Here’s the story of the SLICS .458 Lott. I took over the Chicagoland International Cartridge Show in 1989 and ran the last show at the Drake Oakbrook Hotel. The hotel’s ownership changed and to make a long story short, I moved the show to St. Louis.
I needed a show souvenir dummy cartridge, so I asked Jim Bell, MAST Technology (earlier BELL; Brass Extrusion Laboratory, Ltd.), what he was making at the time, which was the .458 Lott. Using this round would avoid having to start up a separate production run. Making the 200 or so dummies was easy. Jim had a new headstamp bunter made (very expensive) and just ran the cases as part of normal production. Since I wanted dummies, I asked Jim to insert wood rods in the empty cases and keep the primer pockets empty so the cartridges could be instantly identified as dummies. You can see the wood through the flash hole.
Then, we decided to get fancy with a very few rounds. I have an IAA buddy who really likes color codes, so I asked Jim to load up a handful of live proof rounds with the SLICS headstamp and flashy color codes. I gave a couple of these away and sold the rest to try to recoup some of the project’s cost.
Your specimen is an absolutely genuine proof round and is a very rare variation with a total production of well under 20. Obviously, the S.L.I.C.S. is for the St. Louis International Cartridge Show and the 99 is for 1999. There’s some controversy about the M at nine o’clock in the headstamp. I say it’s for Mel, but Jim Bell says it’s for MAST. Take your pick.