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50 BMG Plastic case?

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28 October 2002, 03:13
50 BMG Plastic case?
can anyone shed some light on the origin/purpose of a round? It appears to be 50 BMG. Blue PLASTIC case, with the exception of a very short metallic head and rim. It's primed, has a PLASTIC bullet, matches the blue case. Is this some training dummy? If so, I wonder why it's primed?

I'd post a pic, but I am one of the few people in the country who does not have a digital camera yet [Smile]

28 October 2002, 03:41
I think that I read/heard that blue cases were proof testing loads. Maybe someone else can say for sure.

-- Scott
28 October 2002, 08:32
Without a photo , I would guess that your plastic .50BMG is a Gallery/Practice cartridge , for short range use . The "bullet" part may have a steel insert to give it some weight as it departs on firing . The West Germans were good at making these types of items , also found in 7.62 x 51mm . Does it have a headstamp , and is the metallic rim steel or brass?

Hope that is of some assistance.
28 October 2002, 11:56
Can't shed any light on that case, but you did help with a mystery of mine. When I was a soldier stationed in Germany, I would find blue plastic .50 cal bullets in German training areas. They were kinda round-nosed and of course they had rifling marks on them. I never knew what the heck was going on with those things.
29 October 2002, 02:26
There have been a lot of these show up over the past 2-3 years. They are a short range practice load. Originally of German design, but also used by our military. There are both ball and tracer loadings.
30 October 2002, 03:53
The Dane
In Denmark the military is on a tight budget, so the tanks don't fire live rounds all the time! In training they use small caliber incerts (.22 RIMFIRE TRACER!) for the 105 mm gun and fire at a 15-25 m range at small rubber (tank) targets. For this to work properly as training they shoot the blue plastic rounds in both .50BMG and 7.62mm machineguns to make the shooting session "realistic". They are "quite common" and only need a lighter bolt to work properly, else it's only one shot and the reload.
30 October 2002, 09:23
Thanks for the input, guys!

I have two of them given by a friend who occasionally would hook me up with things for my collection. I was always puzzled what the story on them was - he didn't know what they were, he just got them for me from another shooter he knew.

BTW, Muzza... the rim is either steel or aluminum.

30 October 2002, 10:27
Alum rim.

Larry at has both regular & tracer of this blue practice ammo linked if I remember correctly. Contact him if you want a round or 2.

Also, Mark Serbu at has live .50 BMG SLAP & SLAP Tracer for $15 & $20. This is the real thing and not cheesey reloads either, the best price I've seen in years/ever. He also has live 20mm Vulcan ammo for $7.50ea.

Just an FYI