WWII .30 Carbine Priming


#1

Currently at a job site in IL. Though 99.9% a practice rocket range, we have found some evidence of (probably unauthorized) fire and maneuver. Found a few .30-06, a .50 cal LC 43, all badly corroded. Also found a partial .30 carbine, LC 43. What piqued my interest was that the primer was nickled. I know that all US .30 carbine ammo production was non-corrosive primed but didn’t know LC used nickled primers like WW, PC, etc. Did they get their primers from a commercial source? Cheers, Bruce.


#2

Bruce,
I don’t know where they got the primers from, but they used mainly nickel from 1942 to 45, brass from 51 to 56, and nickel again from 66 to 73. afaik.

Dan


#3

The nickel plated primer cups were to protect the brass from the red phosphorus in the mixture. Most manufactured there own primers.


#4

Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Frankford Arsenal non-corrosive primer experiments of the early 1940s that involved red phosphorus as one of the ingrediants? That mixture did require protection of the brass primer components, the most common being a zinc pating.

Most commercial primers of that time were non-corrosive and had been for some years. Most of them were also nickle plated, not for protection, but more for looks. The nickle plating was a throw back to the days of mercuric primers when both plating and a foil disc was needed. Neither were necessary when the non-mercuric primer was developed. The foil discs were eliminated but the nickle plating was kept on many brands but only because they looked prettier and were a selling point.

Some of the wartime primers used in Cal .30 Carbine manufacture were brass, particularly LC and WRA.

Bruce - Yes, all Cal .30 carbine primers came from a commercial source. Lake City was operated by Remington and I’m sure the primers used were Remington.

Ray


#5

Ray - you mnetioned that some of the Wartime (WWII) .30 Carbine from Lake City and Winchester had brass primers. Do you have any? I ask for purposes of verification. I collect
.30 Carbine, although I haven’t made much of a study of it. I don’t save every date just for the date, but the variations in bunter letter size, primer-seal color, bullet jacket material, etc. has left me with most of the wartime dates and a lot of date variaions from after the war.

Here are the findings from my collection:

Lake City: Lowest WWII Date is “42” and has a nickel primer. Every WWII LC round I have in my collection has a nickel primer right through to the “45” date.

Lake City: my lowest Post-War date is "51 and has a brass primer. My highest post-war date with brass primer, from Lake City, is “56.” Two exceptions - one has a nickel case and nickeled-cup primer and is dated “52” while another has a blackened case and a nicel primer and is dated
After the mid-fifties, my earliest date is 68 and has a nickel primer, as does my latest date of “72.”

Winchester (W.R.A.): Both of my pre-production rounds, one headstamped “W.R.A. 9-MM” and the other “W.R.A. .30 S.L.” have nickel primers. My earliest date is a NPE with Copper-washed steel case, and it has a nickel primer. My latest date from WWII is “45” with and without a star on the headstamp, and both have a nickel primer as do all of my WWII W.R.A. .30 Carbine rounds.

Winchester (W.R.A.): my lowest Post-War date is “51” and it has a brass primer. My latest post-WWII round with WRA headstamp is dated “56,” and also has a brass primer cup.

So, my findings agree with Dan’s, except I can’t use the word “mainly,” but rather “exclusively.”

IN short, I have never seen a Winchester or Lake City .30 Carbine round with a brass primer cup.

As I said, I have not made any big study of the .30 Carbine - I was dragged into collecting it kickng and screaming, only because of a couple of auto pistols and a true SMG chambered for it. I would love verification of any of the two makers rounds that have brass primers, especially a photo. It would give me a couple of more to search for. :-)

Regarding the original question, Winchester made their own primers and would bet that they used them in all military .30 Carbine production. I don’t know who made the primers used in WW2 (and after) by Lake City.


#6

John

My Cal .30 Carbine collection is very limited and not well organized. I found this one on my first try but can’t find the LC specemins.

This is a tinned M18.

Ray


#7

Ray - I will look up M18 and see the load. I only checked ball loads, which was a mistake on my part (nobody accused me of being smart), espeically since I have proofs, grenade blanks, etc.

I am ashamed that off hand, I don’t know what the load was designated “M18” but as I said, I have accumulated a fair collection of .30 carbine, but have never put the time into the study of the round that I have with my “real” auto pistol stuff.

Thanks for posting. Great to see this. If I don’t have one, I will search one out. You can’t efficiently look for cartridge variations that you don’t know to exist. This is a big help.


#8

John

M18 is the HPT cartridge.

I found several other brass-primed, but they are all post war, including some LC and RA. Since LC and RA were both made by Remington I would assume they are the same primer.

So, until I can find the wartime LC that I thought I had, I’ll withdraw my statement about them.

Ray


#9

Ray - Yup, that’s one I don’t have in my own collection. I have tinned case proofs from 44 and 45 (the former with a star on the headstamp, the latter without it) but they have nickel primers and purple PA. My “44” dated proofs from Winchester are in plain brass cases.

Well, the hunt is on! Thanks again for the information.


#10

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Frankford Arsenal non-corrosive primer experiments of the early 1940s that involved red phosphorus as one of the ingrediants? That mixture did require protection of the brass primer components, the most common being a zinc pating.

Most commercial primers of that time were non-corrosive and had been for some years. Most of them were also nickle plated, not for protection, but more for looks. The nickle plating was a throw back to the days of mercuric primers when both plating and a foil disc was needed. Neither were necessary when the non-mercuric primer was developed. The foil discs were eliminated but the nickle plating was kept on many brands but only because they looked prettier and were a selling point.

Some of the wartime primers used in Cal .30 Carbine manufacture were brass, particularly LC and WRA.

