.45 ACP headstamped 45 at top


This is a scarce headstamp that is already known by collectors. Bullet is cu-ni clad steel and case has a plain cannelure. Does anyone have any information?


Do let me guess, is it one of those clandestine lots?


Vlad, it seems that all information about this one is clandestine too! Another known unknown…


Fede - whoever made this made more than one run of it. My round, with the identical headstamp, has a flat-brass cup primer, not domed like the one in the picture. Mine has a CNCS RN FMJ 230 grain bullet, and has an appropriate height case cannelure for 230 grain.
Actually, the case “cannelure” is like many early U.S. rounds - it is actually a reduction of the
case diameter behind the base of the bullet to keep it from pushhing in

For some reason, I never expected to see a primer-cup variant in this headstamp. Mine is absolute “factory” and from the look of your picture, so is that one.


John, thanks for your comments.

Mine has a cannelure located at 8 mm (.315") from case mouth. Case lenght is 22,79 mm (0.8975") and total lenght is 32,30 mm (1.2715"). Primer cup is doomed and looks exactly like in the picture.


John, does your headstamp look like it was from the same or a similar bunter? If so, can we determine an origin from the number style?


Could this be an early variation made by Cartoucherie Belge? I’m aware that components of cartridges headstamped 45 C B are not alike (CN bullet, knurled cannelure or plain case, dark blue annulus) but shape, size and position of “45” is very similar.

Those 45 C B were used by the Argentine Army and sometimes are found as converted dummies (plain or with 4 flutes). Boxes for these illustrates a cannelured case.


Compared with an argentine unfluted dummy headstamped 45 C B:


Fede - You and I think alike. I have been doing some work in my hobby room this afternoon, among them checking my “45 C B” headstamped .45. The color tone of the brass and the bullet of the CB and of the one just marked 45 are very similar, and the cannelure is in the same place. There are differences in the extractory groove, the CB having a wider groove between the top of the rim and the bottom of the extractor-groove bevel. The machining looks the same though.

Now, most importantly, I would take issue with your mention that the “45” is similar in appearance. As far as I can see, they are not just similar, but rather identical. :-)

While it is true that the CB round has a non-magnetic bullet, that headstamp bunter for the caliber is just too identical to leave any doubt in my mind at all that this round is a product of Cartoucherie Belge. Various measurements are well within the same specs for both, and also well within the specs you gave, Fede: (In all measurements, No.1 is the “45” headstamp and No. 2 is the 45 C B headstamp):

OA Cartridge Length: No. 1 - 1.2705" 32.28 mm
No. 2 - 1.271" 32.29 mm

Case Length: No. 1 - 0.895" 22.82 mm
No. 2 - 0.8995" 22.95 mm

Case Diameter just above “cannelure”: No. 1 - 0.469" 11.92 mm
No. 2 - 0.469 " 11.92 mm

Case Diameter just below “Cannelure”: No. 1 - 0.4655" 11.82 mm
No. 2 - 0.466" 11.85 mm

I guess because of the use of CNCS bullets in one and CN bullets in the other, one could still ask if the same factory loaded both cartridges, but in pistol ammunition there is plenty of precedent for bullet jackets of the same material used at different times by the same factory. The same is true for extractor grooves, which are often changed after problems in fundtion of intial cartridge runs are discovered.

I am moving my round “45” from unknown to Cartroucherie Belge.


John, nice work! I have a brand new cartridge collector mind synchronizator in my computer to help me doing some research.

My 45 C B headstamped ball variation has same measurement differences as yours.

A .45 ACP cartridge is not included in Cartoucherie Belge 1928 catalog and I think that both of these could be earlier.


OK, now that we have solved the question of the round’s origin, can we make any guesses on the purpose or reason for the removal of the C B from the bunter?


It doesn’t really answer the question but under great magnification this headstamp shows no evidence of any traces left by a letter “C” or “B”.


So we can surmise that it was intentional. That’s a start.


This second comparison clearly shows identical “45” numbers: