At the Bangor gun show yesterday I did manage to pick up one collectible cartridge item; an excellent condition box of Dairt .45acp with the sintered bronze Oilite bullets. I knew there would probably be more than one headstamp, but I was surprised that there were 13 different ones. Shown below, and I presume these are all fairly typical headstamp / case-types?
Matt, nice find! Thanks for posting pictures of the headstamps. Maybe others can post a checklist of those found in their boxes.
That’s an amazing set of headstamps for a Dairt box. Do all exhibit the chemically washed case look and, if I’m seeing the images right, are those two steel cased items there? I was under the impression that the great majority of these loads were made with more contemporary dated brass. Very interesting to see the older cases used!
The box here (seven rounds shy of full) has a mix of “RA 41”, “RA 42” and “W.R.A.CO. .45 A.C.” cases. Note the addition of the over-label to the box sides clearly stating that they are reloads. I assume this was perhaps related to the company’s legal issues at the time.
Dave - Yes, the cases all have the chemical / acid wash look to them - yellowed with no brass luster. Those are two tinned brass you see there with the FA 40 & FA 41 dates. (edited - not steel cases)
Does anyone know of one of these cartridges with a headstamp later than 1942?
Your question led me to look at the headstamps in the box shown above again in case I missed something. I had… There were (2) rounds headstamped “W.R.A. .45 A.C.” which I believe was used after “W.R.A.CO. .45 A.C.” though I don’t know specific date. Is that after 1942?
Dave, thanks for checking your box. I don’t know the exact date, but this W.R.A. headstamp in this caliber was already in use by 1940, including military contracts. Regards, Fede.
Just realized that I had answered Dave’s question about the steel cases wrong. The RA40 and RA41 cases shown are tinned-brass, as the cases do not take a magnet.
Matt, very interesting, this would mean that these are reloaded proof cartridge cases, unless someone knows of other better explanation. I wonder who was the source that provided all these cases; I read that the primers came from an old lot procured from Bannerman.
For whatever it’s worth, my box like Matt’s has only R A 41 and REM-UMC 45 ACP headstamps.
Not seen HPT cases with these before either.
To consolidate the information at hand, here are the headstamps found on Dairt Oilite reloads I have seen or found reference to including Matt’s remarkable group:
FA 40 Tinned Case
FA 41 Tinned Case
REM-UMC 45 ACP
W.R.A.CO. .45 A.C.
W.R.A. .45 A.C.
WESTERN 45 ACP
-Fede has confirmed the WCC 42.
-dalbert has added WESTERN 45 ACP.
Also edited for clarity and format.
I found an image online showing a box for sale (listed as already sold) which shows half of the headstamps, of which RA 41 and RA 42 seem to be prevalent,along with W.R.A. CO. 45 AC. From what I have heard over the years, RA 41 & RA 42 seem to be commonly found headstamps for this Dairt box:
RA 41 and RA 42 do seem to be the most common from all I have seen.
I realized I should edit the list of headstamps I was attempting to build for the Dairt Oilite loads (see above). Perhaps someone could confirm whether or not the WCC 41 & 42 are found in Dairt boxes.
Dave, thanks for making a checklist. I can confirm that the Oilite load exist with a WCC 42 headstamp.
Thank you for that confirmation. I have edited the list above to reflect that.
While we might not ever find a headstamp later than 1942, Matt’s find would seem to indicate there may be quite a variety out there beyond what one usually sees!
I have 4 Dairt boxes in my Reising SMG accessory collection. Three of the boxes are empty. One has the over-labeling indicating reloads, and one has evidence of the labels being present previously, but having been removed. Two boxes do not have over-labeling.
My full box has the following headstamps and quantities:
(43) RA 41
(6) REM-UMC 45 ACP
(1) WESTERN 45 ACP
Looks like the Western headstamp is a new one to add to the list. These headstamps were present in the box with the reload over-labels.
If you are interested in Reising SMG’s and related items, take a look at my reference section on the subject:
The Western is one of the headstamps mentioned in a Soviet report about tests with this ammunition carried with Reising and Thompson submachine guns. I wonder if any of these cartridges was used in eastern front, although this is unlikely considering its poor quality.
I’m interested in learning more about the Dairt Co. legal issues that DaveE mentions in an earlier post within this thread. I’d also like to see the Soviet report mentioned by Fede, if anyone can point me in its direction.
There are very few known photos of Reisings and Thompsons in use by the Soviets, and they appear to be training photos. I’d be quite interested to discover any evidence of combat use, if anyone here has it.
Interesting link to Reising material. Very nice.
If you are confident the Western headstamped round has the Oilite projectile (total cartridge weight around 232 grains) that will be a new one to the list indeed. Look forward to adding it!
Regarding the reference I made to Dairt’s legal issues, I only speculate that the overlabel may have been something added to cartons (with otherwise no mention of the fact they were not new and original loads) to avoid concerns of other litigation. The overlabel may well be totally for a different purpose than to smooth legal bumps. Perhaps Fede has some more he can share.
The following is transcribed from a digital copy of a New York Times article from late 1943:
FREED IN MUNITIONS CASE
Dairt Company and 2 Officials Cleared by Federal Jury
The Dairt Company, Inc., and two of its officials were cleared by the verdict of a Federal court jury yesterday of charges that they had conspired to defraud the Amtorg Trading Corporation, Soviet purchasing agency, in the sale of defective bullets.
The jury’s ruling absolved Nathan Silverman, president and treasurer of the corporation, and Moe Saraga, its general manager. Previously, at the close of the Government’s case, Judge Alfred C. Coxe had directed verdicts of acquittal for Gerard Mosiello of 136 Waverly Place and his brother, Anthony, of 142 Sullivan Street. Silverman is a resident of Cedarhurst, L.I., and Saraga’s home is listed as 1694 Davidson Avenue, the Bronx.
In its verdict the jury rejected the Government’s contention that the defendants had knowingly distributed bullets made with defective castings or primings.
New York Times
Dec. 18, 1943
Thanks for all the info about Dairt. Much appreciated!
As far as the total cartridge weight, I went ahead and weighed all 3 case types from my box, and I think we can expect some variation based on case manufacturer. These also have a good amount of oily verdigris on them that could add a grain or two…
WESTERN: 239.4 grains
RA 41: 235 grains (2 examples weighed)
REM-UMC: 237.1 and 237.2 grain (2 examples weighed)