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Manufacturer Headstamp Markings?

This is a discussion on Manufacturer Headstamp Markings? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Tried to search but do not find much. Does anyone have a complete list or a link to a complete list of commercial head stamp ...


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Old March 8th, 2014, 07:23 PM   #1
 
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Manufacturer Headstamp Markings?

Tried to search but do not find much. Does anyone have a complete list or a link to a complete list of commercial head stamp markings? ie: R-P, Peters etc. I have a few K of brass and trying to sort it all.



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Old March 8th, 2014, 08:15 PM   #2
 
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Here, try this...

Headstamp Codes - International Ammunition Association
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Old March 8th, 2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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Thanks mate.
I've bookmarked that one.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 08:11 AM   #4
 
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Thanks! This should be a Sticky!
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Old March 9th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #5
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It is now. Thanks Spike12.
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Old March 9th, 2014, 08:50 AM   #6
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Nice list!
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Old March 9th, 2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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Just a few comments on headstamps ... Usually the headstamp indicates what company made the ammo but not necessarily what company made the brass.

Here are some good examples: Starline makes brass for several different ammo manufacturers and will apply what ever headstamp the ammo manufacturer wants. This is typically excellent quality brass but ... sometimes the same ammo manufacture also buys their brass from a different company. A perfect example is AMERC ... some of their brass comes from Starline and is excellent, however some comes from other sources and is absolutely the worst brass on the market ... all have the AMERC headstamp.

Several years ago, CCI Speer and Federal merged under the parent company ATK. Some CCI Speer ammo uses Federal cases, some Federal ammo uses CCI Speer cases. In this situation, the respective headstamps represent the ammo manufacturer, not the brass manufacturer.

ATK also runs the only US Military ammo plant ... Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, in Independence, Missouri. Both their FC (with year date) and WCC (with year date) headstamps are made to the same NATO specs at the same plant. Examples: WCC 05 would indicate Winchester Cartridge Co, made in 2005. FC 69 would indicate Federal Cartridge Co, made in 1969. This ammo is sold commercially in Winchester White Box (WCC headstamp) or Federal Eagle boxes (FC headstamp). Good quality ammo and excellent brass cases ... about the best you can get.

One of the biggest scams is R-P cases. Most are actually made by Remington and are good quality, however some R-P headstamp cases are made in Mexico and are pure junk. If you look closely, the Mexican R-P headstamps use a smaller font.

Winchester (Olin) makes several different grades of ammo. Some with a WIN headstamp, some with Winchester headstamp, some with Super-X headstamp, and of course some with WCC headstamp. Most of this brass is good quality, however it is not all made at the same plant. WIN headstamp cases are the poorest quality of the bunch.

Why does it matter? The typical formula for cartridge brass is 70% copper and 30% zinc. This alloy has the best properties for cartridges ... allowing expansion without cracking or rupturing and typically has good reloadability. The higher quality brass ... Lapua, Norma, Starline, and a few other manufactures use pure zinc and copper to make their brass alloys, however many companies ... especially foreign made brass, use recycled brass that may contain almost any metal. Impurities change the properties of the brass cases where it might not be suitable to reload. Remember one very important fact .... cartridges are designed for just one shot and cases are not designed to be reloaded. Most times we get lucky and are able to safely reload cases many times ... sometimes NOT.

Every brass case manufacturer uses slightly different dies to extrude and form brass cases. This means the outside dimensions are usually well within SAAMI specs (for US made ammo) but the inside of the case can vary a lot from brand to brand ... or more importantly, from brass manufacturer to manufacturer. Some cases have thicker/thinner walls, different shaped webs, or different head thickness. Further, some cases have different sized flash holes, which include the newer "lead free" or "Non-toxic" cases with 3/32" flash holes versus 5/64" for standard rifle or handgun cases. Flash hole diameter changes the amount of primer flash applied to the powder and in turn, also changes chamber pressure (higher chamber pressure with 3/32" flash holes than with 5/64" flash holes). So ... when you see Federal cases with "NT" on the headstamp or Winchester cases (not always specifically marked) that are used in "WIN CLEAN" loads, it means the flash holes are enlarged. For 45 ACP brass, it also means a small primer pocket ... not the traditional large primer pocket.

If you load handgun ammo for general range practice and plinking, chances are mixed headstamps won't be an issue. About the only thing you will notice is ... some brands give out sooner than others. If you load at the high end of the charts or are loading for precision accuracy, then keeping the internal case dimensions the same (same headstamp) will also help keep chamber pressure and velocity more uniform. There are some warnings in reloading manuals where certain rifle cases are specified ... or warnings NOT to use other specific cases. This has to do with the internal volume of the cases where less volume will increase chamber pressure. Simple solution ... either use the specified case or stay well below the max listed powder charges.

Last edited by Iowegan; March 9th, 2014 at 10:15 AM.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 08:31 AM   #8
 
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Thanks Spike for the link and Iowegan for the excellent info, as always!
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 12:15 PM   #9
 
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Headstamp Codes - International Ammunition Association

Its a good list, but not all inclusive.

Jagemann Sporting Group isn't on the list
Just bought 200 pcs of their brass, available at Brownell's.

Headstamp says "JAG" & of course the caliber.

Mine are .38 Spl +P = OAL is exactly the same on all 1.144"
weight is close - I saw less than 1/2 grain difference.
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Old January 22nd, 2016, 05:56 PM   #10
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Yurko, Thanks for that tidbit. I recently acquired some 380 Auto brass with the JAG headstamp and couldn't find much about them. I haven't loaded them yet ... weight and length appear to be tight but are they any good?
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