I have a fired .45 ACP case stamped “T Z Z 85” This is brass (it is scratched), but it is plated with a dark silver coloured metal. It also has traces of clear pink paint on the case head and shows marks that look as if they were caused by heavy recoil. Am I correct that this is a proof round?
Falcon - I am not sure what these cases were from. I have four of them in my collection. All have been reloaded with a 200 grain H&G 68-style SWC lead bullet. Two of them have remnants of a green primer seal. They are all 85 dated, but have four different dot configurations from the SCAMP loading lines at IMI. I acquired them simply because they are plated case, knowing they were reloads. I don’t bother breaking down obvious reloads, but I probably should reduce them to unmprimed empty cases, since that is all that I consider relevent to a collection. I would not describe mine as a dark finish though, they are the bright silver color of nickel, although the plating seems to be much thinner than is normally found on nickled brass - almost just a wash, since brass is showing through plainly on one, and on another upon close examination. I can’t think of a reason for IMI to be making .45 proof loads, but then, there are still many, many companies, not just in the USA, making .45 pistols, etc., that have to be proofed, so…?
I’m going to assume you have the Israeli .41AE proof load. Can you compare the color and finish on the .41 and .45 cases?
Jon - I have several Israeli proof loads. They usually have a frosted look to the case finish - it is as much light grey as it is silver. My nickeled IMI cases (IMI 85 with various SCAMP dot positions) look like any other nickled case, except the finish is very thin, as I noted. They do not look like the .41 AE proof load. Although I have a 9mm Proof that is shinier than the .41, it really doesn’t look like that, either. I am not convinced these .45 cases were factory plated.
John - My case does have the light grey frosted look you describe. It is more light grey than silver. It looks like steel at first glnace
It is interesting that mine are the same date as yours, but appear to have a different case finish. I wonder if it is something to do with exposure to the elements, overall condition, etc? It seems that since IMI plated .45s are pretty much unknown, that the date is more than coincidental. Since mine are obvious reloads, maybe the cases on mine have been polished. As I mentioned, on a couple of them, the nickel finish is very thin, which might be consistent with heavy polishing. If a frosted color, I would suspect that they were proof load cases, but for what country and gun?
There are two distinctive marks on the base that were made by the weapon’s bolt face. The extractor groove is also slightly pulled backwards at the edge of one of these marks. I can draw these marks if you want. The firing pin strike is also very large and looks like a round indented dome. These may help identify the weapon. Did Israel have any 1911 pistols or Thompsons in 1985? With the odd case finish and the (traces of) pink annulus covering the case head, I thought it looked like a proof round when I first saw it.