A headstamp on a 50BMG cartridge


I am familiar with cartridges, have a very large collection, I have a 50 BMG cartridge with the head stamp L C which is I know Lake City but the rest of the HS is a 1 at 8:00 and a 5 at 5:00, I know that the ammo depots dropped the month of cartridges long ago but this is a recent case, would it be January 45 or January 55?



Most likely the case you have is Lake City with a year date of 2015.



Thank you for your answer. Then some time after the 1940’s or in recent years,Lake City started using the month in the head stamp again, or maybe they always used it on 50 cal?


FA stopped using the Month and Year HS on 50 cal in 1939; The Other WW II factories NEVER used a “Month-Year” dating system, nor did any of the Post-WW II factories still in operation.

The spacing of the two digits of the year may vary ( some WW II makers used a single Position “43” etc, and this was also used after WW II. But by and large, LC from Vietnam onwards, has used a four Position HS, at Roughly 90 degrees spacing, with 12 o’clock being Midway between L and C, and the two Year digits being on either side of the 6 o’clock position in a similar spread.

The reason for the modified Bunters was the Cost Blow-out of producing “Monthly” Bunters, as against Yearly Bunters, especially during War-time, with very high Production rates.In fact the “LC 4” type Bunter, for 1944, was a cost cutting measure using viable LC43 and 42 Bunters with the second digit ground off. Same thing Happened in 1955, after the Production Upswing of the Korean War…they used up old 1952-3 and 54 Bunters to make the TW 5 and others for 1955 use.This was done also in .30 cal and .45ACP cartridges, and even .30 carbine.

BY 1944, stocks of ammunition already produced caused a wind-down of Procurements in all calibres; so cost saving measures were introduced.

Doc AV


Early 30-06 or 45 ACP maybe, but the .50 BMG, in US service, never had a month code. It was always year. My specimens run from 1918 to 2016 including 90% of the dates in between, none have a month code and I’ve never seen nor heard of such. At least not .50 BMG, US production. France and a couple other countries added more than year.

With only a couple exceptions, what happened in 1939 was dropping the of the CAL 50 characters in the headstamp. WRA, a couple years, for example was an exception.


Thanks for answering my question. I do not specialize in 50 cal but have several specimens from different countries, my favorite is a F A 36. So the 1 5 on the LC would be 2015? My specialty is 06, F A dropped the month on 06 in 1918, I have at least one cartridge from 44 different countries. Always nice to hear from a collector


Thanks a million for the accurate info, so this 50 cal specimen was manufactured in 2015 ? I specialize in 06, but collect any cartridge if it is reasonable price or given to me or find discarded. I have at least one 06 cartridge of FA for every year they manufactured them, the only FA HS I am lacking is F A 12 02 which is not the final 06 but earliest version sometimes referred to as 30 01 or the thick rim, the extraction rim was changed to a regular thickness when the 30 03 was introduced, I have at least one 06 manufactured in 44 different countries My favorite 50 is F A 36


Yes, that is correct. No date or calendar quarter codes on US .50 production. France used either month or quarter, I believe Argentina used Trimester, but no US.

I don’t know for sure, since those calibers are outside my collecting specialty, but I think the US stopped putting month codes on headstamps before the .50 came into being. The .50 didn’t start development till 1918. The first issue/production rounds were 1921. Thatis well after the month code headstamps era in 3006 or 45 ACP that I’m aware of.

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