Ammo in a wrong place


This is a 7mm 1910 Mexican Mauser (sportarized). Look at the bolt handle. Cool spot, isn’t it? Does anyone else know of ammo in a place where it does not belong?


By no means an original idea but works well:


Cartridge “wrong place” (NOT Really) but Rifle Mis-identified…it is a Mexican M1936 Action if 7mm calibre…the Springfield- like cocking piece gives it away (the 1910 model has a normal M95 Mauser cocking piece). The M1954 is the 30/06 version of the M36.

Just my being “Picky”…
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

BTW, I used to supply a variety of spent cases to a Jeweller, who made Ear-rings ( set a diamond in the primer pocket), Cufflinks, brooches, pendants and other items of “Bijouterie” using different size cartridge heads and headstamps (both Military and Civil). The More expensive items were either Gold or silver plated.

Other (semi retired) gentlement make Pens and Ball-point pens using 2 cartridge cases, either back to back, or in line ( with silver soldering) Usually they use 30/06 and 7,62 cases ( same body diameter) and one even makes a .50 cal pen, for people with Arthritis of the hands…Their biggest problems is drilling the Bullets to fit the Plastic Infill with ink and Point.

A Lot of our “Blokes in Sheds” (a form of Community Workshops for older males) do this kind of work to support the working of the “Shed”… the skills used also engender mental fitness in later years.

Doc AV ( a lone “bloke” with a very big “Shed”)


In my tool box is a .30-06 AP cartridge that I modified to be used as a plumb-bob. Pulled the projectile, removed the primer, threaded a string through the flash hole and knotted the end, filled the case with lead bird shot, re-seated the projectile and crimped. Works pretty good.

Also have a .50 BMG APIT core in the tool box that I use as a prick punch. Learned that one from an armorer…

Made a few sets of earrings out of empty cartridge cases for the wife. First set is a .45 ACP case with a 9x19mm suspended below it. Second set is made from Iraqi 7.62x39mm cases that I liberated from Desert Storm. She rarely wears them, but the last time she did, a former Marine and recent Iraq war veteran saw them and though they were the coolest things he ever saw…

Made a set of earrings for my anti-gun sister-in-law using 9x19mm cases. It was a gag gift at Christmas time. I put a card inside the box that said “From The Sara Palin Collection”. She actually thought it was pretty funny…

On a similar note, a few years ago there was a young woman at a gunshow in Springfield Mass. selling handmade jewelery made out of fired cases. Pretty neat stuff. I think she had a website. Wish I could remember what the name was…

Once used a .243 Winchester case to make a barrel bushing for a pellet rifle I had. The original front sight/barrel bushing was plastic and one-piece. The plastic broke and since I was using a scope, I just needed to replace the bushing. Turned out that a .243 case was the right diameter for a press fit into the barrel sleeve and I only had to drill out the primer pocket to the diameter of the barrel.

I just made a powder scoop/measure using a .25 ACP case the other day. Turns out that the inside volume of a fired .25 ACP case measures right at 3 gr. of Unique powder. Apparently, this is a fairly common way to make powder measure scoops in the reloading world…



I think we discussed this same subject some time back. Or maybe I dreamt it. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. But I’m sure I posted this photo before.

Cases cut off and glued into the handles of cleaning rods. They make a nice push-fit bushing to hold the rods in the rod carrier.

Cut off case fitted into the mouth of a powder funnel. Different cases used for different sized cartridges.

Also, like AKMS, I use the hardened cores from AP for punches and for the feet on my rifle rest. Keeps the rest from skittering around on the bench.



Some modern Inuit art…and note the headstamp variations!!

Also, have a close look at Beth Woodin’s earrings next time you see her at a cartridge meeting.



A couple of years ago I was at a German shooting range. I was quite surprised to see one of the range supervisors walk in, pick up a couple of full 9x19 rounds and stick them in his ears for ear protection.


Vlim: In older firearm literature, you can read of shooters using fired .38 Special cases as makeshift earplugs.

For what its worth, a fired .45 ACP case can be used as a makeshift recoil spring plug for M1911-type pistols.


HEY!! I was shooting pistol competition in the days before ear-muffs and/or ear-plugs, and I’m not that old. I prefer to be called an experienced shooter. ;)



I, too, was an active shooter before ear plugs and ear muffs. Fact is, we thought anyone who wore
the then-new muffs, when they came out, was a sissy. Ehhhh, what was that you just said - sorry,
I’m a bit hard of hearing. No joke - I am, with a 24/7 ring in my ears for the last 25 years.

John Moss


JM, at least we share one common malady…
(Besides cartridges)…I am a “M60” deafness graduate…left Ear (left handed shooter) from “we were soldiers once and young” times…I have lost pitch discrimination and some acuity in the left ear to a greater extent ( certain frequencies are affected, and speech becomes un-intelligible when there is “White noise” in background ( for Both ears).

And I was one of the “sissies” back then ( I was, amongst other things, an Army medic-- and had my own personal Ear muffs…still have them ( 40 years on)…but for M60 use, I usually had to forego the muffs in Tactical situations.)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics


Doc - yes, I have probably about the same hearing loss. I am sure my problem also started in the army, as while I
had a few large caliber firearms before I went in, I was unable to shoot them often as we did not have a car in the
family, and the nearest range was miles away. Also, it was difficult for my mother to go with me as a teenager so
that I could purchase ammunition. Most of my shooting was .22 caliber smallbore rifle, done at the High School range,
where I was a member of the rifle team. Even with the low noise of the long barrel of a Winchester 52 target rifle, we
did wear ear plugs required by our PMS&T. Ammo wasn’t a problem, as I had a friend with no transportation problems
and he would buy ammo for me when he went for his own. None of us on the team wanted to use the crappy Monarch
Brand .22 ammunition for anything but practice, if we didn’t have to.

