45 ACP Shotshell RIOT for Thompson Machine Gun by Peters


#1

45 ACP Shotshell RIOT cartridges for Thompson Machine Gun by Peters Cartridge Company before bought by Remington Arms Company. Just sharing picture and information, for more information see: link after picture.
As stated on the box a special magazine was needed in the firearm to use the cartridge. I would believe? You would not be able to use in a 1911 pistol, unless you put one on the chamber to single fire? I haven’t tried it myself.

link: ammo-one.com/45ACP24thompson … Shell.html
Thank You,
Dave Call, A Call to Arms,LLC at www.ammo-one.com


#2

The magazines used for these was a slightly-lengthened 18-round box magazine that looks for all the world like one of the standard 20-rounders.


#3

Dave - the magazine for this was of the “stick” type (as opposed to the drum magazines) and held 18 rounds. It looks just like a 20 round box magazine for the Thompson except that it is deeper (from front to rear) to accomodate the longer cartridge. It fit into the magazine well of the Tommy Gun because it is not wider than the drum magazines. When a 20-shot or 30-shot box magazine is in a Thompson, there is a noticeable gap in front of it up in the magazine well. This gap is pretty much filled by the 18-round shot cartridge magazine.

These could be used single shot in a pistol, but were really intended, in their commercial form, for the Tommy Gun. The earliest Peter’s catalog I have from the era of these cartridges is 1938 (they absolutely came out before then; I simply am weak on pre-war catalogs), where the round is offered as Item No. 4525 .45 Automatic Shot, RUSTLESS" with the advice “Adapted to Thompson Sub Machine Gun only - not intended for .45 Automatic Hand Pistols.” They were, in 1938, packed 50 rounds to a box and 2,000 rounds to a case.

I have five different box labels for the commercial load, which was only offered by Peters, but I believe that there is at least a sixth known, and perhaps more. There are many variations of the commercial round, all headstamped as you show, “PETERS .45 A.C.” The earliest round had only one deep case cannelure, with all variations follwing it having two. There are variations in the height of these cannelures, and in the spacing between them. Early rounds are with copper primer cups, later changed to nickeled cups. The last production rounds had nickeled cases as well, with the final one having a blue-colored sabot rather than red.

The last catalog listing I have for this round is 1950, The next catalog I have is 1952, and it no longer lists it. Only Peters sold this round commercially.

HWS II pages 25 and 26 have total information on the military version and need not be repeated in full here. The round was officially approved, patterned after the commercial loading, August 20, 1943, as the “Cartridge, Shot, Cal. .45, T23.” In October 1943 it was standardized as the “M12.” The load was six grains of Bulseye powder and a waxed red paper bullet containing 125 to 133 size 7-1/2 chilled lead shot. They were made both by Remington Arms using the “R A” headstamp, and by Evansville Chrysler using their usual stunning array of headstamp bunters with the initials “E C” and the date. We have only seen “43” dates from Chrysler. Remington headstamps show both “42” and “43” dates.

Remington made a version of the T23 loaded to the normal length of a .45 pistol ball cartridge. HWS II reports one in a headstamp of “R A 42” although my specimen is headstamped “R A 43.” In several collections, including my own, I have seen the Remington rounds with the sabot colored silver. It appears original, with no overlap of the color onto the case. I know of no explanation for these rounds and, of course, there is always the chance that they are “fakes” (although maybe not done for the purpose of deceiving collectors, as I paid next to nothing for mine, and the same was said by at least one other collector who has one).

The military rounds were boxed 20 rounds to a carton. The original cartridges had the warning, in English, Japanese and German "Use only for hunting game. Do not use against enemy troops (Nur bei der jagd auf Wild zu benutzen! Darf nicht gegen feindliche Truppen gebraucht werden!) Advice by the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General made it unnecessary to continue the tri-lingual marking, and it was changed to English only, and read “For use in Hunting Small Game. Effective range 25 feet.”

Since this ammunition was a USAAF requirement, it is clear that it was intended primarily to used singled loaded into pistols. Not many air crewmen were armed with the the TSMG and the idea of the cartridge was as a survival round for downed air crewmen. There were instructions with the rounds for single-loading the pistol, which included how to clear a live round from the barrel, pushing it down to fall out thru the magazine well, since it was too long for the ejection slot on the M1911 and M1911A1 pistols in use.

This cartridge was replaced in the military by the all-brass M15 .45 cartridge due to unfavorable reports from the field primarily relating to the swelling and cracking of the paper sabot of the M12 in hot, humid climates. It was also found that the paper bullets did not break up consistently, causing erractic shot patterns. The length of time the commercial version was sold by Peters may indicate that under civilian police conditions, there was little complaint about the performance of the cartridge. This is only conjecture on our part, although we doubt seriously that the round would have been manufactured, especially for police, for very long if such complaints were forwarded to Peters from LE Agencies.


#4

Just wondering if John could be a bit more specific. Maybe a few details. Would help clear things up.


