7.62MM Aluminum Cartridges

Does anyone here have a good handle on the various aluminum cases used prior to NATO adoption of the 7.62 x 51 ??

I have a 47mm and a bunch of different 51mm. Headstamps vary from none to RA 50, FA, and T5.

Any help in sorting them out and cataloging would be appreciated. Hopefully, HWS III will ID them all.


Ray, I can fill the gap and confirm that I have an aluminium-cased 7.62 x 49mm specimen but can’t offer anymore help than that, sorry!

I have aluminium cased 7.62x47 and 7.62x51 pre NATO, some ball, some AP, and later production 7.62x51 rounds but not any 7.62x49s.
I have almost no info on these examples

I have 2 different cartridges but now (Grafite goating)

7,62x47 - no headstamp

headstamp RA 50


What’s the funky looking primer about as seen on the 47mm versions and is it also used on later 51mm or other (49mm?) lengths?

Was this needed to work with the aluminum case or is it unrelated to case material and just some different primer type being tried?



You are right about the primers. They are different. However, I have one 51mm cartridge that has a normal looking, ring-crimped primer, and an empty FA case with a normal looking primer pocket.

I always assumed that FA experimented with the aluminum cases to determine how much weight could be saved. That (weight savings) was one of the primary goals of the Light Rifle project.


Here is a listing of the US aluminum cased rounds that I have in my collection along with whatever information I have.

47mm case


Yes I have interest, can you please post photos of the color and graphite coating variations.


Dave, I’d like to see the photo’s as well.

I have one 49mm graphited round , no headstamp.

I have 4 aluminum cased 7.62 (Pre)NATO

Note that the extractor groove of the 7.62x47 (T5) is very large (as FAT1, FAT1E1 and FAT1E3)


Dave, it’s true. When it comes to the 7.62 NATO you’re the man.!!

I have the same pre-NATO cartridges. Other than the T5, are there other “T” designations that you know of?

What you call "green’ is actually a light gray to my eyes.

I did not realize that there were so many 51mm aluminum cases. I knew about the 10 to 15 WCC experimentals but not the others. Of course, I don’t collect the post-NATO so would not have any reason to look for them. Any idea what the WCC cases were for???

I do have the WCC 51mm that is headstamped T 5. I assume that it is simply a coincidence that it has the same designation as the 47mm case.

I have one 51mm case that has not been mentioned. It is a NUPE, dark gray in color, and has the headstamp FA in small letters at 12 o’clock. Any idea what it is?

(I’d post a photo but every time I open my photobucket account the sirens scream and a voice says, “Danger, danger, a virus has been detected.” So I have to close and run my anti-virus program.)

Thanks for all the good information.


Here is some more info from this forum.

It is posted by our co-collector Jean-Pierre…

it can be found here: iaaforum.org/forum2/viewtopic.ph … t=pre+nato

the image shows different collors and treatment of alu-cases


Here are the pictures I promised. Getting accurate color balance has not been easy and the images are not quite there. The most common color as seen on the 47mm cases is a light greenish gray and is much clearer in daylight.

Dave S

Thanks to all who posted replies. Especially the photos.


Not long ago there was a thread on the various aluminum cased pre-NATO and NATO cartridges. I neglected to include this one in the discussion. Headstamp tells most of it. Case is a greenish color, but all except the rim and extractor groove are heavily graphite ? coated. Bullet is GM with steel core. Primer is in a bushing that appears to be either GM or copper.

Anybody ?

Edit : The primer bushing attracts a magnet so it is apparantly steel, with some sort of coppery or brass color to it.



Any chance of a side view pic? Or if identical to one of the examples shown in the earlier post mentioned, could you indicate which? Trying to build some reference material on the subject…

Neat primer crimp.


Ask and ye . . .

On the left. The one on the right (RA 50) is typical of most graphited cases that I have.

Note that the NATO cartridge has the 10 ogive bullet. I don’t know it’s weight and don’t want to pull it, but assume it’s the standard M59 bullet.


Thanks Ray. I look forward to hearing more on this one.


Cartridge is designated M59 Ball (aluminum case). It uses the FAT49E2 case. Details of the case development can be found in Frankford Arsenal Report R-1646 Development of Case, Cartridge, Aluminum, FAT49E4 dated July 1962.

Dave S

Thanks Dave.