Headstamp help?

I received an email from someone today asking for information on the military surplus ammo he recently purchased. Here is a picture of the headstamp:

I could make some guesses, but they would be just stuff I pulled out of the air. I’m sure someone can tell me a lot more. Send me an email or leave a comment.



10 thoughts on “Headstamp help?

  1. A very cool mystery.
    It is missing the NATO “cross-within-a-circle” mark.
    I would guess that “2-53” is a date, but is that too early for 7.62×51? February 1953?
    Of course, if it is Israeli, it could use the Hebrew calendar…
    Maybe Doubletap will know.

  2. It’s Aussie. I don’t know exactly when they started putting the NATO mark on their stuff, but my memory wants to say that it wasn’t until the 80s.

    That’s good stuff, btw. If he gets a steady supply I’ll pay a fair (or more) price.

  3. I’m guessing it’s French, based on codes ‘F’ and ‘MI’. There is a supplier in Aussieland that also uses the ‘F’ code, however the second doesn’t match.

    I would be very surprised if Australia was producing M2 Ball (for military use) into the 1980s.

    Also: Do you smell wine and garlic when you fire the ammo?

  4. Oh, well then, you would be right then Joe. It would be 12mm too long for my rifles. Kind of hard to close the bolt on that. I should have actually looked at the date instead of recognizing the MF.

    But if he has someone with this stuff, maybe he could ask them to see if they have any x51 sitting in a corner somewhere handy?

  5. Nope, it’s French. I’m positive.

    Made in the spring of 1953 at Robert Paulet & Cie, Société Méridionale d’Industrie, Marseille, France.

    The leading clue that it was not produced at Footscray is the fact that it’s missing the “MF” code.

    Joe: Tell your friend not to shoot all of it, or attempt to restore it. Cartridge collectors like this sort of thing. I recently bought a surprise find of Belgian-made M2 ball. Also spotted some war surplus .303 Brit.

  6. I am the one that purchashed the ammo. I thank you who have posted answers. I also gained information from a friend in the Marines who says that the ammo is likely machine gun ammo since it has a black substance around the primer and the projectile.

    I took this ammo out after sighting in at 200yrds just too see what it could do. Phil is right, it was a little hard to close the bolt. I fired the first shot and everything was good but after the second shot I noticed that the shell itself had changed shape around the taper and that now my firing pin is broken.

    If anyone would like this ammo I am willing to sell it to you, there are 18 rounds of 20 left. My email is kyleeisenhour@yahoo.com.

  7. The black substance around the bullet and primer is weather sealant.

    The standard m2 load was used in both machine guns and standard rifles, so there is no way to tell if your specimen was delinked or not.


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