Tornado .38 SW blanks?


#1

Can’t find anything about these online other than a few old closed auctions. Headstamps are all G.F.L. 38 .S.W Anyone know what these are? Blanks for film use?




#2

I don’t know what the use of these blanks is, but would point out that in the last 50 years at least, Fiocchi has made, as well as conventional ammunition, industrial cartridges and cartridges for scuba diving (I can’t even swim, but I think they call them “bang sticks” or something like that).


#3

as a GUESS, judging for the various degrees of strength noted on the labels plus being color coded, I’d think Industrial or perhaps “cattle killer” use. Movie usually note flash or smoke as a primary usage, then the degree of. Also I’d think if for a movie a certain firearm would be listed.

Pretty neat!


#4

Fiocchi’s catalog for June 1951 shows blank cartridges made for the slaughtering of animals - probably for use in what is sometimes called a “humane killer,” Some of these devices fire a normal bullet, but others have a captive spike that is propelled forward by a blank cartridge. They show four degrees in .380 Revolver caliber:

No. 157 I Grade - RED - for bulls and big cattle
No. 158 II Grade - BLUE - for for horses, pigs, beef
No. 159 III Grade - YELLOW - for calfs (sic) and Foals
No. 160 IV Grade - Green - for Sheeps (sic) and dogs

The color is likely the color of the wad and often the box label as well. The case length of all of the above cartridges is given as 0.630".

The 1976 Catalog shows “Cartucce per martelli fissachiodi” which means “Nail-setting hammers” in English. They show them available in caliber .380 Revolver, but with little or no details.

I could not find the use of the brand-name “Tornado” in the very cursory examination I made of my Fiocchi catalogs. If I have time later, I will delve into them a little more.


#5

Matt, these are blank cartridges for the German Tornado nail drivers made by Bossong (which later became an Italian company). Fiocchi made many different tool cartridges with special labels for them, including others in calibers like the 6.3x16R (.25) rimfire and 10x18R centerfire. Regards, Fede.


#6

Matt - I have made a little more thorough search and found some more information in Fiocchi’s 1956 Catalog, page 55, with which I can supplement Fede’s answer.

The Tornado brand, along with others, is mentioned under the heading of “Plunger Pistols and Fastening Hammers.” Six variations are listed, all with a case length of .728", and all .380 Revolver-caliber. They are as follows:

No. 565 - very strong - Black
No. 566 - extra strong - white
No. 567 - super strong - red
No. 568 - strong - blue
No. 569 - medium - yellow
No. 570 - low - green

A note is in the middle of the table: "According to materials, diameter and length of fasteners.

I am sending you directly a scan of the catalog page for your files. There is really nothing else on these cartridges on the page other than what I have reported here. The only illustrations are of a couple of cartridges for Underwater Guns - “Mares” type. They are similar in appearance to the nail gun blanks. You may post the page on this thread if you want, but it really won’t add anything to it.

Hope this is of some help and interest.


#7

Interesting, thanks Fede & John.


#8

In UK, because of a glut of cheap .38 S&W service revolvers after the war it was always a common calibre for starting pistols during 50s - 70s in schools and sports clubs, then the licensing started getting more difficult.