7.92mm Egyptian Color Code ID


Does anyone know the meaning of the color code on the cartridge. It is a 7.92x57mm Egyptian cartridge with a red tip and purple primer annulus. I believe the date is 1958.

Any information would be appreciated.



The numbers are 58. So it’s most likely 1958 (Gregorian calender) production. If it is Hijri calendar dated, that would make it 1358 which is 1939 Gregorian.

The red bullet tip indicates tracer, black tip indicates AP.

Thank you for the information. You can always depend on the IAA forum for the right answers.



Right or wrong… we post with confidence.

I believe the Egyptians use “western” dating on headstamps, thus 1958.

Yes, according to my reference these cartridges were made between 1957 and 1958 but the color code wasn’t included.


I’m not 100% convinced that the Egyptians used red for tracer and black for AP in this caliber. I’m not sure they even made these types at the time.
Can anyone provide more information to confirm this? Boxes?

The tip paint looks suspiciously too “thick” to be authentic, but I could be wrong.


I have the same red-tipped round but I have it listed as armour-piercing tracer although I have no recollection as to where I got this identification from. I’ve also got a black-tipped round and this I have listed as armour-piercing.

Evidently, the color codes used by Egypt after WWII were originally those of England - that is, identification was made by the color of the primer seal only, with red as tracer, green as AP, and purple as ball. We have had examples of the ball and AP in caliber .303 British dated 1955 and 1956.

In about 1956, after purchases of 7.9 x 57 amunition from Italy that were marked in the American Standard (red tip for tracer, black tip for AP, although the black-tipped AP ammo had a green primer seal in the British fashion), Egypt continued to use that standard until the Russian influence became very heavy and Russian weapons began to replace the older Enfields and Mauser rifles previously in use. Then, color tip codes were changed to reflect the Soviet system.

The red-tipped 7.9 x 57 round in question is a tracer, and those found with black tips are armor piercing. Regarding the AP rounds, we have a specimen with the bullet tip mutilated, clearly revealing a very shiney, pointed steel core. There were also blanks with plain wood bullets. We have, in our own collection a blank with a black plastic bullet, the diameter of which is reduced after leaving the case mouth (stepped down) and which is round nose. However, it is an obvious reload, and may be the product of some other country on an Egyptian case. We simply do not know. Also present in the collection is a 7.9 x 57mm with a violet tip. We have been told this is a proof load, but have no documentation to confirm it.

Reference: “Ammunition with Arabic Markings,” by Ken Elks; “Small Arms Ammunition Identification Codes,” by E. L. Scranton; “Military Small Arms Ammunition of the World, 1945-1980,” by Peter Labbett with drawings by Freddie Mead.