Cartridge identification

Hi I have found some cartridges in my shed, marked F A 28 which I have googled and narrowed down to far ford arsenal in Philadelphia, possible 1929. I’m just wondering if they are common or unusual, and as they appear to be used should I be worried about any powder inside, I’m not sure if they are live or not, thanks in advance.

Made at Frankfort Arsenal in 1928
As a rule, cartridges are not dangerous (IE they won’t go off by itself), despite what the media wants you to think.
What is the bullet diameter? About 5/16" or 1/2" (or something else)? This will help narrow down the choices.
Is the bullet still in the case? (if no, than it’s a fired casing).
Does the primer (item in the center of the headstamp) have a dent in it? (if yes, it’s a dud round).

9cm in length, 6mm diameter, they were mounted on a strip of metal but have come off it easily, is that the casing? No dent on the primer, look to be made of brass.

Oh it’s 29 not 28 oops, so that’s 1929 I guess

If it is 9cm in overall length, that converts to appx 3.5 inches which is pretty close to the overall length of the 30-06. The bullet diameter should be 7.62mm not 6mm. If the bullet is indeed 6mm in diameter, that converts to .236 inches which would be more difficult to ID with the FA 29 headstamp. The US did have a 6mm Lee Navy round but I have never seen it with a FA 29 headstamp, and the overall length would be 3.1 inches or 7.87cm. Another possibility would be the .276 Pederson which is commonly found with the FA 29 headstamp, but its bullet is 7mm and over all length is appx 2.85 inches or 7.24 cm

By the way, just to be correct, it is Frankford Arsenal, not Frankfort

A picture is worth a thousand words.


Sorry took me a while to figure out how to post pics 👍🏻

Very ugly .30-06 cartridges.


It appears your cartridges are Cal. .30 Ball Cartridge, M1 (.30-06) and the headstamp appears to be " F ⦁ A 2 9 " or Frankford Arsenal production, 1929, The dot in the headstamp is thought to be a Frankford Arsenal internal arsenal identification denoting a slight change in the manufacturing process or made from a special lot of cartridge brass. Information is from History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, Vol. 1, 1880 - 1939, revised; 1967 - 1998, Hackley, Woodin & Scranton.

The brass device holding (that held) the five cartridges is typically called a stripper clip and is designed to assist in loading cartridges into, in this instance, the magazine of a bolt action rifle.


Thank you, some people have told me to get rid of them in case they are dangerous, but I find them quite interesting and would rather keep them, any advice on wether it’s safe to keep them or should they be disposed of i’r handed in somewhere in case they are explosive?

They are not dangerous at all, nor explosive. If you do plan to keep them, at least give them a nice rub-down with an oily cloth to clean off all the corrosion and slide them all back on to the stripper.

That’s good, thanks for all the info everyone 👍🏻

Just a word of warning.

From the “celebrations” chocolate box in the photo, it appears that you are in the UK. Here in the UK these rounds are illegal to own live without the appropriate firearms certificate. Despite this, they are not inherently unstable or dangerous in their current state.

The cartridges were likely supplied by the USA under the lend-lease program during the 2nd World War.

Thank you, so it might be best to hand them in to the authorities in that case

It is a simple job to make these harmless so that you can still keep them. If you are in the UK there may be a cartridge collector not too far away who can do the job for you in a few minutes. If found in the UK and with that headstamp then they are almost certainly Home Guard issue during the second world war and so a bit of local history.


I did really want to keep them, as they are quite fascinating and like you say a bit of local history