That is definitely a factor, and a condition of Mexican-bound
or originated headstamps, Fede. Most all, in fact, are read on
the same orientation of the cartridge - that is, you need not rotate the cartridge to
read all of the headstamp. You can read all the elements of
the headstamp facing in the same direction as the factory
However, although the date is still read with the same orientation
as the caliber, I have one .45 ACP cartridge, “F C 74 0.45” where
you must rotate the cartridge to read the headstanp, since you you
hold it with the manufacturer’s designation, “F C”, at the top, the
date and caliber are upside down. This is, as far as a quick check
of my 9 mm Para and .45 ACPs from Mexico are concerned, the only
pistol round with a headstamp with that element orientation, although
in my dupes, I do have a 7.62 NATO blank (Grenade Propulsion cartridge?)
with the same orientation as the FC 74 0.45 round. It is from the same year
as the .45 “F C 7.62 N 74.”
I have pretty much learned to “never say never.” This is NOT a confirmation
that I believe the round in question is for Mexico. It is just a statement that
I would not automatically dismiss it as such based only the orientation of the
caliber and the date in relation to he manufacturer’s mark.
I still have not had time to examine bullet ogives, headstamp font, etc. of
the round in question to other rounds of any country to try to draw a
comparison. One problem is I have very few dated, military Mexican pistol
cartridges from later than the 1970s, if any at all.
Thanks, though, for reminding me of that feature of Mexican rounds. Truthfully,
while I observed that some time ago when I was actively picking up rounds from
that country, I had forgotten it.
The ZVS headstamp you show is interesting. I don’t think I have seen that
version with the initials on a straight plane, more in “Trademark” form. I
think I have two or three variations of them with the ZVS just printed as
Edited to include differently oriented 7.62 NATO blank headstamp.