could someone tell me what the “s” stands for on a “U.M.C. 30 S” headstamp.
the cartridge is 30-1903
thank you



I did not think the .30-03 was ever made with commercial headstamps though. Did you mean .30-06?




Welcome to the Forum. The .30-03 was indeed made with commercial headstamps. I believe the “S” in yours would stand for “Springfield”. The great thing about this forum is that if I’m wrong, many much more learned folks will step up to set me straight and get you the right answer!




I believe it meant 30 Springfield. The WRA cartridges were headstamped 30 G which meant 30 Government. This resulted in some confusion with the 30-40, some of which were also headstamped 30 G or 30 USG and so WRA later used the headstamp 30 G 1903.


PS - Dave beat me by one minute.


it is a 30-03, has a round nose,soft point bullet.
have 3 others with the same bullet type, haed stamps are:
U.M.C. 30-1903 u in primer
REM-UMC 30-1903 u in primer
W.R.A. Co. 30 g. 1903

thanks for the info.


UMC commenced production of the .30-03 cartridge in March 1904, under the name “.30 Government Springfield Rimless.” That would seem to confirm that the “S” means “Springfield,” exactly as Dave and Ray thought. It wasn’t long before they started making the .30-03 sporting rounds. They commenced making them in July 1904 with a soft point bullet, using the same bullet as in the Krag soft point.

It is interesting the Fjackso has the headstamp UMC 30-1903 with a soft point bullet, as according to notes I have, that was the first UMC headstamp on military ball. I don’t know exactly when they started using the .30 S designation on headstamps.

John Moss



Nice selection of headstamps.

Here’s a pic of the REM-UMC 30-1903.

(AKMS had it as Springfield too so it was a three way tie!)


Commercial manufacture took place because civilian rifles were offered in .30-03 caliber, including the Browning designed Model 1895 lever action rifle, and probably some others, and this caliber was offered after the .30-06 was adopted, perhaps because you could fire .30-06 in a .30-03 chamber. (Although the added jump before the bullet engaged the rifling was not optimum.)


If you compare the .30 S loaded with the full jacket bullet you will see it has a ‘blunter’ shaped nose than other .30-03’s & is the same shape as the .30-01 bullet.
I’ve not seen the .30 S with a soft nose bullet, so?
it’s one of the better, fmj ball 30-03’s.


Frankford Arsenal began producing the Cole bullet in late 1902 and used it from that point for the .30-40 and later for the .30-03. If I read Hackley et al. correctly the .30-01 mostly used the earlier blunt-nosed bullet with 3 cannelures but also a few with the pointier uncannelured Cole type. Interesting that the UMC .30-03 with the .30 S headstamp would employ the pre-Cole type. Jack


Indeed interesting. Had a 03 in a sale not long ago & Bill W. pointed this out to me, so mine is not the only one so equipped. Not pulled the bullet to see if cannelured, & not about to.