.50 BMG Headstamps

I need some information on the following 4 .50 BMG headstamps. I know 1, 2 & 4 are Israeli Military Industries, Tel Aviv, Israel, but what are the actual words that the “T Z”, “T Z Z” and the two Hebrew characters stand for.

Who is “13” on #3 with the headstamp “86 13” This fired case has a black PA. Was it a ball round or some other load?

The “13” is South Africa-speak for R1M3, ball ammo. The date is 1986.

The 3 Israeli rounds all say basically the same thing. “T Z” stands for Ta’asiyah Tzvait, or Industry Military (Israel Military Industries). The extra “Z” was apparently added to satisfy a US DOD headstamping requirement (at least that’s the info I have). The Hebrew letters are Tof and Tzadik, their positions reversed from the T and Z.

Jon C-Thank you. That is exactly the information I wanted.


The primer annulus on the “86 13” should be purple. The South Africans follow the British marking practices (loosely).
Purple = Ball
Red = Tracer
Green = AP (this applies to API as well).
The number codes = first digit applies to the loading and the second to the Mark or modification number.

  1. Ball
  2. Tracer (old system used G)
  3. API (old system used WB)
  4. Blank (old system used L)
  5. Grenade blank (old system used H)
  6. Spotter tracer (observing)
  7. Tear gas grenade blank
  8. Incendiary tracer
  9. Monad
  10. Sub-Sonic (old system used M2)
  11. Plastic ball
  12. Safety ball (Glaser type)
  13. Proof (old system used Q)
  14. Drill (old system used D)
  15. Match
  16. SS109 type bullets (on 5.56x45)
  17. Armour piercing


Will–Your right. When I looked at the PA in a brighter light it is dark purple. If I understand correctly, my case with a “13” was a Ball Mark 3 loading.

On the Israeli cases, does the PA color have any significance?

Not that I know of.