.22 short blanks marked US ARMY LOT4

ginmasterginmaster Member Posts: 2,669 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 2005 in Ask the Experts
I picked up a pretty beat up box of 22 short blanks marked US ARMY LOT4. They are Winchester and are marked with the "H". There is about 45 of these blanks. The box is rather old. I went to a gun show today and found a similar box that was newer at least I think it was newer as it had more information on it, but it was not marked US ARMY.



My question is when and what were they used for by the Army. I had a few ideas given to me at the show but no real knowledge. Some thought maybe for dog training. One man told me WWI vintage possibly used for clearing run ways(not sure about the use). Most just shrugged their shoulders. Any thoughts?

Stay Alert! Stay Alive. Good luck out there.


  • spudshotspudshot Member Posts: 136 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
  • heavyironheavyiron Member Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    A 22 caliber short blank was purchased by the US Arsenal from commerical manufacturers in the 1930s. The blank cartridge was made to launch a 1 inch steel ball from a military device call a "Field Artillery Trainer M2".

    This ammunition was first known to be purchased in 1935. Approximately, 2,310,000 rounds were delivered to the arsenals from unspecified commerical manufacturers.

    Apparently, this round was used up to the WWII period for the M2 and the M2A1, Artillery Training Devices. I would think this is the most likely purpose for the box of blanks that you have since there is a written history to confirm 22 short blank purchase and use.

    There was also a device developed at Springfield Arsenal called the Hoffer-Thompson cartride holder. The Hoffer device resembled a hollow 30-06 cartridge and allowed a 22 short cartridge to be fired from the Model 1903 for "gallery practice". There was also a similar device developed for the Model 1898 (Krag). These devices were first put to use in about 1906 and were used until after the WWI. I suppose it could be possible for the 22 blank to be used in these devices, although there is no statement to that effect in the reference.

    The above information is referenced from History of Modern US Military Small Arms Ammunition, F. W. Hackley, et al, 1967, 1998.

    Maybe Iconoclast can shed some light on these specimens.



    "If I don't see you nomore on this world, I'll meet you on the next one, and don't be late!" - Jimi Hendrix
  • IconoclastIconoclast Member Posts: 10,912
    edited November -1
    ginmaster, heavyiron's ID is essentially correct. These were also used for subcaliber mortar training devices (see the last photo below of a recent - 3/05 - exhibit of this equipment). I have seen several variations in packaging - with and without the overstamps, some with two color (blue as well as red) schemes, etc. A picture of what you have, but in mint condition, is the first photo below. Some of the uncrimped loads have colored (tan and varying shades of red) paper top wads. Winchester seems to have been the primary - and possibly only - supplier of this item.


    The next two are later loadings, one of a similar type,


    the other of a type which look much like today's tool cartridges, with a rose crimp sealed with a red lacquer.



    "There is nothing lower than the human race - except the french." (Mark Twain)
  • ginmasterginmaster Member Posts: 2,669 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks Gentlemen. As always you have helped fill in the gaps.

    Stay Alert! Stay Alive. Good luck out there.
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