.45 Colt Wax "Quick-Draw"

On the Left: Headstamp is “COLT .45 WAX”. I have seen this in a Colt box (red with white marked ".45 Caliber LONG COLT (that should get some of the purists going!) WAX BULLETS ". It has the Colt logo with “olt” in a stylized “C”. I have also seen a red plastic .45 Colt in an Alcan box labeled as blanks. Don’t know the markings on that one or if they are the same at all. Any additional info out there on who actually made this load shown?

On the Right: No markings and a battery cup type primer. Looks to be a wax bullet load rather than a blank. Any info that could be provided on this one is more than I have…


Dave–The brown one was made by Alcan. I have them in Blue, Yellow, Brown. Gold, Olive Green, Black and White. All of them except the red and brown ones were Experimentals I got back in the 1980’s from a guy who worked in the experimental shop at Alcan. I also have them in Shot loads.

The Red with wax bullet round was sold by Colt. I think they were made by Speer but am not positive. It was also available in .38 Spl. with the headstamp “COLT .38”

Your right when you said ".45 Caliber [color=red]LONG[/color] COLT (that should get some of the purists going!) WAX BULLETS " Even if Colt had it printed on the box and even if the term is commonly used, it is INCORRECT.

There is NO .45 [color=red]SHORT[/color] Colt, so there can’t be a LONG Colt. The term is a holdover from the days of the .45 Colt and .45 Schofield days.

Thanks Ron! The one on the right is actually olive in color though it may not show well in the photo. Do you know if this is a wax bullet load rather than just a blank? Were shot loads in plastic cases ever marketed?

Thought you might be one to comment on the “LONG COLT” application…


Dave–Yah, the .45 Long Colt vs. .45 Colt thing is kind of one of my nit-picking points. Seems like I’m the only one it bothers. Oh, well, I’ll just keep fighting the good (Lost) cause!!!

All the shot loads have a white paper closing with the shot size marked in black. I’m not sure, but I think the Red shot loads were put on the market in #6, 7 1/2 and 9 size shot.

All the wax closed loads are Blanks. The wax comes in 3 colors. Dark Brown, Light Brown and Mahogany Red. Some are Black Powder while others are Blank Powder or Smokeless Powder.

The different colors of the cases are more than just different colors. Some of them are different types of plastic or ways of making the case. If I could find them, I have some of the original Experiment Reports where they say which types of plastic cracked on firing or developed cracks during molding or shrunk out of size, etc.

Thanks again, Ron. Went and found some boxes on Auction Arms that seem to be what I recalled seeing. The Alcan box has red plastic cases and are black powder loaded as shown. Colt should have consulted you before designing the box with that description!


Dave–The red box contained the red wax bullet rounds. I think they were made by Speer, but am not positive. Did you buy the boxes?

No, I didn’t buy them. I’m in a sort of “Organize before any new aquisitions” mode at the moment. They are currently on Aution Arms. Mr. Fraser is listing the Colt box (Rampant1) and confirms in his description the contents as you indicate. The Alcan box is listed by someone else I haven’t done business with. There is also a not so great picture of the Alcan box opened but does not show the contents too well.


Dave & Ron

Are the “wax” bulleted loads actually used for “quick draw” and similar type shooting? I have always understood that no projectile of any kind was permitted in these contests - it was simply a timed event. I also think the same rules apply in reenactments and such, especially those staged for tourists such as the shows in Old Tucson.

Ron, when I saw the original thread I knew that you would flag it. I’m a nit-picker too, as you know, and these things get under my skin although I’ve now learned that I’m fighting a losing battle so I just ignore them, when I can. Two that come to mind immediately are “Grenade Blank” and “45 Trapdoor Springfield”.

Not long ago I saw a box of loaded ammo that was labeled 45 Long Colt and I almost sent a photo of it to you but decided that you didn’t need any more aggravation.


I don’t know if the Colt wax loads were made for any specific competition but it was my impression that some folks would time their draw with the report of firing and also get an idea of accuracy on a target. Wax was obviously a better choice of projectile material than lead for this purpose. It would make sense that some organized quick draw competitions prohibited the use of anything but blanks. I was still in pajamas watching Hopalong Cassidy when all this craze was going on…

On the other subject, if your blood pressure is a little low today, I would be glad to post a picture or two of boxes labeled “Grenade Blank”. (insert smiley thing here).


Dave–If you shoot yourself in the leg during quick-draw, wax is a lot better than lead. Plus, the wax bullet loads have no powder. They are primer powered only. Also, the flash hole is larger than for standard loads. I used the wax bullets for target practice in my basement. The accuracy was not bad at 25 feet or less.

I would be glad to see the picture of the Grenade Loads. I collect all .45 Colt boxes, real or scanned. Do you have any? I like one round in the box to document what came in it. If scanned, I prefer all six sides.

Ray–I think the primary purpose of the wax loads was indoor target practice, not quick-draw contests.

Ray, PLEASE bring ANY photos of .45 Colt (or even .45 LONG Colt) or .45 Schofield you see on the web or at auction sites to my attention. I usually won’t pay the price these places want for the boxes, but I do download the image for my scanned .45 Colt file.


You may be right on with the intended use of the wax loads. I’m just going by things I’ve seen in the past and as a matter of fact, Mr. Fraser mentions the quick draw use in his AA listing. I’ve got an old article on Thell Reed somewhere that might have been what I’m remembering and I’ll see if I can dig that up. No hard facts to reference, just an aging memory.

My limited box collection does not include any .45 Colt but I will keep you in mind as I see them. I do have a green box of Rem. 5 in 1 but would guess it’s a common one.

I’ve only seen photos of the “Grenade Blank” boxes I was busting on Ray about. One is in “HWS I” and the other (not U.S.) is one shown in a recent Journal issue if I remember right. I assume you have these but would be glad to post them if you like. (not home now but can tomorrow)


OK, had to check my memory and man, you gotta love the internet.
Found the article online by Elmer Keith from way back.
gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satell … agenum%3D3
Elmer mentions that Thell Reed used blanks or wax bullets only when he had to in competitions that required it. Otherwise he used live ammunition! Take Elmer’s tales for what they’re worth but it’s some great reading.


Dave–I consider 5-in-1’s to be included in my .45 Colt collection.I do not have any 5-in-1 boxes in either my actual collection or scans except for 3 different 5-in-1 loads from Stembridge Gun Rental for movie use. I would really appreciate scans of all 6 sides of the one you have. Of course, I would rather have the original box if you want to part with it.

As for singles, I have almost 300 different .45 Colt and about 75 5-in-1’s. I also have about 25 .45 Schofield.

Ron, I’d be happy to post scans of my 5 in 1 box. I’ll see if I can’t figure out how to run the scanner at work tomorrow.

Correction on the “Grenade Blank” boxes: The photo I recalled (and only remembered because of Ray’s post on the subject awhile back!) is actually labeled “BLANK CARTRIDGES FOR RIFLE GRENADES” in .303 British. It can be seen on pg.13 of issue #451 of the Journal and the others with various labels including “BLANK” in the text in the .30-06 grenade cartridge section of HWS 1. Not as bad, but still a hangin’ offense the way some folks see it…

Now I’m off for some quick draw practice. Elmer has me inspired and I think I’ll use my full up .45 Colt 260gr. Keith Type SWC loads. My steel toed shoes are ANSI rated…


Wasn’t Thell Reed’s nickname “Limpy”. ;) ;)

Dave–Your Steel toed shoes may be ANSI rated, but they ain’t SAAMI rated. Nor are you pants made of Kevlar.