270 Win headstamps


I picked up two 270win rounds on the weekend in a bag of mixed cartridges and am unsure of their origin.
Headstamps are L at 9 o’clock, 8 at 3 o’clock, .270 at 6 o’clock. The second has a K instead of the L.
They have different primers and different projectiles but do not look like they are reloads from fired cases which makes me think that they may have been sold as new unprimed brass.
Any ideas?


I just found reference to Hirtenberger or PMP (Musgrave branded) being the manufacturer. So is it European made or Sth African?


Your .270 rounds were made by Hirtenberger, along with other calibers with similar headstamps. They are purposely anonymous, as they were made during the time when there was an embargo on ammunition shipments to South Africa. So, it is Austrian made for South Africa.

I forget how the code works. In 9 mm Para, there are a lot of the rounds, using up about half of the alphabet. A goodly number in 7.65 mm Browning (.32 Auto) as well, with less in .380 auto. A very few had the headstamp “Mus” for “Musgrave” in the area at 12 o"clock that was blank on most of them. Off hand, I thing they were on the .380s, but I might be wrong. There was .25 auto, .38 special, and I think .30-06 as well. Not sure of any other calibers.

John Moss


Thanks for that info. Now that you mention the different headstamps, I remember I have a Musgrave 308win box full of fired cases that have the ‘mus’ section of the headstamp but I had forgotten the other details that are similar to these 270s. Interestingly the box is stamped ‘Made in Austria’ - a quite obvious statement if they were breaking an international embargo. Was there also an embargo on Sth Africa exporting ammo? I ask since ammo of this era was/is commonly available in Australia.


I don’t know if the UN embargo mentioned export FROM South Africa or not. That would be harder to enforce even than the ban on export TO South Africa proved to be.

I am surprised that the box is stamped “Made in Austria.” If it is rubber-stamped, that may have been done in South Africa if the re-exported it. Exports took place some time after the ammunition was sent to South Africa, I believe.

I have a box and one cartridge for .32 Auto pistol ammunition. The box is absolutely plain. The headstamp of the cartridge is * GeO * 7.65 ". a somewhat German appearing headstamp on a cartridge with Austrian characteristics. I had asked a friend in South Africa to please not tear the labeled tops off of RSA boxes he sent me, but to send the entire empty box even if no other print was on it, because sometimes it is valuable to know the design of the box. As a joke, he sent me the box for the “GeO” ammunition, the maker of which was considered unknown at that time even among RSA collectors, and said “o.k., tell us about this box.” I was my luck that the box in question was a slightly-reduced in size version of a box design only made for Hirtenberg ammunition in Austria. I had the identical box, except larger and labeled for Hirtenberg 9 mm Para cartridges. Arfter that, he always sent me the complete, empty box.

It also, of course, identified, along with the other mentioned factors, that Hirtenberg made this .32 ammunition, with a headstamp obviously meant to be mistaken for “GECO.”

John Moss


The mentioned 308 box. Contents headstamped “mus M 6 .308”

There are many stories from shooters about high pressure, pierced primers and stuck cases from these Musgrave loads.