W.R.A.CO. .385 C.A. headstamp

Has anyone here seen a cartridge with this headstamp before? Any information would be appreciated.


A 9.8 Colt perhaps

The “5” is not the same size as the other numbers or in a WRACo style font.

I had noticed that, but the spacing between the ‘38’ and the A.C. is much more than any other .38 A.C. headstamp that I’ve seen. Absent the ‘5’, I believe it would qualify as a WRACO.38 A.C. headstamp variation due to the spacing.

Ok a question.

Is that your photo & do you have the round in-hand?

OK so 2 quesions.

I don’t have the cartridge in hand; the owner took the pictures and emailed them to me. I have not been able to get better pictures from him.

The dimensions he provided are:

Bullet - .379

Case mouth - .390

Head - .406

Case length - .906

Overall length - 1.281

Looking at these measurements, they aren’t too far off from the 9.8mm Colt Automatic.

Is there another name for the “9.8mm Colt Automatic” (besides “.385 Colt Automatic”?)
What guns used this caliber and when were they made?
Was John M. Browning involved with the development of this cartridge?

DK Configuration’s link to the archived discussion of the 9.8mm Colt Automatic cartridge provides answers to almost any question that might be asked about the cartridge.

Have you ever seen the 9.8mm Colt Auto referred to as the .385 Colt Auto in print?

OK, not in hand & that’s the best photo. SO my thoughts are PHOTOSHOP

I was / am a 2nd generation professional photographer & have a Bachelors degree. I’ve professionally opened, closed eyes and done other ‘retouching’. This photo has been photoshoped, I’d bet money…

Below the photo with some added yellow arrows, if you follow the arrows you will see slightly darker lines where the overlapping joint is and lighter lines where it was retouched, also the line of the rim and primer pocket are not consistently round, but no discolor to show damage to the rim.

I have (I think) a .38 with the “.3” and “C.” spacing, & the 8 would have to have been moved slight to the left at achieve this & I see proof of that with the dark line between the 3 & the 8.

That no one has ever heard of this round (I asked Dan S. too) seems a bit of a mystery.

Was it for sale? & for how much?

It could be a photoshop, if it is, then it is a relatively decent job. When I invert the palette and look around the 5, there is a bit of a halo, which can indicate the clone tool having bee used to smooth out rough edges of a cut & paste job. Shown below, the original, and the version where I outline roughly where the halo around the 5 is.


Thanks. My first thought had been photoshop, but it appeared to be very well done to my untrained eyes. That said, I can’t imagine this person’s incentive to go to the trouble, as he is not trying to sell it. I do think I’ll look at other headstampsj for that distinctive ‘5’.

Here’s another photo of the head that I received, taken at a different angle with poor lighting. I’ve asked for additional photos showing the headstamp, but if these have been photoshopped, I doubt he will go to the effort to prepare more.


I once bought, at a show, a Benet primed Schofield which as you know is not headstamped with an R F 6 77 headstamp. The guy didn’t want to sell it either. I paid him a lot for it knowing it was a fake just because it was stamped into a Benet case.

While I was writing this I saw your new photo. If you lighten it up you will see the “5” is a lot sharper / more clearly defined than the “8” right next to it. & forget about the" 3" which should be on the same focal plane at the “5”.