#1–New unprimed empty with a boxer primer pocket. Headstamp (in small letters) (+) SMI 83; Who made it?

#2–Match type FMJ-HP; Headstamp MEN 308 WIN B;
It is a dummy with a small hole in the case near the
base. It appears to be a factory dummy; Is it?
Who is it and what does the “B” mean?

#3–Nickled case with match type FMJ-HP. Headstamp is
PALMA 76 W W 308 WIN. The bullet is longer than
normal. What is the weight? Was this made by
Winchester for a military team or a civilian team?

#1–New unprimed empty with a boxer primer pocket. Headstamp (in small letters) (+) SMI 83

Should be Italian, Societ

[quote] #2–Match type FMJ-HP; Headstamp MEN 308 WIN B;
It is a dummy with a small hole in the case near the
base. It appears to be a factory dummy; Is it?
Who is it and what does the “B” mean?[/quote]

“MEN” is: Metallwerk Elisenh

I would think that the Wichester round marked “Palma” was probably made for the Palma matches, an international competition where the host country provides both the rifles and the ammunition shot by each competitor, regardless of the country they are from. I would class it as Civilian match ammunition, myself.

I don’t know about the “SMI” Nato round. It could be as described, Italian. However, while I am not sure why an Austrian cartridge would have a NATO mark, since they are not part of NATO, be advised that the SMI headstamp can also be S

Thank you guys for all the answers.

#1–Here is a picture of the headstamp. It does not look “Italian” to me.

#2–Still need ideas on what the “B” means. In Brandt, et al’s book on 7.62 NATO they show a very simular match round (#II.26.10.1) with a “C”. Is this a date code perhaps?


I have a fired 7.62x51 blank with case made from blue plastic headstamped “SMI 88”, with plastic mock bullet. The extractor groove and case head are nickel plated steel, primer is brass and is fairly wide. Is this also S

Yes, look at page 226 from the book;
Austrian militairy cartridges Vol.2 from Mag. Josef M

Sorry, I do not have access to a copy of this book.

Perhaps this link helps a little



I’ve a loaded ball ( 0 SMI 81) ctg it’s cataloged as Itali

Hi I confirm Ian
the cartridge in photo is a 7.62 x 51NATO
produced by her SMI (Societ

There are two types of PALMA.

USA Palma can be fired with any .308W rifle, or a Service Rifle in .308 or .223. No weight limit in trigger, rifle, or bullet.

International Palma is .308 only with minimum 1.5kg trigger, maximum 6.5kg rifle with sights and hand stop, and less than 156gr bullet.

The only way to tell what a particular “Palma” cartridge is, is to either have the box it came from or determine the approx bullet weight by weighing and comparing the entire cartridge. A 155 grain bullet may be “long seated” to fit a custom chamber throat and may not necessarily indicate a heavy bullet.

Palma is open to both civilian and military shooters who furnish their own rifles and ammunition. Cartridges are subject to inspection to make sure they meet the rules.

I should add that “most” Palma 308W ammunition uses a 155 grain bullet.


Ray–the round weighs 392.6 gr. Does that give you enough information to determine the bullet weight? Overall length is 72.66mm (2.860 inches).


Sorry I didn’t answer your question last night but some of us old guys have to sleep sometime. :) :)

Unfortunately, there are several “match” cartridges with bullets in the 180 to 200 grain weight range that are almost impossible to ID once they are removed from the box, simply because they all weigh approximately the same (375 to 395 grains). Fortunately, the cartridge you have has a unique headstamp and is nickeled so it’s easy to ID. It was loaded by Winchester with a 190 gr. Winchester HP BT bullet. It was loaded for the 1976 US Palma Team Match at Camp Perry.

Most collectors are probably familiar with the 30-06 PALMA ammunition. The '06 was the standard for most of the 20th Century but was dropped as an authorized PALMA cartridge several years ago when the NATO cartridges and Service Rifles (M16 and M14) began to dominate. I suppose you can still find a die-hard shooter or two who uses an M1 Garand chambered for the 7.62 x 51 but they can be classified in the same category as dinosauers.



Handloads are permitted in both USA and International PALMA. That only adds to the confusion in IDing cartridges because the headstamp may not agree with the actual load.


Ray–Thanks for the info. I think I have everything I need to know about that Palma round now.

About this sleeping thing. It has been my experience that Old People (I’m 60) need LESS sleep. Of course I do NEED a nap each day from 10:00AM to about 11:30AM. Oh, to be young again!!

