ID of "F N 59" Cartridges Found in Netherlands


I have been directed to this forum via as am trying to trace a seemingly unusual ammunition cartridge found in the Netherlands (see below).

Back story is that I have been researching 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles during WW2 during which I have made contact with 2 Dutch residents of the village of Blitterswijck near Venray in the Netherlands who are also researching activity associated with the liberation of their village by 2RUR in November 1944.

The attached cartridges were found in a site recorded in the 2 RUR War Diary as being the location of a German machine gun position and to the uninitiated don’t appear to be standard ammunition cartridges?

Can anyone shed any light as to the the ammunition and what weapon(s) it might have been used for as may help to gain a better understanding of events.

Dimensions are:

  • empty cartridge length: 63.77mm
  • cartridge external diameter: 11.95mm
  • cartridge internal diameter: 11.95mm

Sorry - only able to post one photo…

Many thanks.

Quis Separabit

Other images… 1

Other images… 2

Other images 3…

Looks to me like a blank .30-06, made by FN Fabrique Nationale, d’armes Luik, Belgie.
Made in 1959.


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Thanks Dutch

So the “59” relates to year of manufacture and these cartridges are probably a red herring in terms of any involvement in WW2?

Presumably they originate from the early 1960s sometime, can you think of any reason why these may have been found on the Dutch/German border near Blitterswijcke on the river Maas/Meuse?


Quis Separabit

Both Germany and Holland were armed with US calibre arms in the 1950s and 60s, until adoption of 7.62 Nato became universal.
These Cal .30 ( 7.62x63) M1909 Blanks ( neck cannelure isfor seating laquered wad) were used in Rifles M1, BAR M1918A2, and Browning Machine Guns.
The Netherlands also had Johnson M1941 Rifles and US M1917 Rifles.

Training Ammo
Doc AV

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The Netherlands were still armed with the Garand,
The ammunition was mostly made by AI “Artillerie Inrichtingen Hembrug.
The Germans had also their own manufacturers.
Probably they were left there from Belgium forces on manoeuvre in that aria.


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Many thanks Dutch and Doc AV

Mystery solved, it seems the position was a good location whether you were German during the War in the 40s or Belgian during training ops in the 60s…

Thanks for all your help.

Quis Separabit

I have seen this Model of 1909 blank by FN in French and German language boxes.

As far as I know, the belgian army didn’t use these M1909 Blanks. FN did export these to the Netherlands and Germany.


Welcome to this Forum, QuisSeparabit

Sometimes, reality can be weird. I for once found a Russian round of 1953 on a 1944 battleground in Flanders. Hereby some pictures of a complete set like yours but Dutch: blanks in 30-06 are from Artillerie Inrichtingen (AI), made in (19)63. The loading clip for a M1 Garand semi-automatic rifle is also Dutch production as MBZ stands for van Mouwerik en Bal at Zeist.