A small oddity...

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MilitaryMetalMagnut
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A small oddity...

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:27 am

Hi all,

Thought I would show something different I found today.
I went to an area where the Royal Marines had a very large training camp. I paid a visit to a long forgotten area where they had a 'mock street' for practising door to door Close Quarters Combat training. The inevitable .303 blanks turned up from around the mock street itself, but I did find this cartridge oddity!!
What I initially thought was a rather run down British .303, was in fact TWO American issue cartridges. The smaller cartridge is a .30 Carbine (otherwise known as the 7.62x33mm), and was used in the US issue M1 carbine. Only the Americans used this weapon, the British didn’t. The headstamp is ‘LC‘ - Lake City Ammunition Plant, Independence, Missouri, 1943.

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The bigger cartridge that the .30 is stuffed into is a .38 Special. The .38 Special was used in revolvers for US police and security forces. This cartridge would probably have been fired by the Colt Commando or the Smith & Wesson Model 10 (both being the most likely candidates) which weren't 'officially' military sidearms, but were used by US soldiers in small numbers. The headstamp is ‘REM-UMC’ - Remington Union Metallic Cartridges, Bridgeport, Connecticut. No date, but very likely wartime date.
I have never found US issue .38 Special on my site, and don't remember seeing it in posts of other people's finds at WW2 sites!

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I have the same rounds in my own collection, to show what they originally looked like.


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I’ve now got it soaking in vinegar, hoping to separate them. It feels like it’s ‘full’ of something, might be wrong! Never know, there might be some directions inside to some buried treasure somewhere!!! LOL.

That’s what I love about finding cartridges, they can hold quite some history. As although someone put these together through boredom, they show that Americans more than likely practised at the mock street in the build up to D-Day. ::g ::g ::g

Best regards,

Simon


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Re: A small oddity...

Post by Easylife » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:16 am

It's naturally quite intriguing and of course you have to separate them to reveal what secrets lay within? :D ::g
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by GeorgeMK » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:46 am

A very limited number of US M1 carbines were used by British forces. There are reports of their use by the SAS, the famous photo of an airborne soldier taken at the Hartenstein during Market Garden, and the well known photo of Major James Lumley during the 2nd Chindit operation in Burma. But I have no details of the numbers used.

A sizeable number of S&W and Colt revolvers of various models in .38 Special caliber were supplied to the British in 1940/1941 from the USA. (See Skennerton’s book on British Small Arms of WW2 for types and quantities)
There were eight categories of handgun prescribed to identify the various calibers and cartridge type of handguns supplied from the USA. The .38 Special caliber revolvers came under Category II, this category was for .38 Colt or S&W revolvers with Cylinder 1 1/2” or more. To aid recognition of the category there was a red band painted around the rear of the barrel & it was stencilled in black “38 SPECL” This category could not use the British .380 service ammunition.

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Re: A small oddity...

Post by shaggybfc » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:04 am

Hello Simon, please excuse my ignorance. You mention that this was found at the site of the mock street, and they may have been used in training. Would it be normal to use live rounds? Are these 2 casings are from live rounds and not blanks? Do blank rounds have the crimped end? I have zero experience of military artefacts, so just curious.
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by fred » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:32 am

Great story. If the rest of the rounds are mostly .303s the chances are that it wasn't just done by a bored squaddie and had a purpose. I've found homemade lighters and pencils inside modified bullets before, usually .303s though. ::g

PS It takes a special sort of person to detect on military training grounds. We have some of them on club land in Kent and they are certainly not the most popular of sites. :D
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by Pete E » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:48 am

I have seen similar before used as a "match case"...Not sure it would be properly waterproof, but I suppose it would provide a good degree of protection...
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by peteh » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:24 pm

Please post what you find inside! sewing kit? love letter? rolled up bank note .... .. }}:@
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:34 pm

@George, Fantastic info, mate :) Many thanks indeed! ::g

shaggybfc wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:04 am
Hello Simon, please excuse my ignorance. You mention that this was found at the site of the mock street, and they may have been used in training. Would it be normal to use live rounds? Are these 2 casings are from live rounds and not blanks? Do blank rounds have the crimped end? I have zero experience of military artefacts, so just curious.
Andi

No problem! :D You're certainly right, the blanks indeed have a crimped end, and that these two cartridges are (were) live rounds.
The mock street training area on my site had bigger stuff used on it. I have found fragments of Mills hand grenades there, No.80 'Bursting' smoke grenades, rifle grenades and even part of the mock street was used for flame thrower practise!! So, I think with all this heavier live ordnance going about the area, I would imagine live rounds might have been used in small quantities, much like a modern 'Kill House' with targets in each room. ::g


Well, I soaked in in vinegar overnight, then I put is into the kinetic bullet puller (not regularly used for ground dug ordnance that I find, I must stress!!!). All that hoping and wishing, and there was nothing. Not even a grain of sand. lol. Oh well.

