.45 Colt Cartridges, Small Pistol Primer, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, F. A

I have some very old .45 Colt ammo, head stamp F A (Frankford Arsenal), 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913. All appear to have small primers. I want to make sure it is identified correctly. Then I would like an idea of it’s value, I’d like to sell it.

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Probably early .204" Boxer Primer.

Do have collectability status.

Doc AV

Thanks Doc

I may be mistaken…I read you question as “”.45 ACP" which did have .204" Primers…but I assume that .45Colt Army would have them as well in same time frame.

Best to measure the pockets if possible with calipers ( sharp inside jaws)
Doc AV

Those cartridges would actually be “Cal. .45 M1909”. The rim diameter of this one was increased from that of the earlier .45 Colt/S&W cartridge to make it less suited for use in the Single Action Army revolvers.


I think that rather than making it less suited for use in SAA Revolvers, in which I don’t think this cartridge would work, the intent was to make it more suited to the extractor system of the Colt New Service Revolver, in the form and caliber for the military, the U.S. Revolver, Model 1909. As I recall, there were three versions of the Revolver itself - U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S.M.C. Nice guns. I used to have an Army one in lovely condition. Wish I still did!

John Moss


Historically these have great value. Because these are very common they have little monetary value, perhaps $1 to $2 each.


As close as I could measure with my caliper makes the primer pocket 0.185", probably a couple thousandths less if measured with no primer in the pocket. I measured some brand new .45 Colt brass and it is ~0.210".

My guess would be that the FA primer for the 45 acp (that .204 in. one) was thought a little hard for the revolver so the .175 in. pistol primer used for the .38 long was used in this application. Jack

The old FA rounds won’t chamber in my Ruger Vaquero .45 Colt. I made some measurements: Rim diameter: old FA = 0.537" - 0.539", newer ammo 0.507" - 0.509". OAL of the shell/brass: Old FA = 1.282" - 1.285", New brass = 1.276". Dia. at base: Old FA = 0.480" same as new ammo. I measured primer pocket dia. as best I could with primed cartridges: Old FA 0.185" to 0.190" vs. New brass 0.220" as close to the top as possible make it in a similar location. Bill

As Dave stated these are not .45 “Long” Colt, originally known as the .45 Colt which your Ruger is chambered for but are the Cal. .45 M-1909.
As he notes the key dimension is the Rim.
Primer diameter & type was the same for all of these .45 M1909. Blanks were also made, full case and necked, shorter case variations.