45 ACP REM-UMC for French Government


Who can tell me more about this box ?



Great box!!! Common cartrdige form. I can only guess on this, but between the cartridge itself, and the weapon designation on the box, for the M3A1 SMG, I would guess that the box is post war, and probably a contract sought by France for use in the Indo-China War. The only thing that gives me pause in that regard was the wide availability of the MAT 49 9 mm SMG, standard in the French military at the time. I know France had a lot of U.S. M1 Carbines and that they were used against the Viet Minh, but not sure about M3s of either model. All conjecture on my part.

It would be great if anyone had enough “in” at Remington to see if their archives still contain a copy of that contract, primarily to see the date on it.

I have, by the way, never seen this box label before in my life, dispite collecting this caliber ammunition and boxes for about 50 years.

Thanks big time for sharing this picture with us Chassepot.


How would one distinguish the French contact cartridge from any commercial .45 load of that time? By the way, didn’t Remington load a little military .45 ACP at King’s Mills Ordnance Plant early on in WWII? Anyone have a box and headstamp of those?


Sorry to be obvious, but you would tell the French contract from the Box Label. There would be no other way.


Very interesting box!!!

Could this be a contract to be later supplied to the Armée nationale vietnamienne? The M3 submachine guns were of common use in that army.

I would say that c. 1949-1954 seems to be an aproximate date for this box.


Not Post-War, but French Contract 1939-40, accompanying a large contract of TSMG M1928/A1 Guns with both 20 (XX) and 50 (L) magazines.
Because of the Rapidity of the Blitzkreig (June 1940) and the fall of France, the Guns and the ammo never reached France proper, and were taken over by the British, and most of this ammo ended up along with the Guns, in North Africa, ( Australian 7th &9th Divs, amongst other Commonwealth units)…with French-language Manuals ( Memoirs of
(then Sgt–ret’d Major) Reg. Saunders, first Indigenous Australian to rise from the ranks to Officer- North Africa, New Guinea etc,Korean War).

Late WW II and Post-WW II .45 ( and other US Calibre ammo) to France was delivered direct from Military stock, and NOT as a separate “Export Contract” as had happened before the War.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Sorry Doc, but why does the label say “M3A1”? The grease gun was not around in 1939/40!

Everything you say about the Thompson’s and their subsequent arrival in Britain is of course true, but that ammo box is not from that period.



Tony is right, the M3A1 submachine gun was approved for production on 21 December 1944.

Headstamp REM-UMC 45 ACP was in use until 1952 when it was replaced by REM-UMC 45 AUTO.


Thank you all.

Here is what I think to be a packet from the French Contract 1939-40. I know an other with a different date and a different lot number.



Sorry about my “Boo-boo”…I didn’t read the Label enough…but in anycase, there was “Commercial” .45 Ammo order by France in 1939 and 40, some of which may have arrived, but most did not. ( as mentioned in my previous Post.). I had read (in Gazette Des Armes, years ago) that some TSM-Guns and ammo were tested at the proving grounds outside Paris in 39-40)

Thanks Chassepot for the excellent Picture.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics


Does the word “Staynless” on the last photo of the box refer to steel because it looks like brass?


No, it refers to non-corrosive priming, like Remington’s Kleanbore.

Back to my prior posting - how would one identify one of the Remington .45 ACP French contract rounds from any commercial REM-UMC round of the time? Or were they the same?


Dennis - they are the same. You can only identify it from the box label. There is no difference in the cartridge itself from those sold over the counter commercially in the United States. If you didn’t take it from a box, then you cannot know which it is.


Did all of the Remington and Winchester commercial .45 ACP of that period have the lacquer primer sealant, or was that just on “military specification” type production?


John - I will address my answer only to .45 auto, since that is the thread and it would take hours for me to look at all auto pistol calibers (and I have no revolver calibers to check anyway).

Most Winchester and Western commercial manufacture has colored primer seals, as does their military ammunition. Remington is an entirely different story.

Most Remington commercial rounds, including some found with military headstamps due to “wandering” individual cases during production, or commercial loading of left-over military cases (examples: REM-UMC 18; R A 6 8 with nickeled case and commercially packed - not a mistake, I have had several full boxes of this), do NOT have colored primer seals. It has only been in recent years that they are found with a purple/red seal on commercial rounds with nickel primer cups.

While I have a good .45 collection, I don’t have them all, of course, but I have no specimens of the REM-UMC 45 ACP headstamp with a primer seal and a nickel primer cup. I do have two specimens, one with a copper cup and one with a plain-brass cup, that have a violet primer seal. I suspect these were military contracts. Note in the fine picture sent of the French contract box and round that the cartridge pictured has no visible primer seal, and no case cannelure as well, marking it as a round made towards the end of the use of this headstamp.

I have two specimens in ball (I did not check special loadings), both factory loads with one having a GM FMJ RN bullet and the other having a black lead RN bullet, both with brass primer cups and violet primer seals, that have the headstamp REM-UMC 45 AUTO. By number os specimen variations found, this is a scarce headstamp, apparently used for a very short time. I have only the two in ball. I may have others in target loads (185 SWC) or other special loadings, but truthfully, did not check them. I can on request. I do not know why these have a primer seal, but it seams that if Remington used anything but a nickel cup in this era, they sealed the primer with colored lacquer, at least on the caliber in question. Even the earlier RP variant headstamps don’t have a primer seal. It is in fairly current times, perhaps 1990s on (just a guess) that Remington started sealing the primers of most of their large auto pistol calibers with the reddish/purple lacquer.

Hope this answers your question.


JohnS - while I was putting back the other rounds into my collection, I thought I might as well check for other loads with that REM-UMC 45 AUTO headstamp. I also wanted to clarify that when I spoke of a scarce headstamp, I was not referring to its availabllity to collectors. I don’t know if it is scarce in that regard or not. I probably used the wrong descriptive term, but I was referring to the actual length of time, in comparison to REM-UMC 45 ACP before and the various forms of RP headstamp after, that it was used.

Now, I finid I have the REM-UMC 45 AUTO headstamp also in a ball round, GM FMJ RN 230 grain, with nickeled case and primer - no primer seal. I also have it in a 185 grain SWC with GM SWD bullet, nickel primer and no seal, as well as two minor variations of dummy, one with a hole in the case and in the primer cup, and one with only the hole in the primer cup, again with nickel cups and no primer seals. Finally, I have it in a blank, the length of a normal empty case but with a red paper was marked “FULL” (indicating a full-charge blank) part-way down the case mouth. I don’t think it is significant to the question as it probably was loaded by one of the Movie Blank suppliers, like Stembridge Gun Room, and not by Remington.