Doc Av - I will take good-hearted exception to your belief that “Dummy” when applied to cartridges is “bad American slang.” It is the official term used for inert ammunition for instructional purposes and is printed on U.S. Military and commercial boxes. It is not slang. It probably originates from the printing occupation, where a “dummy” is a mockup of a puplication, real or proposed, that is usually made up for advertising purposes, or as a proposed book format to be submitted for approval.
Webster: dummy adj (1846) 1. Having the appearance of being real.
An American might call the use of “Drill” to describe functional dummy rounds as bad British slang, but that would be, of course, ignorant. It is simply a different word. As far as “Exerzierpatrone” (note spelling) goes, that is simply a German language form of Exercise cartridge and only used in German-speaking countries. It would be an incorrect term in China or Bolivia, etc., for example. Austria for years referred to a dummy cartridge as “Unterrichtspatrone” or, as close as I can translate it with my poor knowledge of German, “Educational cartridge.”
All three are perfectly correct and descriptive terms. None are “slang” by any measure of that word. Personally speaking, considering all the uses of an inert cartridge, not always used for educational or “drill” purposes, the term “dummy cartridge” is probably the most descriptive adjective for inert ammunition. They can be used for testing magazine function, teaching the loading and unloading of a weapon, advertising purposes, commercial or military displays (sometimes the same as advertising), souvenirs (also sometimes related to advertising, but sometimes not), to represent real cartridges in the designing of boxes (box-maker’s dummies), etc. In many of these cases, neither “exercise” or “drill” are really accurate to the function at hand. “Educational” is perhaps a better term, but the two best in my view are “inert cartridge” or “dummy cartridge.”
“America and the United Kingdom - two peoples divided by a common language.”
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