Remington 5 in 1 ammo

I am interested in when Remington made the 5 in 1 ammo used in movies for the 38-40 and 44-40 calibers. The ammo I have is in their green and red boxes. When did they start making it and when was it last made?
Larry Wales

Larry–let me do some more exact date checking, but the ball park production of the 5-in-1 was mid-1920 to mid-1980’s. As for the boxes you have, do they have a 4 digit load index number or does it start with an “R”.
If with a 4 digit number, they are 1946-1952. if with an “R” the boxes are 1930’s to 1942. If you post a picture I will be able to date them even closer.

Larry & Ron, Remington start making this special blank in 1931 and it was last listed in 1976. It seems that it was considered a “special item” not available to the public except for the filming industry because as far as I can tell it was not included in catalogs until 1962.

It is interesting to mention that the original 5-in-1 for “talking moving pictures” as designed by Peters in 1930 was not a blank cartridge but a brass adaptor for .38 S&W blank cartridges.

Several companies still offer these cartridges with brass or plastic cases.

Thanks for the info. The index number is 9005. May post a picture in day or two.

Fede–Thanks for saving me from digging out the information.

Larry–When I said if it had a 4-digit load index that it was 1946-1952, that was based on the box color being “Green & Red”. I was thing of the Dark Green boxes of that era not the mid-1960’s Light Green box.

It may be possible to date it more precisely if there is a lot number stamping somewhere on or in the box.

Movie blanks are an interesting topic. I suspect that most are familiar with the 5-in-1 blank, and I have a couple of individual specimens myself. If Remington has ceased production, what do the movie and TV production companies use now in all those SAA Colts and Winchester 92s? I understand some of the entertainment industry gun rental companies load their own blanks. For sure, somebody does. Maybe someone can provide a brief treatise on current blank ammunition sources.

Dennis–Almost all 5-in-1 blanks made today are plastic. There are a number of small companies that cater specifically to the movie industry making them.

Here is the URL for one such company that makes a whole range of movie blanks, not just 5-in-1.

The factory five-in-one blanks are not and were not used as much in the Movie industry as they were for some other entertainment forms. Firstly, they are very, very loud, and suitable really only for outdoor use. Secondly, for years, the gun rental companies such as Ellis Mercantile and Stembridge Gun Room have made movie blanks in a far greater variety of calibers than available from the “big factories,” and in a much greater variety of loadings, such as flash blanks, 1/4 load, 1/2 load, full load, black powder, smokeless powder, etc.
Sometimes the sound of the gun going off is actually from a pre-recording and the sound mixer (is that what they call them?) works the blast into the sound track to get the effect they want, rather than simply recording whatever sound the gun made going off. Some of the movie guns don’t even fire blanks, but rather are specially rigged or even made to create a flash using fuel, activated by the gun’s trigger, with no noise. There are times and places where they are allowed to film, but cannot create the noise of gun fire or other extremely load and sharp noises. I forget the movie, but a gas-version of a TSMG was used in the filming of a scene inside a real hospital. Can you imagine the result if they fired full-noise blanks out of a submachinegun in the corridor of a real hospital?

Fede - I can speak for the entire span of manufacture of 5-in-1 blanks, but in the time I worked in the store until the time they were discontinued, we carried a couple of boxes of them in stock all the time for the few customers who wanted them, and never had any problem, beyond occasional shortages of any "less-than-popular load, getting them from our jobbers.

some boxes / packets

In 1970, many of the action scenes from the movie Little Big Man were filmed on location on the private property surrounding the Little Big Horn National Monument. Some of my friends and I were there taking photos and scrounging for the fired 5 in 1 blanks that were used quite extensively. The studio issued instructions that the empties were supposed to be policed but there was no way they could collect them all. Years later, tourists walking the site would find one of the blank cases and proudly display it as a relic from the battle of the Little Big Horn. I finally gave my mine to friends who collected Custer stuff. They, of course, knew what they were.

I also visited a well known Custer Buff from Michigan who proudly displayed two fired 30-06 cases as being found on the Battlefield. When I told him what they were (deer hunters) he just about died since he had been telling everyone he knew about them being genuine relics.

Likewise the fired 45-70 cases from various forts that were sold, for years, as coming from the LBH. The serious guys knew what they were but many a tourist fell prey.


So this “well known Custer buff” had no idea about the firearms being used during the battle?

Many of the more knowledgable Custer fans know nothing about the cartridges. They know Custer, his wife Libbie, the Indians, details of the battle, but absolutely nothing about cartridges. This particular guy was one of the most respected and well known authors who wrote several books on Custer (being from Michigan). He owned many of Custer’s personal items. He was no dummy.

Many of the Custer Buffs care nothing at all about the guns and ammo of the LBH. I once gave a lecture at a Custer Symposium in Seattle where I spoke about the guns. A friend brought a 45-55 Carbine that had a very strong provenance and after the lecture we put the Carbine on a table and invited everyone to look at it, and some of the cartridges that we had. I remember that one guy actually showed an interest. All the others were more interested in Gen. Custer’s jock-strap and a lock of his hair. Go figure.

Not even the professionals know a lot about guns and ammo. During the archaeological dig at the site in the 1980s, they mis-identified many of the relics and had to call in ametuers to correct the errors. My brother and I were there and we had to practically beg them to change some of the IDs because they were so convinced they were right. After all, they were the pros and we were just relic hunting thieves.


I’m not surprised that they didn’t know the fine details of the cartridges. However they should ought to have known that .30-06 hadn’t even been invented yet.

I’m not sure where they (professionals) would have learned the difference between cartridges. The U.S. education system frowns upon discussing things such as guns and ammo, much less showing photographs or, heaven forbid, a real cartridge. Pointing your finger and saying “bang” or chewing your pop-tart into the shape of a pistol will get you expelled and into therapy.


Ray; What you just said implies every school is this way, In my school we still talk guns, hunting, fishing, and other out door endeavors and deer season is a holiday. So be careful when we generalize topics. What the news shows is not the general picture just the extremes. Vic A Science teacher who talks ammo to students!!

Starline () still makes 5-in-1 Cases for loading as Blanks, with an oversized Flash hole to facilitate Ignition.

I have several Packets of original Remington Loadings (1950s) as well as Stembridge Loads ( BP and Smokeless-“Flash” Loads) using Remington Cases.

WE use the original 5-in-1 blanks rarely, but do load our own according to calibre (correct cases) for both BP and Flash effects ( Film Ordnance).

Doc AV