Bruce - Yes, all Cal .30 carbine primers came from a commercial source. Lake City was operated by Remington and I’m sure the primers used were Remington.

Ray[/quote]

The red phosphorus mixture (X-599) required nickel plated cups not zinc. Nearly all primers I have examined from this time period have nickle plated cups. There were supposedly some primers loaded up at Frankford Arsenal in early 1945 that contained mixture (FA-675) using zinc plated brass primer cups but as far as headstamps for such I do not know. Also I stand by my statement that most ordnance plants and manufactures such as Remington, Western and Winchester manufactured their own primers. Winchester used there 22B2 primer, Western used its 768 and Remington used there own primers but all I have in my notes is it was Remington mixture #1348 later switching in 1944 to J-232 as it was safer and aproved by Frankford for them to use.


#11

The zinc plated primers (P4) are fairly common. They are easily identified by their gray appearance. I have several Cal .30 cartridges with them, including some full Garand enbloc clips. They can also be found in some of the early T65 cartridges. They were phased out after the war and many full cartons of primed cases (now called the T53) can still be found.

Ray


#12

[quote=“RayMeketa”]The zinc plated primers (P4) are fairly common. They are easily identified by their gray appearance. I have several Cal .30 cartridges with them, including some full Garand enbloc clips. They can also be found in some of the early T65 cartridges. They were phased out after the war and many full cartons of primed cases (now called the T53) can still be found.

Ray
[/quote]

It is my understanding that the P-4 designation was for the “non-corrosive primer development program” not designating a primer design or coating/plating process. P4’s have all types of cup platings and coatings. Most P4 types used in .30 rifle, .50 machine gun and .45 automatic were coated in zinc but the .30 carbine zinc P4’s that were experimented with at Frankford arsenal in 1943 were nickle plated when they used the (X-599) mixture that had red phosphorus. They also tried P4’s with mixture X-630 and lacquered the brass cups.

The culmination of the P4 non-corrosive primer development program for the .30 carbine ended up with the Chief of Ordnance having Frankford Arsenal designating the new primer as the Number 30 at wars end.

The T53’s on the other hand were designated as such by the Chief of Ordnance at wars end out of the P4 program for the .Cal .30 M2 Ball round


#13

You obviously have access to a lot more reference material than I do. Everything that I have refers to the primer as the P4 or FAT1 until 1945 when the designation Cal .30 T53 was assigned. Also, I have no references to Cal .30 Carbine non-corrosive primers being developed by Frankford and I have never seen the designation “No. 30.” What are your sources for that? I’m always wanting to learn, even if it’s about cal .30 carbine. ;-)

Ray


#14

Ray most of the info I have is not in my head entirely. I have to refer to notebooks I have compiled over the years. From visiting Bill Woodin to my close collecting friends here in town. I jot down interesting bits of information when I here them and then later try to verify them. According to my notes I verified most of the .30 carbine primer development information with the HISTORY of Modern U.S. Military small arms and ammunition book in the .30 carbine section. As I recall Hackley, Woodin and Scranton wrote 2 volumes as I remember and were working on a 3rd. I have them somewhere. I am not much on .30 carbine as I have less than 200 rounds of mostly different manufactures and types such as proofing loads and wooded blanks.

joe


#15

Ray, I just dug the books out of the old dresser. It is in volume 2 on pages 44 and 45 under “Cal. .30 Carbine Primer Development”. It fairly backs up what I stated, not word for word of course but in general. Supposedly from what I understand is that most of the information for this reference book came from the National Archives of Frankford Arsenal. Sounds very trustworthy to me and of course my friend Bill Woodin had a major hand in authoring it. He is one of the most knowledgeable people I know of military & police ammunition information. The man is a walking text book unlike myself keeping note pads just to have a conversation. I have a friend her in town that has a collection half the size of Bill’s and he is also a worth of knowledge. I have noticed he refers to notes more often when I am asking questions than he used to, but he is also in his 80’s. I am only 45 and have to refer to my notes.


#16

I have both volumes of HWS and have been referring to them regarding the development of the P4 primers. Unfortunately, I only looked in the Cal .30 and Cal .50 chapters. I’m not a collector of the Carbine cartridges and didn’t think to look there. Thanks for putting me on the right track.

Ray


#17

[quote=“RayMeketa”]I have both volumes of HWS and have been referring to them regarding the development of the P4 primers. Unfortunately, I only looked in the Cal .30 and Cal .50 chapters. I’m not a collector of the Carbine cartridges and didn’t think to look there. Thanks for putting me on the right track.

Ray[/quote]

No problem as you are usually the one with the knowledgeable answers. I rarely post as like I said I have to use my notes to refer to and it just takes to long. I have the worst memory possible but I ran an electrical company for years with a notepad in hand. Anyways I was thinking of digging out those early 06 headstamps you were looking for and cant find the post. Are you going to the WSCCA show in Prescott in march!


#18

Here are the cartridges I am looking for (among others).

No, I won’t be at the Prescott show (again). My wife and I have to meet 3 of our kids who are coming down from Alaska. We will be meeting them in NV on the 1st. I know, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. ;-)

Ray


#19

[quote=“RayMeketa”]Here are the cartridges I am looking for (among others).

iaaforum.org/forum3/viewtopi … 11&t=14108

No, I won’t be at the Prescott show (again). My wife and I have to meet 3 of our kids who are coming down from Alaska. We will be meeting them in NV on the 1st. I know, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. ;-)

Ray[/quote]

OK, well I was going to possibly meet you at the show and bring the 06 dups in the list and that 06 box of blanks we never got together on. Let me dig out the 06 dupes and the box of blanks anyways and come up with how much FedEx would be anyways?


#20

email me.

Ray