5.56x45mm M-995 headstamp?


Can anyone explain the radial lines in the headstamp of this 5.56x45mm M-995 AP cartridge? The “CG” stands for Carl Gustav, correct? Why is the US buying these cartridges instead of manufacturing them here? Are we no longer able to design and manufacture such a cartridge? At several dollars per round, it is hugely expensive ammunition, considering it is packed on 200 round belts for the M-249 SAW!


Considering the date it is more or less evident that these orders are made abroad to cover the recent high demand which the US industry can not. For this reason the US are buying 5.56x45 even from Russia (unfortunately I do not know who is the end user) and several other countries which as I understood deliver with “US head stamps” on tem.

Can anyone clarify?


Until AMA in Frederikshavn got their act together and got the new machine for 5,56 mm going, the danish procurement service (HMAK / FMT) bought ammo both in Sweden, Israel, Great Britain and Switzerland. Possibly other places as well. Bying ammo abroad is not new to FMT, Tracers for example have been sourced abroad for many years, Sweden (FFV-Vanäsverken(CG)) and Germany (DAG) being two makers. Our special forces have used SwissP from RUAG for a number of years.
I would not be surprised if the US has been shopping around.


I would not be surprised if the US has been shopping around.

But, can a Nato country use ammunition not loaded to Nato standards, or at least not so marked? I guess the cartons/crates lack the Nato standarization marks too.



I can’t say if it’s true or not but I’ve heard that the extra lines on the headstamp bunter were to “even out” the impact forces and impart a uniform work hardening to the entire case head rather than just the one part where the lettering is. Does that sound resonable?



Ray, that is a 100% reasonable idea.



During a visit to Vanäsverken in 1999, we were told that the only reason for the lines were to make a uniform pressure to the entire case head, as Ray says. In 9 mm Para and 7,62x51, the lines seem to have first appeared in 1997. In 5,56 mm, I have a 1997 hst without lines and a 1999 with lines (have no 1998).


I have argued in the past, without much success, that many of the figures that appear on cartridge headstamps have no significance to the identification of any part of the cartridge, and are, of themselves, primarily decorative, such as the prolific use of stars (not including the German, Czech and post-war Bulgarian use to identify case material of course). I always felt that they were not completely without reason, simply not symbols that carried any special meaning on their own. Ray’s explanation and the corroration from Morten is probably the answer for the use of a lot of seemingly meaningless entries, which still do not have meaning of their own, but are simply a vehicle towards proper headstamping of cases as to impact of the bunter, etc. Ray explained it well - I do not, being a technological dummy, of course.

That is a really, really interesting explanation, Ray and Morten, that probably goes far beyond this one headstamp in question.

Thanks, guys.

John Moss


@AKMS, to get back to your question about capacity…
Between talking to manufactures at SHOT Show and being out and about–the US is maxing capacity. I was surprised to see S. Korean casings dropping from an M2.


My question was no so much about capacity. I understand that we are maxed-out and are buying ammunition from other countries. I was wondering why we have not designed a proper AP cartridge like the 5.56mm M-995 and 7.62 M-993. Was it just easier to buy “off the shelf” than go through the whole design and test process?



@akms, good point. i’ll dig around. we might be certifying production and not requiring the markings–but that’s my own speculation. that shot you posted, and i only ask b/c it’s cropped, is it a us mil gun? it could be a contractor or federal agency’s saw.


The pic was taken a few months ago by a Marine in Afghanistan. Marine issue ammo from their supply point. Other pics from this same person I have show this M-995 linked 4:1 with M-856 tracer headstamped “+ LC 06”.



Has anyone seen the m995 in civilan hands or collections here in the United States? Can only find the m993 7.62x51 with head stamp ffv/91. Looking for entire cart., not just projectile. Asked several ammo dealers and they just look at me funny. Wolf


Given the costs of R&D, labor, etc., it’s conceivable that purchasing foreign-made ammunition is more cost effective than designing and producing a strictly domestic offering. Considering that the M995 is a special-use cartridge, with relatively little being expended for practice or general use, that might make it even more efficient to purchase from OCONUS manufacturers.

Another example: considerable amounts of the .50BMG Raufoss cartridge we use include foreign components or are completely foreign-made.

COTS (commercial off the shelf) purchases for limited-use items aside from ammunition are getting more and more common; if memory serves the USMC began their MEUSOC handgun program with COTS pistols from US commerical manufacturers.


Found this thread searching for something else, but thought I should write some lines about this cartridge since I know more about it (although the thread is old).

This cartridge is Swedish and is the new standard 5.56mm round for the Swedish army. It is environment friendly ammunition, in this projectile the led core is replaced with steel. The primer is also changed so it is more environmental friendly. The only visible difference between the old Swedish 5.56 round and this is in the two lines 10 and 2 a clock in the head stamp.

In Norway we use the same round, but with a different headstamp. Our headstamp is with the NATO cross and LOT-CG-YEAR (E.g. 06 - CG - 08). Norway has recently introduced the 5.56mm cartridge as a standard round together with the introduction of the H&K 416 rifle. The ammo used in both the Norwegian and the Swedish army is produced at the NAMO factory (NAMMO Vanäsverken, Karlsborg, Sweden) and in the beginning we used some cartridges with Swedish headstamp.

The same factory has had several names during the years and ammunition from this factory can have headstamp like CG (the old Carl Gustaf name), FFV (the old FFV Vanäsverken name) and 070 (this is used on many Swedish military cartridges)

So, the conclusion is that this cartridge is most likely bought from Sweden.

For more info on Swedish cartridges look here: http://www.amkat.se/



One answer may be that we (the US Military) have bought this ammunition as a result of an Defense Offset Agreement.

The US Defense Industry sells a lot of equipment to foreign countries. A condition of these sales with quite a few of the foreign governments is that the US has to buy an equal amount (or some amount) of military gear from the defense industry (or perhaps other industry) in that company. US companies work this whole offset area very hard and the US Government helps. There is an organization in the US Department of Commerce that deals specifically with these offset agreements. The Swedish Gripen Fighter uses so much US equipment that I’ve been told about a third of the price is US equipment. Some versions use a US Engine. I suspect US companies have a quite large offset requirement with Sweden and this ammo may be one example. Just a guess.