the case with 45ACP only or if other calibers were also affected.
Or was there another reason for repacking 30-06 at Benicia ?




I don’t have a specific answer for reason behind the repacking of ammunition at Benicia other than the roll testing of the .45 ACP ammunition. In the IAA Journal #477, on page 47, John Moss wrote a brief historical overview of Benicia and he mentions that considerable quantities of .45 ACP and .30 Cal. ammunition were repacked there in the years before WW2. Possibly the repacking involved ammunition from damaged containers or partially used lots of ammunition which had been turned in and were then repacked at the arsenal. Or possibly there was a problem with the packaging or bulk packaging being used during this time frame and as a result quantities of ammunition ended up being repacked. This is only speculation on my part, perhaps someone else more knowledgeable will chime in.



I would guess that Cal .30 ammunition was repacked in 1936 for many of the same reasons it was repacked in later years. That is, it was originally packaged in clips in bandoleers or in MG belts and there was no further need for it in those configurations.



The ammunition that required a roll test was graded as “RT” and should not be used until the test was conducted and it was regraded. It was a “limbo” grade between serviceable ammunition graded 1 (revolver, pistol & smg) and 2 (pistol & smg), and unserviceable ammunition graded 3 that was withdrawn from service. I’m not aware of cartridges in other calibers receiving this grade and/or test. Regards, Fede.