308 primer colour


I have two 308 cartridges with coloured primers. Are they specialised rounds.

head stamp ZV, 7.62, 69 standard looking ball round brass case, the complete primer is black apparently it is Sellier & Bellot manufacture

the other is a standard looking 308 ball round brass case HS 308W 85 it has a bright red primer annular ring.


Don, See page 4 of this Forum, entry: “Soviet Blackened Primers,” last entry dated March 18, 2007, 10:40 AM. this thread has a long discussion of the black primers, including the Czech one you mentioned.

Could your other .308 perhaps have an “HP” headstamp, instead of “HS” (I don’t know this caliber well)? If it says HP, it is made by Hirtenberger of Austria, and the red primer seal is probably just ball, as that was the colour they used the most often on many calibers of ammunition simply to water and oilproof-seal the primer. If it is “HS” I don’t know who made it, nor whether or not the primer seal colour has an special significance.


sorry john my mistake i put down HS as an abbreviation for head stamp i should be more clear in this area