R . A 42 headstamp, .45 ACP connotation?


this one is probably very easy for you guys , a 45 ACP with headstamp R . A 42 , why a dot between the R and A may just be a change of primer or powder ??? thanks Randy


Randy - I did not want your question to go unanswered. This “dot” Remington headstamp also shows up in .30-06. Neither the fine book on .30-06 nor the classic book, Vol II, on U.S. Military Ammunition by Hackley, Woodin and Scranton, identify this mark. I have been in correspondence with Hackly and Woodin on this trying to get you an answer, but they do not have any solid information on it. I am trying one more time with a top Remington collector.
I collect .45 and have had this for years. I was told years ago, by someone that I recall was well credentialed in the ammunition field, but I can’t recall who (I am talking probably about 40 years ago), that it represented a change from the normal drawing process. I seem to recall it being said that it was a 5-step drawing process. Now, accept this only as anecdotel information with no confirmation what-so-ever. One of the people contacted since your question thought it might represent some change in the case making process, but didn’t know what. I’m afraid the scholarly thing to say is simply, at this stage, we don’t know what it means. If I get more information from my other inquiries on your behalf, I will post them. Sorry I couldn’t do better for you.


I heard back from a top Remington ammo authority, and they simply are not sure what the dot means. Hopefully, someday we will find out for sure. Sorry we couldn’t help you with this one, Randy.


Hello John, I appreciate your help on this ,I am sure others would like to know as well Randy


Regarding the R A .45 headstamp with a dot between the letters, I received the following answer from Frank Hackley, certainly a leading authority on U.S. Military ammo: “John: Yes, there was a five-draw process for making cases, and if you include the cupping operation this was the process used for the .45 Auto case by FA (Frankford Arsenal). However, I do not know which process RA used in 1942 and it is probablr that RA, during this time frame, would have been looking for ways to speed-up the operation as they ramped-up for WWII production. The first cases made with the “new” process would probably have been marked to keep them segregated from the original process pieces and when the “new” process was made standard and the old process cases cleared the line there would be no reason to keep identifying the new process from the old.”

The last line would explain why the dot only appears on 42-dated cases and not on all of them, and is not seen after that year on R.A.-made .45 cases. Please note that Col. Hackley did not positively confirm that the dot stood for a five-draw case-making process. We still don’t have any documentation from Remington, or any other source, to confirm it. However, what he wrote fits in with what I was told years ago about this headstamp.

For now, we should hold that answer as a probability, but not a certainty.