5.56x45mm NATO, what military cartridge type?

I found 5,56x45 cartridges from local shop that are claimed to be NATO surplus. Headstamp with NATO cross in a circle and SB (Empresa Nacional Santa Barbara de Industrias Militares SA, Toledo, Spain ?) supports that, but I can’t identify what NATO type it would be (e.g. M193, SS109…).

Bullet weight is 4g/62gr and it seem to have copper/brass coat on steel/iron (magnetic) jacket and lead core. Tip has (too small) structure I can’t identify to any NATO cartridge/bullet although it has NATO cross in a circle. To my knowledge, combination of the bullet structure and weight does not match. What military cartridge type it could be?



I have a good bit of SB ammunition that matches your casings markings and date. The bullets on mine are unmarked SS109 type.
It appears that the bullets you have pictured here are a Russian commercial type with a bi-metal jacket. I have pullet the bullets on some of my ‘Wolf’ 62gr FMJ rounds before and they look exactly like the bullets you show in your picture.
It would appear that someone for some strange reason pulled the bullets on some old Santa Barbara SS109 and replaced them with some Russian bulk component bullets.
My $.02.

Could the rounds have originally been tracers or another military type projectile? Depending on what country heikkir is in, tracers etc may be illegal for sale to civilian shooters. A company could have acquired the ammunition and replaced the projectiles with commercial saleable FMJ? Just an idea.

This look a lot like the bulk packed Sellier & Bellot .223 ammunition we use at the shooting range. Will check one of the headstamps and report back later.

The S&B rounds come in 140-round cartons.

My country is Finland and tracers are legal, so no issues there. Also e.g. cartridges with armor piercing projectiles can be sold to anyone who have applied a licence for it.

These are sold as surplus, packed to 40 round boxes by Chemnitzer Sportwaffen- und Munitionsfabrik GmbH (SM), a German distributor. Original manufacturer is claimed to be Santa Barbara, Spain that makes NATO cartridges for sure. Would someone really replace the projectiles?!

That is definitely a Santa Barbara casing. I promise you, I would reckognize them anywhere. They are berdan primed, so I have to pick through casings very carefully after I shoot them. The HS, the three stab crimp, and the green primer annulus all match my Santa Barbara ammunition.
For a little while in the early nineties that was about the only good, inexpensive surplus 5.56mm here in the US and definitely the best deal on SS109 at the time. SS109 was somewhat hard to find back then.
I really have no idea why the bullets would be replaced, but I am almost certain that those are Russian commercial bullets. The Russian commercial 62gr FMJ’s look exactly like those, from the rounded nose to the shape and style of the base, and they are steel jacketed as well.
My best guess is that they were meant for export/sale to a country/market where people are prohibited from buying or selling military ammunition. Remove the military bullet, replace it with a commercial one and it’s legal. That’s just a total stab in the dark of course.
I hope that someone with direct knowledge about this ammunition will post more information about them. I am intrigued.

Also, the original Santa Barbara SS109 that I have came in small, brown, SB marked 20rd boxes that had little ‘Made in Spain’ stickers on them.

EDIT: Here’s a pic that I pulled off the net of the stuff that was sold here in the US. As I mentioned they are loaded with a standard, unmarked SS109 bullet.

hello
i have one of these box (dated 1987)
the bullet has green tip and the headstamp do not have the nato circle

Maybe they were intended for sale in Germany if they came through there. I have heard of German firms pulling 7.62x39 and replacing the steel cored bullets with commercial lead cored ones. Maybe this was a similar situation?

A friend who’s a gunsmith gifted me with 700 rounds of 5.56x45 Spanish-made ammo…it’s top of the line.

I found this thread very late, due to the new entry…
Indeed, the ammo was unloaded and bullets replaced, as SM Chemnitz couldnt sell it, with the SS109 bullets one, as the ministry in charge, decided, that the SS109 is military AP…
As I bought finally the stripped bullets from Mr.Berger (the owner of SM) i can say today, it was not necessary…as after checking the bullets for further use, as testmaterial for STANAG Tests, I found out, that the hardness of the frontmaterial (the small Steelcone in front of the bullet) was less than 400HB Hardness, andsofar by german regulations NO AP (Hardcore).
In Germany any bullet with Core or solid bullets a.s.o. with a hardness of more than 400HB are considered armourpiercing, and insofar not sellable to the public.
A special Warmaterial license is needed to possess, to aquire, to deal/sell or to make such bullets.
As the EU gave us also since last year more restrictions, now even the bullets (AP) are alone already forbidden goods…Which causes me , to catalogue all bullets which we produce, remanufacture or deal with, and which contains AP, TRACER, API, APIT, Spotter or such things…
I have to report numbers and description of the different bullets ones the year, to the federal police, which is in charge for the BULLETS.
For loaded rounds, I have to report TWICE the year, the numbers,types, buyer, seller including their license number (for every singlecase) to the Ministry of economy, which is in charge, for Warmaterial deals.
Army and police deals are exluded from licensing, as far, they come here and pick it up, by themself. If I have to transport it, I need a special license, to do so, but still have to keep them in file…and report that twice the year…
Useless Paperwork without payment…
France issues licenses to companies like mine, very open. They have an open license to sell to other companies, which have such a license too, but have not to aquire for each transaction a license, like here…but we are in germany…
Our do-gooders see that, as a good thing, to avoid dealing with "killing"Material…

Have a nice easter

PP

but Peter, Germany is soo much safer now 😎

Happy Easter 🐰

If you avoid a knife being rammed into your throat, being decapitated by a sword or an axe being smashed amongst your eyes you are pretty safe now from all sort of single bullets that can be thrown at you!

hello
same things in france ,due to that i’m confined all time ,i just need a armoured door

Knight’s armor may do no?
But I guess that will be forbidden soon as you will be considered “covering of the face” and also being harder to come by LE in case you dare to speak out your opinion on the street…