Who collects the 6x45mm SAW?


#1

I remember back in the early to mid 1980’s seeing tons of this ammunition at gun shows. Ball and Tracer were plentiful and cheap, a few bucks each at most. Now you don’t see these cartridges much anymore and when you do the prices are many times more. I’ve always thought it was an interesting cartridge and ended up with a few variations of it back when I collected “everything”. So, who still collects this cartridge and what variations are out there. Which ones are authentic and which ones are “fakes”? Any and all info would be appreciated!!!

AKMS


#2

One variation I have is the alloy-cased type. The case needed an internal liner to prevent burn-through, which reduced its capacity, so it was extended to 50mm. In the pic below (from the article on Assault Rifle ammo on my website) the 6x45 SAW is first left, with the 6x50 next to it.


#3

The 6mm SAW really never had a chance. When FA closed in 76 that was the end of it. The army was not going to adopt that weapon system nor change the adopted calibers in use. The experimentals are pretty rare and the “standard” ones were not made in huge amounts. Here are a couple:

LEFT TO RIGHT; FA71 CASE , FA71 SHORT CASE , LONG ALUMINUM-NO HEADSTAMP , BRASS DUMMY FA72 , BALL FA73, FA73 BALL,TRACER AND STEEL DUMMY IN Mg LINKS.


#4

Outside of the rare experimentals I’ve always thought there were 3 basic 6mm cases. The 45mm steel, the 46mm brass and the 50mm aluminum. Within those three there were the different cartridges such as ball, dummy, blank, HPT, etc. The brass case is not shown in csaoed’s photo.

There were also 3 or 4 other caliber SAW cartridges although they are seldom seen in collections.

Here’s your chance to use the new JOURNAL DVD or CD. A very good article by Bill Woodin in #289.

Ray


#5

Steel, brass, and aluminum.


#6

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Outside of the rare experimentals I’ve always thought there were 3 basic 6mm cases. The 45mm steel, the 46mm brass and the 50mm aluminum. Within those three there were the different cartridges such as ball, dummy, blank, HPT, etc. The brass case is not shown in csaoed’s photo.

There were also 3 or 4 other caliber SAW cartridges although they are seldom seen in collections.

Here’s your chance to use the new JOURNAL DVD or CD. A very good article by Bill Woodin in #289.

Ray[/quote]

GOOD ADVICE

HERE ARE TRACERS IN BRASS AND STEEL


#7

Were there any steel cored or AP types in the 6x45mm and if so, how are they identified? I think I read in a reference book long ago that there was a mild steel cored ball variation, even had an “XM” number assigned to it maybe? Any reason why the lacquered steel case is so prevalent? Kind of unusual for US made small arms ammunition.

AKMS


#8

Hi Ray,

The brass case looks slimmer - was it just a necked-up 5.56x45?


#9

[quote=“AKMS”]Were there any steel cored or AP types in the 6x45mm and if so, how are they identified? I think I read in a reference book long ago that there was a mild steel cored ball variation, even had an “XM” number assigned to it maybe? Any reason why the lacquered steel case is so prevalent? Kind of unusual for US made small arms ammunition.

AKMS[/quote]QUOTE FROM WOODIN LAB “The steel-cored one, the XM 733, is very rare. It is identified by a smooth bullet-crimping cannelure and GM rather than GMCS jacket. Emphasis was on steel case to comply the the DOD copper-saving policy.”


#10

Hi Ray,

The brass case looks slimmer - was it just a necked-up 5.56x45?[/quote]

Tony

It has a base diameter of .371". The case length is longer than the 5.56x45, being 1.792". That length seems to be unique to that cartridge, not matching any of the other experimentals of the period. It is headstamped WCC 73.

Bill Woodin’s article discusses cases procured from Remington but I think they were true 222 rem magnum cases necked up to 6mm (6x47mm). I didn’t see any mention of Winchester cases, but I haven’t really done any research on the 6mm SMA.

Ray


#11

This is likely the same as the second case in my photo. When these were sold years ago they were called “Springfield experimental” I don’t remember asking why.Note mine is an FA headtsamp. Here is a loaded one next to the standard SAW and a standard .223. This one: FA 71. Not a color tip.

WOODIN LAB COMMENT: “If it has head dia .369 and case length ca 1.715, it is the “6mm Special.” There is no evidence that these cases were ever loaded by FA the special bullets didn’t arrive. See our article on the development of the SAW ctg, ICCA bulletin 289-290”.


#12

Ray, I have the same cartridge as yours and with the same W C C 7 3 headstamp however mine is loaded with a soft point bullet. Some years ago I contacted Bill Woodin to identify this item and he advised me that it’s a 6mm SAW Contender and was manufactured by the Brunswick Corporation as a possible competitor to the 6 x 45mm SAW. Hope this helps,
Jim

PS; it would be good if some kind soul could reassure me that I’ve finally got the knack of scanning and posting pictures!


#13

Is that photo came off of a scanner you did an excellent job.


#14

Thanks for that CSAEOD. Having compared my photo with yours I actually think we’re looking at two totally different rounds as yours is considerably longer in the neck. The bullet also appears longer than mine.
Jim


#15

Shoulder angle is different also.

It would not surprise me if the SP bullet is original to the cartridge. Remember the 224 Springfield? Probably 90% of them were loaded with a soft point bullet. If a commercial manufacturer, in this instance Remington, was putting together some rounds for evaluation by the military, it wouldn’t make sense to make dies and tooling to manufacture FMJ bullets unless the military expressed an interest and asked for additional specemins. JMHO

Ray


#16

Speaking solely for myself, information exchanges such as these, the photos of rounds previously unknown to me, etc., make my labor contribution to the upgrading of this forum MORE than well worth the effort.

Thank you all, gentlemen.

What a great resource this is becoming for all of us!

.


#17

[quote=“Jim”]Thanks for that CSAEOD. Having compared my photo with yours I actually think we’re looking at two totally different rounds as yours is considerably longer in the neck. The bullet also appears longer than mine.
Jim[/quote]

My round has a regular 6mm SAW bullet in it.


#18

Here is a selection of 6x49, 6x45, 5.56 x 52, 6 x 45 Brunswick and 6 x 44 SAW case types.

The first 3 items are 6x49. These include a sectioned ball round to show the F.I.E., a NPE with scribe mark for case failure tests and a fired pressure test case which is headstamped FA 72.

The next 6 are some of the more distinctive 6x45 loadings which include a pressure test (FA 72), Aluminum alloy (FA 72), HPT (FA 73), solid steel dummy (no base hole), solid steel dummy which is lacquered and has a hole in the base, and XM733 steel cored loading (FA 73).

The 5.56x52 Special Case was made at Frandford Arsenal between March and April 1972. Reportedly only 800 cases were made and as test barrels were never received it is believed that these cases were never loaded. If seen loaded, they are often found with 5.56 mm FABRL AR-2 type projectiles.

The 6x45 Brunswick Corp. round was an unsolicited submission to FA. This round is headstamped WCC 74 556. The case is based on the 5.56x45 but is slightly longer and with a higher shoulder. They were loaded with commercial projectiles.

The final case type is the 6x44 Pre-SAW which was used at FA as a test case. It is headstamped FA 71. It is also based on the 5.56x45 case, but is slightly shorter and renecked to 6mm.


#19

Wow, nice stuff, Paul.
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother!


#20

EXCELLENT