FA 31. this dot is important


I got this “bracelet” of 13 FA .30-06 someone put together. I still must figure out how to un-link them, it is real tight. There are 10 FA 32 and 3 FA 31. FA 31. are red tips which I think is tracer. Does the dot after 31 indicate “tracer” too? Municion.org identifies this headstamp as “Cartucho de instrucción”.



The dot indicates a variation in case manufacture. You can also find cases with two or more dots, and in different locations.

You got yourself a T1-E14 tracer, BTW. I think. Maybe.



according to HWS Vol. 1 revised pg 115 left, it indicates a slight change in case manufacture - a change in the number of draws from 4, to 5


Here is the “Cartucho de instrucción” Municion.org is referring to.

The cartridges in the box are in clips hence the “FOR RIFLE USE” line.


Remington used the same single dot to indicate a different drawing process. I believe I have one in .45 Auto.

John Moss


Was the different drawing method used continuously or only in certain years?


As Frankford Arsenal in Pennsylvania was the “premier” Ammunition plant in the USA, and the leader in research and development of US SA Ammunition, they had an “experimental shop” which made up all sorts of small runs to try out new case designs, drawing methods, primer systems, etc, without upsetting normal production.

Most, if not all of these “trial” runs, were marked in some way, usually a dot or dots, and occasionally a star (five Pointed usually). That made sure the “experimentals” did not make it into general production processes, and also could be “recycled” into “Drill” (Dummy) rounds or Blanks, where any failings in the experiments would be of no consequence.

If the trials warranted a “production” size lot or lots, for general field trials, then the “dots etc” were maintained, but with appropriate Lot numbering etc on the packets…

The 1920s and 30s were a fertile time for all sorts of experiments by FA ( primer-actuated Semi-auto, grenade launching cartridges, the .276 Pedersen series, Berdan primed cartridges, noncorrosive priming compounds, the US M1 cartridge (FMJBT) and so on.
One could specialise in a collection of purely FA Experimentals ( both “E” types and “T” types) as eventually most of the cases, (at least) escaped into the General use area, either as Dummies and Blanks, or as DCM sales, or even as WW II “Sweepings” for the Merchant Marine or for rear area use.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.