Need help identifying this .45 acp


#1

Unknown round on the right side of the photo compared to ball .45 acp. The bullet is magnetic. Headstamp is RA 41 see photos below:

Any ideas?
Thanks


#2

A. Can you compare the weights of the two loaded rounds?
2. Can you determine what the black material at the case mouth is?
III. Do you have/have you looked in Hackley/Woodin/Scranton to see if a similar round appears?


#3

It looks like a steel projectile with a plastic(?) half jacket. It doesn’t look like a reload but the case is a bit bulged at the top which may perhaps suggest a bullet swap.


#4

Jonnyc,

The weight of the ball round is 318 gn. The weight of the mystery round is 245 gn.

The black substance may be plastic but is very hard and doesn’t scratch or deform when picked at.

Nothing similar in HWS.


#5

Just a wild guess - A cattle killer? Horse killer (cavalry)? Would think if so, it would be better known, also why in a case with a military HS? I can’t think of any other application for that type of projectile.


#6

Flectarn,

Neat item. Have not seen that one before. Perhaps a WWII era commercial reload with steel projectile featuring a Bakelite drive band to provide shooting ammo for civilians? Bullet shape would not seem to indicate the steel use was to improve penetration (Matt, any thoughts?) and copper and lead were generally unavailable at that time for civilian component production. If U.S.G.I, very nice item!

Perhaps John Moss can weigh in? That’s an autoloading pistol cartridge and John has seen/ heard of/ or has about every one of those that ever existed…

Dave


#7

Are you sure that the “driving band” is not lead? And are you sure that the projectile is solid steel as opposed to a steel capped lead bullet? If the lower band is lead, and if the bullet has a lead core then to me it just looks like a metal-point bullet like the ones shown here in 38-44:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=253333199

If it is solid steel in the center however, then that makes it similar to something called a “Forsythe Load” which I have only seen in .38spl, and only at the Woodin Lab. The Forsythe load was a solid steel AP projectile with the lower band being exposed lead to engage rifling. It dated from the 60’s and was from the Chicago area.


#8

Due to the obviously lighter bullet weight and also its cylindrical shape, the bullet would seem to be all steel (possibly made on a lathe or screw machine, due to the turning marks) with a sabot, rather than metal-capped lead. The only way to know more, short of pulling the bullet, would be to X-ray it. Got a friendly dentist?

But that would tell only the bullet construction, not its intent or who made it.


#9

Lots of auto pistol rounds I don’t know about, but thanks for the kind words. I have never seen any auto pistol round with a projectile quite like the one shown. My best guess would be that it is a dingbat - not necessarily made to deceive, but not done by any commercial maker. If they had, I would think they would have shown up before.

One comment I will make for what it is worth. “RA 41” is a headstamp that shows up often on cases used by Dairt and Palmer reloads, the Dairt loaded with Oilite bullets. Dairt was with offices in New York City, and Palmer, who used cases overstamped “CONCORD RELOADS,” had a plant in Hicksville. My Palmer box had primarily “RA 42” cases in it, with the “CONCORD” overstamp on them. There was, some time ago, a fairly comprehensive thread on these two companies - they were related as can be seen in their blue boxes of similar design, and their chemically-treated cases. I forget the exact relationship, and did not look it up as it is fairly
irrelevant here, I think, and has been covered before.

I am just pointing this out as both companies operated in WWII when it should have been near impossible to get a large supply of military .45 brass, especially brass so contemporary to the
manufacture of their reloads. The seeming availability of RA 41 and RA 42 brass might date this odd-bullet loading on the thread to late WW2 or the very early post-war years, though that is just a guess. No way to tell unless someone can positively identify the round, which I cannot.

One thing that does NOT point to either company is the case finish. The round pictured on this thread seems to have the normal brass color; that is, not chemically cleaned. Almost invariably,
Palmer and Dairt products have cases with the dull yellow color of brass cleaned with chemicals
such as “Case-Brite.”


#10

The nose profile is nicely curved and seems to follow (roughly) the nose profile of a GI round. I would assume this to be in order to ensure reliable feeding up the ramp of a 1911.
I only comment on this because being steel if the intention were to be some kind of penetrator I would have expected it to be pointed or at least more pointed than it is although 1911s are not fussy about these things. I would have thought any private dingbat maker would have been unable to resist the temptation to make them pointed. So the curved nose profile does (slightly) indicate a degree of maturity normally lacking in the experimenter.

John
If that company was reloading virtually current WW2 cases would that not indicate they has a source from some army training camp. Whether official or unofficial. The amount of .45 cases being fired in training at that time would have been more than their needs in 1941/42? I don’t know how the US Military disposes of their fired cases. Do they send them back to a central depot for recycling or sell them for scrap locally?


#11

During the war, brass, like other critical materials, was collected and recycled. Some of the materials turned in on scrap drives, in the civilian world (I dare say most of them) were not actually used. Seemed to be more of an effort ot involve civilians in a “pull together” war effort than any serious attempt to make up for material shortages.

In fact, the FBI investigated Dairt, and one of the reasons, as I recall, was their possession and use of large quantities of quite current military brass. I forget the total resolution of the matter, but Dairt was not on the scene very long, compared to some companies.


#12

Appreciate all the interest and suggestions. I never said the projectile was solid steel just that it was magnetic. There is attraction as far down as the cannelure on the case. The “liner?” is not lead as I picked at it with a metal pick. Whatever it is, it doesn’t easily scratch.


#13

Flectarn

I have a philosophy when it comes to cartridges like that. You can theorize, postulate, and guess until the cows come home and you won’t know any more about it than you know now. To me, such a cartridge is nothing more than a novelty and not of much value. I’d pull the bullet. At least you’d learn something about it. It’s like being married to Dolly Parton and never taking her clothes off. ;)

JMHO

Ray


#14

Ray,

Your philosophy is much appreciated. I will consider that option.


#15

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Flectarn

I have a philosophy when it comes to cartridges like that. You can theorize, postulate, and guess until the cows come home and you won’t know any more about it than you know now. To me, such a cartridge is nothing more than a novelty and not of much value. I’d pull the bullet. At least you’d learn something about it. It’s like being married to Dolly Parton and never taking her clothes off. ;)

JMHO

Ray[/quote]
Ray
on a scale of 1 to 10 being married to Dolly Parton or out in the garage pulling the bullet I think (sadly) I would be more curious about the bullet.

What a sad admission. Am I really getting that old?


#16

We can both rest easy Vince, I doubt if either of us will ever be faced with having to decide. ;) ;)