Cuban .45


#1

A gent on a gun site I frequent posted a nice pic of an old Cuban-contract Colt in .45 LC. I posted this pic of its matching round from my collection. Can someone post a pic of the box so I can cross post it with the guy’s pistol?


#2

I’m sure I have a color copy somewhere but here you a have one in b/w:


#3

Fede–Please post the full color picture if you find it. I have collected .45 Colt for 40 years and this is the first time I have seen the box for this cartridge. In fact, I am surprised that boxes even exist. I was under the impression (obviously wrong) that only a handful of test cases were ever produced. I was also told that the production line was set up before the Cuban Revolution by Winchester. Does anyone know if this is true or not?
Anyone know what years it operated?


#4

The label on the left is not readable but it says:

EJÉRCITO
TALLER DE CARGA
Cargado por:
Inspeccionado por: -signature-
Fecha: Julio 13, 1951


#5

It seems a bit strange to me that this cartridge would be designated M-1911. Someone in a hurry could easily grab the wrong box of ammunition for his M-1911 Colt .45 Auto if he didn’t look at the picture on the box or actually examine the ammo, although the label does specify For Revolver. You would think they would try to keep the confusion factor to a minimum.


#6

Thank you, Fede. Please post the color picture if you find it.
Here is the gun site posting of the Cuban pistol:

forums.gunboards.com/showthread. … ervice-.45


#7

From our sale #11 lot 574

Headstamped ‘ CUBA 50 .45 ‘ this new empty drawn brass .45 Colt case has a Boxer primer pocket. A scarce headstamp, it was made in Cuba at Camp Columbia, Havana, in a circa 1945 plant set-up to make this, .45 ACP, .30 Carbine and .30-06 by William Piznak, who operated under the Fiala Outfits,10 Warren St., New York name. The plant was shut down ca. 1952 when Fulgencio Batista took over the Cuban government in a coup, and only this and .45 M-1911 examples are known.


#8

Pete, what did the case go for?


#9

I wonder if this is the same William Piznak previously referred to? (ODWU was a Nazi intelligence-directed Ukranian terrorist organization)

“Another hint of the inner nature of the ODWU came on July 13, 1940, when the New York police arrested a Ukrainian-American named William Piznak on charges of violating the Sullivan Law. In a basement storeroom of Piznak’s residence at 225 East 95th Street, detectives of the New York sabotage squad found a veritable arsenal which included two machine guns, tear gas grenades, rifles, sets of brass knuckles, a trench knife and 1,112 rifle cartridges of assorted calibers.”

No indication as to what became of Mr. Piznak as a result of the above arrest. Maybe he went to Cuba to set up an ammo factory?

Additionally, I found a website with more information about the Cuban New Service revolver. Briefly, there were about 1000 of them made by Colt for the Cuban Army and Cuban Rural Guard before and after WWI. Allegedly, the revolvers were carried by NCOs, while the Model 1911 automatic was carried by officers. The post-WWI purchases may have been in .45 ACP, like the Model 1917 Colts, but that’s not certain.

I just found some additional information indicating perhaps 2000 such Colt revolvers in .45 went to Cuba in 1909. It’s likely they were M1909s (basically a variant of the New Service), but they were described as being an “improved model” New Service. These were all for the Army. About 1914, a few hundred more were purchased for the Rural Guards, and were so marked. There may well have been others purchased by Cuba later, after WWI, but I couldn’t find anything definite, nor any information about ammunition.


#10

Piznak wrote an article or two in The American Rifleman in the late 1940s or early 1950s on modern military small arms in addition to these other, more colorful, projects. I suspect his name can also be found in the acknowledgments pages of appropriate arms books in the fifties. Jack


#11

Another thought - Did the pictured Cuban .45 cartridge have the small diameter rim of the .45 Colt or the larger diameter rim of the M1909? I have to believe there were likely to have been a number of the New Service M1909 revolvers in Cuba in the Pre-WWI era, and these used the larger rim to aid in positive extraction. As the differences between the M1909 revolver and the later model New Service revolver are very small, I’d think the Cubans would use the large-rim version, even though the standard .45 Colt cartridge would work in both the M1909 and the NS.


#12

[quote=“jonnyc”]Thank you, Fede. Please post the color picture if you find it.
Here is the gun site posting of the Cuban pistol:

forums.gunboards.com/showthread. … ervice-.45[/quote]

Jon, case went for $ 32.50 M. Rea


#13

[quote=“DennisK”]I wonder if this is the same William Piznak previously referred to? (ODWU was a Nazi intelligence-directed Ukranian terrorist organization)

“Another hint of the inner nature of the ODWU came on July 13, 1940, when the New York police arrested a Ukrainian-American named William Piznak on charges of violating the Sullivan Law. In a basement storeroom of Piznak’s residence at 225 East 95th Street, detectives of the New York sabotage squad found a veritable arsenal which included two machine guns, tear gas grenades, rifles, sets of brass knuckles, a trench knife and 1,112 rifle cartridges of assorted calibers.”

No indication as to what became of Mr. Piznak as a result of the above arrest. Maybe he went to Cuba to set up an ammo factory?

Additionally, I found a website with more information about the Cuban New Service revolver. Briefly, there were about 1000 of them made by Colt for the Cuban Army and Cuban Rural Guard before and after WWI. Allegedly, the revolvers were carried by NCOs, while the Model 1911 automatic was carried by officers. The post-WWI purchases may have been in .45 ACP, like the Model 1917 Colts, but that’s not certain.

I just found some additional information indicating perhaps 2000 such Colt revolvers in .45 went to Cuba in 1909. It’s likely they were M1909s (basically a variant of the New Service), but they were described as being an “improved model” New Service. These were all for the Army. About 1914, a few hundred more were purchased for the Rural Guards, and were so marked. There may well have been others purchased by Cuba later, after WWI, but I couldn’t find anything definite, nor any information about ammunition.[/quote]

Fine research.

Hard to imagine this is coincidence.


#14

Fede–I assume you have been unable to find the color picture of the Cuban box. Can you describe the box instead.


#15

I’m sorry, there is no color picture, it was just a better b/w copy. Actual box is b/w anyway.


#16

Fede–Thanks for the reply. Was the box actually gray cardboard or white with black printing?