Help identifying a cartridge


#1

A friend recently picked up a large quantity of these cartridges. I have no clue what they are so am seeking any help I can get. They appear to be some sort of blank. The case is steel .795" long, rim is .595" diameter, body is .472". The primer is recessed into the case and appears as though it was installed from the mouth of the case. A firing pin would have to pass through a hole in the case head to strike the primer. Charge held in by a red card wad.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Bill Johnson


#2

More info---- I disassembled one of these and find it has no primer!! Has a typical card wad and fine ball powder. It burns about like any smokeless powder. The hole in the back of the case is .125". I used a sharp punch and pierced the “primer” from the rear and it went right through and in to the case cavity.


#3

Bilyn,

A picture might be a big help in trying to identify the cartridge.

Brian


#4

Picture is certainly worth a thousand words. A couple of pictures would be nice.

Joe


#5

Actually, his description was very good and I knew right away what he had. I sectioned one of these years ago and was very disappointed. I was hoping for an internal primer.

I’ve not researched how it works.

Paul


#6

Paul,
I had an inkling that might have been what he was describing, but then it was fleeting as I said to my self, no way he would think that was a cartridge. However in retrospect, a novice might think otherwise.

Bill,
Is this what you have? If so, even though they say "cartridges’ they are actually boosters for launching grenades from M1, M1A1, M2 & I suppose even M3 Carbines.

Joe


#7

Auxilliary ctg is inserted open end nose first in launcher tube and grenade is then placed on tube.


#8

I looked for a diagram in my three carbine manuals and nothing. They do not even mention such. Very odd.
However, orange’s explanation is correct.


#9

Talk about quick answers??? Thanks to everyone who answered my Query on these cartridges. You guys are great!!
Bill Johnson


#10

The “Cartridge, Grenade, Auxiliary, M7” was used with all of the WW2 era U.S. grenade launchers:
M1 for M1903 Springfields
M2 for M1917 Enfields
M7, M7A1, M7A2, M7A3 for M1 Garand
(All of the above used the Cartridge, Grenade M3)

M8 for M1, M1A1, M2 carbines- Carbines were marginally strong enough for grenade launching just using the small M6 grenade launching cartridge. Use of the M7 Auxiliary cartridge was restricted to combat emergencies. Carbine stocks broke frequently during grenade launching. Attempts to design stronger stocks were unsuccessful.

I believe the M7auxiliary cartridge may have been used with the M7 grenade launcher on the M14 rifle with the M64 Grenade cartridge, but am not certain about that.

References:
[Gregg, Annie J…] United States War Department, Ordnance Department, Industrial Service, Small Arms Division, Project Supporting Paper Relating to Grenade Launchers 1917- August 1945, Washington, DC, 1947.

Hackley, Woodin, and Scranton, History of Modern U.S. Military Small Arms Ammunition, 1880-1939 (Vol I,) 1940-1945 (Vol II).


#11

Well that is certainly interesting, I learned something today. I had it in my head they were for the Carbine exclusively as it did not have sufficient launch at times with just the M6 cartridge.
Great info John.

I wonder, does anyone know, was the BAR capable of launching grenades? I do not know of a launcher for one…

Joe


#12

The BAR never had a grenade launcher.

Here is a copy of the range table showing the range for rifle grenades with the grenade cartridge and with the auxiliary cartridge for various types of rifle grenades. The “position on the launcher” refers to how far the grenade is slipped onto the launcher as measured by markings on the launcher body. “6” is just barely on the launcher and “full” is all the way.
The range table was printed on cloth and one was packed with every grenade launcher sight M15. It is shown in two section here, but is actually a single long piece.


#13

Well, I always say, “If you want info, ask an expert”. I certainly found them here. Thanks to Paul Smith for the ID and photos. Thank you JOHNS for your very complete answer, including range tables!!! I am astounded.
Best to you all,
Bill Johnson