.45 Colt "HI-YO REA!AWAAAY!"

There is a lively discussion of this round in the old “damaged” forum .45 Colt Dummy headstamp, but the pictures are missing. So I decided to add imaging.
I was told that at that time (1970’s) REA was the ONLY way to mail ammunition in US.

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It was the only way to ship LIVE ammunition.

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Sorry guys I like to hear a little more about this thing,I have one too and always wondered about
this thing is this a commemorative load?and for what??Vladimir almost bowled me over when I
read this thing has to do with transport of ammo.My round as the one shown has a blown primer

The .45 Colt “HI-REA AWAAAY” is dated from the mid 1960’s. It was a purely promotional item for the beginning of the “Railway Express Agency’s” new over night shipping program “Silver Bullet Express”.

A completely inert product. The case is believed to have been produced by Remington and that the bullet is a standard .45ACP .230 gr. fmj. with both being nickle plated. The primer is factory inert and drilled or pierced for identification.

It has nothing to do with the shipping of ammunition. This was before UPS and FedEx and other than a common carrier, REA was the only way to legally ship ammunition.

I believe that Frank is completely right. I am pretty sure that my first one of these came from my mother, who was the secretary to the VP of the REA office in San Francisco. It was at the time when “Western” shows dominated evening television, including the “Lone Ranger Program.” I think Frank has the date about right, as I had not been back from my Army tour in Alaska (October 1959), when I got back) for very many years and my mother passed away in 1963. I would likely have gotten it very early in REA’s promotion because of her position at REA. I had just started collecting cartridges, but kept that one primarily because I liked the Western Shows and I had a Colt SAA Revolver in .45 (still have it for that matter). Long time ago, but I think I am remembering when I got it correctly. Still, it would be fun if someone could find a dated ad or something featuring this souvenir cartridge. It seems to have been offered for some time, as I have, I believe, four variations of it, one of which is plastic. There were two headstamps, differing only in the addition of one exclamation point to the headstamp. One of the headstamps was found with the silver-color bullet and a normal copper bullet, both .45 ACP FMJ RN projectiles.

John Moss

Thanks for a very good info the things one learns at times on this Forum
I always thought that cartridge somewhat peculier but never gave it special

My thanks also goes to you John for a nice historical explination
and the fact that others of these cartridgs excist.Thanks


I had been told that there were three different headstamps, but I have only two. One is as the example Vlad shows above and the other shown here with no exclamation points..45 REA

If, as you seem to indicate, a headstamp exists with an additional exclamation point relative to Vlad’s shown example (I assume after the “HI-YO”) that would account for the third version.

Happy New Year to you and all the folks at this Forum!


Dave - this is kind of fun. I haven’t looked at these REA rounds for quite awhile.

As usual, being a senile old man, I was only partially right. To my knowledge, and four specimens, there ARE only two basic headstamps. However, I was very unclear in what the difference was. My four are as follows:

HI-YO REA AWAAAY: 1.) Chrome Brass Case, hole in primer, GM FMJ RN bullet; 2.) Chrome Brass Case, hole in primer, Chromed FMJ RN bullet; 3.) One-piece plastic case and RN “bullet” - this is the same headstamp in content, but the raised, molded-in lettering is spaced differently.

HI-YO REA!AWAAAY! - two exclamation points, Chrome brass case and FMJ RN bullet, hole in primer.

So, if you count spacing, you are correct that there are actually three headstamp variations, with the third only being on the molded plastic cartridge.

I don’t know of any other actual cartridge variations in these REA dummy .45 Colt rounds.

John Moss

Hi John,
Are you sure your plastic one, is one piece?

I haven’t looked at these for quite awhile either!

It appears to be, but I would swear to it in court. It appears the one in the picture you posted, Dan, has a separate base, and it is quite possible mine does also. I have a little bit of a sentimental attachment to these due to my mother’s employment for years at REA, so I don’t want to mess with it. I readily admit, though, that I seriously doubt it would be different from yours, ie: be one piece. Thanks for posting the picture.

