5.56x45 "FA 69" dark dummies

Why are they so dark? Anything special about it? They are totally non magnetic.

Is there a primer? The all black one that I have is a drill round.

Yes, and the powder moves when shaken. Here is the charger, maybe it will help.

Whilst a different calibre, Australia made a sugar filled 7.65x51 A2L2 dummy rounds that had a black primer but the case was brass. The sugar was to give the round the same weight as a regular loaded ball round. I know other countries have done similar and with other inert fillers, such as coal dust.

Perhaps your rounds are similar. Have you pulled a round and checked the powder?

Sorry, no, did not pull the bullet. It is a Thanksgiving holiday time here in the States, and I am practically living in Newark Aeroport, whilst chasing down turkey and other “wild” food.

I hope that you have other means of chasing down your turkey, as those 5.56x45 will be of little use if they are dummy rounds!

I’m sure someone more knowledgeable that me will have an answer for you.

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From HWS Vol. 3, pp80-81:

5.56x45mm dummy cartridge M232.

Initial production started at Lake City in 1967 and production started at Frankford Arsenal in 1969. The entire inert cartridge is chemically blackened for easy identification. To properly simulate a loaded cartridge a charge of 31 grs. of sodium carbonate was loaded into the case. The intended end users were weapons manufacturers and weapons inspectors to check weapon feed systems. The heavy neck cannelure is used to keep the bullet secure during repeated use in testing weapon feed systems.

If you try to pull a bullet with a kinetic bullet puller you are probably going to wear out your arm! :-)



Thanks, Brian, you just saved my plastic kinetic puller from untimely death.

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Sugar is hygroscopic and would be my last choice of inert filler in ammo. Is Australia the only one using sugar or it is a common industry practice?

Hi Vlad - I have no idea if it is still used but the round was sold with the description “sugar filled drill round” and I recall having read about them prior to that. I’ve just gone and pulled the book and this is what is says in the section on 7.62 and 5.56 inert ammunition:

“Black primer inert rounds were used within the Factory in ‘visitor’ displays and also used by the Engineering Design Establishment (Army) to evaluate packaging durability and test alternative materials etc. These rounds sometimes had an inert filling (reported to be granulated sugar) to simulate the propellant loading. Black primer 5.56 inert rounds were also made up for display purposes. It is believed no formal 5.56 Drill or Inspector rounds have been made at Footscray or Benalla as at the time of writing.”

The book is Australian Military Small Arms Ammunition Production 1888 - 2003 by David Mayne. First published in 2003 and I have a copy of the 2004 revision.

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