S L 42 .50 BMG broken bunter


#1

I got a fired .50 BMG case headstamped “S L 42” today at a junk dale for 95p. I bought it as it is a nice example with no dents and looks to have not been polished once since 1942. Not rare or anything, just a nice piece of WW2 history.

The only thing I noticed was that the bottom line on the “2” in “42” is missing. This looks to have been caused by a broken bunter. I imagine there would be millions of other rounds in existence with this error, as shutting down the production line during wartime to correct a cosmetic error on the ammo would not have been done.

Does anyone collect rounds by bunter/headstamp errors? I am not trying to sell this thing, but I was just curious if it is a known field, also does anyone else know of a “S L 42” .50 BMG with the same headstamp error?

I presume this was one of the many millions of empty .50 cases from US aircraft operating from the UK during WW2, of which there are a fair old few cases still around today. Apparently .50 BMG hulls were left here by the mound after the war, mostly dumped in the North Sea or melted down for scrap brass.


#2

I have several broken bunter / flawed headstamps in my collection but only keep them if the letter or number looks like something it shouldn’t.
Or if I can’t find a better example.
Don’t know of anyone who collects broken bunter mistakes as such.
A wrong bunter - yes, say 38 Spl. on a 38 S&W. or .32 SPl on a .30 WCF.


#3

How do rounds with completely the wrong calibre marking on them ever pass quality control? I imagine this .50 BMG case would not be an especially interesting item, as there were probably millions of others like it made.


#4

Ive noticed that .50cal cases stamped 42-43 are quite deep yet later stampings 44-45 are very light.


#5

Perhaps someone eventually figured out that heavy headstamps resulted in more broken bunters.


#6

I also have a .50 BMG cartridge stamped with a broken bunter. I thought it reads “DM 43”, I will search it out tomorrow and post a picture of the headstamp (momentarily I can’t see my collection).


#7

Here’s the picture. Excuse me for the quality, my photography skills are not so developed :-)

The upper part of the “D” is not stamped as well as the right side of the “M”


#8

Not sure how they get past QC but it happens. I have a full 20 rnd green box of .30 WCF as made by Remington with a R-P 32 SPL headstamp. Well it’s not full now as I have one in my collecton & have given a few others away. The box was found in a sporting goods store in Pennsylvania in perhaps 1985, when a case was opened. I understand there were probably at least 3 other boxes with the same contents in that case.
Usually a wrong headstamp is deliberate as a company is doing some in-house development or some other work and needs the product to be unusual so it doesn’t get shipped, although the easiest way to do this, is to not headstamp it in the first place! At any rate, with either way usually only a small number are made, then used.
How do you explain the 12 and 10 bore brass shot gun shells with a raised (in an impressed dish) headstamp. Kynoch cases using KYNOCK as the name? And the .32 ACP by Kynoch headstamped KYNOCK 7,65 ? Bet someone got fired after those screw-up’s(?) & note the two mistrakes must have been years apart.
Also some Canadians consider the broken D in the D.C.Co headstamped rounds a seperate variation because it occurs in a large number of calibers.
Anyhow something to think about. & the classic is by Dominion with COLT spelled CLOT


#9

Pete and all - there is also the case of the W.R.A.Co. 7.65mm LUGAR headstamp, with the word “Luger” mis-spelled, using an “A” instead of an “E”. Also an R-P .25 auto with “R-P 32 S&W L” headstamp - way too large for the base of the .25, of course. I also have a U.S.C.Co. pocket auto caliber, either .32 or .380, with the opposite of those two claibers headstamp on it. I forget which, and don’t want to go downstairs right now and open up my room at 2:30 in the morning here. In fact, it could even be a Savage-headstamped round, not a U.S.C.Co. I guess the point is, there are plenty of headstamp errors. I have four examples of headstamp errors in 7.9 x 57mm Mauser using the wrong case material code - steel cases marked as brass and brass cases marked as steel. There are also some scarce 7.9 Mauser rounds with code “ak” on brass cases (steel cases are the norm for this code) having the St+ mark for steel cases, but I have a hunch this was purposeful, since I have two or three different dates so marked. I suggest in this case they didn’t want to bother to make a new bunter for the small amount of brass cases they were going to make.

There are also partial headstamps in some calibers, but when all entries are stamped deep except for one, which is completely missing, or only one out of four entries is there such as a 7.9 x 57s I have stamped only with the two-digit date, it is done purposefully for some reason. Of course, you find some where it appears the bunter struck at an angle and left one or more entries faint, or perhaps completely missing. Those are errors.

If a guy spent a collecting life cataloging these things, I think he would find a whole lot of headstamp boo-boos sneak by.


#10

Pete,
Later today (hopefully) I’ll be posting a pic of one of those “KYNOCK” .32s. It is surely a “knock-off” round, probably Chinese.


#11

When John said “missing” it reminded me, I have a Yugoslavian 30-06 ball round loaded by Igman Zavod in 1957 that does not have a headstamp. It was the only round in the box without one. Anyone want to explain how that happened? I have another 30-06 loaded by St. Louis the, headstamp looks like SI, even under magnification. Don’t forget the Twin Cities TW 54 headstamped 30-06 where the 4 is incorrectly positioned.

As for the Chinese, didn’t they produce some 30 Carbine ammunition that had Lake City headstamps and corrosive primers?


#12

Yes, there definitely is a Berdan primed, .30 Carbine with “L C 52” headstamp made in China. The only external way to tell the difference from an original U.S. round is by the width and shape of the extractor groove and extractor-groove bevel. The headstamp, primer seal color, etc. are perfect imitations. They also did a perfect Radway Green headstamp on 7.62 NATO rounds - the only problem is that they are copper-washed steel cases which Radway Green didn’t make (at least in production NATO rounds).

I think these are a little different case than broken bunters or mistakes on bunters, though, since they were quire purposeful and made to deceive. I guess we will never know the exact purpose for them.


#13

I have one of these Chinese Berdan primed LC cases with a 52 date. The most popular theory is that they were intended to be supplied to the VC for used in captured US M1 Carbines. Guy Hildebrand has a picture of a box on his site, which is not as good fake as the round, being simply marked “7.62mmLC” in black ink.

Does anyone have an example of one of those CWS fake RG cases? Perhaps intended to arm underground terrorist units in Hong-Kong while still under British rule, in attempt to fool people into thinking they wre using stolen British ammo? Just a thought. Even though the CWS cases would make it obvious that the ammo had falso markings.


#14

Falcon - mine is a 52 date also, and I have the same box mentioned. the “3” in the date was a typo error. I had the cartridge right in front of me. I try to catch these errors. I should slow down on my typing - maybe if I did, I wouldn’t make so many errors and wouldn’t be so long-winded.


#15

Not directly related to broken bunters but there are also headstamps that appear to be “partial” but are in reality exactly the way the factory intended them. The 30 AMU with a REM-UMC 300 headstamp and the prototype 444 Marlin with a R-P 4 MAG headstamp are two that come to mind.

Ray