Possible tool blank cartridge?

I haven’t been here in a while, but happened across an unknown cartridge today and figured that this was just about the only place where someone would be bound to know what it is.

At first glance I thought it was a .45-70 blank, but it is surely not. Here are some photos with it in relation to a couple .45-70 rounds- it’s the one in the middle. The headstamp indicates “1912 T.S. P.E.” and a “T” in a circle. From perusing measurements in Cartridges Of The World I’m thinking it’s not even for a firearm, maybe not even a cartridge?? The “primer” looks odd, like it’s just part of the case surrounded by a circle of plastic or something. The brass appears turned not extruded, and it’s definitely heavier than the M32 blank next to it.

It would be funny if it turned out that it’s just some odd tool and not even a cartridge. Thank you in advance for any info.


Rim .596"
Base .493"
Rim thickness .054"
Case length 2.000"

It appears to be an artillary primer.

And with electric ignition.


That is definitely a Lock Combination primer. If the “1912” is the date of manufacture (I think it is), it’s the oldest electric primer that I’ve ever seen.


Ray, check on the british 1" subcaliber cartridges. They are older.

With electric ignition I would think that it would more than likely be for Naval use rather that Army.


The “T.S.” marked Combination primers were still being used thru WWII by both the US Army and Navy. I have 2, dated 1936 and 1943, marked T.S. XV-1. I was still using the same primer when I was in the Navy in the early 1950s. The later ones have a rose-petal closure rather than the wad seal.

When I said it was the earliest I have seen I didn’t mean to imply that there were not earlier electric primers. It’s simply the oldest I have personally seen. (Some of our older members probably used the 1912 primers. I won’t mention names. They know who they are. ;-) ;-)


You guys are awesome. I didn’t even think about an artillery primer. I just saw an interesting old cartridge in a box of odds and ends at a gun show and paid $2 for it. Something different to go in my meager collection.

Thanks again!