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Old October 20, 2009, 10:54 PM   #1
Join Date: April 14, 2008
Posts: 28
OLD 30-06

Just tied into a stash of old pre WWII 30-06.

Most has Red, Green, or Blue tips, some are blank.

Headstamps in one batch had:

1 ea FA 18
1 ea FA 33
1 ea FA 43
61 ea FA 38

I was going to fire them off for fun, someone said they might be worth something.

Where do I look this stuff up???

Pls reply to [email protected]

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Old October 21, 2009, 12:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: August 30, 2009
Location: Northern AZ
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For starters, I think every one of them would have corrosive priming. Also, it would be 50-50 that the 1938 ammo would go off, decreasing proportionally as they get older, with the possibility of the 1918 being close to "0". (The 43 would probably go off.)

Red, if I recall, is tracer, black is generally armor piercing, and I don't recall what green is.

I'm not into cartridge collecting, but the rounds probably have some value to a collector; However, I don't think you're going to retire.
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Old October 21, 2009, 12:26 PM   #3
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,187
FA is Frankford Arsenal, or armory. Can't remember which.

The 2 digits are the year.

All of that ammunition is corrosive primed. If you shoot it, you'll have to clean the bore, chamber, bolt, and magazine with hot soapy water to prevent rusting.

My experiences with older US military ammo is that even the old stuff is surprisingly reliable.

Some years ago I put 30 or so rounds of .30-40 Krag headstamped between 1902 and 1904 through a Krag carbine. Only 2 failed to fire.

I've yet to have a failure to fire with US ammunition loaded during WW II.
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Old October 21, 2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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My suggestion is to not fire the ammo. This is old ammo with corrosive primers plus the red or orange tipped bullets are tracers that can cause a fire plus the tracer component is very hard on barrels. The black is armour piercing, since it is illeagal to sell ap ammo any more why would you waste it on dirt clods. The green tiped is fragmiable and was used to target practice on our own airplane as it was supposed to disolve to dust on impact. Lastly the blue should be incendary which again is very likely to cause a fire on impact. My question is why in the world would you want to shoot historic ammunition and ruin your barrel and possibly cause a fire?
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Old October 21, 2009, 05:49 PM   #5
Join Date: October 17, 2009
Location: SW Pennsylvania
Posts: 15
30-30 remchester wrote in part:

" is illeagal to sell ap ammo any more..."

That's incorrect. There are a number of vendors who sell a variety of AP and even API cartridges. There is no Federal ban on AP ammo for cartridges that have traditionally been chambered only in rifles. From the federal regulations:

"(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

You may be confused by the ban on importation of steel core 7.62x39mm ammo. This was largely a political move since it singled-out a specific round, perceived as the cartridge of choice among gangs, mass murderers, etc. If a domestic company duplicated the steel core 7.62x39 it would be sold as legally as M855 5.56mm is today.

There may be state or local bans that could affect an individual's ability to own or buy AP ammo.

Last edited by justbill; October 21, 2009 at 06:00 PM.
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Old October 21, 2009, 05:57 PM   #6
Join Date: October 17, 2009
Location: SW Pennsylvania
Posts: 15

Mike is correct, all those rounds are corrosive. No big deal. Use boiling water to dilute the salts after shooting, oil the rifle and put it away. 30-30 remchester does make a good point in saying that some of these rounds may cause more trouble than they're worth to you as shooting cartridges. Many ranges ban AP ammo because it damages the target stands, etc. The same goes for incendiary rounds and the possibility of causing a fire.

You might be interested in this website.
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