Strange .45 ACP "Quality Escape"


#1

A collector/shooter friend of mine sent me this pics of a .45 ACP case he discovered in a lot of cases has was going to reload. It appears to be a .45 ACP without the extractor groove but has what he calls “nubs”. Three of them equally spaced on the side of the rim.

His measurements are as follows:
Brass case, boxer primed, fired
Rim diameter
normal - .474
mystery - .479 (does not include the nubs)

Case length
Normal - .892
Mystery - .891

See photos:

Pic 1 Side on comparison to .45 ACP. Two “nubs” visible.

Pic 2 Headstamp comparison to normal .45 ACP

Pic 3 Another side comparison A '“nub” is visible.

Pic 4 Mystery case as compared to .45 AR left and .45 Colt right. One of the so-called “nubs” is visible.

While I believe this to be an unfinished case that escape QA I am curious as to what the equally spaced 'Nubs" as he called them are? Are they part of the case finishing process? Also, is it normal to punch the flashole before cutting the extractor groove. What is the most strange to me is that this is a fired case! What could someone have shot this in? A .45 AR?

Does any have a picture of the .45 ACP case draw steps they could post?

Thanks


#2

I think only a Remington .45 ACP draw set of the era of this headstamp would be conclusive about the
"nubs." I have a lot of different auto pistol draw sets and do not remember seeing them on anything
other than in your pictures. There are several different drawing techniques used by different factories,
so womething done by another factory, unless it has the nubs too, would not be especially instructive.

I agree, by the way, that it is a factory “boo-boo” (a highly technical term from the John Moss Lexicon : )
and I share your curiosity about what it was fired in, and why anyone would even attempt to fire such
a mistake, at that.

It sometimes amazes me how many factory errors in ammunition escape the factory, to be found in boxes on dealers shelves, although I suppose by the number of rounds made, it is probably a tiny, tiny percentage. Still,
almost every long-time collector I know has one or more. If all were put in one place, just the ones I have seen in collections would constitute a pretty big collection of itself.


#3

The .45 ACP case headspaces on the front lip of the case when in the chamber so it would have chambered and fired with no problem. The missing groove is just an extractor groove, it serves no other purpose. The extractor is a spring loaded hook so it may not have been ‘comfortable’ but it would have coped. Quite possibly the extractor would have enough grip to extract it as well.
The firer probably never noticed the defect as its usual to load the mag with ammo straight from the box without having to engage brain because its a repetitive action. Watch an old hand do it, he probably barely looks with a .45, some of the 9mm mags you need to pay a bit more attention.

A good find


#4

Vince - forgive me if I am interpreting your answer incorrectly. The .45 ACP cartridge does not headspace
on the “front rim” of the case, if you are referring to the rim below the base of the case. It headspaces on the case mouth. Further, while most of the head of the case are exposed in a normal Colt M1991-type barrel, the barrel shroud at the top rear of the barrel is not “stepped” but rather just a rearward continuation of that part of the chamber. It is my thought that the slight “rim” of this unfinised case might be too large in diameter to go into the chamber, because of the shround, of a standard Colt-type barrel. I don’t have the cartridge case in question to try it in one of my .45s.

I agree with you that loading magazines becomes almost a machine-like motion. I used to shoot 300 rounds of .45 a week, and did that for about twenty to twenty five years. To this day, I do not even have to look down at the magazine top to load it.


#5

[quote=“JohnMoss”]Vince - forgive me if I am interpreting your answer incorrectly. The .45 ACP cartridge does not headspace
on the “front rim” of the case, if you are referring to the rim below the base of the case. It headspaces on the case mouth. Further, while most of the head of the case are exposed in a normal Colt M1991-type barrel, the barrel shroud at the top rear of the barrel is not “stepped” but rather just a rearward continuation of that part of the chamber. It is my thought that the slight “rim” of this unfinised case might be too large in diameter to go into the chamber, because of the shround, of a standard Colt-type barrel. I don’t have the cartridge case in question to try it in one of my .45s.

I agree with you that loading magazines becomes almost a machine-like motion. I used to shoot 300 rounds of .45 a week, and did that for about twenty to twenty five years. To this day, I do not even have to look down at the magazine top to load it.[/quote]

John, I was trying to say the case mouth, the words just didn’t come out right. The question of the barrel shroud is an interesting one. Obviously it got through so it worked. Most things on a 1911 are built with plenty of leeway for error but we are assuming it was a colt and not something later which may have been a bit more fussy.

However, back to cartridge collecting. Does a factory error make the case significantly more valuable? In stamp collecting printing errors can make a stamp very valuable indeed.


#6

The three “nubs” may have been caused by a three-jaw collet during the manufacturing process. I am assuming that such a collet could normally grip the case rim without marking it but this one is of a larger diameter. The nubs may have been metal squeezed between the jaws of the collet.

gravelbelly


#7

It is hard for me to say if a factory error in a cartridge case increases its value. I honest don’t think it does at all, and my own experience would seem to back this up, as I have a number of “error cartridges” in my collection
and I have never paid a cent for any of them. Most were found in junk boxes at shows.

There is one exception, I think, and that is the “error” (in quotes, because it is an error 100% of the time - sometimes it is an in-house ID for an experimental cartridge, or use of a wrong bunter simply to ID a very short
run of some cartridge to avoid the expense of a new bunter, like that 7.62 Russian Auto Frettage cartridge with a .303 headstamp that was on the Forum recently) of an incorrect headstamp. I have in my collection a .25 Auto cartridge with R-P headstamp for the .32 S&WL cartridge, and an old Winchester .30 Luger cartridge with
Luger spelled incorrectly as “LUGAR.” I would say these errors do make them more valuable than common cartridges with common headstamps, when they have things like the wrong caliber headstamp or spelling errors and the like in the headstamp.

Most other errors are simply stages missed in case production, undetected brass defects like a collapsed portion of the case mouth from bullet seating, or primers in backwards of sideways (in the latter case, usually crushed).
They are mildly interesting, but certainly not an “exciting” error like a faulty headstamp. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Just my take on it.


#8

Anyone watching the final pre-packaging visual inspection of loaded ammunition at the factory would quickly conclude that it must be mind-numbing to watch thousands of rounds march by in front of your face every hour. In those operations I have seen, it is usually women who do this, and I don’t know how they do it day after day. It is not surprising that a few defective rounds make it through. It has been more than a few years since I have seen this operation, and maybe there are now computer systems to do the final inspection instead of humans.