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Old March 26, 2015, 03:00 PM   #1
GetmeoutaCT
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Help identifying caliber from case stamp

Hello all -

A friend inherited several hundred rounds of rifle ammo with the following characters inscribed on the case bottom:

9 L 0 6

The "9" is at 10 o'clock, the "L" is at 2 o'clock, the "0" is at 5 o'clock and the "6" is at 7 o'clock on the case bottom. The rounds have the shape of a .308 or 30-06 (and I'm tempted to read the characters as a semi-Roman Numeral rendering of 30-06), and have a total length of 8.5 cm. Other dimensions, to the extent I can measure them with a ruler ( no micrometer handy), suggest a 30-06.

The person who originally owned these rounds sold the appurtenant rifle years before his passing, so my friend cannot match them in that manner.


Any ideas?

Last edited by GetmeoutaCT; March 26, 2015 at 03:35 PM.
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Old March 26, 2015, 06:10 PM   #2
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Sounds like Military surplus which are marked with the arsenal that produced them and the year manufactured. I don't know of a LO head stamp but if its dated 96 that would make me think its more likely to be 308 instead of 30-06. Should be easy to figure out with a couple of measurements.
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Old March 26, 2015, 09:21 PM   #3
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Thanks; it's clearly 30-06. Checked it agains another friend's rounds and it slips right into the chamber of his Garand.

Here's another question - some of these rounds have a black coating over the FMJ bullet. At first it appeared to be a different bullet material, but it's clearly a coating, as it has scraped partially off some of the bullets. Is this a characteristic of military ammo?
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Old March 26, 2015, 09:26 PM   #4
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If they are 30-06 and have a black tip, they may be armor piercing rounds.
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Old March 26, 2015, 09:36 PM   #5
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I'm not familiar with the coating you describe on military issue ammo, unless it's just on the tip of the projectile, which would denote AP.

Are the coated bullets the same shape as the uncoated ones?

Possibly reloads with a moly coated bullet?

Could you post pics of the headstamp and some of both the coated and uncoated rounds?
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Old March 26, 2015, 10:00 PM   #6
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NO photos so it does not exist.......
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Old March 27, 2015, 12:18 AM   #7
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I have some -'06 , black tip, AP so I just checked. Mine is marked "FA 40". Kind of old. My dad picked this stuff up in the mid 60's.

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Old March 27, 2015, 12:36 AM   #8
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I think what you're seeing is 'LC 69'.

Lake City, 1969.

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Last edited by chris in va; March 27, 2015 at 12:41 AM.
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Old March 27, 2015, 09:04 AM   #9
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An excellent example of why pictures are so helpful.
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Old March 27, 2015, 09:39 AM   #10
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Thanks, folks; I will post pics this evening - don't want ammo pics on my work computer, as that would not be PC...
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Old March 28, 2015, 11:19 PM   #11
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+1 on the Lake City 69 idea.
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Old March 29, 2015, 01:03 AM   #12
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found this putting around.

Black: AP
◾ Black/Silver: AP Plate Test
◾ Blue: Incendiary (also tracer from Argentina)
◾ Green: AP from UK, Tracer from Argentina
◾ Green/White: Frangible
◾ Green/Tan: Frangible
◾ Orange: Tracer
◾ Red: Tracer (also some Incendiary from UK, and AP from Argentina)
◾ Silver: Armor-piercing Incendiary
◾ White: Tracer, unfinished Frangible,
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Old March 29, 2015, 01:16 PM   #13
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another vote for lake city. however as for projectiles. they could possibly be reloads. if it covers the entire bullet, it is likely a special coating that some manufacturers used to use on their match ammo such as this

otherwise it is likely armor piercing but would only considered if it is only on the tips like this
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Old March 29, 2015, 01:45 PM   #14
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The case stamp only tells you who made it.
8.5 cm equals approximately 3.340" It's .30-06. Isn't LO though.
What's an appurtenant rifle?
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Old March 31, 2015, 04:15 AM   #15
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extra question: is (old) AP always steel tipped?

because then it is simple: you can check with a magnet if there is steel in the tip.

We do it at our club because we have a steel plate bullet trap and we don't like it to be shot to pieces.
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Old March 31, 2015, 08:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by: vaupet
extra question: is (old) AP always steel tipped?

because then it is simple: you can check with a magnet if there is steel in the tip.

We do it at our club because we have a steel plate bullet trap and we don't like it to be shot to pieces.
Unfortunately the magnet test won't tell you if a round is AP or not.
There are a lot of copper washed, steel jacketed bullets that'll stick to a magnet, but that have a lead core.
There are also mild steel core bullets that aren't AP, but that'll stick to a magnet.

Even though they're not true AP, the mild steel is probably still harder on your backstop than gilding metal clad lead bullets, so the magnet test is still a good way to extend your backstop's life and reduce ricochets.

In any case the OP posted 4 days ago that "I will post pics this evening" and we still haven't seen any.

Without photographs, there's nothing anyone can do except speculate.

If the OP actually wants an answer, he'll have to give us the means to provide one.
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Old March 31, 2015, 09:24 AM   #17
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FWIW: At one time, a red tip for a US GI '06 load was some sort of explosive bullet. I have one, somewhere, in one of my wild animal boxes. 1918, IIRC. Phil Sharpe mentions it in his 1953 book on reloading.
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Old April 1, 2015, 06:55 PM   #18
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sorry for the delay, folks - here is the business end of the round -

Fairly certain based on other pics that this is surplus AP.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo-52.JPG (47.6 KB, 13 views)
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Old April 1, 2015, 09:01 PM   #19
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yep, AP.
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Old April 2, 2015, 03:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Eatman View Post
FWIW: At one time, a red tip for a US GI '06 load was some sort of explosive bullet. I have one, somewhere, in one of my wild animal boxes. 1918, IIRC. Phil Sharpe mentions it in his 1953 book on reloading.
Red (or orange tip) = tracer. Not explosive.

Sometimes they can catch things on fire, but the intended purpose was just to show the bullet path.

For US ammo the front 1/4 of the bullet color coding was:
Nothing - Ball
Black - AP
Blue - Incendiary
Red or orange - Tracer
Case is silvery blue color & silver bullet or red bullet - High pressure test (don't fire)
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Old April 2, 2015, 04:29 PM   #21
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there was explosive ammo around that timeframe. this is from ammocollectors.org which they pulled from chris punnet's book 30-06.

Quote:
Given the relatively small size of the .30 caliber bullet, it is surprising that anyone would consider designing an explosive bullet for it - but they did. To be fair, most of these were intended to be "Observation" rounds where the detonation of the bullet confirmed that one was on target.

Early U.S. experiments included a 1919 round called the "Supersensitive Explosive" round. This was most unusual in that it had a nipple-like firing pin protruding from the bullet nose. It remains rare but can be seen in advanced collections. There are actually several variations but most collectors would be pleased to have just one!

A true explosive round was developed by Winchester for the U.S. Government in 1940. This is called the Pomeroy after the guy who patented the design. The nitroglycerine explosive element is enclosed in a copper tube in the bullet nose and activated by the bullet rotation concentrating it against the side of the tube. It was loaded on cases headstamped W.R.A. .30-,06. While they were supposed to have a green tip, this seems to come off easily and most have no visible signs to identify them - they look like a normal copper-tubed hunting bullet.

In the late 1940s Frankford Arsenal and Winchester again experimented with an observation bullet identified by a yellow tip and this was the T99 Observing. This is most often found with a WRA 51 headstamp. Rounds headstamped F A 52 with yellow tips are not unusual but many of these are inspectors dummies loaded with dummy powder and primer.
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