What are they? - 11.4 Italian Rev & 45 ACP


Two empty rounds found in a mixed box.

The top one has no primer or flash hole. Impressed grove around case at .485" from case mouth.
Head stamp reads: F A 41. (Frankford Arsenal, 1941?)
OAL= .885"
ID = .438".
Rim = .475"

Bottom one has a copper primer. Three dimples around case mouth, one is closer to end than other two. Rim is rounded towards edge. Body is slightly tapered from .468" at head to .450" at case mouth.
Head stamp reads Z. G C 36
OAL= 7.59"
ID= 414"
RIM= .517"


The case at the bottom is a 10,4 mm Italian revolver ( later model) , made by Pyrotechnia of Capua in 1936. “Z G” are the initials letters of the government controller’s name and surname , Zangari Gaetano

The case at the top is a 45 ACP made by Frankford Arsenal in 1941, but I can’t say anything else about this case or why it has no primer and flash hole


Top is obviously a Cal .45 Automatic Pistol case. Un-finished or intended for a dummy or some other purpose ???



Thanks for identifying the bottom case. I had no clue what that one was.

I had the same opinion about the 45 ACP case. I figured that it had to be a display model or maybe a dummy round with the bullet pulled. Maybe it was just an assembly reject??

Thanks for the comments.


Roger: Can you tell if the .45 auto case has ever had a bullet seated? If it has, it’s probably a dummy less the bullet. Jack


Looking through my magnifier it does have some sort of discoloration inside the case mouth down almost to the cannelure. My guess is that it had a bullet in it once upon a time.


Roger–Back in the early 1960’s the local army surplus store in my home town had thousands of these dummy .45’s in a big bin. The price was 1 penny each. Several of the guys in town bought bunches of them to recover the bullets for reloading. Made for a real cheap source of bullets, even if it did require some work to pull them. Plus, you could sell the brass to the local junk yard to further off set the price.


I think that the .45 is much more likely to be a piece of a draw set, rather than a finished dummy with the bullet missing. Firstly, FA dummy .45 pistol rounds of the period, at least all I have seen, have flash holes in the case, and are tinned. Some from 41, both in ball and dummy do have case cannelures. The lack of tinning could simply be a product of where in the drawing process this came from, so it could have been meant to be a dummy round, but it also could be an unfinished ball-round case.


Edited for typing errors only.


The .45 dummy in my collection that comes closest to agreeing with the standard for the period as John mentioned (i.e. tinned case, standard ball bullet, empty primer pocket with flash-hole) is an FA 42 with a couple of odd departures: the bullet has been dipped a quarter-inch or so into black paint, and the flash-hole is clearly oversize, running something like an eighth inch (near 3 m/m). Jack


I have a FA 42 dummy too, with tinned case. My sample has standard bullet and case ( tinned) . primer pocket has a standard flash hole


I still think that this had a bullet in it and was pulled. Check this closeup of the inside. Not the best macro photo but if you look close, just above the cannulure you can see where the bullet stopped. The also some faint vertical scratches towards the case mouth.


From the picture provided, it is possible this case had a bullet in it at one time. Unfortunately, that proves nothing. With an item like this, one must engage in a lot of “what if” conjecture as part of the normal investigation of the subject. One “what if” could be that this was an atypical dummy loaded by the Government, probably at FA, since that is the headstamp. An equally valid “what if” would be what if someone had put a bullet in a draw piece set - some cartridge accumulators cannot stand empty cases in their collections - and a later acquisition was made of the ersatz dummy and the person who acquired it, believing the bullet was not original, removed it?

Either case could be true. My experience with FA .45 dummies in my own collection, which numbers, without dates which I don’t collect for themselves, about 1750 specimens of .45, is that this is a draw set piece. I have one almost identical except mine doesn’t have a case cannelure.

Unfortunatly, when dealing with items that in some given forms would not be standard for the manufacturer, we probably will never confirm the real answer, either way. That is not to say I am right, or any of the other answers on this thread are wrong. It simply represents a statement of differing opinions.