Western .45-70 Line throiwng(?) Blank date


#1

Can anyone help figure a date for the box in the photo? It was one of several included in a line throwing kit circa 1940s-50s.

Lot number is A7CE31H.

Thanks!


#2

John…

August 13, 1951 is what I get…

Randy


#3

For CE31 I get 13 May 1949. The leading A is quite interesting with the Western format lot number, it should indicate a Western-made product in a Winchester-labeled box.


#4

Thank you both for your information.


#5

As that box looks to be a typical .45-70 blank box & is not marked for line throwing, I would tend to think they were not original to the kit. After all the military was providing marked boxes for line throwing during that time. Unless it is not a military issue line-throwing kit?

45-70 blank boxes similar to yours & loaded as other than standard noise blanks have an overlabel stating they are not standard. Usually white, with red print & installed across the top diagonally.

PS have this exact same box but sealed so can’t help with contents.


#6

Pete- The kit this came in was not a military kit, but a commercial one sold by Coston, using a Harrington & Richardson gun. Line throwing guns were required “safety equipment” for some (all?- still researching) ocean going vessels from circa 1920s to the present, although specific arms approved for use have changed considerably over the years. Thus, I would expect to see several commercial line throwing cartridges. Almost all would be .45-70 caliber. (Even though the Navy and Coast Guard used .30-06 rifles for a while using M3 Grenade Launching cartridges.)

I have not found any specifics on the civilian line throwing .45-70 ammo yet other than on some late 1980s Naval Company cartridges in the IAA Journal number 345 provided by Mel Carpenter, and I found a few very similar boxes with another kit.

I suspect that in the early years circa 1900-1940 line throwing probably used blackpowder loaded standard noise blanks. Later on smokeless loads were developed (some with a small amount of black powder) and offered in varying strengths for different applications, such as those in Journal 345.

Other than listings on line from the Naval Company and their distributors, or for people selling the military line throwing blanks discussed on the earlier thread, I have not been able to find any catalog listings for line throwing cartridges, either from ammunition companies or retailers like ship chandler supply stores, etc.


#7

I noted above the ones as having a ‘special’ order / use note & can’t think off the top of my head of any use other than a tool blank or perhaps line throwing for these. Smokeless loads, probably as no mention of BP.

I do not believe these were movie blanks.

Unfortunately all i have is these two box tops, but food for thought?


#8

The pasted on labels looks the be the same, but the original box labels are quite different from each other. Can anyone pin downthe dates of the box labels?


#9

.45 Tool Charge cartridge ( Not “Blank”)…Used for Piercing Rail Webs for fitting Fishplates during in-Line repairs by Track Gangs. Originally loaded with BP, they were eventually made with Smokeless (Still?) for use with a special captive Shear tool which cut 3/4" Holes ( 20mm) in the web of Rails, when fixing up Non-standard ( 10 Yard,/30 foot) lengths of Rail during repairs to Track work.

The use of Thermite-reaction Welding units has largely replaced the use of these Shear-Punch tools with the heavier web rails on Modern Railroads/Railways. The Punch tools were used with 30 Pound, 42 Pound and 60 Pound Rail…today rails runs usually at 100, 120, and More Pounds per Yard ( US Measurements) or 60, 75 etc Kg per Metre ( Rest of World).

Railroads and Guns…associated Engineering Industries

Doc AV


#10

Hi DocAV
Are you saying that’s what these box labels, original contents were used for?


#11

Not Necessarily; the Boxes may be “Line Throwers” or even "Movie " Blanks…I do Know that the Later ( Smokeless) 45/70 Tool Charges ( They are Not “Blanks”) were specifically made for “Rail Tools” and were appropriately Labelled as such.
I just mentioned the reference to Railroad Equipment without trying to associate the Photo’d examples as such.

Doc AV

BTW, 45/70 Cable Cutters were also used for a Similar use ( Cutting Mooring Cables for Airships).


#12

Pete and John, in Shuey’s book vol. 2 p. 128 the cartridges contained in boxes with the added label are described as full lenght blanks [i.e., extended case] with cannelure at standard case lenght, buff wad closure, oval brass primer, and W.R.A.Co. 45-70 headstamp (small ring variation).

Although anything is possible, it doesn’t make sense that Winchester was making an extended case blank to be used in line throwing guns. Also, this same added label can be found in .45 Gatling Blank boxes (code 3-14), which may indicate that all of these boxes in fact contained special loads for Gatling machine gun use.

Regards,

Fede


#13

[quote=“DocAV”].45 Tool Charge cartridge ( Not “Blank”)…Used for Piercing Rail Webs for fitting Fishplates during in-Line repairs by Track Gangs. Originally loaded with BP, they were eventually made with Smokeless (Still?) for use with a special captive Shear tool which cut 3/4" Holes ( 20mm) in the web of Rails, when fixing up Non-standard ( 10 Yard,/30 foot) lengths of Rail during repairs to Track work.

The use of Thermite-reaction Welding units has largely replaced the use of these Shear-Punch tools with the heavier web rails on Modern Railroads/Railways. The Punch tools were used with 30 Pound, 42 Pound and 60 Pound Rail…today rails runs usually at 100, 120, and More Pounds per Yard ( US Measurements) or 60, 75 etc Kg per Metre ( Rest of World).

Railroads and Guns…associated Engineering Industries

Doc AV[/quote]
Today, the drilling is done with track mountable drills fitted with rotabroach cutters. These are powered by either a small petrol engine, or more recently a rechargeable Li-Ion battery.