Ray - is it a recent change of rules that Palma Matches allow each competitor to supply his own rifle and ammunition? I recall there was some controversey over one of the Palma matches where the M14NM was the chosen rifle, as one of the rules said each competitor had the right to buy the rifle he used after the match was over, and of course, by BATFE definition of "once a machine gun, always a machine gun) all true M14s (not M1As or any other after market semi-auto version of the M14) are “machine guns.” I also recall a Palma match when one countries shooters were complaining about Redfield sights, and putting rubber bands and other things to hold them from tiny shifts in the position of the aperture. I recall both of these incidents, M14 and BAs with Redfield Internationa Sights, had to do with everyone ha ving to shoot the same rifle, supplied by the host country. Am I mixing that up with some match by another name? I have not been active in competative rifle shooting for 40+ years, and never was a “Palma” shooter. If competitors can supply their own ammo, why does anyone make “Palma Match” ammo at all, or perhaps I should have phrased that, "why do they call it Palma Match specifically? Just over the bullet weight? By the way, thanks for the info on the domestic Palma matches. I was not aware that there was any Palma match other than an international invitational match.

By the way - the above are simply questions - they are not a challenge to your information in any way, shape or form. I am really, really ignorant on this subject. When I was shooting center-fire rifle (rather poorly compared to my pistol shooting), even though I collected auto pistol cartridges already, I had no interest what-so-ever in rifle match ammunition other than to load and fire it.


PALMA has always been a civilian competition conducted under NRA rules. Ironically, tradition requires that a "military’ cartridge be used. Handloaded ammunition is permitted as long as the case used is a SAAMI/CIP 308 or 223 specification. Not all shooters are handloaders so they will buy any commercial or military match ammunition that they think is best for them. Commercial manufacturers such as Winchester will often make a run of match ammo (such as the 1976 PALMA) to be sold to individuals or to teams. I believe they label it as “PALMA” as a marketing ploy. Teams prefer to have all shooters on their team shooting the same ammunition in order that coaches can determine proper “hold off” for the conditions existing during the matches.

International PALMA requires a bullet of not more than 156 grains weight so when a championship match is held under International rules some companies will make a run of the appropriate ammunition to be sold to competitors. I seem to recall that the 1988 and 1992 PALMA cartridges were loaded with 155 grain bullets.

I believe that the matches you are thinking of are the National Matches and regional Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) events where ammunition used to be issued and could not be altered in any way. There was a time when rifles used in the “Service Rifle” competition could be purchased by the competitor but I think that provision was done away with years ago as a result of anti-gun hysteria. Rifles could still be purchased through the Director Of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM, a part of the DOA) by shooters who had competed in a certain number of registered matches but the anti-gunners killed that program too although I believe it has been re-started under a different name and sponsership. As far as I know, issuing ammunition for matches has now also gone by the wayside.

Both PALMA and HI POWER matches are held at different clubs throughout the world using modified rules appropriate to the club and the range facilities that are available. But Championship Matches adhere strictly to NRA rules.

BTW, I assume you were at the La Palma show? I am jinxed when it comes to Cartridge shows. I made it to San Diego (actually Del Mar) on Monday and Tuesday and was going to drive up to La Palma on Thursday but I was called back home for an urgent matter on Wednesday. Then I had to go down to Phoenix and back on Thursday so I drove over 1500 miles that week with nothing to show for it.


Ray - thanks for the comprehensive answer. It is contrary to everything I had heard about Palma matches, so I am glad to have my misconceptions corrected. Interesting stuff. It is nice when someone knowledgeable sets the record straight about subjects like this so we don’t continue to pass on faulty information.

Hey, I know what you mean about cartridge shows. Yes, I was at the California show. It was fun and I picked up a few items for the collection aside from what I would have received regardless (like most shows, it was the delivery point for a few rounds for me that would have been sent otherwise). However, it was poorly attended. It appears like the Phoenix/Prescott, Arizona show is becoming the California Club’s primary event. Ironic - I was one of about a dozen guys who founded the California Cartridge Collectors some 30 years ago at the home of a collector in San Francisco. Now our best event is in Arizona! I had three different obligations the weekend it was held this year, and couldn’t go. I also couldn’t fulfill one of my other scheduled items, and had to handle my duties for our bi-monthly SASS CAS match before and after the main event I had to go to. A general collector would have gone goofy at the show. Due to the small turn out, in the auction, some good cartridges went for 1/5 of their value in the auction. I even bid on a cane gun cartridge and got it just because It wasn’t being bid on and I thought it wes something different for my dupes.

I didn’t put the miles on you did, but I did put 1100 miles on my car on the trip. I just got back at 10:30 this morning. I always leave at from 3:00
to 4:00 in the morning, as I hit no traffic at all in the 400 mile drive home, It is almost erie in Los Angeles driving that way on a Sunday morning, as there is little traffic on Highway 5 thruout the entire LA Basin, and you know what it is normally like!