Strange .45 ACP round

I recently obtained this .45 ACP round. The bullet looks swedged!

Headstamp is WRA 53 with a military primer. See how the extractor groove is more narrow than that of a standard ball round (LHS).

Was told that this resembles some Israeli match loads produced 20-30 years ago. Any ideas? Anyone.


See Pics below:

I have a .45 round with what appears to be the same bullet as it yours, or very, very similar, but it is an Israeli “TZZ” headstamped round. I know nothing about the “why” of this projectile type.

John Moss

Round Nose Semi-Wadcutter Match loads, if I remember corrrectly.
I saw those used in Bullseye matches in the early 1990s’.
The round nose was for better feeding.

Agreed - I recall seeing them in the 80s offered as reloads. I think the bullet weight was ~185gr.

The Army issued us (the shooting teams) WWC 185gr SWC-FMJ Match ammo, but lots of our regular bullseye 1911s wouldn’t feed the short truncated cone style SWCs. We had separate pistols with lighter recoil springs and modified feed ramps for shooting the SWC-FMJ ammo.

Yes, except I do not recall them being reloads, (with a 30 year memory!), but IMI factory match ammo.
Agreed, the FMJ truncated cone SWC did not like to feed in quite a few 1911s’, mine included! And I was not interested in altering it for one specific type of ammo…

I would agree with Badger that they are not reloads, at least in the instance of those with TZZ (Isreali) headstamps. All cartridge characteristics are correct for the TZZ ammo of the time. If not an Israeli bullet, then the bullets were either supplied to them by the US, or the Israelis supplied primed-empty cases, in my view.

I cannot explain this bullet in a WRA 53 case, but once again, the case, primer and primer seal all go together as original WRA 1953 production of this caliber. It may be an instance of bullet exchange - that is, removing the FMJ bullet and substituting the projectiles in question here, with perhaps a new powder charge to boot. However, I would say the primer and seal on Pat’s W R A 53, as well as the absence of any visible ejector mark, would indicate all case-components of original manufacture by Winchester.

I am interested that these are remembered as being used for match shooting, I assume by Army teams. The one I have was, for quite a while, the only one I had ever seen or heard of. I even speculated that it was some sort of un-caught deformation, in the manufacturing process, of the bullet itself. The perfect execution of manufacture of its shape eventually made me discard that option. I wish I had the box for the Israeli cartridge.

I agree with the comments on the poor feeding of the classic 185 grain SWC FMJ bullet. All of my .45s were throated, and yet three out of four were unreliable with that bullet. Precisely why I used the H&G #68 200 grain lead SWC which, when properly seated and taper-crimped, feed not only in all four of my regular pistols, but also perfect feeding in my Remington-Rand, unaltered M1911A1. I could make further comments of the flexibility of its use, but I fear that would draw me into powder charges, and make this a prohibited reply. (I agree wholly with that rule, by the way).

If anyone has a box label for this bullet-loading, especially in TZZ Ammo, please post a picture of it. I cannot find any index number or other mention of it in any of my IMI catalog literature.

John Moss

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John - I did not mean to imply that I saw these RN-SWCs used or issued in/at Army matches. I saw them at civilian events that I attended during the same years that I was shooting for the Army.

The Army issued us 230gr FMJ Ball Match and 185gr WCC FMJ-SWC for our Service Pistol Matches. We also had .22 RFs and .38 Special pistols for certain events. No 9mm back then…

Joe - no sweat. The US Military did, though, issue some Israeli TZZ Match 185 grain SWC rounds. Attached is a picture that shows two of the boxes for these loads. They vary only in the form of the lot number. I got them empty, so don’t know the bullet shape that was in them. Below them is a Winchester Military box for the 185 FMJ SWC, but the cartridges are pure commercial “W-W 45 AUTO” headstamped rounds.

John Moss

I believe I have both issue .230gr FMJ Match and 185gr FMJ-SWC Match boxes (with ammo) in cans. I’ll have to dig thru my stash of ammo to see what years & lots I might have. As I recall, both types were in white boxes (but that was a lot of years ago).

Below are some pictures of other types of box labels. I save dates in these, but have chosen the ones pictured because they show different design features. My earliest white “Eagle” box has, for example, a rec border around it which later ones do not. The third from top of these labels has the eagle outline in green, rather than blue, and is a different box design, although that does not show in the picture. It is from 1984 TZZ production (Israel). The bottom “Eagle” box is for the souvenir dummies given out at the Camp Perry 1965 matches - the cartridge is all chrome plated, with a hole in the primer cup, headstamp “RA 65 NM”.

In the first picture, the 1954 Match from Frankford Arsenal is in steel cases. The other labels are pretty much self-explanatory.

The third picture is the newer style Match box, this one from Federal 1906 production.

John Moss