Rifle Only labeled .45ACP ball

Thanks for letting me join in (especially since I have an odd question).

Does anyone know the history of this strangely marked .45 ACP ammunition?

Headstamps are for Western, Winchester, and Remington.


At least one such rifle is mentioned in Hatcher’s Notebook, a carbine version of the 1903 Springfield. During WW2, Lee-Enfields, probably #4s, were fitted with a Thompson SMG barrel and a silencer. The original magazine was filled with wood and remodeled to take the magazine for a US Model 1911 pistol.

Welcome Mike

I’m seeing two boxes here, so which box-contents goes with the “rifle only” marked box?

All the headstamped rounds show seem to have the same primer, date from the 1960’s & appear to be reloads?

I am not aware of any “rifle” chambered for the .45 ACP (which means little). So I can only think / guess perhaps the previous owner of the box, at one time, stored some rifle cartridges or maybe even rifle components in the box?

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Pete et al - I used to own a .45 caliber rifle. It was a semi-automatic only version of the Reising SMG with a longer barrel to comply with Federal law. Not a bad shooter, but just didn’t thrill me. Magazines were hard to come by for one thing. The proper magazine for it was a 10 or 12-shot (I forget which) that was based on the standard 20-shot magazine but with deep grooves in the sides to limit the capacity. Don’t know why they bothered, as I can’t think of any laws at the time that required it, and the rifle would except standard Reising 20-shot mags.

There was also a long-barrel version of the Uzi SMG made in .45, just as they did with the 9 mm version. Fired from a closed bolt. I owned a 9 mm version and liked it a lot, but dumped it when they became pretty much illegal in California. Took the fun out of it. I never ever saw one of the .45s - just ads for them in states that allowed them.

And, of course, Auto Ordnance, as far as I know, still makes a semi-auto version of the TSMG, again with a longer barrel to comply with Federal Firearms laws - 16 inch as I recall.

There may have been others, Can’t think of them right now as pistol-caliber rifles didn’t/don’t interest me a whole lot unless they are 44-40s! :-)

I don’t know a thing about that .45 load and box label. Something from a commercial reloader, I would think.

John Moss

The English had the De Lisle commando carbine shown below, chambered in 45 ACP and took slightly modified 1911 magazines.

129 were made and quite a few were used.

My guess is that the box is made for this rifle.

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All 6 boxes have the “Rifle Only” labeling.

Don’t forget the ubiquitous (at least in USA) Marlin Camp Carbine in .45 ACP. These are AWESOME PCC’s, take standard .45 ACP mags, and are especially fun to shoot with drum magazines!

I have pre-WWII 9x19mm US boxes marked “FOR RIFLE” and was told it was intended for export to some South American countries which charged a higher import tax on pistol ammunition. I have no idea if this is correct.

Fede may know if this is correct and if such laws were still in place in more recent times. These could be military surplus intended for sale in South America.

I suspect that all the rifles mentioned above were designed for the standard 45ACP.


I have an old No.4 Enfield that I rebarreled in .45 ACP. Lots of fun to shoot, but a bit anemic at anything beyond 50 yards. I load .45 Super for it. These “Rifle Only” rounds might be loaded to Super levels.

Rifle cartridges wouldn’t fit. The box is sized for the 45ACP.

Those cartridges appear to be reloads in my opinion. I suspect whomever reloaded them had more than one firearm chambered for .45 ACP and marked the box to indicate a load specific to their rifle.

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I was about to mention the DeLisle, myself. Great minds retain arcane knowledge alike, (to paraphrase!).

I don’t think that there is any question that these are just reloads. It is not stated in the original question, but the bullets appear to be lead (I think I detect a casting line across the nose of a few of them, but could be wrong), but regardless of that, the primers are not original to the completely mixed assortment of cases.

I don’t think this would pertain to the boxes of pistol and revolver ammunition marked “Rifle” for tax considerations. It is an over-label, apparently typed on a regular typewriter, whereas the quantities to make export of ammunition profitable, and to make the “rifle” appellation believable to foreign customs or tax-control agents would dictate a formal, printed label. Every such box I have seen, marked for “Rifle” when it is a handgun cartridge, have been printed labels. The fact that the label covers the original maker of the ammunition, and the caliber as well, would also likely not be a permissable label to customs officials in most countries, I would think.

I think this label, and the loads in it, as simply the work of an individual shooter handloading for his own firearms. JMHO. However, it would be helpful if “hso” could tell us the bullet material - whether plain lead or jacketed with some material plated to a grey color (tinned?).

John Moss

Rifle cartridges come in many sizes. A standard length Cal. .30-06 would fit with about 1.3/8" room to spare.

My point was that I very much doubt that neither you nor i could have any idea what could have gone into these boxes from the time they left the factory until you obtained them.

Just looked that up, very neat,

Looking again after John’s post these do look to be cast bullets, so obvious re-loads.

please remember the old adage not to shoot someone elses reloads.

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I have enlarged the photo and you can see the mixed primer seatings, also the various marks on the bullets…That are reloads from and for an individual, who may used a rifle, in this caliber…


My “DeLisle”.

I think both printed labels and paste on labels were used.




Lew - you are obviously correct. First time I have over seen the overlabel. Doesn’t change my opinion about the box in question, however. Purely someone’s personal reloads in my view. The box you show has an original factory label, while the box in question is simply a U.S. military .45 box recycled, with the original maker covered.

Great box you have, though!! Thanks for posting. I learned something, aside from getting the chance to see a rare case of over-labeling.