45 ACP Headstamp


#1

I’m asking this for a friend. He found a 45 ACP empty case that has nothing but the caliber in the headstamp. Nothing else. I don’t have photos or anything else to post. Can anyone tell me what it might be based on that simple description?

Ray


#2

Hi Ray - any more info e.g. is the ‘4’ open or closed - does it read ‘ACP’ etc. Regards JohnP-C.


#3

JohnP-C

I have no more information and would not be able to ask my friend for several days.

Any ideas or guesses?

Ray


#4

Ray - aside from knowing whether it says “.45 ACP” with or without punctuation, or “45 Auto” and the style of the marking, you need to know if the caliber marking is at the top or the bottom. I have four or five .45 auto rounds with only a caliber marking for the headstamp, and all are quite different from each other.


#5

John & John

Reached my buddy by e-mail and here’s what he provided. A lot more than I expected from a non-collector, I might add. There is some confusion, though, since he says “45 auto” and then goes on to describe it as “45 ACP”.

This case has only the caliber stamping at the bottom of the case as one would look at the face of the primer. The die stamping reads "“45 auto” that resides on the lower portion of the case. There iis no"period"before the 45andnothing after the P in ACP.
The “5” is taller than the “4” by about.25mm.The ACP is in the same height as the “5”. The ceenterline is on about a .155 radius from the flash hole.There is no evideence nof any marking ever being at the top of the case head. The case is .892 long, the rin thicknessn is .049, the deepth of the extractor cut is .398 diameter and the angular relief for the face of the extractor is.186 long.The primer pocket diameter seems to be a standard large pistol. The flash hole in the case is .080 diameter. the brass has the lighter bronze color that the original .45 trial cases exhibited.
Charjes Cjawson shows several of the 1904-05-06 acceptance trial cases and they look a lot like this. One is marked"F.A"on top and .45 ACP at bottom. The others are marked as this case.


#6

Your friend appears to be really confused. I have both of Clawson’s books and nowhere can I find any mention or picture of a headstamp “F A 45 ACP” which certainly does not exist. He shows the early-date Franford Arsenal .45s along with the early ones by Union Metallic Cartridge Company (U.M.C.) and your friend is evidently mixing the two different facility’s headstamps.

If he really wants to identify this, I would ask him the following direct questions:

What is the primer cup material, brass, copper or nickel?

Does the Case have a cannelure around the middle of it? If so, how far down from the case mouth is the cannelure?

Does the headstamp say “45 AUTO” or does it say “45 ACP?” this is a critical difference, and cannot be left to speculation.


#7

I suspect this cartridge was made in the not-too-distant past for Sears or one of the other big retailers. I’ve seen quite a few of these caliber-only headstamped cartridges.


#8

Thanks Guy and John, and John

I never thought a simple headstamp would be so complicated. How do you Headstamp Hunters do it???

I will try and get him to send me a case so I can photograph it and post it here. He’s not a cartridge collector and probably can’t understand what all the fuss is about. I know he already thinks I am nuts and this just furthers his suspicions.

Ray


#9

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]I know he already thinks I am nuts and this just furthers his suspicions.
Ray[/quote]

You’re NOT?! 8-)

Coulda fooled me! ;-)

.


#10

[quote=“Iconoclast”]

You’re NOT?! 8-)

Coulda fooled me! ;-)

.[/quote]

When I was younger and had to work to eat,I would try and fool people but now . . .

Ray


#11

[quote=“JohnMoss”]If he really wants to identify this, I would ask him the following direct questions:

What is the primer cup material, brass, copper or nickel?

Does the Case have a cannelure around the middle of it? If so, how far down from the case mouth is the cannelure?

Does the headstamp say “45 AUTO” or does it say “45 ACP?” this is a critical difference, and cannot be left to speculation.[/quote]

John

Here’s what he said. I’ll copy and paste so there’s no misunderstanding.

“The case says"45 AUTO”; no period before the “45” and all lettering is the same height. There is no cannelure in the case. The primer looks like cartridge brass. It is NOT copper or nickel. The most unusual thing is the firing pin strike in the primer. It appears that the diameter of the firing pin was in excess of .100 diam.(???). I looked at the cases used in the 1906-1907 pistol trials in my 1911 book by Charles Clawson and there are similar headstamps on trial ammo. BUT it doesn’t look exactly the same. I’ve shot Bullseye for years and have never seen a case like this. It might be current given all the imported ammo coming into the country."

I realize there are discrepencies between this and his first notes but he said it was after 1 am in the morning and he was really tired. He may have had a couple of empty cases in front of him. I don’t know.

Ray


#12

These cartridges were made by AMRON in the late 1960s or early 1970s for Centennial Arms Corporation, of Chicago. They have nothing to do with the much, much earlier U.S. Military Trials of 1906/1907. The exact same lettering for “45 AUTO” can be found on rounds with the AMRON name at the top of the headstamp, as well. None of the ammunition made in the era of the trials had only a caliber designation on the headstamp. Franford Arsenal rounds had their usual “F A” and the month and year on the headstamp. The official trials round was headstamped “F A 4 06” and is not the same round as the .45 A.C.P. The case is longer, aside from minor other dimension changes. Union Metallic Cartridge Company and Winchester rounds of the era were headstamped with the company initials at the top (U.M.C. or W.R.A.Co., as applicable), and the caliber marking at the bottom. Ammunition of that era did not have nickeled primer cups, at least in this caliber.


#13

John

I thank you. I know he will be disappointed but he lives in Indiana and the Colts are going to the Super Bowl. So there is at least a little consolation.

Ray