9mm SMAW spotter L3A1


In the list of mr. Miles’ collection a 9mm SMAW Spotter L3A1 is mentioned with the entire round chrome-plated.

What is the purpose of this chrome-plated cartridge? is it for instruction, an inert variation?



I can answer this one but I’m struggling with your other question regarding the 7.62mm L2A2 Standard Ball I’m afraid.
This 9mm SMAW round was the round which was chambered in the weapon when it was loaded at the factory. The weapon was supplied ‘ready loaded’ to troops and could remain in store and unused for possibly years. Apparently when brass and steel are in close contact for considerable time a reaction between the two metals may develop and the chrome plating was intended to prevent this reaction. These chromed rounds are rarely found unfired as they are only removed from the weapon by EOD personel if the weapon is faulty.
I’ll do a bit of reading regarding the 7.62mm L2A2 Standard Ball as I’m now also intrigued…!


interesting information, thank you very much.

yours Joost


Neat !!

Jim - do you have a photo of this round you can share?



Hi Teak,
I’m sure one day scanning and posting photos will come easy but until then I’m finding it really hard work!! Photo as requested…I think…


Open an account at PHOTOBUCKET. They make the photos easy to work with. Here are some SMAWS:

Left to right: US spotter- tracer, tracer,ball,dummy - British tracer , inert tracer bullet and case



Headstamp left RG 90 red p.a.
Headstamp middle RG 87 no p.a. colour
Headstamp right RG 87 no p.a. colour

added: the middle and right rds were taken from the same SMAW.


I have a fired case of the earlier 7.62mm SMAW round. The 7.62 case has the reamins of an RG hstp, and the .22 Hornet case has the hstp “R - P 22 HORNET”. I got this from a belt of fired ordinary 7.62 cases for sale at a car boot sale (that is a flea market to you Americans). It has been fired and not put together by someone, as the .22 Hornet case is blown outwards inside the 7.62 case.


That is a Remington commercial headstamp. They may have started off with an order of blanks from Remington or made their own from loaded ammo. What is the DATE of the case ?


I knew that was a remington commercial hstp, but the base of this round has been polished, and any traces of the remains of the date are long gone. All I can see is “RG” and “(+)”