Old ammunition questions


#1

Well hello! First post here!

I’ve gotten a hold of junk box that had alot of interesting cartridges.

Like two Colt 1911 .45 ammo (two rounds) made in 1918 (yes GI stuff.) RCCO 18 on the case head.

Several .45 steal case WW 2 rounds. E C S 43

Old .38/40, .44-40, .41 LC, and some very long rounds.

One says .43 on the case head (.43 Egyptian or 43 Spanish?) CCC 43 SP-RB
A W.R.A. Co. 40-82 WCF
An old WRA .45/70
And interesting a paper patched bullet with a sort of rebated rim and the inscription on the case head:
*
98 G
S

It is a little longer than the .43 and has a longer neck.

Also a very interesting 45/70 (I think cause another .45/70 I have is the same length and bullet type and has W.R.A.Co .45/70)

This one has a old silver or tin kind of case, has a head stamp of

F

15 91

With the 1 and 5 in vertical alignment on the left side. Is that 1891?

Any ideas on these?

Thanks

Deaf


#2

I can only speak to the two .45 rounds. Both ave very common. Your R.C.Co. round should be actually P.C.Co. (Peters Cartridge Company) is a standare WWI U.S. military round. If it has stab-type bullet crimps around the neck, it was intended for the 1917 Colt and Smith & Wesson Revolvers. If it does not, they were for the Colt M1911 Pistol, which would shoot the ones with stab crimps also, no problem. The problem with revolvers was that inertia from recoil would sometimes cause a bullet from a cartridge in a chamber besides that one being fired, causing it to stick out beyond the face of the cylinder and cause a jam. Hence, the extra bullet crimps.
The Revolver rounds were usually boxes in 24-round boxes instead of 20-round and were usually pre-loaded, right in the boxes, on the 3-shot half-moon clips used with the two versions of the 1917 revolver.

The ECS round (Evansville Chrysler Sunbeam) are very common. When I was in the Army in the late 1950s, our .45 ammo was mostly the WWII EC and ECS rounds. They are probably surefire today, but are corrosive-primed. Chrysler produced so much of this ammo during the war, despite having no previous ammunition-making experience, and with the USA having very little experience overall making steel-cased ammunition, that ins late 1944, with the ware expected to last until at least 1947, the Government had them cease production of .45 ammo because so much was on hand. It was one of the great production achievements of American industry during WWII.


#3

Your last cartridge appears to be a tinned Cal .45, Frankford Arsenal, manufactured in 1891. However, your description of the headstamp needs to be clarified. Normally, it would be a trinomial headstamp with the “F” at 12 o’clock, the year “91” at 4 o’clock, and the month at 7 o’clock. But there is no month 15 so you need to look at it again. Also, if you could give an overall length we could tell if it is Rifle (45-70-500) or a Carbine (45-55-405) cartridge.

Ray


#4

The cartridge with the CCC headstamp is a reproduction made by the Connecticut Cartridge Company that operated in Plainville CT during the late 1960 and early 1970s. Before there was BELL, Bertram or Jamison, CCC was about the only source of obsolete brass. Many of the cases were lathe turned, and some later cases were drawn. You can spot the lathe turned cases from the cutting tool marks. Just guessing from the headstamp, you have a .43 Spanish for the Remington rolling block rifle. The one I have is marked “CCC .43 SPAN”, I think, but I will have to go dig it out to check.

One of the first cartridges that I obtained for my collection was a CCC 50-70. It was in a junk box at a gun show, and the first big bore obsolete cartridge that I had actually been able to lay my hands on. I don’t remember what I paid for it, but the old timer that was selling it said, “You don’t want that. Its a FAKE!” I was probably about twelve years old, and had already decided that was one of the cartridges that was going to be bought with my lawn mowing money. Compared to the nickle and dime cartridges that I was used to, it was a REAL catch. I sorted out a bunch of other cartridges from the junk box, and since I couldn’t be brought to my proper senses, the old timer sorted out a bunch more cartridges to make up for “that big fake”. That was probably about 1974.

CCC cartridges can still be found at quite reasonable prices, but I have seen them go for close to twenty bucks a pop at GunBroker this summer. Times change, cartridges that were seen as fakes are now antique reproductions of obsolete calibers.


#5

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Your last cartridge appears to be a tinned Cal .45, Frankford Arsenal, manufactured in 1891. However, your description of the headstamp needs to be clarified. Normally, it would be a trinomial headstamp with the “F” at 12 o’clock, the year “91” at 4 o’clock, and the month at 7 o’clock. But there is no month 15 so you need to look at it again. Also, if you could give an overall length we could tell if it is Rifle (45-70-500) or a Carbine (45-55-405) cartridge.

Ray[/quote]

Ray,

I looked again! Turns out there was a smudge on the ‘15’, and thus it was a ‘5’!

May 1891.

OAL is 2.81 inches.

Cool, thanks!


#6

2.8" is Rifle. BTW, the carbine round is 2.45" OAL.

Here’s a lineup of the different FA Cal .45 cartridges. Yours is second from the right.

Ray


#7

Ok,

The other .45/70 round has a brass case, same OAL, and w.R.A. Co. stamped on the head. The brass looks like the ones in the picture but I presume it’s a civilian round.

Oh, and are the .45/70 rounds like I have worth anything?

Thanks again!


#8

Cartridges headstamped W.R.A. Co. were commercially manufactured but could also be contract ammunition. Usually loaded with smokeless powder but rounds loaded with black powder exist too. The same goes for cartridges loaded by other manufacturers, such as U.M.C. and U.S.C.Co. Earlier contract rounds (1878 to 1892) have their own military style headstamps.

The number of different Cal .45 cartridges is likely in the thousands if you count individual headstamps. It’s a collecting specialty of its own and not something that can be summed up in a few paragraphs.

Values are not something I want to try. Maybe others will.

Ray


#9

Thanks guys.

So far I’ve found two .32 rimfire rounds (heal lead bullets), 30/40 Krag FMJ (29 head stamp), lots of 38/40s and 44/40s, and I’m still finding .45 ACP steel jacketed ammo in that box (it’s a .50 cal machinegun box full of handgun ammo.) Even a .348 Winchester round (wish I had the rifle!) Some '06 black tip AP, and 42 issue 9mm ball.

I have a box about the size of a good set of ham cold cuts full of .25 auto,.32 auto, .32 S&W, .32 S&W long, .32 Colt, .38 S&W, .38 Colt New police (yea I know it.s .38 S&W),.380 acp, and ever a few .30 Lugars! And yes I have a S&W hand ejector (made in 1912) in .32 S&W long as well as a Colt Police Positive (1926!) in .38 S&W so I can shoot some of these.)

Still rummaging! Haven’t got to the rifle box yet of ammo except to find those .47/70s and such.

Deaf


#10

Now that’s an interesting way to describe your storage boxes. Most of us use cigar boxes or old ammo boxes. A new standard is set! I’ll bet even Vlad doesn’t have any ham cold cut boxes. ;) ;)

Ray


#11

Many of them are just that Ray. Sliced ham plastic boxes. For lunch at work I often bring a ham sandwich and buy the ham at Wal-mart.

That way, free boxes.

Now I shoot alot. Used to be in IPSC, IHMSA, and NRA matches. Now just IDPA and alot of practice is SD orientated.

But I do like old guns (and ammo!)

Friend has a Winchester '73 38/40 for $2 grand. Dunno about that but sure would like to own a few.

Deaf