Unknown .50-70 Government "Blank" (Actually A Movie Prop Dummy Cartridge)

The following .50-70 “blank” & box were discussed (with no consensus as to maker and intended end use) at a recent KCCA meeting and I was asked to place it here on the Forum in hopes someone can provide some information.

The blank cartridge & headstamp


Cartridge and associated box (the box & partial label are in poor condition)

Box top label as a high contrast image

The applied over label appears to read " …GH GRADE FLASH BLANKS"
At the bottom right of the over label there is a partial date which I interpret to read " May 27 ?? "

Cartridge measurements-

OAL = 2.55"
CS length = 1.775"
Diameter of the wood bullet = .525", length of exposed wood bullet is .755"
All measurements are with a slide caliper as my dial caliper is caput.

So can anyone shed some light on this unusual blank?

Any information, discussion, corrections are most welcomed.


.50-70 movie blanks in that case configuration are known & the box label confirms that original use.
That there is a projectile, is wrong & is something a movie maker would not care to have on the set.
So I doubt these are ‘factory’.
The only other cinema use I can think of is that perhaps these were used to fill a prop belt (for wearing) being that if in B&W, the film wouldn’t register much difference to the viewers & look like a loaded bandoleer / belt.

The bullet seems to be held with a 6 or 8 sided flat crimp? Or is that a trick of the light?

Do the cartridges have a charge?

PS you probably know this but movie blanks for the most part, either flashed (smokeless powder) or smoked (black powder), depending on the depicted era and / or desired effect.


Thanks much for the feedback and great insight that the round may be a movie prop “dummy”. I will pass the information on and see if a cartridge can be checked for having or not having powder.

The wood bullet is held in place by a heavy knurled ring crimp.


brown label date almost looks like 1928 or 1923, which I think, would be right for that blue Remington UMC box

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Brian, here is a picture of a “clean” box marked “SAFETY” (there is also an example without this marking). Company designation is pre-1916 (not “incorporated”), but date code in the back indicates 1923.




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Thanks Fede.


I recently received confirmation from the owner of the box shown above that the cartridges in the box do NOT contain powder.

So your suggestion that these cartridges are movie prop dummies appears to be 100% correct!

I’ve updated the thread title to indicate these are dummy cartridges.


Cool !
If not much trouble, could you please ask if the box owner would be willing to trade or sell one of the dummies?

I’ll get in line too


I will present your request to the owner and let you know.