FN .45acp shotshell


I recently picked up some yellow-tip FN55 headstamped .45acp shotshells without a package. They are similar to the M15 purple tip shotshells, but show some differences (M15 on left):

On the M15 that I have, I measured 127gr of #8.5 birdshot, and on the FN cartridge I measured 130.5gr of #7.5 birdshot. Has anyone seen the original box or packaging for the FN cartridge, and does it have a military designation? Were they used just during the 1950’s or into the 60’s & 70’s?


I have the same loades with yellow, green and red wads. FN 55 headstamp, with three triangular primer crimps and an obviously FN-original primer seal and primer.

It is my opinion that these were not loaded at FN, and were in fact made from some other .30-06-head cartridge case (.30-06, .308, 8 mm Mauser), and probably done in the United States for commercial purposes. I consider them a legitimate, collectable .45 COMMERCIAL variant.

I think the color of the wad is a code for the shot size, but I don’t know which color relates to which size shot, or what three sizes of shot were used.

If someone can show I am wrong with either FN factory documentation, or an FN printed box label for these cartridges, please do post it. I would even be interested in any American commercial packaging. I have only seen these rounds loose. They were all over the place many years ago, but you don’t see them quite so much these days.

John Moss


The example DK shows has an extractor groove that seems to be that of a 7.62x51 case. Otherwise there was some lathe work in play?..Would make for an early headstamp but makes sense with what John is saying. Interested to learn more on that one!



The ones I have do all have the 3 triangular primer crimps and purple sealer:

And there are plenty of 30-06 cases with the FN 55 headstamp without the 3 triangular-crimp apparently:


Couldn’t that .45ACP be made out of the 7x49 that have been broken down for components like John Moss mentioned?


MTLB – If it’s not made from a 7x49mm case, it’s something very close!!

DKConfiguration – I have used a couple of your pictures for the comparison, I hope you don’t mind.


pButler - I don’t mind the use of the pictures. I’m no stranger to reusing photos as found on the web. Also - I emailed the seller who I purchased these yellow ones from and he has no further information except to say that he bought them at a gun show approximately 25 years ago.


I never even thought about these being made from the 7 x 49 mm “Liviano” round. I don’t collect those rifle rounds, and while I have had a lot of the 7 x 49 go through my hands, I never measured the base or head of one, and didn’t realize they were a .30-06 head size. Makes sense. As I mentioned on another thread I had heard that this ammo, for want of amy guns to shoot it, had been sold out very cheaply to break down for the components. I assumed just the bullets were used, but this would have been a good use for the primed cases.

John M.


I remember a thread on the old forum about the 7mm Liviano rounds. I’m sure someone said the primers on the rounds sold as surplus in the USA mostly had dead primers from bad storage. Maybe thats why so many of the .45 ACP used to be around as people bought a box and then found out that they wouldn’t fire. Obviously this would only be the case if the company that made the shotshells had not tested the primers first.