Understanding the pre-NATO Cal .30 Light Rifle Cartridges

T101 Armor Piercing Incendiary (API)

T101 = 1.95" case, 140 grain bullet

T101E1 = 2.01" case 140 grain bullet

T101E2 = 2.01" case 140 grain 10 ogive bullet

T70 Dummy

T70 = T65 case, M2 bullet, 2 holes drilled in case.

T70E1 to T70E3 = 1.95" case, various bullets, drilled cases.

T70E4 = 2.01" corrugated or drilled case, 145 grain BT bullet.

T70E5 = 2.01" corrugated case, 68 grain hollow bullet.

As with all dummy cartridges, you can expect the unexpected. Reject cases and bullets, headstamps out of synch, extra cannelures, etc. For example, the T70E5 is supposed to be the prototype for the M63. But, you can find both the E5 and the M63 with a 145 grain bullet.


This is all great stuff. This will help me get things straight with my .30 LR collection. What about blanks? I have a blank with 5 pedal mouth crimp and a “F A 48” hs. I also have another 5 pedal mouth crimp with a “. F A . 50” HS.


I’m sure you mean Grenade Cartridges? These have never held much interest for me so I’ve not researched them as much as I should. Here’s what I think. Anybody, feel free to add or correct.

T116 Grenade Cartridge

T116 = 1.95" case

T116E1 = 2.01" case

T116E2 = long neck case

Pictured are the T116E1 and T116E2 (I don’t own a T116).

What are the two long neck cartridges? Grenade or Noise Blanks?? T numbers?? Green seal is hs FA 50. Red seal is FA 52.


I only generally look for cartridges as ancillaries to cartridge clips but I do have a penchant for drill rounds. Apropos of nothing much I’ve made scans of early 7,62x51 drill cartridges in my haphazard collection. Am I missing any?

. FA . 50 Blind pocket, 6 flutes, heavy knurled crimp on neck
FA 52 Struck primer, 2 holes in case, coned crimp
FA 52 Blind pocket, 3 holes, knurled crimp
FA 52 Empty pocket, one hole, coned crimp
FA 53 Blind pocket, no holes, coned crimp
FA +56 Blind pocket, 6 flutes, knurled crimp

I show the 1956 ‘NATO’ marked one merely to show it’s similarity to the 1950 dated one, is there a reason for this?

Happy collecting, Peter


Thanks for reminding me that I was going to edit my post on the T70E4 to say both corrugated and drilled cases. I don’t think there is any end to the dummy or drill cartridge variations.

Your FA (+) 56 would be an M63. Do you have a way to weigh it? It would be interesting to see if it has the 68 grain bullet.



A very quick nocturnal visit to the powder balance in my shed yields the figure of 324 grains for the FA + 56 cartridge.

I suppose these dummies could have been made at any time with whatever components were to hand. Even experimental cases would become surplus to requirements and could enter service by being ‘loaded’ and issued for instructional use.

Happy collecting, Peter


324 grains means it has the 145 grain bullet. I have the same cartridge hs FA (+) 55. The M63 with a 68 grain bullet weighs around 240 grains.

These dummy/drill cartridges need a lot more study.


T104 Ball, Steel Core

T104 = 1.95" case, 136 grain FB T11 bullet

T104E1 = 2.01" case, 136 grain FB T11 bullet

T104E2 = 2.01" case, 147 grain BT T21 bullet, 10 ogive


There seems to be no general agreement on the T65 Ball, lead core series. References often conflict and some cartridges, such as the T65E3, are so rare that it’s impossible to get enough samples to take apart to compare. So, any help on these would be appreciated. Here’s my best shot.

T65 Ball, Lead Core

T65 BALL, GMCS M2 bullet, 150 grain FB, T65 case

T65E1 BALL, GMCS 150 grain FB, FAT1 case

T65E2 BALL, GMCS 150 grain FB, FAT1E1 case

T65E3 BALL, GMCS 150 grain FB, FAT1E3 case

T65E4 BALL, GM steel core BT, FAT1E3 case, hs FA52

T65E5 BALL, FAT1E3 case, Re-designated T233



Watching this thread was like watching a really great movie you hope never ends! Thank you very much for the effort.

I know you flat out stated “The End” and your efforts have been nothing short of beyond the call of duty but…

One popular variation of the pre-NATO that didn’t get mentioned was the aluminum cased types. The only designation info for the early stuff I’ve found is in HWS II where the 47mm T65 case in aluminum is indicated as being designated as the T5. By any chance have you gathered any other designation info on pre-NATO case varieties in this material?



