7.62 X 51 Question Please


Hi, I came accross a 7.62 x 51 That has an LC 80 Head stamp with No Nato Symbol. It also has SP on the headstamp at 6 0’clock. The brass case has a knirl ring that is .45 from the case head. The bullet is non magnetic and appears to have a little lead showing on its pointy end. Thanks In Advance,



Hi, I just typed in Lake City on our search bar and found out that Lake City made four special lots of Match Ammo with the SP head Stamp.

Question Solved, Thanks



You’ve identified the case, but what is the bullet? Maybe a close up photo of the bullet? The 4 bullets were very similar in appearance and it may not be possible to ID it, but it’s worth a try.

And, just to nit pick a little - it’s not a 7.62x51 and it’s not NATO. It’s just a 7.62MM. The bullet will determine what all of the other identifiers are.



Ray is technically correct in his official terminology.

However in the wider universe of the cartridge world “7.62MM” would leave most people wondering if it is

and a host of others.

Therefore in a general interest forum, I appreciate use of the terminology to narrow the focus of the topic. However, when Ray writes one of his excellent articles, his use of the officially correct terminology is also appreciated.


Hi Ray,

Thanks You Ever So Kindly For Your LC SP 80 Reply. I went to the IAA’s search area and typed in Lake City Match and Your Two Nice Articles and Pictures Poped Up. They are Very Nice. Thanks Again For All Of Your Articles. They are a Big Help To Us Members.

I could probably will never I.D. those Match Bullets that your pictures show. I did notice the bullet that had Hornady written on its case seamed to have bullet pull marks. I have those same pull marks on my one and only sample. Think that they are relaods?

Thanks, joe



I typed “Lake City Match” into the search function but could not bring up the articles you mentioned. I’ve never had much luck searching on the IAA Forum.

Regardless, I remember the threads and I have photos of the different bullets somewhere in my files. Could it be that the “pull marks” that you described are actually stretch marks on the bullet ogive as a result of the point swage? I don’t recall having any of the test bullets that had been pulled. All swaged bullets will have ogive stretch marks. Some will show up more than others.

Without being able to specifically identify the bullet, you cannot ID your cartridge beyond saying it was one of the 7.62MM Special Match test cartridges. It’s like saying I have a Cal .30 cartridge.

With some good photos of the meplat and ogive of your bullet we can probably narrow it down to one of two possibilities, and maybe even ID it positively. Of course, you can always pull it and then we’ll know for sure. Aren’t you curious? Not knowing would drive me nuts!



Hi Ray,

i am curious on which bullet thats loaded is that case.  I am also curious about bullets that were swaged?  i have never came accross that before.  Any chance you can explain why some bullets have swage marks? Please

i am also working on posting pictures that may solve and pin down which bullet that i have.

And Once Again,  Many Thanks,    joe



Virtually all jacketed bullets and many lead bullets are formed by swaging. Remember RCBS? Fred Huntington got his start by making both bullets and dies during the war years when commercial bullets were nearly impossible to obtain. RCBS means Rock Chuck Bullet Swage.

Rather than me trying to explain the process, you can Google it and learn all about it. Here’s a good one:




Got It Ray, Thanks Again & STAY WELL, joe