.308w 82


What are those incomplete circles?


In the Collectors of Arms and Ammunitions Argentine Association, we had tried to identify this headstamp a time ago, those rounds “surface” in Central America.
We think it´s a clandestine headstamp, and we belive it´s made by Sellier & Belliot, if you get a Sellier & Belliot 308 Winch. sporting round, compare the two headstamps, they are very very similar, so maybe they “erase” some portions of the blunter to create this headstamp.
If anyone have more accurate information, is mostly welcome.


I just came upon two 83 versions of this headstamp. The circles are closed. Oh yeah, S&B-ish. Oh, yeah.


I wonder if it is really clandestine since these two circles are registred trade marks of S&B. (info from director of “Forensic Service Wellen”)


I have a different problem. I got 2 boxes of this stuff. I pulled the first round out, saw the incomplete circles and wrote this post. Then I waent back and looked at the rest 39 rounds. They all look like the one on the left, complete circles. Could it be the dirty bunter?


The new picture of the 82 dated rounds clearly shows the little raised areas at the “breaks” that are a clear indication of a broken bunter or one that has had things removed from it. I think that both thes circles were intended to be full circles. JMHO.

John Moss


I would have thought that the positions of the breaks was intentional, as with the positioning of the S&B “bombs”, some kind of dating or identification instrument.


They look like broken bunters to me, or perhaps intentionally altered bunters, in which case, your theory might have merit. Hard to tell which, since in some cases, both leave the same kind of marks at the broken or removed portion of the figures stamped. I had thought that maybe the arrow-head had been removed from both, which would leave the same sort of gap, but that doesn’t figure, because at that time, the so-called “bombs” (actually and arrow pointing to a clean rifle bore is what is represented, and not a “flaming bomb”) were not rotated to denote a time span of production. They were static in their positioning on the headstamp, with both sides being symmetrical, not turned at different angles from each other.

The fact that most of the rounds in the boxes have full circles would tend to negate the theory of the breaks being purposeful, however, and reinforce the theory that they represent nothing more than a damaged bunter, which are off used, for economy purposes, long after one or more of the figures on the headstamp is slightly mutilated.

John Moss


The box alone tells the story.


I am going to disagree that the headstamp with the circles with gaps was a worn bunter or damaged bunter.

  1. There is no other evidence of wear or damage to the headstamp bunter.

  2. The gaps are clear and distinct with no evidence of the roughness or shadow images usually found from a worn or damaged bunter. In fact, when parts of a bunter are intentionally removed a very close look will usually reveal a “ghost” image of the removed character.

  3. the gap in the two circles is exactly the same when I measure it on my screen. The likelihood that both would be damaged and broken so that they have gaps exactly the same width is vanishingly small.

S&B used the orientation of their logo on headstamps as a date code on commerical ammo, but as far as I know this was done well after the 1982 headstamp on these cases. That doesn’t preclude them from having used these gaps or the full circles as a date code or some other indicator well before they use the approach on commercial ammo. I think this is one case getting into a later or earlier batch of ammunition.




Lew - on my screen, I can clearly see the abberations that result from a broken or ground bunter in the gap in the circles. It is especially clear on the first picture on the thread. How, otherwise, does one explain that one round in the box had the gaps, and the other 39 rounds did not, according to their owner, Vlad, who so remarks later in the thread?
Using the old trick of marking a piece of paper for the length of the gaps, it is clear from the first, best picture, that the gap in the circle on the left is about 25-30% long than that on the circle on the right.

I’ll stock with the broken bunter theory. I have seen dozens and dozens of unclear headstamp figures like this on various 7.9 cartridges.

John Moss


I am strive find out some information on this headstemps. Find out strictly accurate information is difficult and more likely impossible. These questions already nobody answer, because it are information, that the nor no finds in archive Sellier & Bellot and had to would search in archive Omnipolu (Foreign-trade corporation) and that is problem – archive is very hard to reach. Nor yet company Sellier & Bellot often doesn’t know, for who are cartridges specified. According to socialistic planning often produce “on store” and as far as Omnipol additionaly for them get some client. Is that a problem, people who it knew are dead

On drawing military cartridge 308 W for “secret” exports from before year 89, is mentioned primer 5,5 with explosive crimps Neroxin, or same primer with explosive mercury and potassium chlorate, as per order consumer.

Is that a cartridges with primer vz. 43 (same, of what had cartridge vz. 43) with explosive mercury and chlorates potassium. To order’s one, two millions was uneconomic do new headstamp die, was used die for composition Neroxin, only sharpen from concrete dies darts indicant clean bore. From that originate the two variously inconplete or complete circle. Make any difference on quality refined.
In business jargon die for composition Neroxin says “cat head”.

Vit Krcma from the Czech Republic.


The only thing that doesn’t quite make sense if these were the Neroxin trade mark with an arrow pointing to a clean bore, with the arrow ground from the headstamp bunter die, is the attitude of the breaks. I am not aware of any Sellier & Bellot headstamp before the late 20th or early 21st centuries where the symbol is rotated far enough to account for the break in the line at about the 7 O’Clock position on one of the circles in the picture of two 1982 headstamps. Further, in that picture, one of the circles at the 3 O’Clock position has no break at all. After about the turn of this century, Sellier & Bellot start using the Neroxin trademarks as a date code, normally having only one symbol on the headstamp, and rotating it to different degrees to represent different date spreads. None I have seen have even begun to be rotated far enough to put that break clear over at 7 O’Clock.

