Cal .30 LR Unusual Cartridges

Most collectors are familiar with the ordinary Cal .30 LR (pre-NATO) cartridges, but there are several that are seldom seen except in advanced collections. Here are a few that I have. Maybe this will spur your interest and you’ll show us some of yours?

left to right:

T65 with M1 Tracer bullet. FA 46. Also found with the T10 and FAT8 tracer bullets.

T103E1 Observing. FA 51. A rarer version is the T103 in the FAT1 case with a modified T99 bullet.

T104. FAT1E1 case headstamped FA 50 with FB T11 bullet.

T65E3. FA 49. Loaded with GMCS M2 bullet. Usually seen only in the WCC54 case.

T172. FA 51. Cal .30 Ball M1 bullet. Sent to APG to test effect of heavier bullet on exterior ballistics.


Nice group of cartridges you show there. Thank you. As my less than “advanced” collection only includes the T103E1 you show, I’ll restrain my inquiries to your reference of the T103 in the FAT1 case…

How was the T99 projectile modified from the one used in the Cal. .30 version?


Dave - You’d have to ask one of the resident experts. I’ve never owned one so have never had the opportunity to pull one to see. I’d guess the mods would have included shortening the length and moving the cannelure, but that’s just a SWAG. The T103E1 bullet weighs only 115 grains so maybe it is lighter also.


Thanks for posting those pics Ray, I just wish I had something equally interesting to post…but I don’t! :-(

I’ve had the T65 Tracer for a long time but always thought it was a fake so it’s been in a box along with my dupes and other suspicious cartridges. I just learned that there is a good chance that it is legit, although I’ve yet to see any positive provenance.

There are, of course, other LR cartridges that I haven’t mentioned that are just as unusual as these 5. Most of them I don’t have so I couldn’t take photos.


I can not see any images. Not even the usual space holders when images do not work. I wonder what my be wrong with the internet or what ever is responsible for this bug.


That image is still coming through clear on my end…Is it viewable for you now?

Ray’s topic at hand got me looking back at some of the great threads he has started on this subject and I thought it might be nice to link one of my favorites that has some fantastic information and a classic T103E1 section job (by the artist Paul Smith if I’m not mistaken) shown by NATO Dave.


Great stuff indeed…


What about this one?

Fede, your’s works perfect - thanks! The one which I assume to be in the initial thread is still like non existant.


The link to the archived thread that Dave E. provided in nearly two years old. I think I updated some of it not long ago and there are even further edits that need to be made. So, view the material with that in mind. The world of Cal .30 LR cartridges seems to change almost daily.