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Old 45 ACP Ammo Question

csifscsifs Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
edited January 2014 in Ask the Experts
A lady recently gave me a coffee can containing loose rounds of several types. In looking through these I found 43 rounds I think are of military type .45 ACP. The head stamps were different from the military rounds I am used to and after looking them up I think these rounds were made shortly after the development of the .45 ACP and into the early years of World War 1.
The rounds are head stamped: F A 2 12 (10 rounds), F A 5 12 (2 rounds), F A 4 14 ( 5 rounds), F A 8 14 (4 rounds), F A 10 14 (7 rounds), FA 2 15 (10 rounds), F A 6 15 (1 round) and F A 12 15 (4 rounds).
Are these from World War 1 and are they of any value to anyone?

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    Laredo LeftyLaredo Lefty Member Posts: 13,451 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Welcome to the forums, Dave.

    Those rounds are from Frankfort Arsenal and were loaded in 1912-14 and 15. They would only be of interest to collectors if part of a full, original box. I would hold onto them as conversation pieces since they were loaded right after the adoption of the 1911 pistol.

    I recently got some .45 ACP from 1918. I took a few rounds to the range to try. They all went off but with a slight delay, click-bang.
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    CheechakoCheechako Member Posts: 563 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    What lefty said. The pre-WWI cartridges are worth a few pennies more than the later ones but not a lot. Maybe a buck each if you find someone that needs to fill out a collection.

    It's Frankford Arsenal, BTW.

    Ray
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    11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,588 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some collector's interest, and those are corrosive primed.
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    EDIT Clean the barrel after you fire the gun. Even if you only fire one round and then plan on putting the pistol away for the day. This is what did not happen to 90% of pistols made during WWI. They were fired and then not cleaned That day so the barrels became unuseable and had to be replaced
    during the ramp up "REBUILD" before WWII Very hard to find an original WW I barrel that Has a good bore.
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    45er45er Member Posts: 245 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Perry Shooter,

    "Clean the barrel even after one round fired".

    Can I add, "... even if one round fired at the end of the shooting day"

    Would hate to fire off a 50-round box of ammo, and clean the pistol 50-times between each shot! Hah, yes, I'm being persnickity, but it just read odd to me.

    45er
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    1sgret1sgret Member Posts: 69 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Csifs,

    I would make sure you clean the barrel properly.

    Most conventional bore cleaning compounds & liquids will not remove the corrosive salts that the primers in corrosive ammo produce. It is the primers that create the salts (most notably potassium chloride) which destroy a bore in very quick order. The salts attracts moisture which causes the rust.

    This is how I do it... it's easy, it's fast, and it's effective. Best of all you can do it while still on the firing-line and thus not offend your significant other with the usually pungent stench of commercial cleaners in your home.

    Dilute regular household ammonia (sudsy is best but regular is OK too) to 2/1 or 3/1 with water (it can be as much as 10/1 if the smell really gets to you). Keep in a small bottle to take with you to the range.

    After you are done firing and while still at the range moisten (not dripping-wet, but sorta-soaked) a patch and run it down the bore and back once. This instantly will neutralize and dissolve the corrosive salt-compounds from the primers and start in on the copper and powder fouling with a vengeance.

    Let stand for thirty seconds or so (just enough time to take off and throw away the ammonia-patch you just used and put a new, dry patch on your rod). Run the dry patch (or several) down the bore and you are most literally done.

    DON'T OVERDO IT! More ISN'T better in this case...
    You really don't want to slop ammonia (especially if heavily concentrated) all over the blued parts of the gun (as it will likely start to remove bluing after 30 minutes or so) and you also shouldn't leave the ammonia in the bore for an extended period of time (like hours, although I do know folks who do that anyway) as that may (not WILL, but MAY) cause "crazing" (microscopic pitting) of the metal. I also have to caution against slopping ammonia on the wooden parts of your rifle, as it will usually strip the finish down to bare-wood, BUT if you follow my advice on HOW MUCH ammonia to use (only enough to dampen, but not soak, a single patch per gun) you will not EVER experience ANY problems at all...

    If you are worried about primer residue getting on the bolt-face you may want to quickly wipe it with the wet patch before throwing the thing away and quickly dry it. Same thing with the gas-tube in a semi-automatic rifle... don't go overboard, just wet it and dry it and get done with it.

    As a final precaution (since the ammonia will also kill all lubricants and leave the metal very dry) you can run a patch of gun-oil down the bore and leave it like that for protection from the elements (just be sure to run a dry patch down the bore before shooting it again).

    However, if you are (like some folks I have met) completely obsessed about leaving traces of ANY powder or copper residue in the bore of your weapon, you can certainly follow up your "field-cleaning" with a detailed, strenuous, traditional cleaning once you are home (or in a week or month from then). But I warn you... your bore is much more be likely to be damaged from your over-enthusiastic scrubbing to get out that "last speck of copper" (which has no affect on the actual accuracy of your firearm) than it will with all the rounds you could possibly send down it during your lifetime.

    WINDEX with ammonia works just as well also. HOPPES # 9 bore cleaner is supposed to be effective also.

    In an emergency you can use plain old water (hot is better), or soap & water, to remove the salts, then dry patch the weapon and continue to clean in the conventional method.

    Don't forget to clean the following areas just like you did the bore; Bolt face, outside of muzzle area, internal parts of semi auto (gas piston, gas tube, etc).

    Some sellers label their corrosive ammo as "mildly corrosive". It is either corrosive or not, no in between. The good thing about corrosive primers is that the ammo will last just about forever in storage.
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    heavyironheavyiron Member Posts: 1,421 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi,

    45 Automatic Colt Pistol (45 ACP) cartridges do not have much value from a financial standpoint; but they are a good collector item anyway. There are several FA 1 12 and FA 12 11 (early production) rounds in my collection and their value is approximately 25 to 50 cents per round based on the pricing list in the World-Wide Gun Report.

    Old does not always equate to monetary value in the cartridge collection world contrary to what many people think. I have seen many sellers list such early production 45 ACP ammunition as rare and scarce, but it is neither.

    The US government fist started conducting experimental work with the 45 ACP in 1904 and 1905. Frankford Arsenal went through several prototypes of 45 ACP cartridges including the Model of 1906, variation of 1907, variation of 1909, and finally arrived at the Model 1911 cartridge in late 1911. There were also other minor variations as time passed. The Model 1911 is close to what the 45 ACP is today and was based on a 1909 U.M.C. contract round. Production of the Model 1911 45 ACP began at Frankford Arsenal in August 1911.

    The prototype 45 ACP cartridges earn a hefty price from collectors because they were early developmental rounds and had a good definitive headstamp such as FA 4 06. The 1906 headstamped cartridges earn collector values between approximately $100.00 and $120.00 per specimen if one can be found. Several other 45 ACP cartridges which draw good money from collectors include the a specimen with a Maxim USA headstamp and a date code. Maxim was a contractor used by the US federal government to help wartime (WWI) production efforts, but it was a troubled contract and the company eventually went out of business approximately 10 years later.

    A specimen headstamped R.H.A. Co. is a commercial 45 ACP cartridge made by the Robin Hood Ammunition Company and brings a collector value of approximately $100.00 per cartridge.

    I find the early 45 ACP cartridges interesting anyway.

    Best,

    Heavyiron
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