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I recently came into a little over 300 rds of remarkably good conditioned military .45 acp, some of which dates back to 1918--that is if I'm reading the headstamps correctly. They do not appear to be reloads and truth be known, I fired two rounds marked PC Co. 18 which went off fine. I assume this old fodder has corrosive primers and cleaned accoridngly. Is there collectable value in this old stuff? If not, do these old cases make for good reloading? Any input is appreciated. The image I've attached is of a randomly chosen box of the stuff.
Thank you!

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The FA headstamped brass will have undersized primer pockets, by today's standards.
Easy enough to ream out to the correct size and, yes, they are corrosive.
The RA headstamp looks like '81 production but they appear crimped, they will also need to be reamed out.
Probably not corrosive.
Overall, I'd say treat all of this stuff as corrosive, just to insure you don't damage your pistol by oversight.
You might want to skim off a few of the more interesting samples for your mini museum (if you have such) and just bang off the rest.
For whatever reason this old 45ACP stuff seems remarkably resistant to ageing, buddy of mine inherited his granddads hoard a few years back.
Several 50 cal ammo cans of mixed 45ACP, dating back to 1912 (oldest case he found), all he fired went off.
Not saying that some doesn't have issues, poor storage can affect any ammo, but it does seem that a lot of this old stuff is as good as it was a century ago.
 

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Someone who collects by headstamp might be interested in some of them but values for single rounds are generally on the low side. They made a lot of these and, at least in my experience, single rounds move slowly. Full boxes do better especially early ones. Many are still quite shootable as the old corrosive primers had a good shelf life. US military 45 ammo had corrosive primers until they started changing over in 1952 (and without the box 1952 could be either style). Also as BobM1919 pointed out FA used a different size primer for much of their production and WWII era 45ACP (and later) was crimped so you might have to do a little extra work on the brass to reload.
 

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While we’re talking old .45acp, here’s some 1943 steel case that was given to me. Is this stuff collectible? I haven’t tried to shoot it. Any way to clean it up? Maybe lightly chuck it in my drill press and hit it with some bronze wool?
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IMO, loose rounds of the steel cased stuff is not overly collectable and the stuff you picture even less so.
I have a couple of "spam cans" of the repacked steel cased stuff around here somewhere, its not like its scarce.
I'd pull a couple of those apart and test the individual components, I.E., pop the primers to see if still viable (corrosive so clean properly) and burn the powder.
Not definitive by any stretch but at least you will know that the random ones you picked were reasonably OK.
I'd pick one with a fully corroded bullet to see if the corrosion is inside the case.
If all that checks out, then shoot it up, it ain't going to get any prettier!

Of course, that's just one man's opinion.
 

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On reexamining the photo in the OP, I noticed that there are a couple of RA headstamp dated 40 something.
Those also may have the undersized primers.
I do not how widespread the practice was, restricted to FA or across the board.
I also do not know when it changed.

I have reamed out the pockets on some of the old FA stuff, from my buddies hoard, but usually only for show pieces.
IMO, not really worth the effort, what with so much commercial brass around.
That said, I did keep a couple of gallon sized zip lock bags of it, in my own hoard, because, well, you never know.............
 

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I had a lot of the 1918 era ammo from an old "box o crap" . Very little no interest in buyers, and I shot it up in a Thompson. Pretty much all went off. Yes, it is corrosively primed. I have shot 30s, 40s and 50 s era ammo- no issues . We shot 60s 70s and 80s era ammo when I was in the Navy - just went bang. I am reloading 45 now, and run into brass from the 1915-1918 era all the way through 80s in my brass pile. ( most all fired by me) I have not seem to have had any issues with any primer pockets.
 

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Might be interesting to start a thread in the Military History forum and see if anyone has the figures for just how much surplus stuff the US had "On hand" at the end of WWI.
I recall reading (Hatcher, I think) that the mountain of 30-06 lasted until 1924 or 1926 (maybe, its been awhile since I read this), there obviously was no shortage of 45ACP, cans of the 1918 dated stuff are still showing up 100 years later.
Web gear was highly stocked, as well, magazine pouches and other bits are still available on the secondary market as unissued (although after 100 years they are a bit shopworn....LOL).
Might be an interesting comparison in production capacity between the first and second world wars.
 

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I have a few cartons of .45 acp ammo packed in 16 round cartons. The rounds are in double rows with 8 rounds in each row. I'm not sure of the date stamps on the case heads but I believe they are WWII vintage. These cartons were given to me at least 30 years ago and I've never shot any of it thinking it is corrosive ammo. I'll dig them out and check for head stamp dates. In the original cartons do these have any collector value ?
 

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So, last weekend at my club someone shot up some vintage 30-06 and left the brass behind.
I found 13 FA 26 head stamps and 2 RA 57 head stamps.
Normally I would have left them in the bin but, remembering this thread, I collected them up and took them home.

Upon processing them, I found that all had crimped primers but the FA head stamps were also undersized.
This discovery answers my question about primer size in the FA ammo, both pistol and rifle primers were undersized, at least until 1926.
The RA 57 head stamps only needed the crimp removed the primer pockets were standard size.

This is probably "old news" to ammo collectors and to those who have been in the game longer than me but "old news" tends to be forgotten after a decade or two.
 

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Learn something every day! I’ve been loading for 60 years and had not heard that FA used an odd size primer. I know that the EC steel 45 ACP also uses an undersized primer. Is it the same size as the FA?
 

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IIRC, the primers on FA .45ACP cases Mic out at .205 as opposed to .210 for the now standard size.
I now know that the large rifle was the same.
Why this size was chosen back then is unknown to me although I'm sure the reason is buried in some reference book somewhere.
Not that this information is of any great concern to anyone except ammo collectors, I mean, how often are any of today's shooters going to come across any quantity of such vintage brass these days?
I believe you are correct though, the steel cased EC headstamped stuff is also the .205 primer, as I recall, I had to open those up as well.
 
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