50 cal FA 4 dummy

This round is very evenly pitted on all the sides including headstamp, it has no openings from the primer well into the shell body and it has 3 professionally drilled holes placed equidistantly directly below corresponding FA4 (3 symbols-3 holes). May anyone theorize about the pitting, i.e. was this round in water or soil, and why would anyone place a dummy there, incidently or to check corrosion resistance.

In the early 80s there was a chain of military surplus stores in Phoenix that had loads of these F A 4 dummies for sale. My friends and I bought several so we’d have authentic ammo for playing army. Just a wild guess, but maybe yours was lost by a kid and spent some time exposed to the elements?

In 1944, Frankford Arsenal made up several Million “Drill rounds” ("Dummies) using Steel .50 cases. They had been experimenting with Steel case manufacture for Ball ammo, and found they were not suitable for such a use…so the production was switched over to “Drill round” use, of the cases made but not loaded (Primer Pocket flash hole is usually punched by the same machine which seats the primer in the Pocket, in a sequential manner)
The side holes were then drilled in a special jig.

The same thing happened with Steel .30 cal cases…a lot of these ended up as Drill Rounds as well.

The “corrosion” is of course, plain RUST. The “4” headstamp is due to Economy use of 1943 headstamp Bunters, by grinding away the “3”; virtually all the US ammo makers in early 1944 used this method to save costs on Bunters.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics