What is the value of .45acp ammo with a 1911 date stamp?

I have about 60 rounds of .45acp ammo with a 1911 date stamp (one is double struck). Are these worth anything? Where could I sell them? How much would they be worth?

While interesting because of the early date, but they are not really rare. The earliest date known, I believe, is September 1911 (9 11), although production is reported to have started in August of the same year, so headstamp dated “8 11” is possible from Frankford Arsenal. If found, that round would be quite valuable, I would think.

If I have to put a value on them, I would think a couple of dollars would be about right. I could be wrong - I am not good at pricing - but I certainly would not pay more than that for one. I believe there are some dates seldom encountered within these “double-date” Franford Arsenal headstamps that probably bring more from the date collectors. I am not positive about that, but it is my impression. If so, and “11” is one of those months, then the value would be more. We would need a date collector to resolve that question. While I collect cartridge differences, I do not collect dates.

The first headstamp known, “9 11” probably brings more also, not so much because of its earliest known date, but also because they have a cupronickel bullet jacket, rather than a tinned jacket which starts at least cartridges dated “12 11” and perhaps earlier. The tinned jackets were authorized in January 1912, but Hackly, Woodin and Scranton in the first volume of their great book “History of Modern U.S. Military Samll Arms Ammunition,” report that tinned bullets were loaded in cases dated as early as “9 11” at F.A. The cartridges with CN bullet jackets are quite scarce, I believe. Mine is dated “9 11.”

It is hard to tell from a photograph, due to variations in color caused by lighting, but you might show your rounds to someone who really knows the .45 ACP cartridge, and especially bullet jacket materials. The bullets in your rounds in the picture have more the color of CN than they do the gray appearance of tinned bullet jackets. However, it would be odd to find the CN bullet in cases dated in November of 1911, I think. Still, it is worth checking out.

If in original 20-round boxes, which they do not appear to be in your picture - then the vlaue of the boxes would probably exceed that of the individual specimens - that is, a full box might be worth more than $40.00 or so. I simply don’t know, but don’t recall seeing many, if any, of the F.A. boxes as early as 1911.

John Moss

OK, now I’m confused. But it doesn’t take much to confuse me so I’m sure the answer is simple.

I have one of those 11/11 cartridges. On the left in the photo. Next is a 4/15 and then an 18 in half moon clip.

Isn’t the 11/11 CN and the others tin plated?


Ray - Yes, I would say that from your picture, the one on the left is a CN bullet jacket, not tinned. Interesting. It is not inconsistent with the facts that one of these rounds should have a CN bullet, since the tinned bullet was authorized in January 1917. Its just that cases dated as early as 9 11 are found with the zinc bullet. You know, as we all do, that cases are not necessarily loaded on the date that appears on the headstamp, and that on most ammunition, the headstamp really can only tell you who made the case (and in some instances, who supplied the case metal, as well). Rarely, with small arms ammo, can you definitely say from just the headstamp, without documentation, when and by whom the cartridge was loaded. In many cases, it is clear they are loaded by the factory using that headstamp, but NOT always.

I do believe that your “FA 11 11” round with CN bullet was loaded by Frankford Arsenal, however. I don’t think there is much dispute there, if any.

Nice round. Great to have the information. I would now say, again just from the picture, not having one to examine, that Massnee’s rounds probably have a CN bullet jacket as well.

Great picture, by the way, Ray.

If you want to sell them, send me a PM and we can discuss.

You know, looking at my photo I just noticed two things.

  1. That half-moon clip is full (3 rounds). Where’s the 3rd one? It must be perfectly in line with the second cartridge.

  2. The cannalure on the FA 4 15 is lower than the other three???

Digital cameras and a PC is like having a microscope, isn’t it? I remember that fake 30-06 Hollifield Dotter that I have. I sent a photo of it to Chris P and he could tell it was a fake by the crimp. Sure enough when I enlarged the photo and looked at it, you could see things that weren’t apparant to naked eye.



Your picture is quite good - no shadows evident. What type lighting was it taken in, and what are the cartridges resting on?


I have a very sophisticated phototography set-up. For lighting I use good old AZ sunshine. Well actually good old AZ shade in my garage. The cartridges are set on a wooden cupboard shelf that I stole from the bride’s laundry room. The background is a genuine corrugated box .

Seriously, I think I’ve found the secret. Diffused daylight. Macro setting on my Fuji at 600 pixels (whatever the hell that means). No flash. I then use my photo shop program (Fuji Fine Pix) to crop and resize to no more than 650 pixels (again, whatever that means).

I think everything else is secondary to the light source. No direct sunshine. No flash. Bright sky with everything set up just inside my garage door in the shade.

One thing that I still cannot do is photograph something that is nickel plated. I have a 99% condition Ideal Loading tool that i want to show everyone but the photos always come out mottled and make the nickel look terrible. I guess I am getting light reflection off of the garage door, walls, my wifes car, and anything else that has color in it.

Oh yes. You also need a lot of luck. Mostly dumb luck because when I figure out what pixels means I’ll probably be too smart to take good photographs.


That sounds too simple. I have tried diffused sunlight before, but apparently haven’t managed to attain the same level of dumb luck you have. I believe we have the same sun here in Florida; perhaps the sunlight has mellowed out a bit by the time it gets to you. I think the real secret has to be your wife’s shelf.

I’m in trouble in Green Bay ! (did you say "sun light’ ?)

I will try to find a camera with a diffuse snow reflection setting !

We tried (emphasize "tried) to play football at 16 degrees (F) with a steady 22 MPH (gusts over 40)…wind-chill figure at -18F (PS…the other team tried harder and won)

Wished I was indoors figuring lighting conditions out !

Merry Christmas to you “sun lighters” !

Merry Christmas to you Pepper.

We are also experiencing a cold spell here, also; we actually had frost on the windshields this morning, the closest thing to icy conditions we can muster up. Brrrrrr…

Guy, what are the temperatures usually like in Tallahassee? All the times I have been to Florida (Melboure is the Furthest North I ever have been) I have never known it drop below about 59F. The closest to winter I have ever been is October. Frost in Florida sounds extremely unusual.

I’m in Tallahassee, which is in the northern part of Florida, sometimes referred to as South Georgia. We usually get several periods of freezing weather each year, lasting from several days to a week each. Frost is not unusual in North and Central Florida.

First of all, I don

Once a weapon was adopted, it would be necessary to build up the ammunition stocks to have them on hand when the pistols were finally delivered. With the geographic dispersion of U.S. forces a fairly large stock would be required in numerous locations, both for training use and for war reserve stocks.

The Army had prior experience with predecessor models of the M1911, and anticipated total replacement of all revolvers with the new M1911 pistol, so this was a firm commitment to a new weapon and ammunition, not a small scale “trials” experiment.

It is remarkable that the M1911 pistol (and ammunition) are still so successful and popular, and being made by numerous companies today with very few changes over the 96 years since their adoption. How many other 96 year old products do we still have on the market, virtually unchanged? Well done John M. Browning, and whoever came up with the ammo for the M1911.