Frankford Arsenal .30-06 Ball loaded 1919 with 1 17 cases?


#1

It seems odd that Frankford Arsenal would be loading ammo in 1919 using cases headstamped FA 1 17.

The lot card in this bandoleer indicates it is Ball, Model of 1906, muzzle velocity 2700 fps. with rubber stamped Lot 36 of 1919 (somewhat smeared) but date is [illegible month and day] 1919.

Chris Punnett’s superb book .30-06 indicates that FA began using the brass FA number 70 primers in late 1918, instead of the earlier copper primers. This ammo has brass primers, so it is probably not a matter of a 1919 lot card stuck in a 1917 bandoleer. No primer crimps.

Thoughts?


#2

[quote=“JohnS”]It seems odd that Frankford Arsenal would be loading ammo in 1919 using cases headstamped FA 1 17.

The lot card in this bandoleer indicates it is Ball, Model of 1906, muzzle velocity 2700 fps. with rubber stamped Lot 36 of 1919 (somewhat smeared) but date is [illegible month and day] 1919.

Chris Punnett’s superb book .30-06 indicates that FA began using the brass FA number 70 primers in late 1918, instead of the earlier copper primers. This ammo has brass primers, so it is probably not a matter of a 1919 lot card stuck in a 1917 bandoleer. No primer crimps.

Thoughts?[/quote]

John,

I cannot answer your question but would be very interested in a closer look at the charger (stripper clip) please.

gravelbelly


#3

Perhaps these 1917 cases were originally loaded with those wartime primers which gave so much trouble and had to be replaced with the FA 70. Maybe they’ve been recycled and loaded a second time with the brass FA 70 primers. Jack


#4

Jack hit the nail right on the head with his answer. Notes from our friend Col. Frank Hackley,
last CO of Frankford Arsenal, on this subject:

 "If I am reading it correctly from the photo, the stamped information on the bandoleer card includes the cartridge "Lot R-296" and the Pyro Powder "Lot 38 of 1919."

 "During the rapid increase of .30 Ball Model 1906 production leading to W.W.I - unfortunately improper drying of the F.A. 42 primrer mixture at Frankford Arsenal caused numerous misfires with rounds made between January and June 30, 1917.  Because of this, lots made druing this period had to be recalled and broken-down.  This resulted in the accumulation of millions of salvaged cases and bullets which were stored at the Arsenal awaiting disposition.  Starting in late 1918 and continuing through the early 1930s these cases, plus other salvaged components were authorized to be reloaded as a cost savings.  The cartridge lots using reloaded cases were identified by a special lot series and the prefix letters "R" (Reloaded) or "H" (Hard Anneal) and because the cases had to be re-sized and re-annealed (presumably to correct any distortion caused by the breakdown process) these rounds were restricted to use in rifles only.  In addition, the cartridge lot size was reduced to 200,000 rounds.  These reload lots used FA 70 primers with brass cups and a very light (called "kiss crimp" by FA) crimp or in some cases rounds were loaded without primer crimp but were normally sealed with waterproofing lacquer." 

Thanks, Frank, for your help. It was certainly beyond my knowledge of this calbier ammunition.


#5

Thank you John Moss for another post full of accurate information from primary sources. And thanks to COL Hackley for providing the info to you.

Perhaps this merits a footnote in the next addendum/eratta to the magnificent Hackley, Woodin & Scrantion Volume 1?