Cal .45 FA 4

I have a Cal 45 M1911 NPE. The steel case is brown lacquered (my terminology). I have no idea what kind of coating was put on steel case ammunition from the WWII era. I looked in HWS Vol II and found a reference to this on page 16. The information states that cases made at FA were sent to Western Cart Co for antimonial lead plating. Is this one of those cartridges? If not, what do I have.
The bottom 2 photos have a FA 21 brass case 45, 2 lacquered steel case WWII German 9mms and a 7.62 x 39 steel case from CZ for color comparison.

FA%204%20Brown%20case%20a FA%204%20Brown%20case

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Not an answer but a possible hint in the WW2 record of work on small arms ammunition-

From the chapter on steel cartridge case work:

Note the blue arrow on the page below where phenolic lacquer is listed as being tested on .50 BMG steel cartridge cases. Perhaps is was also tested on .45 steel cases.


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What did the Germans use for coating on steel case ammunition in WWII?

Here is a line-up of FA 42 & FA 43 headstamped steel cased 30-06, all with different coatings


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do you know the history on any of the coated cartridges?
1751, 1254, 1752, 1749, 1748?

FWIW, some additional information on resin coatings tested on .50 cal. steel cartridges. Source is the same as listed above.



I have updated the picture with some more variations I have.
I have added what I have as description. This is information that came with the cartridges when I purchased them.
Most of them came out of a mature collection.

I use to know if this was a 1944, someone at SLICs back in 2006 was passing out a sheet and it was explained why the 4 in 44 was missing?
Does any one remember the story?
Some thing about removing the 0 in a 40 bunter ?

No, if the 0 had been removed the 4 had been desaxed, they simply stamped the cartridges with a 4 instead of 44 to economise hard steel used to made bunters.

What does the term “pickle” entail? Merely a word question, I do not understant the meaning.

Removing foreign matter, oil etc. Search for “pickling” on Google. Its commonly used in engineering.

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The single-digit dates on U.S. cartridges, always representing either 1944 or 1955, were an economy move all the way around. It started with the removing of the “3” from 1943 bunters, causing the remaining “4” to be off-center. The same was true with the removal of the “4” from 1954 bunters, leaving an off-center “5”. New bunters for those years, 1944 and 1955, generally followed the “single digit” guideline, but the single numbers will be centered. I suppose this also represented a small savings in the cost of producing the bunters, but suspect it was mainly a case, again, of following the guidelines.

There were exceptions. There are a few in .45 M1911 caliber that are actually marked “44” but they are a little scarce. I have at least one, maybe a couple, from “44” and so-marked. I don’t recall if there are any two-digit “55” headstamps or not. I think I recall having a .30 Carbine bunter like that as well. This practice of single-digit dates was not limited to just the .45 M1911 cartridge.

I can only speak to the .45 and .30 carbine cartridges. I do not collect .30 M1906 or .50 BMG rounds, nor .38 Special.

Bunters were expensive to make at the time, and hundreds were needed for the quantity of ammunition being made in WW2. I do not know precisely why they continued the practice in 1955, as the Korean War was over. Likely, once again, just a matter of following existing guidelines and an economy measure. This single-digit dating did not exist before 1944 or after 1955.

It was not done, to my knowledge, on bunters from 1940. Occasionally you find a single-digit dated headstamp with a “shadow” second number from a bunter not totally ground out, and I have never seen anything other than a “3” “shadow marking.” If anyone has a headstamp with a visible, but ground down, digit other than a “3” from 1943, or possibly a “4” from 1954, please post a picture of it.

John Moss