12.7X108-Arab Republic of Egypt-1976-Shoubra


Hello all,
This is a 12.7 X 108 MM round I have. I was told the headstamp may be Arabic but frankly I have no idea. It looks like it was carved or scribed in be hand, not stamped. Again, no idea why. Anyone have any ideas?



You have it oriented wrong. What looks sorta like EPO is arabic for UAR, United Arab Republic (Egypt). The 8:00 (V backwards 7) is year of manufacture (1972). 5:00 (backwards 7 V) is Factory 27 (Shoubra)


Wow, thank you. I had figured the dot was the beginning of a caliber designation. Thats what I get for thinking American. I wonder if it’s a hand made stamp or individually done?

I have also rotated the picture 180 degrees.


I’m sure the headstamp was made with a normal-style bunter that stamped all the characters at once, but what you’re looking at as a “dot” is actually a mark left by the ejector in the firearm that fired that case.

Edit to add: I’m sure that if you look at the back face of the ejector-groove directly across from that “dot”, you’ll also be able to see a clawmark left by the extractor.


Thanks, it just looked odd to me.

Edit: Changed post name to reflect ID.

  • I should mention that the location of the “Factory 27” [“Shoubra” - Company for Engineering Industries Military Factory #27] is Cairo [Egypt]. Please note that the headstamp markings are impressed, not raised like the 12.7X108 ammo manufactured by Russia, Romania and other former communist countries. — QUESTION: Which other country [or countries] manufactured 12.7X108 rounds having impressed headstamps??? — Note: Factory 27 from Cairo [Egypt] also manufactured 9X19 and 14.5X114 rounds having the same impressed headstamp style. Liviu 03/08/07


or 1976 ?



Is is worthy of noting that in at least some cases (no pun intended), these
cases were reloaded and the original (Soviet) raised headstamp was milled off, resulting in the need for an impressed headstamp. I beleive this is mentioned in P. Regenstreif’s book on Soviet ammunition.


  • I don’t believe that the Factory 27 from Cairo [Egypt] reloaded fired 12.7X108 brass cases of Soviet manufacture. It couldn’t be practical to do this. My reasons are: — [1] A fired 12.7X108 brass case I have made by Factory 27 has 2 flash holes and to replace the original fired primer would be too much trouble. — [2] The Russian made 12.7X108 rounds have the heavy bullet secured in place by 2 strong circular crimps and the distance between these 2 crimps is about 4mm. The 12.7X108 rounds made by Factory 27 also secured the bullet with 2 strong circular crimps having a distance of over 5mm between them. There is no sign of previous crimp on the 12.7X108 shell cases neck made by Factory 27. — [3] I just measured the rim thickness of 2 12.7X108 brass cases, one Russian made by State plant #3 in 1944, the other made in 1976 by Factory 27 from Cairo [Egypt]. Both shell cases [made of brass] have the same rim thickness of 1.9mm and how the 12.7X108 case rim could be milled??? Let’s not forget that the Russian raised headstamp for 12.7X108 [like 14.5X114] rounds is stamped inside of a circular recess and to modify the Russian fired cases also would too much trouble [in my opinion]. Liviu 03/08/07

  • There is something else I want to mention here: the fired 12.7X108 shell cases have the rim deformed during the extraction and ejection process and the head / base is not perfectly level anymore. Even fired 12.7X108 shell cases made of steel are deformed, not only the brass 12.7X108 cases. Some fired 12.7X108 shell cases [brass or steel] also have a deformed case mouth. To reshape the fired 12.7X108 brass shell cases for reloading does NOT worth the trouble. — Note: According with the brochure named “Communist Ammunition 12.7X108mm and 14.5X114mm” written by P. Labbett and F. Brown, there are 2 primer sizes for the 12.7X108 round: the standard 9mm Russian size and the other primer is abot 8mm in diameter. Liviu 03/08/07


I’m sorry, but this headstamp has been incorrectly interpreted, both as to the meaning of the Arabic letters and the date. The date has already been corrected - it is 1976, not 1972. The Arsenal is, indeed, Shoubra, using Military Factory code number 27. However, the three letters at the top are not U.A.R. standing for the United Arab Republic, although that headstamp was used until 1971. In l1971, the name was change to the Arab Republic of Egypt, and along with that change, the Arabic headstamp Letters were changed to those that represent the Arabic form of A.R.E. and are the letters shown in the headstamp photograph at the top of this thread. I was late jumping into this because I don’t often look at the large caliber threads. These same headstamps, though, appear on 9mm Para, .380 auto and 7.9 x 57mm, which I collect, along with other calibers that I don’t.


