5.56 x 45 help


I need help with these 5.56 cartridges. All are headstamped W C C 8 8, and the bullet profiles are a little ‘pointier’ than standard. I suspect these may be multi-balls, as they are a little heavier than standard, and they attract a magnet well down the case beyond the shoulder. The two on the left differ slightly in their bullet profiles, the third one has a yellowish colored tip, and the fourth has a red tip. The colors may be intended as a target marker to show the dispersal pattern of the projectiles rather than identifying the projectile as a tracer or whatever. These were in a large assortment of cartridges that included some experimentals from Picatinny, according to the seller; unfortunately, nothing is identified, leaving me to sort out the keepers from the standard production cartridges.


From left to right;

  1. 5.56mm ACR Duplex Phase III (Final design) - 35gn & 33gn bullets.
  2. 5.56mm ACR Duplex Phase III (a) - 35gn & 33gn bullets.
  3. 5.56mm ACR Duplex Phase III (b) - 35gn & 33gn bullets.
  4. 5.56mm ACR Duplex Phase II - loaded with two 35gn bullets.



Thanks - that was rather impressive based on my mediocre pictures.


I’ve learned a great deal from your website over the years Guy, it’s nice to be able to give a little back once in a while!


I tend to get tripped up as run across the newer military cartridges; this is one of a number of areas that I have little knowledge of or references for. I guess its time to expand my cartridge library again. Is there a good book that gives good coverage of most of the military cartridge developments after WW2? Currently, my military ammo books end at 1945 (Hackley, Woodin & Scranton Vol 2), though I do have Hughes’ M16 book and Chris P’s 30-06 book.


If I had to nominate just one book as a good ‘all-rounder’ I’d go for Jean Huon’s “Military Rifle & Machine Gun Cartridges”.
This book doesn’t go into great detail but does provide a good photograph and sufficient descriptive details to identify more than 250 military calibres, old and new, together with many of the loads found in the more common calibres.


I tried ordering Huon’s book about ten years ago and it was no longer available - usually the case once I realize I need a particular book. I suspect its been long enough that it has been reprinted. I’ll google for it. Thanks.


It is avalable at Amazon at the moment:

amazon.com/Military-Rifle-Ma … 093555405X


I just ordered it. Thanks.


I was not aware that Huon’s book had been published in English. My 1986 edition is in French. However I can make most of the technical ata out. And if I really want to know what it says there is always Bablefish, even if it does mess up on some of the terminology, like calling primers starters.
If I did not have the French edition I woud sure buy a copy. It is well worth the $35.00, especially since it ships free.


Re: Huon . . . there are two editions. The first is available in both French and English; I don’t know about the second. I do know, however, that the later edition lacks some entries present in the first; whether there is additional, newer, material to compensate I do not know.

Just for ID purposes, Phase I has very different, squat projectiles which the military rejected because they wanted the loading to closely mimic the profile of single projectile loadings. Allegedly, there were some prototypes which preceded these, with blue and / or black tips. I’ve never seen those, however; the Phase I is hard enough to find.



If ever you do get hold of a Phase I round to sell I’d be a very willing purchaser!!
Regards, Jim.


Did all the cartridges have the WCC88 headstamp?