.45 ACP "NT" headstamps


In my collection of .45 ACP cases I have one made by Federal with “NT” in the headstamp. I understand that this refers to a “Non-Toxic” primer mixture for use at indoor pistol ranges. I read on another forum about a similar .45 ACP cartridge case made by Winchester, also with “NT” in the headstamp. Both cases have a small diameter primer. Why is this? Is it an odd size to prevent reloading, or does it have to do with the composition of the primer mix? Who else makes this “NT” type load?



My understanding is that the earliest compositions of “non-toxic” primer mix were actually too powerful, and that they would cause breech-face cratering in some cases, so they produced these rounds with the small primer size until they could get the composition right for the larger size.


I thought the NT was for the non toxic bullet material.


Both are correct. The “NT” indicates a non-toxic cartridge, of late referred to as “Green Ammunition.” It means basically that the cartridge does not emit airbourne lead particles as there is no lead apparent in the bullet (they can be leadcore, but the core is will then be 100% encapsulated; that is, the bullet is not open at either end revealing the lead core either at the base or through a hollow or soft point design). Some bullets have been made that use other metals for the core or have no core at all (pure copper bullets, or frangibles containing no lead). The primers also do not contain lead. I can’t be any more technical than that. I am not a chemist by any means, and my collecting interests don’t require that I know the exact compounds of the primer mixture, or of bullet cores. If I really need this information, there are other sources to look them up in written by people much more qualified than I.