380 Revolver ID


Hi Folks this is a 380 short Revolver round , all the books are pointing me in the direction of a Winchester round with the headstamp of W (at 12 oclock) 380 (at 6 oclock) it has a round nose lead bullet with 1 knurled ring almost half way down, flat copper primer, I have the feeling it may not be a Winchester round ,any ideas? thanks Randy


The same headstamp exists on 450 (W 450) but it is probably NOT Winchester. I have never seen proof as to what it is though most of the theories are that it is “Eastern European”. However, I stress that I haven’t seen any documentation supporting that.

The 450 version turns up in Australia most frequently where a lot of European manufacturers had agents to take advantage of the market in “frontier” weaponry.

Can you post a photo of the headstamp?

Chris P.


Well, here I “is” again. It probably doesn’t relate at all to the .380 and .450 cartridges you guys reported, but I have a very rare .32 auto round with headstamp “W 44” that turned up in East Germany after the wall went down. I don’t think it had been reported before that time. It most certainly is not Winchester. Leaving out the use of the “W” headstamp by Winchester in WWI on .45 ACP and perhaps other calibers, Winchester did make some cartridges of various calibers with simply a “W” at the top and a two-digit date at the bottom." I have examples of .380 auto and .45 Auto. These rounds were made from about 1938 thru 1940, for China. I doubt that they relate to the .380 and .450 revolver rounds either, but I thought I would add that to the mix here, for others who know a heck of a lot more than I about those calibers to contemplate.

Woellersdorf in Austria used a “W” also on a lot of headstamps, but I don’t recall ever seeing one with simply a “W” and a caliber or date. There are usually other entries.