John–At least I got the country right!! Since you looked at this thread late, you would not know that the original photo was upside down to that now shown. The orientation was changed after my posting. No excuse for my misinterpretation. My old eyes just didn’t twist things right.
Thanks for the correction. I have edited the title of the thread to reflect the correct info.

  • John, thanks for the clarification about the Arabic markings stamped at 12 o’clock position. I have one 7.92X57 and one 7.62X54R cartridge [both having brass cases] having Arabic headstamp markings which I assume are from Egypt. The markings from 12 o’clock position are identical but different compared with the picture from above, perhaps being the U.A.R. mark. The Arabic dates of manufacture [stamped at 6 o’clock position] are: “57” for the 7.92X57 round and “58” for the 7.62X54R round. Both primers have a black annulus and the same style of crimping with 3 dots. There is no arsenal stamp mark on both headstamps. Liviu 03/08/07


Liviu - your rounds, being made before 1971, would have the Arabic equivilents of “U.A.R.” on the headstamp. As I recall, by the time the A.R.E. headstamp appears, they were not making 7.9 x 57. I have both only on 9mm Para in my field, although both may also appear on .380. I only have the older headstamp on that caliber.


On my Egyptian 7.62x39mm cartridges from 1957 and 1958, the “factory code” at 12 o’clock is a snake-like Arabic script which, I am told, stands for “Misr”, the old name for Egypt. From about 1959 onwards, the three letter abbreviation plus the addition of the two digit factory code began to be used. As for the 12.7 cases, P. Regeinstrief’s book clearly shows an Egyptian 12.7 case with mill-marks on the head. The caption and accompanying text refer to the reloading of fired Soviet cases. Perhaps the author can clarify this for us. Surely not all Egyptian 12.7 are reloads, but apparently some were.



AKMS - Yes, that is right, the serpentine figure stands for the old name of Egypt - Misr. About the same time, there is also another figure used on some headstamps that is the name “Shoubra.” A 1954 7.9 Mauser round has this. The latter figure is sometimes mistaken for the Arabic acronym for Sudan, “Alsudania,” but that character is somewhat different. (Looks like a large “U” connected to a small “u” by a line.) On at least 7.9 Mauser, by the way, the Shoubra character is used in conjunction with the Misr character. On other rounds, the Misr character cna be found alone. I suppose it was understood that the ammunition came from the Shoubra factory.


Very interesting! You learn something new every day here. What about factory “10” on Egyptian cartridges? Are these only found on the Soviet calibers? They seem to be more scarce than the “27” marked ones.



The “10” code is often found on Egyptian .303 cartridges.

  • I still like to hear from somebody who can convince me how the Factory 27 from Cairo [Egypt] reloaded spent 12.7X108 shell cases of Russian manufacture which had to be deprimed of the fired Berdan primer with 2 flash holes [the primer sealant is like an epoxy], reshaped [dented case mouth and deformed rim], the case head had to be milled and stamped again, clined, reprimed and reloaded again. I don’t think a serious arsenal would do something like this to manufacture good quality military ammunition. Liviu 03/08/07


2 “milling versions” might be possible:

  1. Milling the whole case head actually is a very questionable thing since it is ruining the head space and makes the rim weak. I see no point of doing that. Beside this there is sufficient space on the 12.7x108’s head to stamp a “new” head stamp around the old one which is “out of way” in it’s “inner groove”.

  2. Milling only the “raised” letters of the Russian head stamp in the “inner groove” around the primer would leave visible traces easy to identify.
    Has somebody ever seen such a case?

Any thoughts?