Franford Arsenal Collection


RMy Uncle was Curator of the Franford Arsenal. I have all this ammunition and a few small displays and really have no idea what to do with it. Is there a catalog that helps identify the items and values?


Frankford Arsenal items are very popular with collectors. One of
the author’s of about the best source of ID of this kind of items
was the Commanding Officer of the Frankford Arsenal when the
Arsenal was closed down. I don’t have the book(s) hand right now,
but they are a History of Ammunition in the United States Service,
and are a three volume set. Perhaps your local library might have

All I could suggest is that you try to find a collector in your area that
would be willing to help you with these items as to identifying them.
Of you are willing to specify the general area you live in on this Forum,
I am sure they will find you.

Unfortunately, while interesting, the picture does not help to properly
identify any meaningful number of these cartridges.

One thing I would suggest is regarding the short, large diameter pistol
cartridges in a bunch in the center of your photograph (.45 Auto caliber)
is to try a magnet on the side of the case. From your picture, the case
material cannot be properly identified, but there are really only three options.
If the case (not the bullet) is magnetic, they are steel and likely common.
If they have no primers in them, they could be tinned-case dummies, which
are certainly not scarce. They would likely not be magnetic. If they don’t
match any of that, then they could be aluminum cases, although the ones
from FA usually a case cannelure (a depressed ring around the center of the
case), and they are a scarce and desirable item. If they are, the would be
headstamped with “F A” and two-digit dates in the early 1930s (ie: 1932, 1934).

I know this is not much help, but all I can do on this forum, since it is not an
advertising section for items for sale.

John Moss


No catalog as such. The last commander of FA when it was still active was Col. Frank Hackley, and he sometimes looks on the Forum. He is also the main author of a three volume series (the bible) about Modern US Military Ammunition. He would be the person to contact. I’ll send him a note to look at this thread.

The hard part when one looks at a photo such as you put up is that it lacks important details that determine something to be common or rare. Details are the important factor in determining worth. Might just be a dot in a headstamp, or a material used in manufacture.

You should also know FA made millions of rounds of ammunition and as such I’d think a reasonable sample of that would make it’s way into the museum, along with the uncommon items.


They are magnetic.


So, people here buy these? If I list them all individually, do I do it in the buy, sell, trade forum? Thanks for the help.


My Uncle made all the displays in the museum from 1961 to 1977. He also designed the plaques presented to the soldiers families with their medals on them.


Hi Kmpins. You can list things for sale in the forum, but only in the buy / sell / trade folder, which requires IAA membership to access. More info is on the entry page to the forum, and the website. Thanks


Since the cases are made out of steel, if they take a magnet,
they are pretty common ball rounds with a very minimal price,
probably less than a dollar each. Basically, those are mass
production military cartridges made for combat uses and training
purposes, and are still commonly found today, sometimes even
by the full box.

John Moss



Is possible to get some clearer pictures? This would help considerably in identifying the interesting items you have.

In your last picture is that a .45 ACP cartridge and is the headstamp (markings on the bottom of the cartridge) " F A 4 4 " ?




If you’re in the Philly area I might be able to help a bit. I have sent you a PM.


Please, can you post pictures of the draw stages and cased display?


As Brian requested, it would be great to have confirmation of the
date of that .45 round (picture showing a headstamp with the cartridge
held in the fingers). I have a round “F A 5 4” which is a 210 grain
FMJ RN bullet, “Cal. .45 M1911 Modified,” 1954 F.A. Match. Mine is
from lot FA-S-1541, The box has the admonition “Use for target March
firing only.” My round, though, has a green primer seal, which is not
apparent in the picture of the headstamp in question.

John Moss


Interesting pictures. I would like to see good pictures, of any .30 Carbine rounds, cases, or draw pieces.