.256 Flanged / 6.5x54R Dutch Mann. headstamp?

Can anyone help me to identify the shown head stamp which is on a 6.5 x 54R Dutch Mann. case? The only similar head stamp I can find mention of is in White & Munhall where the same letters in the same order are spaced equally at 4 points around the rim. That head stamp is listed as unknown on a .303 Brit. case. I don’t have the cartridge to hand yet, only photo’s, any help appreciated,

The Case 6,5x53R ( M92/93 Romanian, M95 Netherlands, M96 Portugal) Looks to have a military type Neck crimp;
The Projectile looks like a Military one that has been “Gashed” and maybe “soft Pointed” in the style of Fraser of Edinburgh Bullets;
I don’t know of any military maker with a “PWL” headstamp, nor any British commercial or Proprietary cartridge.
Britain did make some military 6,5x53R for Romania (1915-16)

The Only solution I can think of is "Pantswowie Wytwornia L… ( Possibly Polish?? ?but why 6,5x53R? The Poles didn’t have any Romanian Rifles I can think of, unless the Germans/Austrians had some either from Steyr or from the Invasion of Romania in 1916-17…all my Polish sources on Post WW I Military Rifles in the new republic fail to mention any M92/93 Romanian rifles.

Careful measurement of the cartridge case will reveal if it is a Dutch/Austrian case, or a Romanian /Austrian case, or a British made case ( There are slight differences, including the Primer Pocket construction (Roth .199" primer (split anvil, central flash hole) and British Priming ( Twin flash hole, .199" or .217" Primer. Other manufacturers of the case would be Polte and DWM who copied the Roth Design.

If there is a similar Headstamp in .303 noted, what is the Case design (ie, .250 British Primer, or .217" European Berdan?
(Note that S&B ® made .303 in the late 30s with a .250" primer, and Portuguese made them also, but with a Roth Anvil and a .250" primer.–1922-1937)

An interesting conundrum.


The neck crimps look much more European to me than the typical British three stab or three dot drimps.

Hello Everyone

P.W.L. There is certainly no Polish headstamp. The Polish system of coding the shortcut does not exist.

In addition to these lists is another one - W.P. - Cases and rifle clip plant. Poznan . Exist only 1920-1922. Later transferred to the machine and production to Warsaw.


The case mouth crimp doesn’t look at all Dutch. Jack

Just speculating: PWL is still today an international Airport abbreviation for an indonesian Airport on the iland of Java (before Niederländisch Indien), the town is Perwokerto…and there letters are PWL…
Nederland had own ammunition fabrications in their colonies…maybe this is related to this headstamp…
For exemple: PW stays for Pyrotechnische werksplaatsen, and one factory was PWS Pyrotechnische Werksplant Soerabaya, Java in now Indonesia…
So, PWL is not so far away…we just have to find out for what the “L” stays than…

Whilst The KNIL did Assemble and Reload 6,5x53R in the Java Plants (Soerabaya and Bandoeng at ether end of Java Island), I don’t know of any other KINIL plant with an “L” marking. It could be an Indonesian Plant, set up in the 1950s…especially if it could also have made .303…The INA used both, as well as 6,5 Japanese, 7,9 German, 6,5 Italian, 7,7 Japanese, and .30/06…“L”…?Lombok Island?

Again, a titbit of information opens up a wide range of Possibilities…I can now discard my “Polish” supposition, and will concentrate on the KNIL/INA connection.

Doc AV

Thanks to all your guys for your efforts in trying to sort out my question.
Do you think I may be getting out of my depth by putting it in with my .256 flanged stuff?

Thanks again


Not in “.256 Flanged” which is a British commercial Sporting round, but put it in “Military 6,5x53R, Unknown Maker”

The Gashes and sporterisation of the bullet look “aftermarket” to me (ie, Bubba).

With a ?? for INA (Indonesian National Army, 1950s) manufacture.

Good find.

Doc AV

I bought a Dutch carbine (short rifle, anyway) marked “Hembrug 1918” with the last month or so. It came with ‘ammo’ which is a mixed lot of rather old and possible collectable bits.

(I’ve made some ‘using’ cases from .303 British and will be testing to duplicate issue ammunition in the spring.)

