7.62x51 US blank ID

I have found this image in the internet (a version of the H-60 with a pintle gun, M240, FN MAG or however this particular one is called). The whole setup looks clearly American (patch on guy’s shoulder):

Please click on it to see it large.

The cartridges there must be clearly blanks due to the blank firing device but I have never seen US blank cartridges having the projectile mock up section and the neck being painted dark or black.


  • Can anyone ID these cartridges?
  • Why would one shoot blanks form a chopper?

The Blank is the early M82 style, with long case neck. That was changed about 10 years ago to a shorter blank, rose crimp mouth.

Can’t speak to the blackening. May not have been intentional (smoke stains from earlier firing perhaps ?)

Keith Pagel

They probably shoot blanks from a helicopter for the same reason as they shoot them anywhere else in the military - for realistic combat training. This helicopter may have been part of a joint exercise involving such things as “infantry and helicopters in the assault,” or something else. They probably train in how to secure an LZ before they land troops in one, or the many other things you do with helicopter-mounted automatic weapons. When I was in, they didn’t use helicopters to anywhere near the extent they did later in SE Asia. Mostly observation, ferrying around big shots, or medivac. I don’t even recall seeing one with any kind of firepower mounted until later, in the Reserve, when we occasionally saw one of the then-new Hueys.