We were not issued any ear protection, even in training, when I was in the Army. My worst experience was when I
strayed from behind a Patton tank in a tactical training problem of Tanks and Infantry in Assault, and got about 1/3 of the
way forward from the rear of the Tank when it fired a blank from its 90 mm (??) gun. Even though I wasn’t near the
muzzle, that muzzle blast rocked my very being! We were warned about it, but some of us were just dumb kids not paying attention.
I couldn’t hear much of anything for about a half hour.

Shooting the .30 Browning MG didn’t help my hearing either. I often wondered how the swabbies (not insult intended)
could be anywhere near those Naval guns, even 5" 38s, when they went off, and ever hear again!

We found out in older age that the guys who wore muffs were not sissies, simply smarter than dummies like me, and that
the ones that wore plugs and muffs both were smarter yet.

John Moss


The noise level inside any enclosed mount or turret is not that bad. A lot less than there is outside. There is actually more noise from the machinery and gas ejection system than there is from the gun.

Hearing protection for guys on the open guns was non-existant. Not really a good idea anyway because being able to hear commands was more important than the loss of hearing of an expendable sailor.

I am totally deaf in one ear but can hear good enough out of the other. Except when the wife is calling. Or so she says. ;)



John, I’m curious to learn more about the 90mm blank round. During my tanker days (105mm M-60 tanks) there was a “main gun simulator” that attached to the barrel that fired a pyrotechnic charge of some sort to simulate the main gun firing. As I recall, this device had about seven barrels in a pyramid stack of sorts. I never saw or heard mention of a “blank” round for main guns, but maybe back in your day there was one?
One of the most awesome things to experience is standing behind a company of M-60’s all firing their main guns at the same time in addition to the coax MG and commander’s M-85 .50 caliber.



AKMS, the 90mm blank is the M394, it is a shortened (7.27 in long) case with a blank charge.

Here some images - case head unfortunately with “Californian” desease.



Wow! That there is ammunition abuse.



AKMS - I don’t know a thing about the blanks. I assume that what they fired was a blank,
since it was not a live fire exercise, or at least I don’t remember it being one. All I know is there was
a very loud “bang”, and a lot of smoke. By a lot, I am comparing it to our rifles, which even with blanks
didn’t make hardly any smoke, at least that I can remember. This was all in 1957, so I don’t necessarily have
the details perfect - a lot of years have passed - but I remember the general incident very well - hard to
forget it.

If it was live ammo, I don’t know where the shots were going because there were no explosions off in the

Believe it or not, while I have ridden briefly on the back of a tank, I have never actually been inside one,
either in the Army, or in civilian life. And, as most here know, I don’t know crap about anything that goes
bang that you can’t fire from your shoulder, hand, or a small tripod.

Edited to correct my poor typing only.

John Moss


A friend of mine Greg , now dead, was a MG officer in the Greek army as a young man and suffered severe hearing loss as a result. It affected him all his life and as a Doctor he was always very hot on us wearing ear protection. Its only in later years that I see ear protectors worn as a manditory thing on the ranges and I often wonder how many men were affected by reduced hearing in years gone by.
My father suffered a perforated eardrum while serving on HMS Warspite during the bombardment prior to the landings at Salerno during WW2.


AS the Egyptian physicians were required to say before treating a patient: " This is a disease I know and can cure…" wrt The California Syndrome…simply Tap the holes a suitable Thread diameter, fit brass plugs, sweat in with silver solder, the same for the primer tube Hole,( use new primer tube, unsoldered) and Bingo, disease cured. As it is for Blank, there are no pressure considerations of any note. Of course any Headstamps obliterated by the original disease will be lost (unless one has a photo of a “healthy” Individual, and can “re stamp/re engrave” them.).

Blanks are available (factory Loaded) for most Land artillery pieces, for both Training and “Feu de Joie” ( salutes, etc) right up to the large diameters ( 155mm); they are usually cut-back recycled Cases, with a Smokeless & BP charge, for the smoke effect. IN training, the smoke effect shows that the Gun or Vehicle has actually fired on cue. For other applications, the smoke use is obvious, especially when an artillery piece is used for a Boat/Yacht race start
– several yacht races in Australia have used a 40mm Bofor on a Navy patrol Boat for starting purposes (sadly the Bofors have now been retired, and they make do with an old bronze 12 pdr. (more traditional) on a non Military vessel.)

Our Re-enactor friends in NZ have developed a frangible ( consumable) projectile load for the 105mm Howitzer/Gun, which gives good effect, and can also recoil the gun properly with adjustments to the Hydraulic recuperators.
Loading can also be done “by the Book”.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Before the direction of this thread gets stepped on, I’ll add this:

All of the details related to other’s “close encounters” got me to thinking about what all I’ve been witness to in the way of bangs and booms. I’m guessing a nuke is about the only thing not on the list. Some events were associated with the World’s Finest Navy, others of my own making or presence at an event. Anybody onboard here who took part in any of the desert test shots(back in the '50s)? Sorta glad all that was before my time. I would have probably been a grinning volunteer.

. . .5, 4, 3, . . .