I would like to know of the brass or bronze-colored cartridge shown disassembled is related to the REA rounds. It is a totally different form of cartridge, obviously meant to be “fired” even if in a toy pistol. What is the headstamp on it.

I have never seen one of the plastic rounds with the longer, slightly more pointed “bullet” ogive before (second of the “silver cartridges” in the picture. I would think the one on the end has simply had the bullet pushed into the case too far at one time or another. Have you weighed the two on the right against each other? If the same weight, I would be willing to say that the bullet is simply seated too deep. Still, it is a variation. You don’t show the headstamp, but the groove above the rim is wider than that of the cartridge to the left of it.

Thanks for the catch. Again, I am sure I would find mine to have a separate head also.

John Moss

John, The far right one has a hs like DaveE posted, and the next one has the hs Vlad posted. The right one probably just dropped at one time, as there is a small flat on the bt radius.
The plastic one’s two pieces, seem to have been plated separately. You should be able to see a crack between the two pieces. I would NOT try to seperate them. (Keep as originally received.) Mine has a cast joint (spot) at the base of the upper part. Yours might also. Like it was plated before broken away.
The next two are aluminum LONE RANGER 45 with different bullet profiles.
The Gold plastic oversized one is headstamped rsd LITTLE .45 I think it came with a little cap gun, (very little), but I’m not sure. It has small percussion “caps” in it, as seen in the picture.
They were with my toy cartridges.


Thanks for clearing that up for me. The plastic version may well be the other headstamp that was being referred to.

Regarding the “LONE RANGER 45” aluminum, the following is an excerpt from a 1979 Clayton Moore radio interview where he is asked about “Silver Bullets”:

Caller #5: Hello I’m Tony and I would like to know if he really has silver bullets.

C: Yes I do Tony. However, the bullets that I used to give away years ago were aluminum. And on the back of the aluminum bullets was “Lone Ranger 45.” So if you ever run across one of those, be sure you hold on to it, because they’re quite a collectors piece today. Do you know what the silver bullet stood for?

Caller #5: No I don’t.

Sound icon(Click here to hear Clayton talk about the silver bullets)

C: The silver bullet was my symbol of justice. It stood for law and order. Fair play and honesty.

Caller #5: Thanks.



Dan, the “LITTLE .45” is a cap container that came with cased miniature Frontier .45 cap firing revolvers made by American Miniature Gun & Cartridge Co. and American Miniature Gun Mfg. Co. of California. Below you can see and ad from 1958:




Dave, I can confirm that your example marked “LONE RANGER 45” is one of the “silver bullets” used by Clayton Moore. There is an identical example in the Museum of American History that was donated by his daughter Dawn Angela Moore.



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Thanks Dave and Fede!

Can anyone confirm the date when the Remington HI-YO REA AWAAAY cartridges were manufactured? I have several articles with details of the “Silver Bullet” service promotion campaign and all of them indicate it was launched in 1970.

The plastic variant is of later manufacture and was made by Eppy Charms.

The Lone Ranger 45’s were made by Speer using the Cal. .45 M-1911 bullet jacket dies for the bullet profile.
A box & the post mark is dated “APR 27, 67”
Speer Lone Ranger 45's

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Are we talking about the plastic round (Speer has some experience there, with their indoor-practice cartridges), or the metallic-case, which someone else has said was made by Remington???

Further - are you talking about the REA rounds here, or one that actually is headstamped “Lone Ranger?”

Fede - do you have more information on “Eppy Charms” (type of industry, location, etc.)?

Sorry if I am nitpicking, but these rounds are of special interest to me. It is appearing to me now that I did not get my first one from my mother, as she was gone by 1967, so my memory there is faulty and of other things. For example, I have an REA typewriter desk she bought me for 25.00 from their “Onhand Department” (surplus equipment sales), and she talked one of the drivers into delivering it to our house! Nice oak desk. Don’t use it much, but with its REA property metal tag, I would never get rid of it.

John M.

Just the “Lone Ranger 45” John. The aluminum cased Clayton Moore handouts.
See DaveE & Fede’s comments