I purposely didn’t deviate from the basics cause otherwise it would never end. There are a lot of twists and turns that are yet to be researched. And this is just the pre-NATO. Covers only 10 years of the cartridge’s history. I don’t see how NATO Dave keeps track of all the others.

Anyway, there were a couple of threads on the Aluminium cases. They are most likely in the Archives. They included a lot of photographs submitted by Forum members. A search should turn up most of them. I made hard copies of most of them and could dig them out to get the links, if you cannot locate them. Let me know.



I shouldn’t be greedy when I already have all that nicely compiled information to work with for all the other types! I’ll go back through the threads on the aluminum sometime, but tonight I have a nice looking article on match ammunition in the Journal that arrived today to keep me busy…


I don’t know much at all about the aluminum case rounds. But I do have this. It is a full box of 7.62x49mm Aluminum cased rounds. I don’t know if this is the original box or not. But as you can see the only markings are the hand writen ones on the end of the box. Which I think the writing was added later after the end of the top was lifted to see what was inside the box. But this is how it was when I got it quite a few years ago.

Is there any way this can be “stickied” or stopped from fading away into the dark depths of unread threads.
The information in this thread that has been supplied by Ray and others is amazing, I will be referring to this thread continuously as I go through my 7.62s and re-catalogue them all. This is one of best threads I have read ( primarily because it is a series of cartridges that fascinates me),
Ray I bow down, thank you for enlightening me. Its blokes like you that make my hobby even more enjoyable.
As I sit down tonite with the lounge floor covered in 7.62s I will drink a nice cold New Zealand beer for you. Cheers

I agree - perhaps all this could be condensed and rewritten into an article either for the IAA Journal, preferably, or to put among the permanent articles on the IAA Website (apart from the Forum). It is certainly one of the most important and best threads that has ever appeared on the IAA Forum - not surprising considering the primary author of it.

While due to a backlog of filing and a lack of space I have stopped printing out much material, I will print out this thread for sure!!!

John Moss

You guys are way too generous with your approbations.

To tell the truth, it makes me uncomforatble that no one has found any faults with this stuff. Believe me, I’m not that smart. There has to be holes in it somewhere. And then we have HWS III that will probably shoot down much of it.

I have the basic information condensed onto 3 pages on WordPerfect. A hard copy is in my files. For the Forum thread I simply copied and pasted a bit at a time from WordPerfect. Maybe I could consider putting it in a form for the IAA Home Page. If there is enough interest.


Ray, with your evident research, I doubt that HWS III will “shoot most of it down.” Could there be errors - sure there can. No one is perfect, including many of the archives we use for initial research. I have found some government documents 9manuals, etc.) to be so full of errors as to be almost useless for research. However, with your knowledge and excellent abilities as a researcher, I suspect much of your information is as correct as available sources for investigation permit.

As to interest, the length of the thread (and I disagree it got too long - as long as information is being added, there is NO SUCH THING as too long a thread, in my view) indicates the amount of interest. This is way out of my field, and I still will print it out for my over-crowded files because of the quality of the thread, which is nothing new. I have printed out most of the threads that have heavy Ray M. participation! None of the participants on this Forum, and this is no slap at that bunch of great guys and gals that add hugely to our base of knowledge, do it any better. No boast for you - simply a fact.

Get er done, pardner!

John Moss

Examples of the T103 (top) and T103E1 (bottom)

The original T103 observing round used the FAT1 case (49mm) and a modified .30 T99 bullet. Identity was confirmed by x-ray. Headstamp is F A * 48
The T103E1 was pre-NATO R&D contract to WRA using FAT1E3 cases (51mm) headstamped F A 51. This round never got into production and only limited test quantities were made by WRA and FA (using WRA bulllets). I’ve got several duplicates so I’ll pull one (very gently) and detemine the bullet weight.

Sectioned T103E1

Thanks for a great thread

Just out of curiousity, how scarce are T65 Tracer rounds, and what might one be worth (ballpark of course)?


I’ve never seen a T65 Tracer, so to me they are rarity #1. Maybe NATO Dave or some of the other Members have one to show us??

Any T65 cartridge (or case) is uncommon and has more collector value that the later 49mm and 51mm. It seems to me that the FA 45 are more scarce than the others but that may be because most of them were probably fired in tests. Plus, the FA 45 cartridges seem to be prone to the necks breaking off from the brass becoming brittle. I have lost 3 of them that way.

Value?? I’d pay thru the nose for a legit T65 Tracer. So would others, I am sure.