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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lake City resumed production of a modified M1909 blank cartridge apparently in 2012 for ceremonial use in rifles loaned by the US Army to recognized veterans organizations, National Cemetery Honor Guards and certain LE honor guards.

The new M1909 looks nothing like the old, actually it resembles a grenade launching cartridge, the only visual difference is the number of crimps closing the mouth of the cartridge. The blank has 6 crimps and the grenade launching cartridge has 5 crimps. An Ohio American Legion honor guard has already suffered 2 injuries and catastrophic failure of 2 rifles when somehow getting their hands on grenade launching cartridges and firing them in M1 rifles equipped with blank firing adaptors. The cartridge case appears identical to the last runs of LC M2 Ball in the 1970's complete with neck annealing and annular crimped primers. All of the of the head stamps I have seen are LC 12. They are packed 20 rounds to a pasteboard carton 31 cartons (620 rounds) to a M2A1 ammo box. They are shipped 2 ammo boxes (1240 rounds) in a wire bound crate from Lake City through the Joint Munitions Command at RIA. Ammunition is shipped only to originations which have caliber .30 rifles loaned by the Army through the donations section of TACOM (Tank and Armaments Command) Warren MI. Nicely reconditioned M1 rifles equipped with blank firing adaptors and minus the gas cylinder lock are shipped through the CMP.





While the head stamps are LC 12 the lot number on the box indicates 2013 loading.

On the left are fired and un fired new style M1909 blanks along with the old style M1909 on the right. The new style blanks contains about 11.9 gns of a flake propellant shaped in rectangles, the cartridge is crimped and the 1/6th hole remaining looks like it is sealed with glue as a few flakes of propellant are stuck to the inside of the crimped neck. The M2A1 boxes have a fabric pull tape under one of the cartons to lift the first one out. There is also a folded cardboard filler on the bottom row of cartons to prevent shifting of t the cartons. The wire bound crate and each ammo box is sealed with wire seal marked US over LC.
 

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I recently bought an M19A1 ammo box at an antique store that was loaded with a full 250 round link belt of M1909 blank. I thought I could get an estimate of when the box was made by the dates on the cartridges. WRONG. I remembered that the military reloaded empty cartridge cases into blanks (something they did not do with ball ammo) and the dates were anywhere from the early 50s to the early 60s and made by RA, WRA, LC, WCC, SL, TW and even an " FA Match" round from 1960. My first thought was I didn't know they made match blank ammo.

The lot number was LC L 13332.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I recently bought an M19A1 ammo box at an antique store that was loaded with a full 250 round link belt of M1909 blank. I thought I could get an estimate of when the box was made by the dates on the cartridges. WRONG. I remembered that the military reloaded empty cartridge cases into blanks (something they did not do with ball ammo) and the dates were anywhere from the early 50s to the early 60s and made by RA, WRA, LC, WCC, SL, TW and even an " FA Match" round from 1960. My first thought was I didn't know they made match blank ammo.

The lot number was LC L 13332.

The box on the right, open when we found it had a mixture of WRA, LC, TW and SL all early to mid '50's head stamps. We also found a couple of loose rounds of DEN 44 blanks. The DEN 44 blanks are the likely culprit for the barrel corrosion on all 10 of the Post's previous Army loaned M1917 rifles. Three of those were in arsenal new condition (rebuilt) on the outside, but the bores has a .22 caliber hole, the rest was corrosion. We returned these about 15 years ago because we couldn't, at the time, meet the storage requirements. I guessed that because they only fired blanks they thought theynever had to clean them.
 

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Thinking they didn't have to clean them unfortunately seems to be the norm for many veterans organizations. Back in the day I was an NCO with the National Guard and a fairly young LTC had died and funeral arrangements were being made and I found myself detailed to be in charge of the honor guard at the funeral. The standard rifle at the time was the M16A1 but the officer in charge didn't think they made a big enough bang with blanks so he arranged to borrow seven 1903 Springfield rifles from a veterans organization I don't know how he expected that the guys of the honor guard who had never handled a bolt action rifle would know how to load and fire them let alone do a manual of arms or actually fire the things. Fortunately I was familiar with them as I owned an 03 and an 03A3 at the time. The day before I spent some time with the soldiers and showed them how to load cock and fire them and in the end only one rifle jammed during the firing and as instructed the soldier pretended to raise his rifle as if to fire and it all looked proper. When all was said and done I returned all the Springfield to my supply room where I was getting set to run a rod with bore cleaner through each one when the officer in charge said "oh don't bother they will take care of that" Meaning the VFW I guess. I knew what corrosive ammo would do to a rifle and I always wondered if anyone had ever cleaned those rifles before or since.

A while back the CMP was selling M1917 and I believe 03's that had been returned from vets organizations and they were listed in very poor condition bore wise. Little wonder.
 
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