Live versus Dummies

I collect WRA Co cartridges and others. I am now getting to the point of buying the high end items so mistakes hurt a little more than they used to. I use Dan Shuey’s books as a rarety factor for the head stamp & it is not to hard to understand with a little practice what bullet types were popular during that period, at least within reason.

My confusion is how do you rate the bullet board dummies and standard dummies as to rarity. Is it fair to assume there were a lot less bullet board and dummiy catridges & therfore they are worth more? For instance the .351 SLR seems to be common as a dummy. Were dummies only given out in sets or were they passed out as singles? Are there a few select cartridges that were given out in large numbers for promotions? ie: .351 SLR. I have figured out that normally the salesmans sets have basically the same cartridges in them with a few exceptions.

I also collect sample/window shot shells they seem to be a little easier to judge. So far!!!

Any free advise or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

I was at this years St Louis Show and I intend to return this year. There is a lot of knowledge there, but it is hard to learn much in 2 days.


Come on Monday or Tuesday!

Dummies are almost a separate collecting specialty on their own. There are commercial and military, and each has a number of purposes with infinite variations. Samples and giveaways are two of the commercial uses, but there are others, and those purposes would vary between companies.

Yes WRACo board dummies are harder to find than other kinds. A because they were only for a board, and if now off a board then apparently that’s one less board in existance or somebody is looking for that one to restore a board with! (boards were and are expencive to make) (After looking at a number you can tell if they were ever on a board. The holes side is often better than the other) Other kinds of dummies like sales samples might be quite common depending of lots of factors. Some might be missing from sets, some might be still in the (sample or salesmans) sets, & some were put up in boxes for salesmen to fill their pockets with as they hit the backroads. Some function (GM jacketed FMJ not showing any tinning & no holes) or armour’s dummies are often very uncommon. And a lot depends on the caliber, and age/era of the caliber in any of the above and in all classes/kinds of dummies. Plus some dummies have a unique headstamp not found on a loaded round.
Now as to worth, usually if Dan says a caliber is a 2 or a 5 then a board dummy ought to be a 2 or a 5. But you’ll find more 2 board dummies than 5 board dummies plus as a norm they made more rounds than board dummies so the 5’s might/ should be a permium to a loaded round? Beauty is in the eye of the holder. And a round is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. However the only rounds I regret buying are the ones I didn’t buy (and expensive duplicates). No hard and fast rules, take your time & enjoy the hunt. MOST, I say MOST times you will be able to upgrade a 2 but on a 5 or 6 buy it then start looking for a better one.

Anyhow I hope I’ve helped, & not confused. I personally like and value dummies higher than a normal round, unless they made fewer normal rounds than dummies. I also like an uncommon variation of a common dummy, that’s very interesting to me.

PS trading in the rooms usually starts on Tuesday so can that give more time to look, learn and meet people with out the pressure to see the next table 2 feet away. Plus a lot of good stuff never gets downstairs. But on the other hand the dealers who only open at the show have the goodies out there first, so…

Thanks for the information. It helped clear up a little of the confusion. I never thought to look for the shadow on the board dummies.

Thanks again