.50 BMG I.D. Help

Here is my small collection of .50 BMG rounds:

My identification is as follows:
Yellow/Red Spotter/Tracer (M48) PSD 06
Red Tracer (M17) SL 42
Black Armor Piercing (M8) LC 94
Natural Ball (M33) WCC 09
Green/White Raufoss (MK211) LC 10
Yellow FA 43

My question is: what is the last round (yellow tip in aluminium case)? Is it simply a training round?
Also, is my identification of the other rounds correct?

Howdy Chop
The yellow tip is a puzzle to me too, but with the F A 43 headstamped case I’d think it might be a steel case, did you check it with a magnet?

Oops, you’re right - It’s a steel case.

Chop your not the first person to make this mistake. A magnet and a good glass are must have tools (along with books) for the cartridge historian / collector.

As to your other nomenclatures the “Natural Ball” is simply a “Ball”.

Yellow/Red tip is the M48 projectile, but reloaded into a .50 BMG case for shooters. M48 is 12.7x76mm vs the BMG which is 12.7x99
Red tip, if not reloaded, is M1 Tracer, M17 was later in the war and a maroon or brown tip
Black tip is a reload, based on the date. They stopped making plain AP in WW2 and didn’t start again till the late 1990’s. The AP Black tip is M2, the API is M8 (silver tip)
Yellow tip is something that someone’s done up. Bullet should be copper colored not silver like the case and yellow doesn’t belong on the dummy round.

But it’s a start. Only several thousand more .50 rounds to go and you’ll have a full set ! :-(

Here are the head stamps:

" several thousand more .50 rounds to go" - sigh

Thanks for the info - this newbie appreciates it.

Get Bill Woodin’s Books, Vol 1, 2, & 3. That’s a great start on the history of the .50’s. But yeah, Black tip, Red, Orange, Maroon, Brown, Silver, Blue, Purple, Pink, Green (oh so many green varieties), black/red, black/green, black/silver, red/silver, green/silver, green/white, green/red, red/blue, blue/blue, blue/silver, blue/yellow, then the same colors, but REVERSED, and that’s just tip color variants, factor in differing bullet types (squeezebore, discarding sabot, limited range training, etc.) and it just keeps on going.

The red tip tracer looks like a factory load, as is the Mk211 Raufoss. The Dummy is factory, but someone’s either painted it silver or tin plated it, then painted the tip yellow. The others are reloaded.

Lots of help here when you need it just post.

“The red tip tracer looks like a factory load, as is the Mk211 Raufoss. The Dummy is factory, but someone’s either painted it silver or tin plated it, then painted the tip yellow. The others are reloaded.”

How can you tell, something you can see in the picture, or general knowledge of these cartridges?

In 50m2hb’s case he’s also the editor of Very High Power, & has written lots & lots about .50’s, so general knowledge & the serious study of them.

Another book you might find of use is Fuchs; Ron & Ron Jr. on the .50 BMG

There was a thread not too long ago about the .223 5/56 by them & the Cal. .50 should be available on line as a free download.

this link works

I’ve handled or shot thousands of rounds of .50 BMG ammunition, do T&E work, consult, research, write and training all on the .50 caliber. I’ve been working with the .50 caliber cartridge since the late 1980’s. I’m going by headstamp, knowledge of what was manufactured when, factory primer or not, factory primer crimps or not, sealant, etc. There are other tells as well, but you pretty much have to have the round in hand to examine it closely.

Woodin, Hackley and Scranton know probably 10x more than I do and they probably know of 10% of what is out there. As I alluded to earlier, there’s a massive amount of information and work that has transpired on the .50 and, of course, it’s been around since 1918, so we’re into the 100th year of the cartridge.

None of us was born with this info, we all start with no knowledge and learned through our own research and because other collectors that have come before us, have taken the time to show us the way up to that point in time. So it’s up to us to blaze the trail beyond their path and bring along the others while we do so.

Outside of the late Bill Woodin…the reigning Mr 50 caliber (at least US stuff) has weighed in. No offense is/was intended but keep collecting the 50’s and you’ll discover many IAA experts who can quide, advise and encourage your collecting.

“Offense taken”??? Are you kidding!?! I’m overwhelmed…

It’s funny, I’ve been collecting for about 10 years and know a little more than most of my hunter/shooting friends. I work in a building with 150 people and am known as the fireworks/bullet guy. But I know I’m still a rookie in the “bullet community.” Just taking a brief look at the topic’s in the forum & answers prove that…

I’ve been a member of this group for 6+ months but have hesitated to post questions because I don’t want to ask a stupid question or ask one that I could have found an answer to by simple doing a topic search of the forum (i.e. how do you display your bullets?).

I am humbled by your knowledge and quite thrilled by the amount of help you members are willing to share. I am amazed at the amount of information you guys have in your heads! Keep up the patience and the good work.

I’m trying to pass down my love for this hobby to my son and son-in-law so the more help you share the more I can pass along!

Thank you for your assistance!

You put your finger right on it with the information sharing comment. I don’t know of any other field of collection in that if you ask someone something you get chapter & verse, & no worries that since now that you know you might find one before me. Or other such silliness.

Most important there are NO stupid questions.

50’s are great, I have a small collection of maybe 500 & at the local show here I added three & at SLICS this year I added two. So point is your unlikely to hit a wall & not find something, but will just keep learning & hopefully your enthusiasm will take hold & grow.

Find copies of the books mentioned & you’ll know what else is out there. Then you can know it when you see it. And maybe even find something new, not in the books but & still correct / right.