6,5x55 Swedish MAuser with headstamp TARGET


Here is a picture of 6,5x55 Swedish Mauser with headstamp FNM 6,5x55 TARGET.
Please, help me to understand the meaning of the headstamp “TARGET”

  • does it mean commercial cartridge for Tatget shooting? or
  • it is special cartridge for, for example, Army snipers?


I have a box of 7.9mm Mauser with a similarly marked headstamp. It is a commercial product meant for target practice. Nothing exotic but good shooting ammo.


Thank you very much for this info!


The same “TARGET” headstamp appeared on a 5.56x45 fmj loading

FNM 90-30 .223 REM TARGET


Thank you!


I have the box for that 6,5 x 55 TARGET rounds. Same box style as the one posted by Pbutler


Marco, can you confirm that the FNM packet of 6.5x55 (which has the FNM “TARGET”) shows “Made in Portugal” ? I know FNM marketed 6.5x55 produced by Prvi Partisan with standard nny hs but these packets do not have the “Made in Portugal” marking.


I have an article dated 1996 confirming this caliber was actually produced by FNM. Here is an advertisement published with that same article (the 6,5 x 55 box says “Made in Portugal”):

7,5 x 55 mm GP11, 9 mm Parabellum and 7,63 mm Mauser were added to the same line in 1998.

Rarest 7.62x39 you have

I have a box of FNM 7.5X54 MAS, with cases headstamped “FNM 7.5X54” (no TARGET on the headstamp). Box states “MADE for FNM” (but it does not say who actually made them). Oddly, the box gives the caliber as “7,5 French Mass” in two places. There is no mention of INDEP, S.A. or an address.



yes, there is the “made in Portugal” mark.

The same that can be seen on pbutler’s box


I could be wrong, but all of the rounds I have actually seen marked “Target” on the headstamp, and with their boxes, were made in Portugal. I believe it is the last commercial rifle-cartridge headstamp format before that factory closed and sold off its equipment, prior to contracting with PPU to make ammo under the FNM brand name.


John, my info on FNM would tend to make me agree with your assertion:

In 2005 it appears that such “FNM” sporting ammunition was still being marketed even though the factory was closed (2001). Such production would be expected to be by Prvi Partisan.


The INDEP / FNM ammunition factory ceased to exist in 2001. During years 2003-2004 all equipment was sold in public auctions.


I think the term Target refers to the fact that it is FMJ rather than an indication of any special quality of loading. In some European countries, Britain for example, target shooting has to be carried out using FMJ ammunition. This ammunition did not generate a great deal of confidence in the target shooting world in this country when it was sold over here. Its not what would generally be considered as match grade.


I am surprised to hear that the FNM ammo in any caliber is held in disregard anywhere. Years ago, we were offered surplus Portuguese 7.62 x 51 ammunition. It was before any Portuguese ammo was sold commercially
in the US, and originated as battlefield pickup in Angola. We were sent a sample of all mixed headstamp, dirty ammunition, 100 rounds, to test and see if we wanted ammo, with the guarantee (which proved correct) that
the ammo actually to be sent if we bought any would be clean, and not so varied. The sample represented culs that Fed Ord did not want to sell to their clients. I and my friend shot it in a match M1A (M14), a 40XB-BR Remington Heavy Varmint Class rifle with a 20x scope on it, and a nice FN-FAL Browning Commercial Lightning Model, the best FAL I had ever owned. We used a box of commercial .308 (I don’t recall the brand) hunting ammo, and 100 rounds of Lake City Match ammo for control. The mixed lot of Portuguese military ball, spanning about ten years of production and God knows how many lot numbers, shot half the group size of the other two, and was totally sure-fire and functioning-reliable in all three rifles. We ordered a large quantity of ammo which arrived in a far better state, most in its original boxes with lot and date integrity. It became so popular with our customes that they started requesting FNM ammo.

We never passed by any chance to get more NATO, and also sold some .303 and a huge amount of 8 x 57 mm. In all three calibers, it was the best ammo I ever shot in any of my rifles, other than my own handloads, or in the case of NATO, one box of Lapua Match Ammo I managed to acquire and shot in my M1A Match.

Their commercial ammo, although we never got much of it as we closed before it was widely sold, lived up to all expectations. The brass reloaded nicely as well.

Personally, I would, if I was still active with calibers made by FNM originally, not hesitate to purchase any of it I found. While my experience with PPU ammo has been generally good, the FNM was considerably better out of my guns.

Just my own observations.


Hi John
Maybe the stuff produced at the end was not typical of what had been produced in the past. I know that could be said of Kynoch ammunition which tailed off spectacularly in the last few years.


Vince - I simply don’t know. If anything, it might be the reverse, that FNM just got better. I shot a box of the “Target Headstamp” ammo in my nice Sauer K98k, about the only time I shot this particular Mauser, and it performed excellently. To my knowledge that is the last headstamp used by FNM on 7.9. I have no real answer for our two differing impressions of Portuguese ammunition - as you did, I can only report my own experience with it, not just as the shooter, but as the Manager of a bit store where I had to listen to customer complaints, if there were any, about any product we sold. FNM ammunition produced not complaints that I can recall.

Please understand I am not dismissing your account. There are so many factors involved with ammunition and the shooting of it, that I am NOT willing to say that no one could ever have had a valid complaint with FNM ammo. Most people in America revere Sellier & Bellot ammunition. My experience with it, primarily 9 x 18 mm Makarov, has not been good, having had it produce, with the one exception noted, the only jams I ever had in my DDR and Chinese “shooters.” including one with about half a powder charge (“poof” when it fired, with the slide barely opening). One box, the only box I have ever shot, of Quality Cartridge 9 x 18 mm produced poor accuracy, a half load, and one with no powder at all in it that stuck a bullet in the bore. Luckily, they were lead bullet “match” cartridges and it was simple to get it out. So, in my experience, those two brands are mediocre at best, and yet I admit that is not the experience of most people. By the way, in one box, when they were Berdan, there were cases with one, two and three flash holes, with the Sellier and Bellot. I never figured that one out.


Certainly the perception of many shooters in the UK is that Portuguese FNM ammunition is of very variable quality.

In 1995 the British military placed an order with FNM for 7.62 x 51mm sniper/match grade ammunition. It was designated and headstamped as L37A1. In addition to use by snipers it was intended for military matches and was supplied to the NRA here for civilian matches. I don’t know exactly how much was ordered but I have lots 1 to 4 in my collection.

Unfortunately it was rubbish and had to be withdrawn, causing much aggrevation to marksmen both military and civilian. I suspect that is what Vince is referring to.

In fairness, on the other hand I have shot FNM 7.92mm and it has been fine.