None of the ammunition I have has a segmented crimp as shown. All the rounds - many are marked “FN” (presumably somewhere on the western shore of Europe) have a crimp looking all the world like a ‘roll crimp’ so near and dear to the hearts of revolver shooters using lead bullets. I presume there is a cannelure or recess beneath the crimp, but so far I’ve refrained from shooting or dismantling any of the ammunition.

I’ve made a list of head stamps and will soon post information with photos of said head stamps.

For general knowledge, I’ve been reloading and shooting for years. Now I’m a collector of WWI rifles and thereby forced into the ‘cartridge collecting’ field for obvious reasons. I’m not bad at observation, but don’t know much about the details of older ammunition.

For instance, are those nickel colored bullet jackets ‘cupro-nickle’ as I’ve been told? Or something more ordinary?

If you have Dutch or FN-made cartridges in this caliber the bullets will typically have cupro-nickel clad steel jackets, tho some production during the Great War will have plain cupro-nickel jackets. The bullets will have no crimping cannelure. It will be interesting to see your headstamps, as the headstamping practices of the continental Netherlands armed forces and the colonial forces in the Indies differ somewhat. Jack

Here are an illustrative sampling. I have a few more FN headstamps, but all the same format. Also an “AI” - possibly “A1” but I see no serif of any sort - and a single “U” on a few. Also some all nickel cases; I read somewhere (and didn’t properly mark the website) the nickel cased ones were training rounds and loaded to a lesser velocity. Does that ring a bell?

Mr. Montgomery; i just realized that my remark about the Dutch bullets lacking a crimping cannelure was wrong, as your examples show. The headstamps are those frequently found in KNIL cartridges; that is, those issued in the former Dutch East Indies. In the top round the stamps 17 over U were present at the time of manufacture, and in specimens issued to the continental Netherlands armed forces this would have been the entire marking.

These rounds you show were subsequently reloaded in the Indies and the markings at 9 and 3 o’clock were hand-stamped but indicate (it seems) powder lot and date. Likewise the 22 over FN indicates the case was made by FN in 1922 but the loading took place in 1937, or that a powder lot of 1937 manufacture was used for that loading. Dutch headstamps are talkative, but what exactly was said is still subject to some uncertainty. The AI stamping indicates the Netherlands government factory at Hembrug (Artillerie Inrichtingen), which made ammunition as well as small arms.

You will notice that the earlier cases have rounded bases, while those of late 1930s manufacture have flat bases. Jack

Thanks for the clarification re: the cannelure. I thought those looked crimped. However, I do have a lot to learn.

I appreciate your comment about ‘…talkative but not informative…’ as well. (Boy, does that ring a bell!) The AI marking is very appreciated.

Any certainty regarding the nickeled cases?

One more thing; are these worth keeping or are they rather ordinary? I would like to fire about five ‘issue’ rounds for chronograph purposes. To determine the actual velocity of ‘real’ ammunition in ‘real’ arms. As you are probably aware, governments and armies are sometimes guilty of ‘false advertising’.

It was my impression the plated cases indicated guard cartridges; in other words, regular service bullet but a propellant charge to give maybe 1200 fps or something of the sort. Part of the uncertainty of marking on these rounds is the fact that a letter in a certain position at one time appears not to have the same significance as another letter on a case produced at a different time. For example, the AI almost certainly indicates the maker, while the U on the 1917 round may well designate a lot or a (coded) metal supplier. I find these cartridges interesting, but they aren’t generally very valuable, as they seem to be relatively common. As to shooting, the primers are generally bad. Original performance was on the order of 2300 fps fired from the rifle. This cartridge (and its rimless sibling, the Mannlicher Schoenauer) once had a very good reputation as a game round. Jack

Jack, I appreciate your time and comments. I will save these old rounds; I’ve already made up some usable cartridge cases from .303 British. Mine are all Boxer primed as well.

Yes, the 6.5x53 round is effective and the 6.5x54 M-S (the same round save the rim) was considered a very useful hunting round. In fact, the 6.5x54 M-S was an elephant gun; presuming one is Walter Bell.

The headstamp is the “X” part, not the “P.W.L.” part. Maybe it’s a cover headstamp. The headstamps T, U, V, X, and Z were used during WW1 (dated 14 through 18 for 1914-1918).

The slit jacketed soft nose bullet is not the Scottish Frazer-pattern patent as his spiraled but both Kynoch & Jeffery had patents covering this vertically slit jacket.