7,62x51 NATO italian practice?

Please, help me to identify this cartridge. I can’t find info about it’s bullet. May be it is something like short range practice? Cartridge has white plastice tip whic is easy to remove from the bullet. If it can help to identify, I can removed the bullet from the cartridge and make a picture.

Your cartridge is indeed a short range practice round. West German ‘kurzbahn’ rounds made by Dynamit are very similar in design, so much so that I suspect your projectile may well have been made by Dynamit.
Here are the German ball and tracer versions;

Short range yes, not Italian but Austrian. SMI = Assman in this case.

Will, where did you take those info?

I saw these rounds in boxes with the italian SMI label. These were in common use in Italy but the bullets are undoubtely of austrian manufacture. I think that SMI simply loaded the rounds with their own cases and austrian bullets

Will, SMI in Austria is “Südsteyrische Metallindustrie”.

In this case SMI has nothing to do with Austria or Assman, in fact Assmann made only blanks with SMI headstamp, plastic blanks with a steel head. In this case it means Societa Metallurgica Italiana.
The projectiel is German made short-range projectile

Thanks all for great answers!

[quote=“JAN”]In this case SMI has nothing to do with Austria or Assman, in fact Assmann made only blanks with SMI headstamp, plastic blanks with a steel head. In this case it means Societa Metallurgica Italiana.
The projectiel is German made short-range projectile

This answer isn´t true at all…
I have several boxes of 223 Ball and AP (SC or similar to SS109 AP) rounds…made by Assmann. Headstamp in that case is SMI, and I have several more which only have the hs "A followed by lot and year"
Already in the 80this Assmann started into the “live” ammo area, to fight his longtime rival of HP. You can read this also in the official HP document -150 years of Hirtenberg- booklet from Moetz…
HP answered also with production of plasticblanks, in 308 and a lot of different 223 plastic-Variations

If that particular .308 cartridge above was made or not by Assmanns SMI-factory I do not know, as I do not have the specific cartridge here for visual inspection.

This answer is just to correct the saying of “Assmann had done only Plastics or blanks, and HP only the Live ammo…”, which certainly is not correct

Both 5.56 x 45 and 7.62 x 51 cartridges with kind of bullet and SMI headstamp were made by Società Metallurgica Italiana. I’ll post a picture of the box when I find it.

These short range cartridges were designed by Dynamit Nobel A.G., Troisdorf and patented in 1967 (there are also earlier variations with different construction).


KB L’spur (.50 BMG)

I have one of these but with the headstamp ‘nato’ 83 SMI that is a single round taken from a belt (all the same) where the links are marked ‘M13 SMI’. Surely it’s inconceivable that this wasn’t made in Italy by SMI?

Happy collecting, Peter

During mid 70’s SMI from Austria experimented with some ball 7.62 x 51 cartridges. These were probably made by Thun and not NATO marked.

None of the .223 Remington / 5.56 x 45 cartridges (ball, AP, blank) made by SMI from Austria during the 80’s were NATO marked. Headstamp used was a three position type (maker code, two digit year and lot number).

Unless made for a NATO country, it would figure that products of SMI of Austria would NOT be NATO-marked, since Austria is not a NATO member and never has been, or at least that is my impression. Italy is a NATO member, of course.

John, it may also depend on if SMI in Austria made these actrually for a NATO country.


Were these bullets produced before 1967 too? I have a round with the same bullet headstamped " SMI 65 + "

Pivi, patent dates and actual production are not related and earlier dates are known to exist but I’m not sure if your round was actually made during that year. Some cartridges of this type were also made by DAG for italian SMI.

Maybe someone knows better but that should be the earliest date for any italian 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge (headstamp + BPD-65 is also known).

EDIT: Cases headstamped SMI 64 + also exist.

EOD, my friend. Check the first line of my entry - “Unless made for a NATO country…” No worry mate, I just love to catch you. You make so few errors, unlike me, that when you miss something, I just love to tease you about it. :-)

John, yes, you did. And you just do so seldom because you may just not encounter all my mistakes in other fields which you are not into.

Feel teased? No, it feels more like embarassment. It this what people call age?

Don’t be embarrassed, my dear friend. There is a line from a popular American song - “It has only just begun…”

The older I get, the more goofs I make, and the lest stuff I remember. Oddly, it is all the stuff the I have learned in the later years that I forget. I have pretty clear recall of stuff from my first rememberances in life up 'til I was about 40! Then it starts getting sketchy. The worst is anything I read in the last few days!

This illustration shows both DAG variations:

I apologize, but I see this post only now
I can give accurate and secure information as for several months I’m collaborating with the C.E.S.I.M. with the Museum of the Società Metallurgica Italiana (SMI) and I was able to interview the workers who were present at the production.
The cartridges shown at the beginning of the post were produced entirely by SMI di Campo Tizzoro, the company was paying royalties to the German company who held the patent
I can also say that the powder present inside was larger than the standard one, since the small hole that crossed the brass would permit the passage of the smaller