.223 , 5.56 x 45 in the Philippines


Hi, All…

Just got off the phone with my wife, who is visiting family in the Philippines. While digging a hole today to plant a tree on our land, she found a .223 round with typical military bullet and headstamp B M P 9 8. Unless my old eyes (cataracts included) decieve me, I do not see this headstamp in the list here on the site. Enlighten me, please…



Bataan Military Plant, Government Arsenal, Bataan, Philippines. Made modern military ammunition mainly in 5.56mm.


Ammunition for the Army is headstamped BMP. 9x19mm ammunition by the same plant for the police was headstamped RPA.



The RPA headstamped was also used on military ammunition - .45 auto, .30 Carbine and I am pretty sure .30-06. Don’t have Punnett’s book at hand. The 9 mm is very scarce in this country - I know of one live round and three others that were made into keychains so they could be sent to the US with no trouble on either end. The box for the 9 mm is quite nice. There are three of those in the US also, of which I am aware. Of course, in both cases, there could be more but no more were reported.


Some more information on the RPA headstamp. The full name of the plant at that time was:

Government Arsenal
Department of National Defense
Camp General Antonio Luna
Limay, Bataan

This came off of the 9 mm Para box, which was lot CDNP 97-01, and may be the only lot manufactured. The production facility was unable to supply all the needs in other calibers, and the information a friend of mine in the Philippines received was that they decided to concentrate their production on 7.62 NATO, 5.56, and .45. They may some .50 Caliber, but there were big problems with it, including rim breakage.

The 9 mm ammo that is in this country originated at the military Base, Camp General Antonio Luna, where it was made. Contrary to my last post on this, while an Army facility, it may have actually been packaged for commercial sale in the Camp store, where they sold ammo to authorized military personnel and gun clubs. The 9 mm, although obviously made in 1997, evidently did not show up until 2001. The box is somewhat commercial in look, with a picture of the cartridge on the top, and a bullseye target with a red symbol of unknown meaning on top of the target. It has the commercial warning “WARNING: Keep out of Reach of Children” on each end tab. The box is basic white, with mostly black print. The Camp is a Department of Defense facility, mostly manned by the Army. It is not impossible that this 9 mm Para ammo was sold to Police, but in light of the information I have, not likely since what was acquired came right from the Camp, not the police, and there appears to have been very little 9 mm Made.

Inquiries have been made to see if a BMP headstamp is found on 9 mm Para, but to date, all the information I have been able to get from friends in the Philippines says it was not, although it is rumored in this country that there is a round in a collection so headstamped. I have not confirmed that. Of course, any military caliber could show up in the future. As far as I know, the primary, current caliber of RPA pistols and SMGs is .45.


Makes perfect sense…a fellow who owns land next to us spent a lot of time in the Philippine Army…he probably “disposed” of the cartridge where it was found…NOW…if my wife could just find any of the 9mm with RPA headstamp…!!!