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Headstamp Question

MillironMilliron Member Posts: 268 ✭✭
edited October 2014 in Ask the Experts
The wife inherited some Cal 30 Ball M2 ammunition. Head stamp has a 4 3 T W. I assume 43 is a year date. What's the T W? Thanks in advance as I know this is almost too easy a question for here.


  • CheechakoCheechako Member Posts: 563 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Twin Cities Ordnance Plant, 1943.
  • ampartsamparts Member Posts: 136 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    TW is Twin Cities, yes 43 is the teat a single 4 is 1944.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Corrosive primers. If your going to shoot it? Clear barrel with hot soapy water, as quickly as possible after shooting. I use to take a spray bottle of ammonia Windex to the range with me. Saturate patches with the Windex, and clean barrel after shooting.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The stuff is getting old and might not have had the best storage conditions so if you are going to shoot it have a good plan in place for duds. In the late 60's I shot up a bunch of FA 18. Most all had a full 7-8 seconds of hang fire before going off at full power.

    added. It was a full 7-8 seconds from click to bang. Dad acquired a canvas sack (140 rounds or so) of Olympic Match ball ammo. I was in sitting positing locked in the sling. Aim, click, lowered rifle, started counting slow, them boom. Second round same game. Rest of the rounds were pull the trigger then aim. Was reasonably accurate once I got used to the delay. IIRC there were two duds, I waited a full 3 minutes on the watch before yanking that bolt fully open as fast as I could. At home we pulled the boattail bullets. Inside was a semi solid green crud that looked some what damp. I was like 12 at the time.

    If I'm going to clean a rifle for corrosive ammo I'm shooting more than 2 rounds. Besides it was sort of fun to get the timing down to be on target when the rifle went off.

    I have shot a fair amount of National Match ammo but that was the only Olympic Match I ever had in my hands.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Maybe worth a LITTLE more than 60s USGI stuff, but still just blasting ammo, unless in mint condition in a sealed box.

    Best use in a bolt action. Then clean as suggested above, dry, and clean as normal.
  • MillironMilliron Member Posts: 268 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was aware of the corrosive primers. The additional advice is well taken. I certainly might not have considered a hang fire without a reminder. Thanks to all.
  • CheechakoCheechako Member Posts: 563 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    I have never seen a Cal .30 Ball cartridge with a TW 4 headstamp. Do you have one that you could show a photo of?


    7 to 8 seconds is an awfully long time for a hang-fire. Maybe it only seemed that long?

    What made you want to shoot more than a couple of those hang-fires? They could have been dangerous and I would have quit after a couple of them.


    Added - Time can play tricks on you. Frankford Arsenal did not load any "Olympic" ammunition until 1925, and even then it was called "International Match" and had a unique headstamp. Virtually all of the early special Match ammunition (International, Palma, and Olympic) was provided by the major commercial manufacturers such as Remington, Western, and U.S.C.Co.

    Added for Heavyiron - Yes, I have Cal .50 cases with the TW 4 headstamp, but have never seen a Cal .30.

    Damaged bunters was only one reason for the single digit headstamps. Some new bunters were made with only the one number for purely economic reasons because bunters were very expensive to make in those days. You can also find single-digit headstamps for 1955 and 1966.
  • babunbabun Member Posts: 11,497
    edited November -1
    I have and will shoot a lot of old Mil ammo. Hangfires do happen.
    Always wait about 15 seconds before you open the action to check.
    And if you can not be 100% sure you seen the bullet impact on the target, check the bore before you pull that trigger on a new round.
  • heavyironheavyiron Member Posts: 1,421 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Here is a photo of TW 4 in 50 caliber.

    Twin City was located in Minneapolis, MN and operated by Federal Cartridge Company from 1942 to 1945 and then from 1950 to 2005.


    So much ammunition was made during 1943 that the "3" on the headstamp bunter was worn off. They were able to then use the destroyed bunter with a single digit "4" for the year 1944.




    Here is a photo of a spent TW 4 in 30 caliber.

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