6,5x54R Dutch Mannlicher with hs A55


I have some questions about 6,5 Dutch Mannlicher.

Here is a headstamp which I can identify as:
10 - number of powder lot
25 (12 o’clock) - year of case manufacturing (1925)
25 (3 o’clock) - year of cartridge manufacturing (1925)
A55 - code of the brass supplier and number of brass lot. I think that A could be identified as Artillerie-Inrichtingen. Am I correct?

But I am not sure which company was a manufacturer of the whole cartridge - Artillerie-Inrichtingen or Dutch East Indies pyrotechnical workshop?

6,5mm Dutch Guard-Cartridge

I believe to know that the cartridges made by the Dutch state arsenal have only a letter code for the brass supplier at 6. Cartridges assembled at the Dutch East Indies pyrotechnical workshops have an additional lot number.
Please correct me, if I’m wrong.


You are correct.


[quote=“dutch”]You are correct.


Sorry, I am not familiar with Dutch lenguage. Does it mean that cartridge on my picture was made in Colonie and A mean Artillery Inrichtingen? Do you know where the Dutch East Indies pyrotechnical workshops was located?

Some sources mentioned that starting from 1920th Artillery Inrichtengen produced cartridges with 4 positioned headstamps. Is it tru? Sorry for may be stupid questions, but I really want to understand the rules if Dutch headstamps after 1920. I have never meet 2 position headstamps on cartridges 6,5x54R made after 1920. All my specimens have the below sxheme of the headstamps:


Thank you for your confirmation.


There are no stupid questions, just answers …
In fact the headstamps changed 1920 from the 2 position to the 4 position ones. The old type headstamp remained in use for shooting stock. New Cartridges that were to be stored got two additional markings: the last two digits of the cartridge production year at 3 and the number of the powder lot at 9.


A couple of years ago I bought a Dutch long rifle that came with a few thousand loaded rounds. There are mulitable headstamps that are older than the original stampings. some cases have been stamped three times with addition dates and codes. Is it safe to assume that the cases have been reloaded several times?


I am sorry treshkin,

It started with;

  1. The Artillerie Inrichtingen must give a certificate for each lot they offered to the Government.

That’s why I thought it was clear; ammo with this head stamp was made by AI.


[quote=“dutch”]I am sorry treshkin,

It started with;

  1. The Artillerie Inrichtingen must give a certificate for each lot they offered to the Government.

That’s why I thought it was clear; ammo with this head stamp was made by AI.[/quote]

Thank you for answer!

I only want to specify - does letter A at the first picture indicate that AI was a brass supplier and digits 55 is it’s brass lot number? Or A is something like AI acceptance mark for brass lot?


The letter at 6 o’clock identifies the brass supplier on both cartridges made for the Netherlands armed forces and also the East Indies. Many different letters are seen and in some cases there’s a suggestion they were assigned in alphabetical order (U and X, for instance). In one case (BS) the combined letters may well (or not!) identify the German firm of Basse & Selve. I’m unaware anyone has been certain the A does identify Artillerie Inrichtingen. My understanding is that all this ammunition from about WW.I on was produced by AI if for the Netherlands armed forces irrespective of what letter(s) appear at the bottom position. AI also made ammunition or cartridge cases for the Indies, as did Fabrique Nationale in Belgium. Perhaps others supplied 6.5 m/m cases to the Indies. In the Indies cases the marks found at 9 and 3 o’clock are usually a later stamping applied locally in the Indies and read at right angles to the original marks found at 6 and 12. I believe the foregoing is correct but would appreciate corrections. Jack


Thaks all for great comments and important info


The headstamp styles are confusing, as I have some FN22, FN22 2 39,
37 C and 38 D, and other variations ( 4 stamp Bandoeng/Soerabaya reloads-- up to 1940).

All these cartridges came directly from 1980s Indonesia, and some from Dutch colonists in the 1960s when West Papua was handed over to Indonesia.

So it is not correct to say that ALL Dutch ammo after 1920 was with a “four stamp” layout. It is well known that the Dutch bought Empty cases as well as Loaded ammo, and some were loaded at a later date (but maybe the same year)…The KNIL ( East Indies) had their own complete Loading and Reloading facilities in Java —but NO case drawing equipment…the first attempt at this was the ordering of a complete Line from Australia in 1940-41 for .303 manufacture, which didn’t eventuate, because of the rapidity of the Japanese expansion in 41-42.

Ammo suppliers in Holland proper were AI, and Hirtenberg–Dordrecht; foreign suppliers were FN ( 1922 is the only one I am familiar with) and possibly some German suppliers pre-WW I (?Polte?). Due to the loss and destruction of a lot of 6,5 ammo in Holland during WW II, not a lot is known about the headstamps of this period (WW I and 1920s) from samples seen. The texts are very helpful, but are not the full answer.

Any further clarifications would be appreciated.

Doc AV
A V Ballistics.


After my post yesterday I went through my notes and came up with these examples of Royal Netherlands Indies Army (KNIL) headstamps for the 6.5 m/m cartridge. I put them in chronological order. For each two-element stamp the order is 12 and 6 o’clock; for the four-element stamps 12, 3, 6, and 9. In all examples the marks at 12 and 6 are original to the cartridge case. For those having 3 and 9 o’clock entries the markings are post-manufacture and probably hand-work. The 12 and 6 marks are oriented vertically; those at 3 and 9 are to be read horizontally. Listing is chronological by original manufacture date:



28D [also:E,F,G,H,I]----2B [also:3,4B,5,5A,5D]----AI----39



None fit the pattern established for the Netherlands army in this period, and those for 1923, 1928, and 1939 have letters combined with the abbreviated date. Those shown for 1929 seem to follow the Netherlands home pattern but lack entries at 3 and 9 and are unlike the other examples in lacking any identifiable original maker’s initials. The cartridges with the FN mark were loaded with bullets basemarked “22 FN”; the bullets in the 23E cartridges had an “A” on the base. Jack