Newly acquired, nothing too special, but I have some questions UPDATED!


Hi all, just picked up a few new (to me) pieces and have some questions.

The above appear to be Prideaux links of some sort, but I won’t be sure until I can pull the shells out. H/S for each is “L C 52” with red annulus (same as red around the inside of the necks). The primers appear to be boxer and unstruck. My questions are: what would be the best method to remove the shells? Is there any real benefit to keeping the shells intact?

My first ever .30-03 cartridge! Has a longitudinally cracked neck, but otherwise seems to be in good shape. I haven’t weighed the projectile, but I think it’s original. What is the commonality of .30-03 cartridges? I understand the rifles are pretty rare and number between 50 and 100.

Three .30-40 Krags. Not really sure on anything about these cartridges, especially the “Blank” without a headstamp. I included a closeup of the tip, showing the triple “cuts” along the nose as well as a closeup of the blackened primer.

Any knowledge from resident .30-40 people is appreciated.

I was told these are Vetterli cartridges, however to me they look more like .41 Swiss. Both examples have 38 mm cases. The shot cartridge has an “H” headstamp which I understand is Winchester while the standard round has the Swiss cross with two dots inside (Thun). Also, what are the two impressions on the edge of the rim? Are those strikes?

Finally, a 1917 dated .30-06 Dummy cartridge. Was it normal for the projectile to be tinned or nickeled while the casing remained brass?

Thanks for any help I can get!


The Swiss Vetterli rifle has dual firing pins, so this round has been snapped in a rifle at some point. The inch figure .41 is equivalent to their metric designation, 10.4 m/m. Jack


So they would both fall into the category of 10.4x38R Swiss/.41 Swiss RF?


Yes, both designations identify the same cartridge. The .41 Swiss was a fairly popular hunting caliber in the U.S. in the first decades of the 20th century. Jack


From what I’ve seen, it sure seems that way. There are a lot of rifles still around and, surprisingly, a very active reloading community.


F A 7 . 02 ., not uncommon but only used in July, 1902; soon switched to F A 7 02, looking like your F A 8 07 cartridge, which is typical Frankford Arsenal production for August, 1907. The cartridge with no headstamp is a Model of 1893 Whole Case Blank, used for a few years until replaced by the Model of 1896 Paper Bullet Blank. The primer shows corrosion, it originally was bright copper or tinned copper.
Neck cracks are common on F A .30-03 cartridges, and on many Krags.



Picture number one. They are most likely M1909 blanks that have had the paper red wads punched out and powder dumped. Basically trash. Do not reload them with projectiles and fire them. Mostly inferior casings were used, but not always. Sometimes reloads, but very rarely top notch brass. I sell whole ones for 15 cents apiece. The links are nice, but do not go with the blanks.



“RA 17” M1906 DUMMY.
The case was completely tinned at one time, it has just worn off in some places. The projectiles used were mostly cupronickel-jacketed M1906 bullets, but check the projectile for magnetism. Some of these were loaded with M1918 AP bullets. The headstamp has no bearing on who actually manufactured the round or when, as most of these were made from inferior casing and even fired casings…



I also picked up a handful of 7.63 Mauser and a couple 7.65 Luger cartridges. Typical commercial Western/Winchester/Remington type stuff except for these two without headstamps.

Brass cased, triple stab crimps around the necks, brass primers set fairly deep.

Any ideas on origin? British, Italian maybe?


Are the bullets on your unheadstamped 7.65 Para rounds magnetic or

John Moss


They are completely unmagnetic (I saw the thread where Japanese 7.63 was mentioned and got hopeful haha).


Strelok - oddly, the Japanese 7.63 Mauser rounds and the Japanese
7.65 Para rounds have magnetic bullets, where virtually no other Japanese
auto pistol rounds do, including 6.35 mm Browning and 7.65 mm Browning,
all of which I have in my own collection. All I can think of is that the Japanese
acquired the bullets for those two calibers from outside of Japan, since neither
were standard items there. Perhaps it was easier and/or cheaper than setting
up to manufacture them. I just don’t know the reason - all conjecture on my
part. I have some post-WWII Japanese pistol rounds as well, in 6.35 mm,
7.65 mm Browning, 8 mm Nambu, 9 mm Para and .45 Auto, and none of them
have magnetic bullets either.

Identifying those two 7.65 Para rounds with no headstamp of yours is kind of
a crap shoot. That is, without the box label, it is difficult. I have a feeling that
the one without stab crimps may be Italian, but that is just a wild guess. The
other could be Italian, Belgian, or even German, despite the non-magnetic
bullet. I think I have several unheadstamp rounds of that caliber in my own
collection that I have never been able to identify.

John Moss


Both are 7.63 Mauser, not 7.65 parts and they both have the little stab crimps around the neck (Galaxy S3 quality pictures haha).

I was hoping for definitive answers, but I guess we can’t have everything!

John, thanks for your insight!


Strelok - sorry about the caliber error. You said in the text for the two pictures
that you had picked up two 7.65 Para and followed that with that picture, so I assumed
they were the two you were talking about. I can see that the text was subject to
interpretation and not an actual statement that the photograph was of the 7.65 Para
rounds you mentioned. Even the picture makes them look a little like
7.65 Para (shorter than Mauser, of course), but a second look strikes me that it
was an illusion due to the angle of the photo.

Believe it or not, my same comments and opinions would apply to either caliber.

John M.


John, after reading back over that post I can see how convoluted it was, but that’s good to know. I guess I’ll keep trying to find more info on everything.

Can much be said for the .30-03?


.30-03’s are relatively common with the exceptions of the UMC 30 S headstamped one which was loaded with a projectile shaped like the .30-01, and any arsenal dummy. But paper bulleted blanks, and commercial UMC, Winchester & U.S.C.Co. are somewhat common with I suppose the U.S.C.Co. being the hardest of the three, and Arsenal loaded examples seem a little harder to find. And as Randy noted cracked necks are almost the norm, even well into .30-06 arsenal production although those seem to be caused more by the powder breaking down than lack of annealing.


Thanks for the information, it all seems like a bunch of puzzle pieces to me, just mapping out history. Also, I was able to get the empty 06es out of the Prideaux links without bending them out of shape.

Links are completely unmarked and I have heard there were a few makers from different countries?


Another uncommon .30-03…Keep you eyes peeled for U.S.C. 30 MOD. 03…OR IS IT 1903??..anyway, back when I collected these, U.S.C. without the Co. is not easily found…Randy


Always gotta be on the lookout! I don’t think I’ll get too involved with .30-03, it is an interesting cartridge, though. However I did just get my hands on a .60 MG case, empty and electric primed.


Forgot about the US with out the Co. & as I recall that it the only known case type found with that “partial” headstamp.