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.45 ACP, Early Headstamps


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I was sorting through some of my old military brass looking for older casings. All of them have a year stamp except these. They look like 'FA' for Frankfort Arsenal, I presume. But they appear to have a month-day stamp instead of a year. I have two 10-14's and a 11-11 and a 4-15. Any guess as to what year these may have been made?

 

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I forget the exact date, but somewhere in late 1915 or early 1916 the headstamp was changed from Month and Year to just the year. The month/year headstamp started somewhere in the late 1870s (I have a 12 79 marked .45-55-405 cartridge) and continued until circa 1916.

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I should have mentioned this earlier. About 20+ years ago when I used to shoot and reload a lot, I took all of my 45 brass and de-primed, resized, reamed the primer pockets, tumbled/cleaned and then stored it in coffee cans. That way it was ready for quick reloading and shooting. If I had known how old some of these casings were at that time, I would have kept them with old primers and all. But then again, most of us can look back in time and say 'Gee, I wish I would have..........' This is just to clarify the condition they are in now. I haven't found anything made in the 20's yet, or newer than 1980, but I still have a few more coffee cans left to look at.

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I forget the exact date, but somewhere in late 1915 or early 1916 the headstamp was changed from Month and Year to just the year. The month/year headstamp started somewhere in the late 1870s (I have a 12 79 marked .45-55-405 cartridge) and continued until circa 1916.

Is it possible that change could have been made in the mid 1917's, bayonetman? I have sifted through more of my old brass and found these four. It looks like two 4-17's. a straight 17 from W (Winchester), and a 18 only.

Now I am starting to get the urge to go through all of that brass again (about 2000) and see how many years I can come up with between 1911 and 1985.

 

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Putting the month on the brass helped with identifying lots. They had a lot of issues with bad ammunition, so knowing the factory, month and year, they could pin point the lot a lot easier without any other information. Frankford Arsenal used to put ammunition lot cards in their bandoleers of ammunition and if you had problems, you could fill the card out and send it back through channels to help correct the issue.


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