6x45 SAW phenolic varnish on case?


i have a catridge of 6x45 SAW but the color is strange for me (standard cartridges with FA 73 headstamp have olive drab varnish very similar as 7.62x39 made in russia)
but my cartridge have very dark green or very dark marron color
i saw old post of 6x45 on the forum (see link)


my cartridge is very similar in color to the n°14 on the group pictures of family 6mm SAW (i see my cartridge in sun light)
it is the same cartridge with phenolic varnish ? it is rare ?
thank in advance for your responses

PS:i can’t make pictures of my cartridge because i have only a old numerical camera (can’t make good “macro” pictures ) to see the real color


That is a photo from my collection, and item #14 does have a phenolic varnish case finish. The gentleman who sold me the cartridge indicated that they were experimental case finishes made for static extraction tests at Rock Island Arsenal. In addition to the phenolic varnish, they made parkerized cases, teflon-coated cases, and plain steel cases with no finish. I was told that there were only 100 of each type made.

My collection is packed away right now so it may take a few days, but I can try and find the 6x45 SAW rounds and take a better photo comparing the phenolic varnish and standard ball rounds if that would help you to identify your round.


thank for your response
my cartridge had the very same color of your n°14 cartridge on your picture (as i seen on the forum)
i saw a “ordinary” 6x45 SAW FA 73 and the varnish is well olive drab (similar to your picture)
i m sure is not the parkerised or teflon coated because is not the color of my cartridge (your picture is good and clear)


Here is a side-by-side comparison of the phenolic lacquer, parkerized, teflon and plain steel cases. They all are headstamped F A 7 3

Here are a couple of other neat rounds from this series:

Earliest and latest headstamps to be found. The unfinished case is F A 6 7 (a 5.56 x 45 bunter was used). This case is not from 1967, but probably 1972. The other case is F A 7 4

twoaz showed a proof round in his previous post. There is an other variation with a short neck. Some of the cases had developed a split neck and were simply trimmed. They were loaded to the same o/l length.

twoaz also showed an interesting cook-off test round. This round had a normal powder charge with an inert primer. Also made was an ‘anvil-less’ primer used in slam-fire tests. The third round shown below is a bullet pull test round loaded at Rock Island Arsenal. As twoaz mentioned, these were made in very limited numbers.

Finally, two variations of the 6x45 Brunswick round the ‘normal’ round and the ‘short neck’ round. Both are factory dummies with blind primer pockets. The normal round is headstamped W C C 7 3 and the short necked round is WCC 74 556


thank for your response

a paulsmith:
your 6x45 with phenolic varnish color look like standard varnish on “normal” 6x45
mine has the same color at the n°14 cartridge on twoaz picture (very dark green/marron)
i try to make photo in the sun light when the weather is good



In your first photo showing the 4 experimental case finishes, the color of your parkerized cartridge (2nd from left) looks the same as the one I have listed as teflon-coated. The one you identify as teflon-coated (3rd from the left in your photo) looks like one that I have listed as “dry film lube”.

I bought mine from Lou Behling and while I’m fairly confident that I made accurate notes of the finishes he listed for them, I think I may have mixed up my cartridges. Does your parkerized round have a dry film lube on top of the parkerization by any chance, or is there a dry film lube finish that looks similar to the parkerized round?

ammogun: The color of the phenolic lacquered round in Paul’s photo looks pretty accurate to me when compared to the actual round, at least on my monitor. The photo I posted in the old thread was a quick snapshot and I didn’t make any attempt at color-correction. I found my box of SAW cartridges so this weekend I will try to take a color-corrected photo comparing the experimental case finishes with a standard XM732 ball round.


Here is a better shot of the experimental finishes on my 6x45 SAW cartridges. I have attempted to maintain color accuracy in shooting/processing the image.

From left to right:

XM732 Ball, normal finish
Ball, phenolic varnish
Ball, plain steel
Ball, teflon coated
Ball, dry film lube

As I stated in my previous post, I’m not 100% sure that I haven’t mixed up the identification of the finish on the two rounds on the right. Hopefully Paul can give his opinion on that.

I hope this helps!


i have a good weather
i try this picture

the 6x45 is on the left


Would it be possible to list the variations that are associated with the 6 x 50 cartridge. Maybe start a new thread



Start with a search. I think we already did this. It may be in the Archive files, so good luck.



Chip - thanks for the great picture. I think that I’ve mixed up my labels/notes and believe that your descriptions are 100% accurate. Sorry for the confusion.