i have several XM732 6MM SAW linked cartridges given to me by someone who worked on the project, they are apparently dummy; black bullet/primer, canellure at case neck, greenish laquered case, FA 73 headstamp. but they have something analogous to powder in them which you feel when shaken. does anyone know what this is?
duchamp–Several different substances have been used over the years as inert powder. Coal Dust, Rice, Barley, Sand, Actual Powder made with out the flammable ingredients, Calcium Chloride, Small Lead Shot, etc., depending on the exact use for the dummy. The Small Lead Shot, for instance, was often used when making Weight Test dummies for testing the loading machinery. I have some .30-06 dummies containing a white granular powder that I was told was Calcium Chloride. I was told these were for testing Machine Guns where weight and balance was important. I have no idea exactly what was used in the SAW dummies.
Ron, very interesting. I recently made a posting about a WWII GI .30 round I had (I think a DEN headstamp). I had purchased a large quantity for shooting some years ago. One of the rounds did not fire. I pulled the bullet, and the case was full of a white granular material resembling silica sand. However, there was no external indication that it was anything other than an M2 ball round. I have always wondered about that, but it did not occur to me that it could have been some sort of test dummy, as it was not identified as such.
DennisK–A couple of corrections to what I wrote above from memory (always a bad thing to do at my age) about .30-06 Dummies with a white granular dummy powder. I just dug out my notes about these cartridges. My original information came from Gerry Marcello, from whom I purchased these cartridges.
Headstamp is “F A 52”. These are “Inspector’s Dummy” and appear to be a live round. They are filled with Sodium Carbonate Monohydrate. I have 3 variations: 1)Rounded Brass Inert Primer. 2)Rounded Zinc Inert Primer. 3)Headstamp “F A 5 7”. Flat Black Inert Primer with “INERT” in red stenciled onto the side of the case.
I just checked Chris Punnett’s book “.30-06”. He discusses these on page 218. He agrees with all I have said above. He also says they were often called “Salt Dummies” because of their filling.