Color coordinator volunteer?

Okay, the topic has come up several times. Whow wants to volunteer as “Color Coordinator”? (No interior decorator jokes, please!)

I see this as a table type arrangement:

Across the top for column headings- list the type of round (tracer, AP, incendiary, frangible, etc)

Down the side for the rows- (each row to really include two rows)
List country and period and reference in the first column
Then use a double row with the upper row listing the color and the lower row listing location (tip, primer annulus, mouth seal, etc)

It is possible to do the table in a web page and make each cell a different color, so you could visually show red, black, green, etc in the upper part of the row for color id as well as label it by name.

Much easier to look under a country and spot the color you are looking for when trying to ID things.

As an interim step we COULD post a scan of non-copyrighted publications (or copyrighted if we have permission) showing existing ID charts.

If interested, please PM me and I will see who all is interested. Looks like we need a geeky type person to put it together and some data miners to find the info to be included. As with other IAA website projects- there is no pay for anyone, just the satisfaction of seeing stuff happen.

NOTE: If you don’t volunteer, you forfeit any right to complaing about how it isn’t getting done…

Can I complain about how confusing this post is without losing my right to complain later ? LOVE TO SEE IT IN COLOR !

Yeah, uh, say what, John? Ya lost me here, amigo!

This the headstamp listings or something else? Where? Timeline?


What a good idea, I do not collect military cart but like all things they are creeping into my collection and the various colors of bullets and primers are confusing. A General table with colors would be helpful. I have no idea what each color stands for so I guess I am no help.

I will post a sample concept page in a couple of days to give an idea of what I envision. Others may have a better idea, but it will at least provide a starting point.
It will be on the web site, not the forum, but I will announce its location on the forum.

John–Much of this work has already been done in the following publicaton.

Scranton, Eugene. 1990. Small Arms Ammunition Identification Codes, Part 1-14 and Supplement 1. Chestnut Hill. 580p.

In case you do not have this or are not familiar with it, it was loosleaf and organized by color listing the various rounds using that color.

My copy of Small Arms Ammunition Identification Codes finishes after part 13 on page 534 which is 7.62x54R green tip, but my Appendix I starts on page 790. Can anybody please tell me where I can buy, beg, steal or borrow those missing 160 pages?? That publication is a gold mine of information.
Easy to use, shows examples of headstamps, years of production etc.
Absolutely invaluable for someone like me who collects military special purpose cartridges. All I need is a compete set :)

Gene Scranton’s current address according to the 06 IAA list is 6201 E PIMA #73 TUCSON AZ 85712 . He should know.

To my knowledge, the “missing pages” of the color tip guide have never been published.

That is my understanding also. I suppose the project was undersubscribed. It was beautiful work but the ammo market is small and hard to serve, at a profit ,with reference materials.

Hmmmm- 500 plus pages on color codes? Looks like this is a bigger herd of elephants than I want to try to digest.
Maybe a brief overview is all that we should attempt. I don’t even see it as practical to offer to post that size work on the IAA site.

As a publishing tip, it would be very feasible to put a 500 plus page color filled book out in .pdf format on CD at a relatively low unit cost, far less than traditional paper publishing. WIth duplication on demand there would be none of the overhead and storage hassle associated with paper copies. Just a thought…

It seems that you are not familiar with Scranton’s color publication. You should have a look at it. I doubt that it would be something for the IAA site.

[quote=“John S.”]Hmmmm- 500 plus pages on color codes? Looks like this is a bigger herd of elephants than I want to try to digest.
Maybe a brief overview is all that we should attempt. I don’t even see it as practical to offer to post that size work on the IAA site.

As a database developer, this is a fairly easy exercise, but I’d hate to be responsible for the data entry!

However…email me off the board for a skull session

John–Scrantons work is much more than 500 pages. More like 800-900. For any given case type if there are multiple variations for a particular color he numbered the pages using decimals. For instance .45 Auto with green tip used pages 479-479.6 for a total of 7 pages. For those not familiar with Gene Scranton’s work, here is a sample page

John–I see a number of problems with a comperhesive chart such as you propose. To start with, the use of colored cells would be a problem. Many loads, especially German 7.9x57 Mauser need up to 4 colors to identify the load properaly–Tip, Ring, Casemouth and Primer annulus. The next problem is hue. Just to say Red, is not adecuate. You need to be more precise–Bright Red, Maroon, Deep Red, etc. That is why Scranton used paint color designature. Those names and numbers were not something he made up. They are the from a book with international accepted designations used in the printing industry and paint manufacturing called The PANTONE Graphics Color System . Then there is the problem of case types and eras of use.

Rather than attempting a comperhesive chart as you suggested, I think a web page on the IAA web site with charts of the general colors used by each country and case type would be more practical. It would need to be limited to field use loadings. To try to include the myraid of colors used on experimental loads would be almost impossible. Even this limited listing would be a major undertaking. But, for 90% of most collectors needs it would be adequate just to identify the normal military loadings.

Ron- I am thinking along the same lines. I envision a ready reference for small arms calibers that actually reached quantity production. Intended audience is the casual accumulator or beginning collector. If they find something not listed, time to hit the forum. The experts can probably ID it as one of three experimental rounds produced on February 29, 1908 as a silent tracer incendiary for shooting message carrying pigeons during a full moon or some other exotic purpose. It would be cool to include EVERYTHING ever done in any caliber anywhere, but we need something simple that can be actually completed and posted.
Multi- colors may have to be ID’d with text notes. Color sample may have to be caveated that actual shade may vary from that shown. However, visually it is a lot easier to pick out a couple of red candidates in color than to try to read a bunch of fine print. We’ll see if any sort of color is feasible (err, EASY) to do, so no guarantee.
Who wants to contribute some data? I want every entry to cite a reference.