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Thread: St. Louis Munitions Plant?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

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    St. Louis Munitions Plant?

    Yesterday a young man gave me a .30-06 round of ammunition and two .50 caliber bullets he said were among his grandfather's "stuff" that he picked up and kept from WW II. The .30-06 round is head-stamped S L and across from the S L the number 4. My presumption is that round was manufactured by the St. Louis Munitions Plant in 1944. The tip of the bullet in the '06 round (about 1/4 inch in length) is a brighter color copper or brass than the rest of the bullet and the cartridge case and remains relatively bright despite its age. Can't help but wonder if the copper jacket covers a hardened steel penetrator round rather than lead. The two .50 caliber bullets must not have not been fired because there are no rifling marks on the bullets. The copper jackets of the .50 caliber bullets are very dark brown, almost black. The base of the bullets have a round hole in the jacket with rust showing. Again, my presumption is that this is a hardened steel bullet with a copper jacket. Anyone have a clue on these items? Wish I could post pics but I am 'puter challenged. Big Boomer

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Salt lake I believe.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Salt Lake. As for the bullet descriptions, I think your assumptions about steel cores are accurate.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumbcocker View Post
    Salt lake I believe.
    NEGATIVE! St. Louis, MO Ordnance Plant was a GOCO operated by U.S. Cartridge Co.



    Utah Ordnance Plant headstamp is U, operated by Remington Union Metallic Cartridge Co.

    APM2 of WW2 period had open base with core inserted from base.

    Open point bullet with bronze cone protruding from nose is a reload or bullet swap using a Remington Bronze Point expanding bullet.
    Open

    Uta
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  5. #5
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    Preacher Jim's Avatar
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    St. Louis plant made small arms ammo for Vietnam also now an empty building

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Olin still manufactures Winchester brand ammunition across the river from St Louis in Alton Ill. They are based here in the St Louis area.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigep1764 View Post
    Olin still manufactures Winchester brand ammunition across the river from St Louis in Alton Ill. They are based here in the St Louis area.
    East Alton only does the shotgun shells. Centerfire and rimfire are in Oxford MS.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy

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    Pretty sure this .30-06 round does not contain a reloaded bullet ... it is not hollow pointed. The cartridge case really shows its age as does all the bullet except for the point. Thanks for the ideas of origin advanced regarding this round as well as the .50 caliber bullets. Big Boomer

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Does the bullet in the .30 round look like this?

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=remington+...3%2F553355.jpg

    Remington Bronze Point

    Here are the most common types of US manufactured .30 ammo:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=us+army+30...pswhdbr4ks.jpg

    And here's a more thorough explanation:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=us+army+30...%2Ffig1-14.gif
    Boycott YouTube

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy

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    nicholst55: In this: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=us+army+30...pswhdbr4ks.jpg where the 6 .30-06 rounds are shown, the bullet is like the second from the right or the next to the last one. Seamless transition from the ogive of the bullet to the brighter point which is about 1/4 inch long. You nailed it. BTW, what kind of bullet is that? Big Boomer
    Last edited by Big Boomer; 09-27-2018 at 09:54 PM. Reason: addition

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    50 cal ball m2 has a mild steel core. M2 AP has a hardened steel core

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    A magnet will discern a steel core from a lead one.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Yeah, test with a magnet.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy

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    I keep a magnet in my reloading room … but it never even occurred to me to use it to test these bullets out. Sometimes I overlook the obvious. What is that old axe, "If my head was not attached, I would lose it?" I'll check with the magnet and see what I have here and reply in the morning. Big Boomer

  15. #15
    Boolit Master corbinace's Avatar
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    Is there any chance the brighter area was once covered by paint, now long gone?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    In about 1969 I began reloading. I found a gunsmith whose son had gathered up many crates of machine gun fired SL-54 30-06 brass.
    I bought about 1000 of his cleanest cases. I have been reforming them for years and still have a lot of them all with the same SL-54 head stamp.
    EDG

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy

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    This morning I took a magnet to the two 50 caliber bullets and the bullet in the .30-06 round. The magnet was strong on the .30-06 bullet but not on the 50 caliber bullets, side or base where the jacket may be thinner. I had forgotten that I have a few tungsten carbide .30 caliber bullets that were given to me by an old lifer Marine friend. When I applied the magnet to the tungsten carbide bullets, the magnetism was weak. The two 50 caliber bullets were less responsive to the magnet than the .30-06 bullet. While all these bullets react to the magnet, it is weaker than the bullet in the .30-06 round. The tungsten carbide rounds that I have, have a black tip. The .30-06 round is not black tipped. The cartridge case and bullet are about the same shade of dark brown color except for the lighter bullet tip that has a smooth, unbroken surface from the end of the cartridge case to the tip. Since the bullets and the live cartridge were given to me by a friend, I prefer not to break the round down by pulling the bullet, though I would like to compare the bullet with the tungsten carbide ones. Still somewhat in the dark unless I break the round down. Thanks for the help all. Big Boomer

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    The core of USGI .30 cal AP is not tungsten carbide it is heat treated steel - probably just case hardened low carbon steel because that is the cheapest non strategic material.
    A tungsten carbide core would $2 or $3 each.
    During WWII the 76mm HVAP antitank ammo supplied for the 76mm Shermans had tungsten cores an it was always in short supply. Usually only 3 or 4 rounds per tank were available if that many.

    Due to rarity and expense tungsten, cobalt and titanium are considered strategic materials by the US government. Such materials are discouraged for use on new military designs due to the potential for shortages during war time emergencies.
    EDG

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy

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    EDG: Interesting! My old Marine friend mentioned earlier who gave me these bullets also gave me a gallon can of take-down gun powder, a gallon can of 150 (think they were actually 147) gr. jacketed bullets, and I don't remember how many of these bullets that have an extremely hard core - of whatever composition. I shot one round into a sand rock out in the boondocks and had to go home and get some special chisels and return to retrieve the core. The core could only be polished by a NEW file. The core also had little barbs, I presume to hang onto the jacket. When the bullet hit the sandrock, it shed the copper jacket and just kept on going. I had to dig and dig until I finally got deep into the sand rock in order to retrieve the penetrator core. Someone told me they were tungsten carbide, so that is why I used the term - not really knowing the full implication of the terms. Thanks for the education. Big Boomer

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    It was made in St Louis. My Mom worked at the plant in St. Louis. She worked on the 30 caliber line during ww2 while my Dad was in Italy fighting the Nazis. You can google the plant and it tells about it.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check