Cal .30 Inert Cartridge

Just got this. Haven’t seen one before. Anyone else have one?

hs F A 5 7
Steel case, zinc cronak finish?
50.9 grains of Sodium Carbonate?
150 grain GMCS M2 bullet
Inert primer. Anvil but no mixture. Blackened for ID. Red seal.

I have a 7.62 m/m NATO equivalent of this, similar headstamp which is not at hand. The filler ate the primer and headstamp. Jack


Yes, 7.62mm version (one of several) is the M172. I have not found any official designation for the Cal .30 Inert loaded.

I assume it’s Sodium Carbonate in both. I didn’t taste it to find out. I think some inert loaded cartridges had sugar in them?


I do, thought it was live because of the lack of a hole. Thanks


Is yours also F A 57 ?


My round is brass cased and stenciled in all caps in red die or ink on the side of casing “[color=#FF0040]I N E R T[/color]”

Here’s what HWS Vol. III says: "Special inert-loaded M2 ball cartridges assembled by Frankford Arsenal during 1956 and 1957 for machine checkout and inspection purposes were identified by the word INERT stamped on the side of the case. Some rounds have been examined with F A 5 6 headstamp, with INERT in black letters and brass primer with red sealant, and headstamped F A 5 7 with INERT in red letters with blackened primer. The latter is from Lot FA P30-288.

Another inert-loaded M2 ball round is assembled with a zinc-chromate-coated steel case headstamped F A 5 7 with blackened primer, but this round was probably made up for display or presentation purposes."


Thanks for the advance info from HWS III. I was going to wait for it, but now i won’t have to buy a copy. ;-) ;-)

So, it appears that the one I have may possibly be less frequently seen than the brass cased version? That’s good to know. I have 5 of them.



Is yours also F A 57 ?