1956 was the last year that Frankford Arsenal manufactured Cal .30 International Match ammunition. Lot FA 2165 is the one most commonly found in collections. It consisted of Sub-lots A-Z, AA and BB. Headstamped FA 56.

One additional lot, FA 2166, was also manufactured in a lesser quantity. I have been trying to document the Sub-lots of 2166. So far I have found 5, A thru E. If any of you have a carton of Lot 2166 please contact me or post the information here. Thanks.




I have a full & sealed box of Lot 2166 sub-lot E
The back label is the same as yours from the sub-lot C except that the velocity is 2260



Thanks Rene. I have a photo of the front of Sub-lot E. I believe I may have gotten it from you a while back. Unless someone has a carton of Sub-lot F or higher, you have the last Cal .30 International Match that was manufactured.

Anyone else??



I know nothing about these Match Cartridges but was surprised at the velocities, 2300 fps and 2260 fps are very low for this cartridge aren’t they? Was this because they were optimised for accuracy rather than standard ballistics?




International Matches are usually shot at short distances. 100 to 300 meters. Many cartridges give their best accuracy at those distances at relatively low velocities. Palma Matches, on the other hand, are long range. 800 to 1000 yards. Palma cartridges are usually loaded to higher velocities, 2700 to 2800 fps. National Matches are shot at 200 to 600 yards so NM ammunition is loaded to 2500 to 2700 fps.

There are exceptions, of course, and there are tournaments where more than one discipline is fired. So, for example, you might find specially loaded high-velocity International Match cartridges that can be used at all distances. You can usually tell the purpose of a Match cartridge by the powder charge.

Cal .30 (30-06) is seldom seen at matches today. It is no longer an approved Palma cartridge for international competition. It’s been largely replaced with the 7.62MM NATO and the 308 Winchester.



To add some more visual material to Ray’s box pics, here is an example of the cartridge.
This one weighs 423 gr. and is 3.455" OAL.




That’s an unusual length. Nominal length for the International Match is 3.39".




I got that one out and remeasured it as I had posted previously recorded information. The OAL is indeed 3.455". I do not know anything about the box it came from and simply had it listed as what I was told it was when I got it with a batch of other very clean, late issue FA .30 Cal. items.

The OAL made me wonder if there was primed brass available with that headstamp and green sealed, uncrimped primer. As a box for the loading you so kindly posted a while back (similar to the one in this post) indicates single loading use only, I had thought it could be correct for original but I had no info on the specified OAL you indicate above.

Could be someone’s modified creation for all I know…




It could very well be a special loading. Frankford Arsenal often did that to test things such as accuracy vs. seating depth, etc. The International Match and Palma Match cartridges were routinely loaded to a greater overall length (3.39") than the National Match because those two disciplines were slow fire, and loading did not utilize the magazine or a clip.

I’ve never seen primed empty cases with the FA 26 corrosive primer, which is what the 1953 thru 1956 Palma Match and International Match cartridges used. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, only that I’ve never seen any.

Bill Woodin probably has one. He has one of every cartridge ever made. ;-)

I’d catalog it with a note and a ? if it was mine.