#5

Why was it illegal to use these rounds againt enemy troops when Winchester trench shotguns were used extensively in the Pacific theatre?


#6

I am not a legal expert on the rules of war. I believe that under the provisions of one convention or another, like the Hague convention, shotguns were ruled out as a weapon to be used against uniformed, regular enemy troops, just as soft-nose ammunition was. However, understand that there was a tacit, unwritten agreement between the IJF and the USMC of no quarter in the pacific. The Japanese military had a well established history of atrocious behavior towards their enemies even before the entry of the U.S. into the war, primarily from their invasion of China, and that coupled with hatred over Pearl Harbor probably made the Marines unsympathetic to any rules limiting their firepower. That is just a student’s view of it, not that of any expert on military law, rules of war by Convention, etc. For the most part, we did not, to my knowledge, use shotguns much if at all in the European Theater and even the use of weapons like napalm and flame-throwers were not as widespread as in the Pacific Theater, at least on the Western Front. The U.S. did use shotguns in the trenches in WWI for a time, but stopped after protests from the Germans. My understanding is that the Germans removed the sawteeth from their many of their Engineer’s bayonets over similar protests from the AEF.

It is an interesting subject, but one that needs to be explored by people more knowledgeable, and with sound legal background, than I. With hand grenades, land mines, artillery, aerial bombs, etc., I fail to grasp the thinking behind ruling the use of a shotgun as inhumane in the course of all out armed conflict. All that must have been changed, because there was a heavy use of shotguns in VN.


#7

So based on the above if I have a US military 45 auto with the paper sabot it was designed and issued for the TMG. right? Vic


#8

Vic

The M12 was issued for hunting and survival puposes. I think it would be more appropriate to say that it was “patterned after” the commercial SMG cartridge but intended for use in the M1911 pistol. It’s technically a paper or cardboard bullet, not a sabot.

Ray


#9

Vic - Ray is right. You have it backwards. If it was a military round, it was intended to be used in the 1911 and 1911A1 pistols, loaded directly into the barrel one at a time. It will not fit the magazine.

If it is a commercial headstamp, it was intended for use with the Thompson SMG and the special 18-shot magazine. They will not fit the drum or the standard stick Tommy Gun magazines meant for ball ammunition.

There is nothing to preclude the firing of the commercial rounds in a pistol, however, but they must be single-loaded directly into the barrel, and if you eject a live round from the pistol, you have to take out the magazine first, and them as the extractor pulls the round clear of the chamber, reach through the ejection port and push the round down out from under the extractor to let it fall out of the bottom of the magazine well. It is too long for the ejection port on the M1911-series pistols.

The military round was based on the commercial, and since I have no real specs for the commercial round, I cannot say, though, if the two were identical or not.


#10

[quote=“A Call to Arms”]45 ACP Shotshell RIOT cartridges for Thompson Machine Gun by Peters Cartridge Company before bought by Remington Arms Company. Just sharing picture and information, for more information see: link after picture.
As stated on the box a special magazine was needed in the firearm to use the cartridge. I would believe? You would not be able to use in a 1911 pistol, unless you put one in the chamber to single fire? I haven’t tried it myself.

link: ammo-one.com/45ACP24thompson … Shell.html
Thank You,
Dave Call, A Call to Arms,LLC at www.ammo-one.com[/quote]


#11

John, have one cartridge with brass case and one with nickel case. Both have nickel primers. Brass case with round, nickel with flat. Brass case has two grooves. Nickel with one groove one cannelure (lower). Did Peters make the brass case with one each? In my system of cataloging I distinguish between a groove (smooth bottom) and cannelure (hatched bottom) because so many rimfire bullets have a combination of both or all the same as the only way to distinguish identically shaped bullets.

Gourd


#12

As usual did things backward. According to Thomas Schiffer’s book Peters & King the 45 ACP shotshell was patented by Charles Leroy Holden on Oct. 20 1925. Patent # 1557695. Patent # 1557696 of the same date had an inverted cup and wad at the base of the shot capsule. No mention of when the cartridge was first marketed.

Gourd


#13

I can best answer just by listing my variations. Bear in mind there could be more. I don’t have the greatest .45 collection in the world. Even though I show cannelures using that word and simply “smooth” or “knurled” when I want to differentiate, I will use your terminology, which is as good as mine, in this answer.

All cases are brass. All cases are plain brass unless otherwise specified. All sabots are red unless otherwise specified. the measurement shown with no explanation is the approximate distance between the cannelures. Remember, my eyes are crappy and my hands shake. I can’t alway get a precise measurement off of things that the caliper doesn’t hold in its jaws to measure.

