50 BMG question

I found this case and it is much different then others I have.
The center case has the shoulder pushed forward creating a short neck and a ring around the head. Inspection of the inside of the case shows no thinning of the case or signs of case separation. Is it possible to fire with this much head space and not have case failure or is something else going on? Headstamp is Saint Louis 45

The center case has a shoulder so far forward it would not chamber and lock up in a standard .50 BMG barrel. At the time this SL 45 case was made considerable work was being done on improved .50 designs as well as the .60 caliber. Perhaps this is a byproduct of one of those design programs. Jack

Hi Jack
This case is fired but I’m not sure how.

maybe this case is fired onto 12.7x108 chamber ?

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I don’t know where did you get this case from but if it from Czech Republic - I know who did try this several times :-). During 2006-8 I used to work at ZVI armory as commercial dir. (from that times comes Kevin pistol chambered in 9mm Mak as well as .32 ZVI modification) and we’re producing anti-material rifle Falcon in both calibers .50 cal BMG as well as 12.7 DShK. We have made a lot of testing with different kinds of cartridges/bullets in both calibers including the Raufoss Mk 211 (MP) bullet loaded in 12.7x108 cases.
And it works well in both calibers. As a cheapest source of primed cases we used to use the WWII brass which came in thousands quantities to CZ (just the pulled bullets; powder inside with plastic lid on the mouth of the case. We have made the analysis of WWII powder at Explosia and all factors of 70Y old propellant were much better the now days made Lovex D100 (double base in Explosia portfolio). Not only MP bullets were loaded. Several brass monoliths have been loaded/tested too for Czech Army Falcon’s.
First lot of Falcon’s supplied to CZ army were 12.7 DShK cal…later lot was .50 BMG. Part of the testing was to use the US ammo in 12.7 DShK chambers and except losing the accuracy on more than 100m - it works well.
From these days may come your fired case.



The M2 machine gun has a “screw in barrel” for want of a better description, which can be adjusted for headspace. This case was fired in a gun with the barrel “out” before being screwed in to get the correct headspace.

Hi ammogun and Trabi_Fun
Thanks for the input. This sounds like a reasonable explanation
The shoulder is not quite out to the 12.7 length but maybe it would not fully fire form .
with 1 use. It must have been fired in something with the wrong chamber and after a search the 12.7 is the only thing that is close. I’m not sure where the case came from. It was found in somethings belonging to a friend who spent many years in the US Army between 1940s and 1980s and reached the rank of Colonel. He had a big interest in firearms and ammunition and saved a lot. He would have been out of the service a long time in 2006-08 time period but could have picked it up somewhere
Thanks again

Hi Will
Thanks for the information.
I would think this would be a good explanation given the time period.

If the barrel (M2) was this far out of time/head space it would not fire. If the round fired with this ‘gap’ it would have been an out of battery firing with devastating results. This case was fully contained within a chamber. Trabi_fun’s explanation is the likely ID of this cartridge.

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Here are some pictures - I haven’t documented many our efforts; you know you were working there and it was just part of your daily bread - just found one case and the picture of box from SM.




I’m not saying your case IS …but might BE fired from 12.7x108 chamber