Junk Box Finds


Got these 4 out of a junk box on Friday.

From L to R:

  1. Unknown, Brass case, small copper primer, Lead blt. Case length is 233.33 mm, blt dia is 10.69 mm, rim dia 12.75 mm. Any ideas what this is?

  2. REM-UMC 45 ACP U on copper primer, tinned bullet with fine cannelure on bullet approx. 1/10 " up from case mouth. I weighed this against another cartridge same headstamp but no bullet cannelure and its approx 30 Gn heavier. Is the cannelure to identify the 230 gr bullet loading?

  3. 7.92x 33 Steel case, magnetic bullet, red paint residue on bullet. Blue primer seal on what looks like a zinc primer. Headstamp is aux 7.9 42 12. Is this an early date? Any ideas on the red paint?

  4. .25 ACP Bright plated FMJ bullet, Copper Primer. Headstamp is F N (letters 180 degrees apart). When was this headstamp used?

I tired to get pictures of the headstamps but nothing was turning out for me.

Any ideas on number 1 would be most welcome.

Thanks for looking.

Deleted - Some bad information from me.



The cartridge with same headstamp (REM-UMC 45 ACP with a U on the primer) but no cannelure on the bullet weighs approx 30 gns less than the one in the picture. I thought I had read that the cannelure was used to denote a 230 gn bullet vs a 200 gn load. Am I incorrect?

Pat, no. 1 is an early inside lubricated loading of the .44 Webley made by UMC. It was misidentified as a “10.4 mm Montenegrin No. 4” in the 1st volume of Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges by Erlmeier and Brandt.


I have seen the picture in the E-B book and was wondering about that. It does have a longer case length than the .44 Webleys I have in my collection. Any reason for that? UMC made you say. Did they use the small copper primers? When would this have been made?

Regarding the UMC cannelured bullet on .45, information I have received from all kinds of sources seem to agree that it was done when they first went to a 230 grain bullet from a 200 grain. The early loads, from about 1905 until the Government got into it, were primarily 200 grain. By the way, the case cannelure (or in some cases not actually a cannelure but actually an enlarged diameter bullet-seating portion of the case that at the bottom, gives at a glance the impression of a case cannelure) can fool you. Probably one reason why the bullet cannelure was thought to be a good idea.

Regarding the F N headstamp, this style without a date, caliber, star or any markings other than simply “F N” at the 9 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions on the head, seems to be an early one. FN headstamps are difficult as it seems likely there was some overlap in styles of lettering. I have never found anything that gave a positive date-span for the F N as opposed to F N *, nor for the use of serifed letters or plain letters, or for the design of the star on commercial headstamps (full-figured, stick figure, 5-point, 6-point, etc.). Sorry I can’t be of real help on that question.

I think John is correct and believe the F N hst at 9 & 3 is the earliest headstamp used on FN autopistol cartridges. This is the headstamp on some of a batch of 7.65mm Browning dummies that were found a few years ago in a Liege Museum and were probably from the early development of the Browning M1899 pistol (predecessor to the more common M1900). There were also unheadstamped rounds.

It seems probable that these are the very early dummies since they occur with both rimless and semi-rimmed cases. The first 7.65x17mm cases made for John Browning by Winchester in Feb 1898 were rimless cases and were likely for the prototype of the M1899 pistol which, in 1897, went to Belgium with FN representative Hart Berg. This pistol was probably returned to John Browning during a visit in Jan 1898 and Browning had Winchester make some cartridges in 7.62x17mm rimless at that time so he could shoot his pistol. These would have been the first 7.65x17mm autopistol cartridges produced in the US.

So the FN headstamp could have been as early 1899 or so.

FN was producing 9x19mm as early as 1921 (from a specimen in my collection). These early FN headstamps have serifs. No 9x19mm has shown up with just the F N, the earliest 9x19mm FN commercial headstamps are F N *. The serifs occur on dated rounds through 1927 but are not on F N 36 cartridges so the serifs were dropped sometime between 1927 and 1936 on 9x19mm dated rounds and probably on the F N * commercial rounds and on other FN commercial autopistols rounds including 6.35mmB. Since the later commercial FN rounds with serifs had the FN * headstamp, my personal guess is that the FN headstamp used on your 6.35mm cartridge was dropped sometime in the mid-1920 or earlier.