Copper primer, one groove, about 0.170" from the case mouth
Copper primer, 2 grooves, about 0.190" from the case mouth; 0.150"
Copper primer, 2 grooves, about 0.125" from the case mouth; 0.140"
Nickeled-cup domed primer, no visible PA, 2 grooves, same measurements
as above
Nickeled-cup domed primer, Reddish-Purple PA, 2 cannelures, same
measurements as above
Nickeled-cup flat primer, no PA, 1 groove above 1 cannelure, 0.150" from the
case mouth; 0.170"
Same as above in all respects except cartridge case is nickeled.
Same as above in all respects including nickeled cartridge case, except
sabot is blue color

One should not confuse these shot loads from Peters with Brake Reflex text cartridges, loaded with the same red paper sabot, except filled with yellow chalk instead of shot. they have the same “PETERS .45 A.C.” headstamp.

We have one of these cartridges with nickeled-cup domed primer with reddish-purple primer seal, and no case grooves or cannelures, and also one with nickeled-cup flat primer, no PA, 1 groove over 1 cannelure, 0.125" from the case mouth; 0.170" apart. Total cartridge weight of the two respectively is 151.70 grains and 121.90 grains. We cannot explain the difference in weight. We have pulled on of these aprt before, but did not take out the chalk to weigh the amount, and neither of our two current specimens appears to have ever been disassembled. The one with groove and cannelure definitely has not been, and it is the lighter of the two.

Obviously, when you pick up these rounds, you can instantly tell they are NOT the shot cartridges (speaking only of obviously untampered with rounds).

Hope this answers the question, Gourd. Remember, don’t nitpick me on measurements. It is the most difficult thing for me to do in cartridge collecting, takking measurements where I have to physically hold the caliper alongside the object, as oppose to measure a diameter of an overall cartridge length. Measurements above of distances from case mouth to groove or cannelure, and distance between two grooves and cannelures were taken to the center of the groove to the best of my poor vision to determine it. I really need to invest in a “no hands” magnifying setup of some type, I suppose. I can’t hold a cartridge, a caliper and a magnifying glass at the same time.


#14

Thanks John. As I have the same trouble with measuring next meeting here in October remind me to show you my “anti shake” cartridge measuring device! Don’t forget I am older than you :-).
Would guess the shot cartridges were first marketed in 1926 or 27. So they were manufactured for quite a while or just had a huge inventory to sell off.

Gourd


#15

Here’s a wariation of the Peters .45 Auto riot cartridge box, with a couple of the cartridges that came from it.

Two patents were issued for this cartridge on October 20, 1925, and differed in the placement of the metal cup that is below the paper sabot. Sectioning one of the cartridges from this box shows the orientation of the metal cup with its open side turned towards the powder.

This orientation was covered by patent 1,557,696. The other patent (1,557,695) has the open side of the cup turned towards the paper sabot, and was filed nearly a year earlier than 1,557,696.


#16

[quote=“Guy Hildebrand”]Here’s a wariation of the Peters .45 Auto riot cartridge box, with a couple of the cartridges that came from it.

Two patents were issued for this cartridge on October 20, 1925, and differed in the placement of the metal cup that is below the paper sabot. Sectioning one of the cartridges from this box shows the orientation of the metal cup with its open side turned towards the powder.

This orientation was covered by patent 1,557,696. The other patent (1,557,695) has the open side of the cup turned towards the paper sabot, and was filed nearly a year earlier than 1,557,696.[/quote]

Guy,
Beautiful Sectioned specimen!
Thank you,
Dave Call, A Call to Arms, LLC


#17

Didn’t John Moss post some pictures of different 45 ACP shot cartridges and boxes earlier this year?


#18

Rimfire - Yes, I did post some pictures of boxes, most Peters as I recall. However, for continuity of this thread, as soon as Joe has the chance, he will post for me three more pictures of boxes for these Peters and Military-version shot cartridges. Some will repeat boxes I showed before, although they are new scans since I forgot about the old ones, and others are ones not previously posted. I thought we might just as well get as much info on these specific rounds as we could on this thread.


#19

This is the Evansville Chrysler box for the M12 (formerly the T23) shot cartridge. Top is the box itself taken out of the waterproof-sealed package. Bottom is a box with the sealed wrapping still on it. Shown also is an Evansville cartridge. We thought we might as well round out this thread with all the box pictures that we could show for these cartridges.

This is the H.P. White Laboratory file card for the first style, three-language box for the Remington Arms Company .45 T-23 load, based on the Peters commercial load. Note the warning against using these rounds on enemy troops.

Here are four variations of the Peters 45 Auto Shot cartridge boxes not already shown on this thread. I think all have been shown on a previous thread however.

The top box is the earliest, and has the round with single cannelure. If you look carefully, the original printing under the two over-labels is NOT identical to that of the box below it. The top box was originally for ball ammunition, or at least the label was. The next box was printed specifically for the Shot cartridge. Next is a variation of the first box, with two different over-labels, including one showing the Patent date. The next two boxes are self-explanatory, although we will say that as far as we know, the bottom box was the last box-pattern for this loading. There may be more variants of these boxes.

Collection of John Moss