ID: .30-06 US made Berdan primed cases 1926-1927 (Garand Primer Actuated Rifle Cartridges)

Can anybody shed some light onto these 2 Berdan primed .30-06 cases?
And why two different primer sizes?
And what are the B11 and B30?

Headstamps are:
FA 26 B11
FA 27 B30



The following information is from HWS Vol. 1, pages 126-128.

During the 1920s Frankford Arsenal conducted extensive experimentation with various Berdan primers, primarily in an effort to develop noncorrosive (nonchlorate) priming mixtures. The Berdan type primers were used because it allowed larger amounts of priming compound to be used and provided more direct ignition.

Both headstamps shown above are listed in HWS, descriptions are as follows:

FA 26 B11- Cal. .30 case, T1-E1

0.25 inch diameter (11mm Vickers size), two-hole Berdan primer loaded with No. 11 noncorrosive primer mixture. B11 indicates a Berdan No. 11 primer mixture. The primer used was made of brass.

FA 27 B30- Cal. .30 case, T1-E2

0.21 inch diameter (Cal. .30), two-hole Berdan primer loaded with No. 30 noncorrosive primer mixture. The primer cups used were made of either monel or brass with circular primer crimp. The loaded cartridge using this case was referred to as Cal. .30 Ball Cartridge, T1.

While not stated in the text, I assume the “B30” portion of the headstamp indicates the primer type i.e. Berdan primer, 0.21 inch with No 30 primer mixture.


1 Like

Brian, thanks a lot for doing all the digging!
Seems the experiments lead nowhere then.
Could these have been air force tests?


From the HWS pages listed above there is mention of work with the Garand primer actuated rifle and the brief use of noncorrosive primers with match ammunition (over pressure problems are noted) but no mention of the Army Air Corps.


A member of the FaceBook group Ordnance Then and Now recently referenced an article on the Garand Model 1924 primer actuated rifle in which there is discussion concerning .30 Cal. primer actuated cartridges: Garand Model 1924: Before the M1 Garand | Rock Island Auction

Included in the RIA blog article is the photo of an interesting box label:


The .25" Primer used in 11mmVickers was an English primer from the Normal .303 Br. Cartridge. The 11mm Vickers was the 11x59R Gras cartridge case, smokeless Powder, special Incendiary Projectile, for Balloon and Zeppelin AA.


Monel is described as “… a group of nickel alloys, primarily composed of nickel, (from 52 to 67%), and copper, with small amounts of iron, manganese, carbon, and silicon. … Stronger than pure nickel, Monel alloys are resistant to corrosion by many agents…”

This is the first time I have seen reference to it used in primers, and I presume the use was not continued because the harder metal was more expensive, and possibly more difficult to produce primer cups.
Anyone have actual info on this?

here is a picture of the primer


1 Like

U S made 11mm Vickers cartridges are Boxer primed, 0.25" Ø, Doc. And there were plenty of Ball cartridges made as well. Both Western Cartridge Co. and Frankford Arsenal.



Whilst US-made 11mm Vickers ammo may have been Boxer Primed, British-made 11mm Vickers was Berdan Primed with the standard .250" .303 cartridge Primer.

Doc AV

Never heard of British-made 11mm Vickers; do they exist?

1 Like