7.62x51 Ball (Royal Thai Arsenals (RTA))

I’ve just got a couple of new rounds and I can’t find out who the manufacture or country of origin is, dose anyone know?

Annuals colour: Red
Primer Crimp: Ring
Approx. Weight: 172gr (both)

R T A 7 3 (equally spaced around the case)
RTA 74 (12 and 6 o’clock respectively)

Top: R T A 7 3
Bottom: RTA 74


Royal Thai Army Arsenal, Bangkok, Thailand. 73 and 74 are dates (1973, 1974).

Thanx for the ID, I’ve catalogued them as such



Royal Thai Arsenal

Ayutthaya, Thailand

[quote=“Frank N”]Royal Thai Arsenal

Ayutthaya, Thailand[/quote]

opppss thanx for the correction

[quote]Frank N wrote:
Royal Thai Arsenal

Ayutthaya, Thailand

In the late 1960

Royal Thai Arsenal: Bangkok or Ayutthaya

The information as to location of the “RTA” site that I have used is a quote from the late Dave Hughes’s book, M16 Rifle and It’s Cartridges, dated 1990. Doing a web search of the location of Ayuttaya shows that it is within a 2 hour drive from Bangkok???

Could it be a case of urban sprawl forcing a relocation of the facility??

Could be. The Royal Thai Arsenal I visited was right in the center of Bangkok, a very congested area in the late 60’s and I don’t suppose its changed as far as congestion goes. The Army drivers of the 5 ton calibration trucks (3 with each team) had their handsful navigating the Thai traffic to the arsenal.

I also visited the Royal Thai Arsenal, in late 1969. It was located well inside Bangkok, just about a 10 minute or less taxi ride from my hotel (on one of the traffic circles near downtown). It was an old facility. At the time it was making 30-06 headstamped RTA 69 (I picked up a draw set which I have mounted) as well as loading 8mm Siamese blanks with a dark teakwood bullet. These rounds had no headstamp as I remember-the one I picked up is in Bill Woodin’s collection. They also were experimenting with 38 Special production and had produced a batch of cases with no headstamp. I spent the day in the Arsenal and my guide was a US Army Major. We had a short visit with the Thai Army Colonel and a couple of his staff, then the Major took me around and sent me home about 3PM with a brown paper bag of stuff. It was his second tour with the Thai Ordinance Corp that ran the Arsenal. He told me that the Bangkok facility was the only Army facility that produced ammunition. I asked specifically about 7.62NATO, 5.56 and of course 9mm Para. He said that RTA had never, to the best of his knowledge, produced any of these caliberes, and he asked a Thai Lt Col who confirmed that. He did say that they were discussion the production of 7.62 NATO. The Major did say that he had heard that there was Navy facility in southern Thailand that may produce ammunition. He heard a rumor that they either loaded or reloaded (!!!) 20mm ammo, but he had no information on this facility other than rumor. I subsequently asked a lot of questions, but nobody I spoke with knew anything about Thai Navy ammunition production. The major did give me a bit or oral history on the Bangkok Arsenal and said it was the first ammunition production facility in Thailand and went back a long way (sorry I don’t remember the date he gave me), The 8mm Siamese production line was German from the 1920s or 1930s and the 30-06 production line was US from surplus WWII equipment. He went into a lot of detail on the differences between the two processes-the best education I ever received on ammo manufacture. I even picked up a loaded 30-06 reject that had no core in the bullet, but looked normal from the outside. In the rear of the building was lots of other equipment which appeared to be earlier cartridge production equipment that was being stored. My guess is that if you dug deep enough you could find the first cartridge machines Thailand ever purchased. The Major said that they never threw things away.

It appears that RTA production was moved out of Bangkok at some point, but my guess is that '73 & '74 dated ammo was still made in Bangkok.


do you have pictures about your cartridge?
the RTA produce another ammunition some 5,56 x 45 because they have the most of small weapons use this type cartridge.


In 1987, some 5.56x45mm (.223) ammunition was made in Yugoslavia for Thailand. The headstamp is “R.T.A. P-87” and the characteristics of the cartridge are identical to one, also in my trade stuff, headstamped “IK 223R” except for having a nickel primer cup instead of a brass one.

When I first saw a Thai headstamp it was on a .223 and was during my brief attempt at collecting that caliber. According to my old catalog of that collection, the headstamp was “R T A 7 3” and I noted that the cartridge looked identical to Lake City .223. At the time I got it, it was a fairly scarce headstamp. I was told at that time that “RTA” stood for “Royal Thai Army,” obviously not correct information, although it is interesting that Igman would headstamp ammo for Thailand as “Royal Thai Arsenal.”

I remenber sometime ago in thailand they have a problem in a factory of cartridge near bangkok and I don’t know if they continu to produce or they stop?

Now with pictures