5.56 x 45 Headstamps


Recently I was given a swag of deprimed and cleaned 5.56 cases for range shooting. Although they were of different makes and years, the following caught my eye:
(1) W.C.C O 3 standard WCC layout with large dots centralised either side of the middle “C”.
(2) Normal five position layout - W C C O 5
(3) Nato symbol at 12 with WCC 05

Questions are: Why the dots on (1) and reason for the two headstamps for the one year i.e. 2005.

I am presuming that (1) is for a manufacturing process, (2) is for normal usage and (3) for Nato usage. Answers?


#1, as for the dots on either side of the middle “C” in the H/S: They are found on 55gr. fmj, manufactured in Israel for Winchester. Packaged in 20 rd. USA brand “Q” load, Q3131A commercial boxes, with the notation “Made in Israel” on the back.


More Dots: Here’s another example of a WCC H/S, with dots added to the format as a way to ID the maker as other than Winchester. Again these are on
5.56mm/.223 REN, 55 gr. fmj., 20 rd boxes of “Q” loads, Q3131A1.

WCC at 12 o’clock, a wider spacing than the norm, 09 at 6 o’clock, a single dot at 9 o’clock and at 3 o’clock and a single dot between the 0 and 9 at 6 o’clock.

Box marked, “Made in R.O.Korea”

308 WIN Cartridge Case, Winchester Headstamp With Dots

Also, Israeli made .223 Rem with the “WINCHESTER” commercial headstamp has a dot on either side of the “WINCHESTER”.

The WCC with no NATO symbol would have been intended for M-193 type ammunition. WCC with NATO symbol in the headstamp would have been intended for M-855 type ammunition. There is no guarantee that this is how the brass was used though. Lake City manufactured 5.56x45mm loaded to M-193 specs. has been seen with NATO marked brass, even though the M-193 is not a NATO standard cartridge.



To FrankN and AKMS, thanks for the info, answers the questions nicely.


Since I have seen both Sellier & Bellot-made 45 Auto and 380 Auto with the .WINCHESTER. headstamp, in the abscence of a box stating country of origin, I would presume the 223 Remington .WINCHESTER.-headstamped ammo was S&B too. I also just looked at the 223 Rem ammo in a Winchester white box that stated “MADE IN R. OF KOREA”. The headstamp was WCC (at 12 o’click), a single dot at 9 and at 3 o’clock, and 08 at 6 o’clock.


Returned to check out another box of the Winchester Q3131A1 223 Rem made in Korea with a magnifying glass. Yep there’s a dot between the 0 and 9 at 6 o’clock.