So, with the unusual position of the breaks, and the fact that one circle shown on the “82” headstamp has no break at all, and due to an earlier description that mention most rounds in a box didn’t have any breaks, I would stick to my opinion that these breaks are caused by breakage of the thin raised form of the edges of the circle on the headstamp bunter during the stamping of thousands of cartridge cases. Bunter breakage of this type is not at all uncommon, and company’s often chose to continue to use such a bunter, for economy, until such time as the entire bunter is worn past is normal life, and would be replaced anyway. I have many variations of headstamps in my own collection showing broken bunters, and have discarded many others, rather than take up space with them, since they do not really represent anything other than a die defect. I save only ones I consider “interesting” now - very subjective, I admit.


John Moss


These information are straight from firm Sellier & Bellot.



Vit - I have contacted Sellier & Bellot about other things in the past, and not always received a correct answer the first time. Were they shown these photos? If the “Arrow” was removed from the bunter, what is the explanation of the ones with a break only on one side, or the explanation for those with no breaks at all?

I have not found factories to always be the best source of information on their own products. It is ALWAYS who you are given to talk to at a factory, unless you simply have reliable friends there. I contacted RUAG some years ago when I acquired the first “T 9x23” cases encountered by collectors. They were found initially in Spain, and identified as being from Toledo, but the headstamp style and letter forms made no sense for Toledo, but were identical to Thun 9 x 21 cartridges. The first email response from RUAG was that they never made such a thing. I got the name of another person at Ruag, and they said they didn’t know if they made them or not. Finally, my friend Frank Nerenberg gave me the name of a lady at RUAG, and I emailed her, and she knew all about them and give me all the information I needed for my 9 x 23 book. She proved to be friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about all RUAG ammnunition products. The others I emailed didn’t seem to know much at all about their own company’s products.

It all depends on who you talk to if you get good information or not!

I have to stand by my opinion the for the reasons initially mentioned, I believe these breaks on the headstamps pictured on this thread - the only headstamps I am talking about since I don’t collect this caliber - are the product of a broken bunter.

Sorry to be stubborn my friend, but it is just the way I see it, and I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise.

John Moss


Not Clandestine ammo at all, Just Omnipol Export lots…usually thru Interarms ( acknowledged connection of Sam Cummings with Eastern Bloc).

The Ammo concerned was also found with “ZV 69 and ZV 70” headstamps ( “ZV”= Zbrojovka Vlasim or “Arsenal Vlasim, which is the Home of S&B). The Interesting thing is that whilst the ammo is packed in 20 round boxes marked '308 Win etc, either light Blue or Grey washed colour, they are packed in Tin-lined Czech Army style Green Crates (Ply and Pine, with steel hinges and latches) and the same markings " 7,62–T65” and then the usual Czech-style Powder, Primer etc etc details ( “German system”).

The Initial ZV series of ammo came from the Spanish Enclaves of Mellila etc, in North Africa etc, and the later ( late 70s and up to mid 80s) “o-o .308 8x” headstamps direct from Interarms and Century. We had millions of the “o-o” rounds in Australia in the late 1980s…very good ammo, but corrosive as all hell…it ruined a lot of Mausers, M14s etc in the hands of “idiots” who did not clean appropriately. ( for corrosive primers).

The ZV69 and 70 on the other-hand, having been badly stored, were liable to hangfire or not fire at all ( I dismantled thousands of rounds for the Projectiles and the Powders, hydraulically decapped the Berdan Primers, and then used the cases for dummies and blanks.
ZV 69 had a chemically Blackened primer ???Neroxin??; Czech "Military " Ammo was always Corrosive, whether for Local or Export use…They only changed to Noncorrosive (and now Non-Lead) Priming once free of the Soviet Yoke ( but still made Steel cased 7,62x39 etc) with corrosive primers for export…to Bosnia etc during the Yugoslav area civil wars.( 1990s).
S&B Sporting ammo had been NON-Corr. since the early 50s or even before.

As to the “nicked” “O” in the headstamp, I have not noticed it on the many of these cases I have in store…not that I would examine them so closely… problems with these cases also include double drilling of the Berdan Flashholes, resulting in either three or even four flashholes (or sometimes just two, but “figure-8” shape.

They must have been really running the tooling into the ground on these cartridges…

Doc AV
AV Ballistics


The flash hole problem Doc Av refers to was not only with this particular 7.62 x 51 production. I have fired cases in 9 x 19 mm Para with one, two and three flasholes (Berdan, of course) that a friend in RSA sent me, and after getting those, I looked at cases when I shot any of my Makarovs with Sellier and Bellot ammunition, and found them also with one, two and three flasholes. Quality control???

I am not a fan of S&B. I have had a Makarov round that had just enough powder to get a bullet out the bore. It did not hit the target, nor did the fired case eject from the pistol

John Moss


In the latest flyer from Graf and Sons (Mexico, Missouri), they advertise Mil-Surp 308 Win Ammo manufactured by Sellier&Bellot from 1980-83. Brass case, berdan primed - Corrosive, lead core, 20 rounds per box/53 boxes per case. I can’t make out the headstamp but the 20-round box is the same as pictured earlier in the thread. My magnet indicates a steel jacketed bullet, however.