I am hoping to use the wide expertise and assistance of our readers to help out Keith in identifying these rounds.

I was rooting around in my dad’s stuff and came across a bunch of old brass, specificaly .30-06. Most has been fired but I also have a quantity of Frankfort Arsenal (about 300 cases, most still in the FA boxes) primed brass. The primer on the boxes indicate this grey primer as T53.

I’m curious about some of this. For example, 2nd row up, middle case says Super-X (which is Winchester) and 30-G-1906. I’ve never seen a headstamp quite like that one… Or… Just to its left is a Peters 28 stamp. Is that the year of manufacture or a lot number? And in the top row just to the right of center is an R A 43 headstamp with a different primer crimp. Third row up on the left side is a DEN 43 stamp. A Denver arsenal?




  • Military .30 cal. ammunition was headstamped with the maker’s abbreviation and the last two digits of the year of manufacture. The way it looks every piece of military brass you have, loaded or just primed, is early enough that it has corrosive primers. You can use the brass but you should replace the primers with modern ones. The corrosive primers create a salt that will cause your bore to rust if it’s not cleaned well and immediately.

    The Super-X round looks like an early one as well. It was headstamped .30 G 1906 because there was some confusion between the first .30 govt. round, what we now call the .30-40, the second, what is now called the .30-03, and the final one which was adopted in 1906. That is why the .30-06 is called that.

  • Destro Yakisoba

    Yep Denver Arsenal. I have a few boxes of that too.
    DEN Denver Ordnance Plant – Denver, Colorado: a division of Remington (1941-1945)

  • Lance

    Yes this is WW 2 and earlier depression era .30 call ammo. FA is Frankfort arsenal, Den is Denver arsenal, LC is Lake City arsenal. WRA is Winchester military ammo which was changed to WCC stamp in the 70s. RA is Remington military ammo.

  • Ken

    A lot of those look to be reloaded or at least prepped to be reloaded. Military primers of that vintage are generally not nickel plated and they would be crimped in. The crimps look cut.

    The ones marked NM would be from National Match ammo.

    The RA43 looks to have been reloaded too. Original RA43 with that distinctive ring crimp would have had blue sealant. Remington made ammo for the British military, so they applied the British style crimp ring. When making ammo for the US, they were allowed to use the same crimp since they were already tooled up to do it.

  • 10x25mm

    The collection of brass here looks pretty typical of what a bolt gun high power rifle target shooter would have used from the 1950’s to the early 1960’s. DCM issued a variety of ammunition and components to active high power rifle shooters which were sourced from U.S. military stocks and special arsenal runs made just for DCM. Note that the bottom row of cartridges with grey primers are Frankford Arsenal production which do not appear to ever have been primer crimped. This was unique to DCM special runs; regular issue Frankford Arsenal .30-06 cartridges always had their primers crimped.

    The corrosive T53 primer was widely regarded as delivering better accuracy in long range bolt guns than the flat dome noncorrosive commercial primers of that era. Not certain whether the accuracy edge was due to the cup geometry or the primer composition, but Winchester loaded both .30-06 and .300 H&H match cartridges with a similar corrosive primer into the late 1960’s. Reloading equipment manufacturers made special order concave end LR primer seating spools intended to preserve the dome of just this particular primer.

    The DEN 43 cases are almost certainly from their .30 M2 AP overruns, a cartridge/manufacturing lot which was highly prized by high power rifle shooters of that era for its long range accuracy. DCM distributed millions of rounds of this cartridge/manufacturing lot to high power rifle shooters across the country into the late 1970’s.

  • Paul

    During WW2, the Denver Ordinance Plant was operated for the government by Remington. One of my aunts worked there. The facility, now called the Denver Federal Center is still there hosting a number of government agencies and is located SW of Highway 6 and Kipling Street in Lakewood.

    A few years ago I inherited several hundred primed 30/06 cases marked DEN 43. The crimped and corrosive primers dissuaded me from using them.

  • Blake

    A few years ago, a friend of mine was walking in the grass behind the Operation Dragoon beaches in southern France & kicked up a .30 carbine case with “LC 42” headstamp, which as we all know means Lake City Ordnance Plant, Missouri, 1942.

    “By Like tears in rain, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1515960

  • Monies

    Anyone know the vladity of sniper types in WWII and The Korean War supposedly preferring Denver m2ap over ball due to claimed better accuracy, particularly at distance? I always hear this claimed by random people, but is it known fact? Being 26, I unfortunately missed the days of of cheap m2 ap.

    • Nunya Bidniz

      The preference for M2AP for distance was because of the 172gr steel-core AP bullet, which closely approximated the 174gr bullet weight of original M1 ball, with which the Garand was originally developed/designed to utilize. In the mid? late? ’30s, the decision was made to develop M2 ball in order to reduce the danger space behind military ranges [some of which abutted public lands not under direct military control] and the switch to a a 150gr bullet was made. M2 ball worked great for most purposes, but loses momentum faster than M1 or M2AP, and hence is less favored out past the 500yd marker…