A81 R1M1 7.62 hstp

Can someone please tell me who made this? Would the 81 part be a the year or part of the arsenal code?
Can’t find any reference to it on google or the list on the home page.

It’s South African ball round made by Pretoria Metal Pressings in 1981.

This is South African ball ammo, made by Armscorp, the old PMP. It was made in 1981 and “R1M1” is the model number for the first type of ball ammo,

The South African “RM” is the equivalent to the US “MA” or British “LA” nomenclature system.


I found the list of RM codes online but just wasn’t sure about the A81 bit. Can I ask how you guys knew that it was PMP. What gives it away?

Good question! Looking at my own specimens it would seem that their earlier (pre-1974) headstamps were marked P.M.P. and from then on they used ‘A’. Why an ‘A’ I have no idea.

Just found this on http://www.harringtonmuseum.org.uk/303CartRTT.htm

I’m sure he meant “ARMSCOR” not “Armscore” which answers our question. But there’s a “B” headstamp isn’t there? I’m sure I’ve seen B88.
And why did they go to “A” from PMP

[quote=“falcon5nz”]Just found this on http://www.harringtonmuseum.org.uk/303CartRTT.htm

I’m sure he meant “ARMSCOR” not “Armscore” which answers our question. But there’s a “B” headstamp isn’t there? I’m sure I’ve seen B88.
And why did they go to “A” from PMP[/quote]

I thought I had answered the question in my post above. However…

I find the Harrington site very inaccurate on many details, as it seems the compliler has simply gleaned information from all over the net, but without fully understanding the detail.

The production of SAA was originally under the jurisdiction of the South African Mint and used the old “U” headstamp. At some point post war the SA government formed a state owned company “Pretoria Metal Pressings” which took over responsibility.

Around the 1970s the SA government formed all their state owned weapons factories into a new Armaments Corporation know as Armscor, which then used the “A” headstamp.

There is indeed a “B” headstamp and I suspect that it is either a second production line or a subsidiary factory,hence “B”. However, that is merely an educated guess.

We need Will R or one of the other South African guys to give us the full details.


Did they still have some .303 weapons in service at the dates this ammo was made? What did they have?

falcon5nz==You mentioned a site that listed the RM codes for South Africa. Could you please post the URL for this site?

Right here on the forum Posted by Will R.
Thank you Tony, you did answer it and I did not read your post correctly.

The bit about Armscor is not quite right. A does not stand for Armscor, it was still PMP. B does exist and this is more like a second plant (not just another production line) but also part of PMP, at the same location. Armscor was not really a holding company, more of a co-ordinating organisation. Best I have been able to work out the A was used something like the Germans used in WWII to preserve secrecy. It might sound a bit funny now but at the time we were engaged in fighting a terrorist war, and the possibility of the plant becoming a target for terrorists was real.

1938 Factory started with the manufacturing of 303 ammunition as part of the “Royal Mint”.
1940 - 1945 Manufacture of 303 ammunition for the Allied Forces.
1945 - 1948 Dismantling and sale of some equipment after the Second World War.
1961 Formation of the Republic of South Africa and the start of the UN Armament sanctions, production of 7.62x51 ammunition begins.
1968 Armscor established. Pretoria Metal Pressings (PTY) Ltd established as a company.
1971 - 1987 Expansion of PMP and the supply of ammunition to the South African Defence Force.
1988 - 1990 Decline in SADF ammunition requirements and thus the rationalisation of PMP.
1992 Establishment of Denel (PTY) Ltd with PMP as a division of the Denel group.

Many thanks , Will.

It is quite difficult to get the true story on these arrangements.

However, since the PMP plant can hardly have been secret after all the years of production, what was the point of the “A” headstamp?


Tony - only conjecture, but perhaps the “A” was adopted to simply simplify the factory designator in anticipation of other ammunition sources being used, perhaps even some from out of country that they might want to keep secret, considering the embargo and all. Several strange headstamps are known from RSA in that era, such date-coded Hirtenberg headstamps, the “ASC” headstamp on Portuguese ammunition (evidently, from past threads and information from Portugal, not even FNM there, who made the ammunition, knew what “ASC” actually stood for, if anything), and the “GeO” headstamp, on .32 and perhaps other calibers, definitely made by Hirtenberg in Austria, but more resembling a German “Geco” headstamp. Then, along comes “B” which should indicate a second military factory in RSA, as Weill said (perhaps in this case, a new factory within a factory).

It might also have been used just in anticipation of their becoming, bascially, a PMP “A” and a PMP “B” factory.