.45 ACP headstamp ID

" L E 45 A.C.P." , found in Italy.

I’d like to know the maker of this case


I have LE listed as : Giulio Fiocchi, Lecco, Italy

The “LE” headstamp is actually a proprietary marking of Leader Trading GmbH, Eggerschiedter Straße 4-6, 40883 Rattingen, FRG. That is according to a leader 9 mm 175-round Can I have (empty). It is true that Fiocchi made some of their ammo. I am not at all sure about the headstamp pictured. My round with the same headstamp content was made by Fiocchi, but the headstamp pictured, while saying the same thing including punctuation, appears to have larger headstamp letters than does my round, and the “L” and the “E” are a little farther apart of the headstamp of Pivi’s case.

I do not know if Leader Trading is still in business, and if so, if they still market the “Leader” brand of ammunition. I have had my LE-headstamped rounds, as well as the empty can, for years.

As I recall, “Forensic” from this Forum was quite expert on all aspects of information about Leader and their products.

Nice find Pivi. I had not known of any variations in the “LE” headstamps on any caliber.

John, “LE” is documented for these calibers/manufacturers:
Serbian PPU: 7.65x17SR
Slovak PS-Grand a.s. (to most better known as “aym”): 9x19

In 9mm, I know that PS in Slovakia also made ammunition with the LE headstamp. I suspect that the contracts went to a number of contractors over time. Without a box or some insider information, it is unlikely that you will identify the maker. I have no reason to believe that the contractors who made 9mm made any other calibers.

I checked the book on PS and the 9mm were made between 2001 and 2004. There is no evidence they even produced 45ACP during that time-frame.


EOD - that doumentation is incomplete. I have a Leader Box (not referring to the can I mentioned earlier) for 50 Rounds. While it soesn’t meantion any form of the Leader name except just that, meaning it doesn’t mention Leader Trading GmbH, the Leader brand name is in their trademark forum with “Leader” printed over the top edge of a long rectangle, and with a shadow of the rectangle, as if it was floating in air above a table, in along the bottom and right edge of the rectangle. That is the same form as is on my 175 round can.

This Grey box with black print is marked:Made in Italy. The font on the headstamp is quite consistent with Fiocchi, although it is “LE 9mm LUGER.” It is also consistent with my .45 auto round, for which I do not think I have the box, which as I mentioned initially, is somewhat different font than the headstamp Pivi shows.

So, add “Italy” to your documentation, at least for 9 mm and probably quite safe for .45 Auto. I forget if there are other headstamps such as .380, etc. There may be. No time now to search them out.

John, yes, it is incomplete as for Leader in general but I have the data logged only for “eastern” manufacturers and that excludes FIOCCHI unless they made cartridges for “eastern” countries or featured their trademarks. So I have to admit that my point of view on “LE” is somewhat limited.

No problem there Alex. Most of us direct out attentions and accumulated documentation to those fields of interest most important to us. I know I do.

Thanks all

John, I doubt this 45 ACP case was made by Fiocchi because they use the “4” written in another way. I didn’t find similar/identical headstamps in my 45 collection, anyway I don’t have 45 ACP samples from PS grand or PPU, so it may have been made by these factories

Pivi - I’ll try to find time today to make some comparisons. I don’t think your case is Fiocchi either, which is why I pointed out the differences from my own LE 45 A.C.P. round’s headstamp, because I believe it IS Fiocchi-made. Of course I know my 9 mm is because I have the box for it.

I will check PPU and PS, but also MFS who has made a lot of ammo for Fiocchi lately.

I have this with the LE a little closer together than shown above & the grey box notes “MADE IN E.C.”

For awhile, these boxes were marked as made in the European Community (Europische Gemeinschaft), but like my 9 mm box, they started coming with a round white sticker printed “Made in Italy” covering that marking. It may have had something to do with U.S. Law requiring import items to be marked with the COUNTRY of origin. The “EC” is not a country. I am only guessing on that point. However, there is not question that Pete’s .45 rounds are from Fiocchi.

That is the round I was discussing from my collection. The 9 mm box I have is the same color and basic printing as Pete’s .45 box.

Pete & John,
the CIP proofmarks on the box are undoubtely italian. This is the old type used for ammunition by the italian proof house

Anyway, cases could have been made by other factories outside Italy and then loaded here for Leader.

Yes, they could have been loaded by Fiocchi, but since they are a different font from the ones we know to be from Fiocchi, it is just as possible that they were loaded elsewhere.

Pivi, I can confirm that this “Leader” brand cartridge was made in Hungary by MFS. The box is the current all black with yellow letters and is marked “Made in EU” below an Hungarian “M” proofmark. The headstamp style is identical to the one used in .45 Auto cartridges made by MFS for Fiocchi of America (FIOCCHI USA 45 A.C.P.). Regards, Fede.

Fede, I have the Fiocchi USA cases, but the “4” number is written in another way then the LE case.7

About the “M” proof mark, according the italian national proofhouse website, this is the “new” mark and it is the same for all the CIP proofhouses

Fede - Thank you. That confirms my suggestion that Hungary be looked at, but I had not gotten to that choir yet. You saved me looking.

Do you have a picture of the box you describe that you could put on the Forum. I think it wouldn’t matter what caliber the box is for if you just have a picture of some other caliber, as this is as much a “Leader” thread as it is “.45 Auto.”

Of course, in context, a .picture of the .45 box would probably be preferred if available.

Pivi, the proof mark I’m referring to is not the new “CIP over M” but the “M over shield” unique to the Hungarian proof house, as shown below:

John, this is the box:



I have three boxes or box images in the collection, one from Fiocchi, one from PS and one from PPU. Each manufacturer used a slightly different headstamp on their products.

Italy-I obtained this copy in 1997.

Slovakia-I obtained this box in 2005. I also obtained a round with this headstamp from a box marked “Made In Canada”, but it is clear the cases at least were made by PS. The box indicated it was loaded with a 130gr bullet. The box was marked LEADER but I didn’t get a copy. I obtained this round in late 04 or early 05.

Serbia-Obtained this image in 2011

Hope these help.

I’d appreciate anyone who has any other Leader 9mm box to post an image. I would particularly like an image of the made in Canada box.


Fede, Your box looks like a PPU product.