Help ID 3 Cartridges … dgesx2.jpg[/IMG]

Can anyone help with information on the 2 rounds shown Questions are:

  1. I thought this rimless grooveless cartridge was a 12mm Raphael but the dimensions don

Pictures of the 2 not 3 (finger trouble) cartridges attached.


Some mention of the headstamp on the necked-down .45 would be very helpful. Also, is the case steel? The only cases I have seen in brass with that finish were in ammo made by Triton, which could have a W-W headstamp or a Triton headstamp. To me, it looks like a pretty standard rendition of the wildcat .38/45 round, but without more details, it is hard to say. I have a few of those I keep in my collection to show what sort of bullets were loaded (I usually only collect one specimen of a wildcat auto pistol round, but the .38/45 was fairly popular for a short time, and you find a lot of variations) and I have one loaded with a CN FMJ bullet - probably a 9mm Para bullet. The bullet in yours looks like a German 9mm ME (Mit Eisenkern - with steel core) bullet. I don’t know if it actually is, but it appears to be blackened in the picture.

Now, there have been a lot of “factory” .38/45 (9mm/45) rounds with different names, all along the same idea.


The case is steel, headstamp E C S 43, and the bullet is non magnetic. It has 9mm/45 EXPER written on it, not shown in the photo.



That 38/45 cartridge is most likely what John said - a wildcat. But I said “most likely”. It is entirely possible that it is some sort of experimental but I cannot see why anyone would experiment with a cartridge design as old as 38/45. It’s also known as a 45-38 and the 45-38 Clerke and a host of other names. If, indeed, you find that it is an experimental I will have to re-label all of mine. :) :)


Looks like a German bullet stuffed into a WWII Evansville Chrysler Sunbeam Plant steel .45 case necked down to 9mm. Because no target shooter would use these particular components, my personal opinion is that this cartridge could rightfully be called a fake. I don’t know of any such experiment by the U.S., and anyone with access to a set of .38/45 dies could do this. Evansville Chrysler, by and large, did not do much experimenting. They were too busy churning out billions of rounds of ammunition. In fact, they did such a good job that the .45 line, at least, was shut down late 1944 despite estimates that the War could go on until 1947, because they had produced so much .45 ammo that at the rate it was being consumed, would last well past the expected “worst case scenario” date of when the war would end. In truth, in the Army in the late 1950s and early 1960s, all the .45 ammo I saw was this save EC and ECS steel cased stuff.

Please note again that I said it is my opinion that this round is a fake. It is hard to prove it is or isn’t, but I again, I have never seen any mention of such an experiment. The M3 Grease guns made for various reasons were straight 9mm Para, as was the UD submachine gun that went primarily to underground fighters in various places.

If someone proves me wrong, and it sure as heck wouldn’t be the first time, then you would have one rare cartridge on your hands!

John: Wouldn’t the fact the bullet is non-magnetic suggest its origin is not German? Maybe this is a heretofore undocumented brain wave of our own Col. Studler. JG

I have the exact same cartridge, with a non-magnetic bullet, only mine has a different headstamp.

I hope it turns out to be something special. I can finally stop buying those danged lottery tickets. :) :)

But, let’s say that someone military minded did decide, in the middle of WWII, to try and develop a new cartridge. The Thompson SMG and the M3, along with the 1911 pistol, could function very well in either 45 ACP or 9mm configuration so why try and make a bastardized cartridge between the two? Think of the logistics.

But they proceed and chamber a Thompson for the cartridge. So, exactly what is experimental? The SMG to be sure, but not the cartridge. If they chambered the M1911 in 38 Special would that make the 38 Special cartridge an experimental.

All semantics, to be sure. But if there was an experimental weapon and cartridge that looked like the 38/45, it was a well kept secret.



J. Gill - I went entirely by the appearance of the bullet and didn’t note mention of the bullet being non-magnetic. Yes, it is certainly not a German bullet. Not all German bulletxs were/are magnetic, but most are. However, the black-bullet ME is steel-cored, so of course it cannot be that as I thought it was from the appearance.

For me to believe that it is any U.S. experimental would require very good documentation. In the middle of WWII, I am not saying there was no experimenting, but for a firm like Evansville Chrysler or any other Govt Plant using their cases to fool around with an entirely new caliber of little co nsequence in the middle of the worst war in history boggles the mind. the .30 Carbine was experimented with and adopted during hostilities, but was a very highly purpose-driven development, trying to get a light sidearm for people who didn’t need the bulk and weight of the Garand but couldn’t hit their hats in a rain-barrel with any pistol. there are those that believe that development was foolish and feel that the M1 carinbe wouldn’t do anything well that a Thompson SMG set on semi-auto wouldn’t do. I will not get into that argument, and have little opinion on it. The German development of a new caliber, the 7.9 Kurzpatrone, was important even in the middle of the war, to try and tip the balance of fire-power. Between the huge manpower advantage of the Soviet Army, and the firepower advantage of U.S. Infantrymen with M1 rifles, the Germans were in sore need of something more modern than the K98k and knew it. None of their semi-auto rifle attempts were terribly successful, so the Sturmgewehr concept was worth the effort even in the middle of a raging war.

A .38/45 would not fall into that usefulness class, and I just can’t see any military expenditure of time and resources on such a project. Again, just my opinion and I could be wrong as hell, but without documentation, that opinion will stand.

My 12 mm Raphael dimensional data are far from those of the first cartridge in your picture too…It looks like a 450 revolver without rim or something else.



Thanks for confirming the dimensions of your 12mm are different. It must be some type of 450, but not anything I have any information on.

Happy Christmas


However I think that the second cartridge should be a wildcat called “38/45 " or " 9 / 45”.I have 2 fired cases in this caliber made from italian 7.62 NATO ammunition