Lathe turned Alloy drill round or novelty?


This was given to me as a 7.62x51 drill round but it is obviously quite different when seen next to a 7.62x51. Measurements do not seem to match anything I can find reference to either.

Overall length = 66.9mm
"Case length" = 46.6mm
Base diameter = 11mm
Shoulder diam = 11mm
"Projectile diam" = 7.5mm

As the close up pic shows, the machining is a little rough around the projectile area but other than that it looks well made.
What do you think? Is it the real deal? If so what calibre and where from?


If it’s genuine, it looks close to the 7.62x45 Czech M1952.


It does look very close to the 7.62x45, but the only typical drill rd that I can find for that caliber is this one:


The czech was what I first thought but I think the dimensions are too big for that - I will have to double check.
It is actually very close to the 300 Savage as well.


Having spent some of my formative years making pistol bullets on a lathe when the boss wasn’t watching I can say that to turn the subtle blended radii on a bullet is not an easy task. Curves are the hardest, blending two radii into a flowing line is next best thing to impossible unless you are really good or you have some really good equipment.
It would be easier on a computer controlled lathe but then you have to program it and that would be a task by itself.
I don’t know what it is but I would say it is a proper job and not somebody’s lunchtime project for a keyring or pendant… Apart from anything else the remnants of lacquer give it away as something Kosher.

Note also that the turning marks on the bullet are evenly spaced which means it was done all in one go under a power feed. If it was done by hand they would speed up, slow down and overlap. I would say it was turned against a template or witness plate in an industrial process.

Maybe some sort of a go/no go gauge, but in aluminium? I don’t think so. Could it be a starter round for a M/G belt?

Falcon is our lathe man, what does he think.


7.5x54 MAS?
7.63x54 Belgium?


Rapidrob - since it is quite a bit shorter than the 7.62 NATO round shown with it, which has a 51 mm case length, it cannot be any round with a 54 mm case length.


I was thinking perhaps one of the British pre-Nato 7mm experimentals.


It looks like one of the 7.62x49 Pre-Nato experimentals. The only problem is that the case diameter appears slightly too small.


I am not sure that they are remnants of lacquer that are visible, although the photos do make it look that way - it seems to be more like variation in the finish due to minor corrosion and staining.
The other unique feature is the thickness of the rim - noticeably thicker than a normal rimless cartridge.


Could this possibly be a drum magazine dummy-load that was never loaded in a drum or hi-cap mag? In that case it would not need to have perfectly exact dimensions, and those loads are the kind of thing you would want to have made robust with a thicker rim possibly?


I have had one of these since I was a kid. I can’t remember the explanation of it’s origin, but in any case it was found to be spurious. The base of my example has a spiral cut into it which suggests CNC turning which would imply a quantity of items made. The sides are parallel (made from bar stock) and it does not match any round I have ever discovered for dimensions. The “projectile” diameter is too large to chamber in a .308 and the grade of aluminium is soft and not durable for friction against other metals. I believe it is a toy and MAY be for the plastic Lee Enfield No1 mk3 rifles that were available in the 1970’s.


That is some good info. I did a google search on the plastic Lee Enfield and only came up with a few vague mentions of it on toy or model forums. The two best posts mentioned ‘plastic bullets’ rather than them being made of metal.
I had also noticed it had been made out of bar stock - with the parallel sides. It seemed to measure 11mm exactly so maybe of European or Japanese origin rather than the US.


The Lee Enfield application is only a guess since it was contemporary.
A kid down the street had one and lost the cartridge soon after receiving the gift. It was the first thing I asked him about when I saw his rifle, myself having started collecting real cartridges at age 7. Other kids had the rifles but all cartridges lost.??? Why I don’t know, but the cartridges may have appeared too real for the parent’s liking perhaps. Or have I been tainted by the new PC world? I bought the aluminium dummy from a NZ Cart. club auction and as I have said, I’m pretty sure it was mislabled as perhaps a Danish experimental. I forget. 37 odd years ago. It was very cheap I was about 11 at the time.
There were other toy rifles at the time and maybe it pertains to one of them. I have not seen another here in any context, so their function can’t have been that significant.
Tom HB


Late last month I attended the AGM and 50th Anniversary of the New Zealand Cartridge Collectors Club in Wellington New Zealand. This is the second oldest such club in the world.
There I found another aluminium dummy and asked two gentlemen about it’s origins. Both were NZ Army armourers, one currently, one formerly. It seems these were made by or contracted to be made for the NZ Army for “display purposes only”. Having been an avid cartridge collector in my tender youth and having attended some of these Army displays I cannot ever recall seeing such a thing there. When I enquired as to why the dimensions meant they could not be chambered I was met with brief mumbles of derision for that particular Army project.
So it seems they were a failed “Public relations exercise”.