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.38 Special USAF M41 Reloaded

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One of the collecting sidelines I pursue is picking up interesting USGI small arms ammunition when the occasion presents itself. I recently ran across this ammo and thought some members here might be interested in it. Although I have a number of different examples of the M41 ammo I had never seen this stuff before.




I thought it was really odd that the military would be purchasing reloaded ammunition, notwithstanding the obviously favorable economics of doing so. In consulting my pal Eric, who specializes in USAF small arms, he quickly educated me on this ammunition. It was Viet Nam era ammo intended to be used for training in the continental US (CONUS) only. He passed along a 1968 dated article from Handloader's Digest with the story about how this ammo was developed and tested.


At that time the USAF was primarily equipped with S&W Model 15 .38 Special Revolvers, as well as a few other types. Reloaded ammunition for training purposes was deemed to make good sense when, at that time, factory ammo was about 12 cents a round and reloaded ammo could be purchased for about 4 cents a round. The cartridge consisted of a 130.6 grain metal cased bullet with a charge of Hercules Bullseye powder. This load gave a velocity of 950 feet per second.


It is not known just how much of this stuff was purchased but I think it must be pretty scarce today. This box appears to be date stamped 6/68. A quick search of the net did not turn up any current info on the maker, Midwest Reloading Service, Inc. of Lincoln Park, Mich.



Charlie Flick


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