5.56 NPA ball ID help


#1

Found a 5.56X45 NPA 66 ball round, would this date be PMI or SB? Round has non magnetic bullet with stab type crimps and green primer sealant. Thanks for any help with this treasure, Tom.


#2

Tom,
The “NPA” h/s is Olympic Industries, Axioupoli-Kilkis, Greece. This has been on the forum before and there still is a question as to what “NPA” stands for.
It appears that Olympic is only a importer/exporter and not the true manufacturer.
Will you please check the date in the h/s as "99’ is the earliest noted in 5.56. Your non -mag, green PA is comparable to the M193 Ball Rd.


#3

The use of the NPA headstamp by Olympic of Greece for commercial ammunition is quite a mystery. There is no question that the “NPA” was intended to stand for “Taiwan Police Agency” (the meaning of the “A” has also been reported as Administration, Association and Academy - this may be a result of translation from Chinese. We used “Agency” incidentally - we are not claiming that is the proper meaning for the letter “A” in the headstamp). We have cartridges, prmarily 9mm Para, of several dates from several makers where the customer was definitely the Taiwan Police, including dates right up to 2005 and 2006. We also have a picture of a Chinese box label for 9mm that has appeared in the bulletins of the ECRA and the RSACCA, the box printed in the Chinese language, for this ammunition. Olympic used cases with this headstamp in both 9mm and 5.56 x 45 NATO (.223) dated in the late 1990s. I agree with Frank that the date on the cartridge in question is probably “99” accidentally read upside down as “66.”

I suspect that the cases were purchased on the open market, perhaps from South Africa, one of the contenders for Taiwan contracts, surplus from a failed contract or over run, although the over run would have had to be quite large. It is possible that a factory just chose to use that bunter for brass or ammo they sold to Olympic, but I would think that would be a very poor business practice, in light, especially, that it is a contract headstamp for a National Police Agency. Just my opinion - there is no documentation that I am aware of why this headstamp was used by Olympic.


#4

I was in doubt about the 66 date also (I was still armed with an M1 Carbine at that time) but the numerals were turned the same as the 6 in 5.56 but at a more 9 0clock location than the caliber. I got the NPA possible ID’s from the web sites headstamp list. Thanks everyone for the help, Tom.


#5

[quote=“JohnMoss”]The use of the NPA headstamp by Olympic of Greece for commercial ammunition is quite a mystery. There is no question that the “NPA” was intended to stand for "Taiwan Police Agency"
I suspect that the cases were purchased on the open market, perhaps from South Africa, one of the contenders for Taiwan contracts, surplus from a failed contract or over run, although the over run would have had to be quite large. [/quote]

Hi John,
I just knew, that Olympic had a FULL ammo plant (a large modern hall with all loading machinery -new ones and a few used ones-) as we visited them. We bought 2 contracts of ammo from them (9Luger and .223) and both of them, have had the hs NPA, with date 00 = 2000.
The ammo was CIP approved by the german proofhouse of SUHL and each box bears the acceptance mark by CIP-Regulations. A new order from us was tried several times, but we got no answer anymore after that. SO, I do not knew, if they are still working (or have such an amount of money, that they are not answering any questions and responding to orders :-(( )
At that time, it seems, that the 9mm cases came from S&B, maybe also the .223 ones. The type of markings does not fit the southafrican “Face” of a headstamp from RSA.
S&B told me ones, that NPA stands for National Procurement Agency-; if this is correct, I do not knew. I got at S&Bs place a not finished 9Luger case with hs NPA 98 with the firing hole not drilled than, Maybe S&B sold this cases (9Luger and 223) away, as the real orders from the NPA where not coming in, or where not paid in time…

Forensic


#6

Forensic - thanks, that’s good information. It may or may not be “National Procurement Agency.” I have had some contact with S&B with questions, and have received some partial information, sometimes no information, and sometimes provably wrong information. The “NPA” headstamp for whatever it stands for is, originally, a Taiwan affair. I have pretty much verified that. Other companies besides S&B have made this headstamp on 9mm - two companies in the U.S. have - and one of them has verified for me that it was in response to a Chinese (Taiwan) contract from the “National Police Agency.” That doesn’t mean that is exactly what the “NPA” stands for - it could still stand for “National Procurement Agency,” even if procured on behalf of the “National Police Agency.” All very confusing, and I am not sure how important it is. Sometimes I think that as collectors, we get hung up on getting the precise meaning of a headstamp when we have found out by who, for whom and why it was made, which is the really important information. I am one of those most guilty of this! Still, it is nice to know everything there is to know about a cartridge. Far more important, though, is the absolute verification from you that S&B made the early NPA headstamps. Thank you.


#7

Just to throw a little more fat on the fire, as to the “NPA” h/s.

At the 2004 Shot Show in Las Vegas, a fellow IAA menber asked a representive from Olympic Industries what “NPA” stood for. This IAA member was informed that “NPA” were the first letters in the last names of the three Greek owners of Olympic.

While on the same subject, I strongly agree with John as to the S&B link. The similarities in crimps and letter styles cannot be over looked.


#8

Frank,

That’s what a guy at the SHOT Show said about “EDP” headstamp also. I think the people in these booths at the SHOT Show are the worst ones to ask anything. they will tell you anything to get you off their backs. they are there to do one thing only - sell. I made the mistake one year of going to the SHOT Show as “Press” representing IAA. Nobody would even talk to me, and many wouldn’t even give me a catalog.

I asked a guy at the Winchester booth a technical question at one SHOT Show, when I was still working at the store, and he finally admitted to me he was a clerk in the accounting department and didn’t know anything about ammunition. He couldn’t even find anyone presently in the both that could answer a technical question.

SHOT is a great place to SEE product, and to get catalogs. Beyond what’s in the catalogs, I have not found it a terribly good place to get real information, with, of course, a few exceptions.

Just my view after attending about 15 SHOT Shows. the best one I found for information was the lst show in San Francisco. Guess for the first one, all the companies sent their real technicians. I even had a chance to meet and talk for quite a long time with Uzi Gal, and after that when I saw him and his charming wife at other SHOT Shows, he remembered me. I was really flattered. What a genuinely nice couple they were.