Need some ID help


A friend’s father in law gave him a box of “stuff”, it was old ammo and he didn’t know what to do with it so he gave it to me. I need some help identifying it and if it could be of interest to a cartridge collector. Most of the headstamps I think I know, but some I need others thoughts. Here are my hand renderings of the headstamps and pictures of the cartridges:

This is an odd one. The bullet diameter is larger than a .45 (I’ll measure and get exact diameter and then edit the post), tip has green paint on it, the base is filled with something, it weighs 199.5 grains. It is between two .45 ACP’s for comparasion.

Thanks for the help.

BTW, this was also in the box:


I didn’t understand what are the hds to ID .Anyway , the odd bullet is a tracer .45 ACP


Xringshooter, have a look here that should tell you all the headstamps.


The magazine is for the M1911 .45 pistol. This one was made by Springfield Armory, which was unique in using the folded over design on the bottom. Last one of these I saw for sale was about $200-250.

The spur is probably Civil War-Indian War era. These were designed so that the box part would be permanently installed in the heel of the boot, and the spur could be added or removed as needed. I don’t think these were ever official military issue, but were private purchase items popular with officer.



The green tip tracer is interesting. I would guess the reason for its larger than .45 diameter would be that it has swollen and that also explains how it shed its host casing. The U.S. green signal tracers I think pre-date the M1 red tracers and could be one of the T1-E series like the T1-E14 that weighed nominally 195 grains, about the 200 grains indicated (probably some moisture on board?) and were made in the 1930’s. Not sure just how the bases look on the different T1’s and I don’t know if any M1’s were made with green trace composition. Would be interesting to know just how large the diameter has increased to.

Hope you were able to ID the headstamps. I would think they are all listed in the IAA headstamp guide which is an excellent resource.



The rimmed cartridges with a shoulder part way down and a rolled over crimp and cardboard wad are .45 caliber blanks for use in the .45 ACP caliber M1917 revolvers but without need for the half moon clips. These were used in WW2 for training purposes.


John S–Sorry, but those are NOT .45 cal. blanks. They are Cal.38 Blanks, Model 1909.



It’s hard to judge rim and body sizes because of the angle the photos were taken but I think Ron is correct.

The bottle-necked 45 blanks that you normally find are for the M1909 not the M1917. The M1917 blanks with the AR rim are usually short and straight and usually have a commercial hs. But, the only known FA headstamped AR case is one of those short blanks.



The four 9mm Luger cartridges are all German from WW 1. The manufacturer codes indicate they are (from left) Geco-Oct 1917, Rheinische Metallwaarfen und Machinenfabrik in Dusseldorf-May 1917, DWM in Karlshuhr-March 1917, and finally Spandau Nov 1916. Looks like what may come out of the mag of a Luger captured in mid to late 1917.




It looks like an old soldiers WW1 collection but doesn’t the 34 dated one strike you as interesting? I wonder how that came to be in there? Oh, if only these things could talk!


Thanks for everyone’s help. I got several replies on the bottle necked case and the consensus is that it is for the Model 1909. I downloaded the headstamp info and now have it in a binder for future use. Consensus on the magazine and info from is that it is an early model from Springfield but can’t really put a date on it. The spur is that last odd ball. I talked to a few Civil War buffs and collectors and they dated it anywhere from 1840’s to 1870’s. I still have a few places to check to see if I can get a more definitive answer.

Yes, Vince, the 34 headstamped .45 is interesting since everything else is early in the century.

Again, thanks to all.


X-Ringshooter - Since your Springfield M1911 pistol magazine is a “charger” just as much as any enbloc or stripper clip (all of which I find interesting and part of the story of ammunition), I don’t see any harm in going into some detal here. I don’t know what info you have received on the magaine off-Forum, so sorry if I am duplicating.

Only Springfield Armory rolled the edges of the magazine body over the magazine bottom plate to hold it in place. They felt this was a better, more secure method of attachment that the pins used by Colt and Remington-UMC. They said so in a letter to the Chief of Ordnance, dated April 13, 1914:

 "There is enclosed herewith a magazine for the automatic pistol cal. .45, model of 1911, as manufactured at the Armory.  It will be noted that the magazine base is secured in the magazine body in a a different manner from those of Colt manufacture.  It is believed that the S.A. method of manufacturing the base is superior and the construction stronger.  The magazine can be manufactured more economically by this method than by the Colt method and it approval is recommnded."

Springfield’s manufacturing technique was approved by the Cuyief of Ordnance on April 17th, 1914. Springfield was notified on April 19th and acknowledged receipt of that notification on April 12rd. All of their magazines were made by this proces.

Col. W. S. Peirce, Commanding Officer of Springfield Armory wrote the chief of Ordnance March 12th, 1917, further explaining their process for manufacture of the M1911 magazine:

 "The bodies of pistol magazines as made at this Armory are folded from sheet steel and welded by the oxy-acetylene process.  The original magazine body as supplied by the Colt's Fire Arms Manufacturing Company was made from a drawn tubing which was purchased in Germany, but as the source of supply has not be available for some time, the bodies at present being made by the Colt's Company are made in the same manner as bodies are made at this Armory.  It is not believed that a chrome vanadium or other alloy steel can be successfully handled under the methods now in use for making bodies, and as no American manufacturer is known who can make satisfactory tubing even of a low carbon steel, it seems useless to attempt to obtain a tubing of an alloy steel.  The opinion given as to the practicability of the use of an alloy steel is corroborated by the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg co."

The first order of Springfield-made M1911s was completed in March 1915. In october 1915, the requirement for a lanyard loop on the base of the magazine flor-plate was discontinued. After that, due to sufficient quanitities of magazines on had, few magazines were manufactured with the lanyard loop. They are quite a bit rarer than those Springfield magazines with it, although both types are very scarce today.

The above should pin down the manufacturing era of your magazine to from early to late 1915.

Reference: “U.S. Military Automatic Pistols 1894 - 1920,” by Edward Scott Meadows, pages 191-192. If one has an interest in U.S. Military Pistols, and does not want to buy all the books specifically on individual makes or models, this is the book to have. It is a must in any good library on guns, in my opinion.

About your spurs, if the Civil War guys have pinned them down to the period you mentioned, that may be as definitive as it gets. In the post-Civil War period, the military had no money, and much equipment was used as is, or modified, for use in the Indian Wars that occured after the Civil War. I can’t speak for Spurs, but some Civil War equipment was still be issue past the turn of the Century, into the early 20th Century. Not only was the military broke, but it was tiny compared to the manpower utilized in the Civil War, so there were warehouses full of left-over equipment.

Hope this is of some help and interest.

John Moss

Edited once to correct one word’s spelling only.


John, all I can say is WOW, thanks for the information on both the magazine and the spur. Even though I don’t really do that much with the early model military guns, that book sounds like ANY gun enthusiast should own. I’ll give the info to my daughter (she runs a bookstore for B&N) to see about getting a copy.

I sent a message to a place that deals with artifacts from the Civil War era to see what they think and I’m going to see if there is anyone at the university here (Penn State) might be able to give me a clue.

Again, thanks for the input.


Xringshooter, if that spur does prove to be Civil War Era you might be pleasantly suprised at what its worth. If you get stuck try contacting the curator of the museum in the Visitor Center at Gettysberg because any validation letter from them will give it provenence.