.50 cal bmg cartridge identification

I have 5 cartridges I’d like help identifying.

The first simply has numbers: 50 79 at 12 and 6 o-clock respectively.

The second has what looks like it might be VA and /O at 9 and 3 o-clock.

The final 3 have no headstamp markings but do have writing on the sides of the cases, eg SBC 2-6/61.

Any thoughts you have on these would be appreciated.

The green PA is an Arabic headstamp saying “.50 78”.

Something got mixed up with the order of images and your info.
Can you straighten it out please?

EOD, thanks for the info. Any idea who made the one with the Arabic?

As for the order, yes, I noticed that when I posted the pics. The 3 without headstamps are the ones in the later pics with the markings on the sides of the cases.

Let us wait for the true experts on this.

Are you sure the three plain examples are .50 BMG the heads look a little like 13.2 Japanese.

The Arabic HS is I think Saudi.

We need more photos…

These rounds were common a couple decades ago. They were sold as cheap shooting ammo, here in the US, but people had problems shooting them. So their provenance is questionable. What I’m writing here is “best opinion” not hard fact.

The 50 79 has features common to the early Igman .50 BMG rounds (Yugo). The unheadstamped ones are curious (still) as they have ink case markings, but no headstamps, which is unusual for the caliber. They could be most anything, but some of the construction features are similar to 1950’s vintage Italian production. I’ve always hoped some of our European members would be able to comment more authoritatively. Except for the Egyptian rounds, the key here is that these other rounds are most likely reloads, so as collectibles or shooting stock, consider them questionable.

Things are questionable here as while there are multiple countries of production, with decades of spread in production, these rounds all have the same projectile, with the same cannelures, the same shades of paint as color codes on the bullet. Not likely from that diverse a production. Tip colors are standard, but shades of the paint vary among years and manufacturers.

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The convex primers remind me a bit of France.

If those are 1961 dates, could it be a possibility that they are reformed Japanese 13.2 Hotchkiss cases?

I was wondering if a country that had leftover Japanese ordnance could have set up machines to pull the projectiles and resize the cases to .50BMG.

It may have even been possible to reuse the powder.

That is just a theory. The primers do look pre-1945 Japanese.

Rim on the below 13.2 is .789 / 20.28 and the Cal. .50 is ,789" / 20.27mm,
As the whole cartridge(s) is not shown it’s hard to tell. However that 50m2hb notes them as Cal. 50 works for me,
DSCN5593

My theory was Japanese 13.2 Hotchkiss cases converted to .50BMG and loaded, then stockpiled somewhere as yet unknown. They then ended up on the US surplus market once those stockpiles were disposed of.

However I believe the problem with that theory is that Japanese 13.2 cases had headstamps as they were IJN ammunition.

I think some were unheadstamped ?

I always believed that Imperial Japanese Navy small arms ammunition was headstamped, while Army was not. Did both services use the 13.2mm Hotchkiss?

I would welcome a correction from a Japanese ammunition specialist.

We sold a plain variation with a black primer annulus in our sale 6 lot 610

Elks in his part 1 pg. 87 last sentence.
“After 1943 all headstamps ceased,” & etc

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What were the problems?