About thirty years ago, at a gun show, I took a cartridge from
a dime box even though I felt it was a “dingbat,” and in fact, the
guy who had it agreed and gave it to me free. The headstamp
is F A 42.
When I got my NZCCC Bulletin, I was struck by the short case of
the pictured R A 41 cartridge, and the “41” date. The cartridge I
found, while being, according to overall cartridge weight
which is about 10 grains less than the same headstamp on an
ordinary ball round of the same headstamp, loaded with the standard
230 grain FMJ bullet, also has a short case looking about the same
as the one shown in NZCCC. the bullet is seated to approximately the
same depth as in an ordinary .45 Auto cartridge, making the overall cartridge
length much shorter than a normal .45 Auto 230 grain loading.
Unfortunately, no case length is given for the round from NZ.
My cartridge has the following specifications:
Case Length: 0.7315" (47/64 of an Inch; 18.57 mm)
OA Ctg Length: 1.1335" (1-1/8 inches; 28.79 mm)
The base of my cartridge is completely painted yellow.
I was amused when the .45 G.A.P. round came out, as my
cartridge has a case that is less than 1 mm shorter than the
Glock cartridge. I cannot even measure the difference. I had
my cartridge easily 25 years before the Glock round was introduced.
My round has a case mouth that looks absolutely original. If cut down,
it is a highly professional job. Secondly, the bullet-seating is perfect.
The cartridge has the look of a factory round, even though I am still
inclined to think it is not!
Regarding the R A 41 round from the NZCCC Bulletin, the case mouth
looks slightly ragged to me in the picture - not bad, but not factory.
However, the cartridge also has some marring on it, so that could be
the result of chambering it or mishandling over the years, and I readily
admit that. The amazing thing to me is the bullet, which appears to have
a crimping groove, yet one way too low to have been intended for loading
in a standard-length .45 auto case. It could even be a reduced-diameter
base rather than a groove. Again unfortunately, no overall cartridge weight
is given so we can’t know what the actual bullet weight is. Regardless, the
bullet does not seem to be a standard FMJ RN bullet of any type known to
me, unless I am missing something obvious.
All in all, it is an interesting cartridge, although not the standard signaling
cartridge normally issued, most of which were .38 Special or later, 9 mm Para,
intended for Navy Pilots. Tracers were issued early, but it was finally felt that
they were counter productive, since an overhead aircraft might easily, when
seeing a tracer round coming up, decide to attack the source, rather than
Any other thoughts on the NZ round, or on my round described here, would be