Certainly makes one wonder what the purpose would have been. ::g

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Best regards, ::g

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Re: A small oddity...

Post by fred » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:20 am

You did well to get those apart without causing serious damage. ::g Now we can all wonder what used to be in it! :D

Actually it would be interesting to know how tight the fit would be without any corrosion. It's possible that the bullets were pushed together as an 'experiment' but couldn't be extracted again so the whole thing was lobbed.
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by RRPG » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:06 pm

Nice find that MMM. Also very interesting from a WW2 geek perspective as I have only ever had 30cal M1 carbine cartridge cases with the PC (Peters Cartridge Company, Cincinnati, OH) headstamp. Never seen an LC one before.....
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by Easylife » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:50 pm

MilitaryMetalMagnut wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:34 pm
All that hoping and wishing, and there was nothing. Not even a grain of sand. lol. Oh well.
Certainly makes one wonder what the purpose would have been. ::g
You mean that you just let the genie escape? =))
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by Wansdyke44 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:10 am

Pity it was empty, so you can only imagine why a bored GI pushed these two together.

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Re: A small oddity...

Post by Wansdyke44 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:32 am

RRPG wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:06 pm
Nice find that MMM. Also very interesting from a WW2 geek perspective as I have only ever had 30cal M1 carbine cartridge cases with the PC (Peters Cartridge Company, Cincinnati, OH) headstamp. Never seen an LC one before.....
RRPG, thats because Lake City and Peters Cartridge were the only plants that produced carbine ammunition as far as I know.

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Re: A small oddity...

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:15 pm

Wansdyke44 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:32 am
RRPG wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:06 pm
Nice find that MMM. Also very interesting from a WW2 geek perspective as I have only ever had 30cal M1 carbine cartridge cases with the PC (Peters Cartridge Company, Cincinnati, OH) headstamp. Never seen an LC one before.....

RRPG, thats because Lake City and Peters Cartridge were the only plants that produced carbine ammunition as far as I know.

W [:)
RRPG, I’ve now found one and a half! Both LC, 1943 and ‘44.

Lake City and Peters Cartridge Co., were the main factories for .30 Carbine.
Other than LC and PC, there were other makers of this calibre;

EC - Evansville Chrysler Ordnance Plant, Evansville, Ohio.
RA - Remington Arsenal, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
WCC - Western Cartridge Co., East Alton, Illinois.
WRA - Winchester Repeating Arms, New Haven, Connecticut.
There might be others that made .30 Carbine pacifically, but can’t think of any without looking them up.. ::g

Best regards,

Simon
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by Wansdyke44 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:33 pm

Will have to look at what I have again, from memory I've only got PC & LC. Other factories did repack but not aware it involved production during wartime.
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by WVAM » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:42 pm

fred wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:20 am
It's possible that the bullets were pushed together as an 'experiment' but couldn't be extracted again so the whole thing was lobbed.
Could be they were pushed together in a moment of boredom and then left for a bunch of curious folk in the future to wonder what might be inside.
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Re: A small oddity...

Post by MilitaryMetalMagnut » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:55 pm

Wansdyke44 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:33 pm
Will have to look at what I have again, from memory I've only got PC & LC. Other factories did repack but not aware it involved production during wartime.
The Evansville factory manufactured watertight packs, to replace the old card packs, which would be better withstanding in the humidity of the Pacific theatre.
I just had a quick look on the International Ammunition Association forum and found this thread on the factory repacks, as you mentioned, but one of the chaps halfway down shows headstamps of his wartime .30 Carbine’s with other makers. ::g

https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t ... ille/25922

Come to think of it, I think I might have somewhere the bottom section of a WCC .30 I found back when I was 11/12. ::g

Best regards,

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Re: A small oddity...

Post by Wansdyke44 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:46 am

Useful post Simon, thanks. Will go through what makers I've found when I get a moment.
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