My guess is that your cartridge was produced sometime before the mid-1920.

Lots of supposition in the above, but without records, ideally dated drawings, that is all we have.
If anyone has dated autopistol drawings showning the headstamp from the 1930s or earlier-PLEASE POST THEM!


The head stamp on the 45 ACP would indicate manufacture after 1912 so it’s most likely a commercial load. Wouldn’t different bullet weights on commercial ammunition be identified as part of the carton label rather than a bullet cannelure??


RAY - I have no real answer for your question, except to say the data on the box label is fine as long as you have the box. Without it, or the the presence of a scale, there would be little or no way to differentiate between the two bullet weights. Today, the ammunition makers don’t seem to attach any importance to “out of the box” bullet weight identification. I just got three different 9 mm that appear identical, including the bullet and headstamps, but all three are different bullet weights.

I can see no other reason for the cannelure on the .45 bullets during that era (the pre-WWI era), as there were no special purpose rounds in that caliber that early. The sole difference in rounds was in bullet weight, primarily 200 and 230 grain. No tracers, APs, or the like. Also, I don’t recall seeing any 200 grain bullet loadings with a cannelure on the projectile of that particular weight.

I hope if any of you out there have any kind of documentation on the .45 bullet cannelure question, you will share it with us. Ray is certainly not the only one with questions about this; I have some in my mind to, that I have never been able to resolve.

Flectarn: The 44 Webley isn’t on the 1878 UMC price list but is found on the 1880 list. The primer is the UMC no. 1, following WRA’s ID for the small boxer primer. This primer would be equivalent to the modern boxer small pistol primer. I believe the case is longer because UMC chose to make their version of the cartridge with the grease grooves on the bullet seat within the case, rather than exposed. The same situation is seen in late versus early 38 long Colt cartridges. Both versions can be fired from the same chamber. Since the cartridge has no headstamp, it was likely produced before about 1885. Jack

Pat, this inside lubricated, long cased variation of the .44 Webley pre-dates the outside lubricated version with short case that was introduced later by UMC. This was a companion cartridge to the .45 Webley, whose original characteristics remained unchanged though the years, and both were designed as improved versions of the British .442 and .450 revolver cartridges.

It is very hard to identify this case type because to my knowledge there is no documentation and only two sources for information: one is an early UMC box labeled “44 Webley” that shows their early trade mark with the dog’s head; the other is a display board dated c. 1877-78 showing a cartridge that it is identical to known specimens.

Jack, due to the fact that early UMC publications are not illustrated, like the January 6, 1880 price list that you mention above, it is difficult to say when it was replaced by the “normal” short cased & outside lubricated version. However, if UMC followed WRACO’s manufacture, this may have happened c. 1878-80.

Also, the primer used in this early long cased inside lubricated .44 Webley was no the UMC No. 1 but the Orcutt’s Patent.



Fede, Jack

Thanks for the information! I did some more digging and found a pic in US cartridges and Their Handguns by Suydam on page 198. Cartridge #5 the measurements correspond to mine. The case length on the 44 Webleys( inside lubricated) on page 196 are shorter.

Anyone know if the red paint on the 7.92 Kurz aux 7.9 42 12 means something?


Any 7.9 Kruz that had the caliber in the headstamp is early and uncommon, and some are much harder to find than others. Your variation seems to be the one of the most commonly seen, at least here in the US.

Why the red ? I know of no real reason, from what little I know of this case type. Someone with too much time on their hands?


Thanks. I had never seen that type of headstamp (with the 7.9) before. My thought on the red paint was the same.

Fede: Thanks for your explanation. I spent last night going over your comments and reviewing my inadequate library on non-US inch caliber handgun cartridges and wondered if the early 44 Webley box by UMC wouldn’t have had an indication the cartridges were Orcutt primed. Since the 1880 list shows no current production of handgun calibers with that system that fact alone would suggest the box was pre-1880, no? Jack

I like the Kurz a lot.
aux (Polte Maschinen und patronenfabric, Werk Magdeburg) started production on the Kurz in 1941, but only one lot from that year (2), the following year 1942 - saw 16 lot numbers, yours is from this group.
I know there are rarer Kurz cartridges out there (wood blank, grenade blank, tracer, etc) - but I would be thrilled to find your one :)

Thanks pitfighter!
Now I need to find the blanks and the tracer you mentioned!