W.R.A. Co. .45-70 Blank

W.R.A. Co. .45-70 blank cartridge. Trying to identify approx. when made and application. It was suggested that this cartridge is for Line Throwing Gun pre WWII. Thanks for the help.

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Possibly for Naval line throwing guns, but I don’t know if WRA made them. I know for sure Western did during WWII, as I have a sealed box of them.

Thanks for the reply Dennis. I am hoping someone else sees my post and perhaps I can get a little more info. Looking for confirmation about the application of this cartridge. I read that many of the line throwing cartridges had headstamps that identified them as such and also saw some info. that some line throwing cartridges had no headstamp. Regards.

45-70 line throwing cartridges were made as early as the 1920s and into the 1950s and beyond. Most of the known headstamps are of the commercial type depending on who manufactured them. There are also cartridges with military type headstamps, such as the MK I and M32, from the WW II and later years.

Since the early line throwing cartridges are nothing more than a blank, it would be impossible to tell if your cartridge was for line throwing of simply for noise. Once out of the carton you’d be hard pressed to tell.


Dear Ray Meketa,
I will strongly DISAGREE with your statement that the 45/70 are simply a Blank cartridge, the same for Noise as for “Line Throwing”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

LIne Throwing cartridges, the same as Grenade Launching Cartridges, and the rarer "Rail Hole Punch " Cartridges, are specially loaded with different Powders from normal “sound and Flash” Blanks used by the Moive industry , or for Military training Exercises.

The pressure curve required for all the speciallised uses of the propellant cartridges (I will not, and neither does the Industry and Military call these Propellant cartidges “Blanks”) is similar to that of a ball round, and the Cartridges used in Tools which have a spigot in the barrel, ( such as some types of rifle grenades etc) definitely need a slower burning Powder than that used in “Blanks”; The same goes for “Cup Dischargers” and Hole Punch Guns
(Used to punch Fishplate Bolt holes in the ends of rails to be joined in Emergency repairs)…a Technique which has fallen out of use, these days, with the availability of efficient and transportable Arc Welding Units ( and off course the time-honoured “Liquid Fusion Thermit System”

The use of these Crimped Cartridgtes is usually only shown on the packets; and unless Military, not on the headstamp at all.

WE have had Winchester and Remingotn “Hole Puncher” cartridges here in Australia for over 100 years (Both Rem and Win.) about ten years ago, I got a bucket of them thru a scrap dealer who got them from the local Railway workshops (fired, of course)…They were Wadded Mouth, not crimped…the Gas from the cartridge pushed a hardened steel cutting Punch, which cuts the hole thru the web of the Rail. Clean cut and efficient. Since light rail ( 42lb and 60lb) requires from two to three holes per side, that is a lot of shells for a simple short piece replacement ( a 10 yard section has the Holes already Punched mechanically at the Mill.).

Doc AV


Everything that I have seen on the early line throwing cartridges made on contract indicates that they were loaded with a charge of black powder appropriate for the weight of the bolt or projectile. 50 grains was a typical charge. Likewise, the blanks for making noise were loaded with a charge of black powder, usually anywhere between 30 and 50 grains.

Tool cartridges, such as the ones you mentioned, are quite different I’m sure.


That looks like a very typical Winchester commercial blank. Perhaps packaged for use in the Gatling.

I think for use in Gatling also, considering the case neck configuration. M. Rea

Those 2.1" blanks were a regular Winchester contract item, as were the 1.6" and 1.85" blanks. For use anywhere. Also found with FA and UMC headstamps, and some with nhs.


Thanks to all for the information. I am putting this blank up for sale on Auction Arms since I am not an ammo collector.