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I recently was given a large qty of ammo marked 11.43mm. I was told it is french and  it is interchangeable with 45acp ammo. I did shoot some in my H&K 45ACP and it worked fine (it appears to be identical in size to standard 45ACP rounds), although I noticed a bit more recoil. Is this stuff safe? anyone know any background on this stuff? Yes, I should of researched this before firing it.  Thanks for your help. <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->
 

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Javelinahunter:

I was unable to find a reference to the 11.43 mm in the 3rd addition of cartridges of the world.

Did you mike the bullet, is it between .451 - 454 in.  

Who told you it was interchangeable?  Is he(she) knowledgeable?

If you are a handloader be careful is the case boxer or berdan primed?  Don't try to deprime a Berdan primed case with a normal depriming tool.
 

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The bullet dia is .452. The overall cartridge length is 1.262.  The bullet is a jacketed with a lead core.  I'm not handloading pistol ammo.  Thanks.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Sounds like a .45 ACP to me.  Case length should be about 0.890" I think and case head diameter around 0.470" - 0.473".  

Since the worked, and didn't blow up the gun, sounds like everything is OK.
 

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I am sure it is .45 Auto ammunition made in France.
The Europeans know our .45 Auto cartridge as the 11.25 millimeter. God knows why the French decided to designate it 11.43 on that package. I suspect for the same reason our .35-caliber pistol cartridges are designated .38-caliber --- that is, for no good reason at all.

Headstamps on your cases will be SFI or SFM. This is for Societe Francaise de Muntion (Societe Gevelot) at the Issy-Les Moulineaux plant.
This is according to an excellent article in the September 1972 issue of Guns & Ammo magazine.

The March 1957 issue of the American Rifleman notes, "Since World War II the French have made use of American Colt pistols and M3 submachine guns (the famous "grease gun") in .45 caliber. The cartridge is a commercial item in the French ammunition industry. However, the official French handgun and submachine gun cartridge is now the 9mm Parabellum."

The U.S. Army Small Arms Identification Guide notes:

Etuis Laiton = brass cartridge case.
Armoces = primer
Balles Laiton = brass bullet (presumably brass-plated steel or a brass jacket, since you said it has a lead core). Touch a magnet to the bullet to see if it's brass-plated steel.

Poudre = propellant. I don't know what BPa means.
Nor do I know what (O,I) means.
O = Ordinaire, meaning an ordinary cartridge and I means Incendiaire, meaning incendiary. Have you noticed any smoke behind your target butts?

The extra recoil may come from it being loaded to a higher pressure than U.S. ammo. The Europeans typically load their ammo to pressures higher than the U.S. does.
The 9mm Parabellum is a good example of this. Some German Lugers will not operate well with American commercial ammo, because it lacks the oomph to reliably work the action. But European ammo may work the Luger's action reliably.
I have a Walther P-38 in 9mm and have not noted this reliability problem with American ammo.

I agree with Leadbutt that it appears this box was made in 1957. Interesting that the French even designated what year the primer, bullet and case were made.
I doubt very much this ammo was made to a higher pressure for use in submachine guns.
The manufacture of higher-pressured ammo for use in submachine guns is not common.
If it works fine in your HK and cases aren't unusually swelled, it should be okay. However, it may be loaded to a slightly higher pressure than what you are accustomed to.
The absence of primer flattening is not a good pressure sign with military ammo, since military primers tend to be rather hard. It is best to measure case bulge ahead of the internal web, and compare that to a known standard such as modern-day hardball ammo.
It pains me to see you shoot up this ammo. It was once hard to find foreign-made .45 Auto ammo. I don't know if it's back on our shores or not, but cartridge collectors might be interested in those little sealed boxes. I know I would like to have a box or two.
 

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Gatofeo,


You need to post more often, your posts are some of the most informed I've ever read. And I'm still envious of your backyard shooting range!
Joel B
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gatofeo,
thanks for the info (sorry it took so long to get back here). I was also given some very old boxes of .45 Ball ammo marked " Ball M1911 Mathieson Chemical Corporation" with 3 digit lot numbers stamped on them..they may have some collectors value.
 
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