ADCOM in Abu Dhabi

ADCOM Manufacturing Co. in Abu Dhabi has been involved in ammunition making for several years and their products, small arms cartridges were headstamped with the captal letters A D .

It seems that their machinery was installed by BELL’s , USA and their technical management was Pakistani.

First, a huge contract was signed with the French Defense Ministry dealing with 5,56x45 NATO ammunition, but the first deliveries did not give good results, obviously due to errors in tolerances with the brass sheet thickness used for the primers (too thick, they caused incorrect-or even lack of-ignition with the FAMAS rifles), so the contract did not go farther than first lots.

On January 1st, 2011, the totality of assets was bought by another ionvestor, the TAWAZUN/Abu Dhabi Group, controlled by the Emirati government.
It should be noted that TAWAZUN had also the full control of CARACAL, a pistol manufacturing facility.

The new name of ADCOM Mfg.Ltd is now TAWAZUN LIGHT AMMUNITION and the new line of cartridges is said to be headstamped TLA instead of A D.

My question…did any of this so-headstamped TLA rounds appear recently ?


Phil, according to recently published drawings their new headstamp is CLA (Caracal Light Ammunition) but I haven’t seen any pictures yet. Regards, Fede.

Hi Fede!

Thanks for the fast reply…Now, we will have to wait…



Fede, the CLA headstamp exists at least on 5.56x45 (with .223 caliber designation in hs) and on 9x19 but I assume it should be standard on any of their headstamps.

Their 12.7x99 cases are made on CBC machinery or directly by CBC as their hs design, font, PA application and primer crimps are identical to CBC products.

To what I have seen in the past is that they are buying technology (and or production lines) from all over the world and do setup a domestic production and also do ease exports to arab countries which from the original supplier could be problematic due to legal reasons (export control, end user certificates etc.).
Their new pyrotechnics branch for example is from the German “NST Newco” (a WECO subsidiary).

Here their site:

Here their full catalog in pdf format:
They have a 9x19 AP there which I remember having seen from another company. Could anybody refresh my memory on this?

EOD, thanks for posting those links!

Alex, thanks for this information, do you have any pictures? Their AP bullet was a design used in France by Anthéna.

Unfortunately none I would be entitled to post as the copyright is with other people.

The 9x19 is from 2014 and the .223 (with typical CBC primer with an “0” stamped into it) is undated.

I had the opportunity to section this one last year, It is headstamped “9 x 19 MEN 04 006”

9x19AP_zpsc2a1a8da 9x19APreverse_zps24282622

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The whole connection of MEN, Anthena and CBC makes sense here now. Thank you all for contributing to the clarification.

EOD, My understanding is there was no association with MEN or Anthena on the AP round. I thought Anthena simply used MEN cases to load a batch of their ammo that turned up in Spain. It is possible Anthena had MEN load the ammo. I have seen a number of rounds of this ammo, all with MEN headstamps. Mine has just MEN 9x19 and is an early round from '06 so it is possible that it was loaded by MEN.

One story I hear is that Anthena showed their AP load at a trade show in the UAE and the next thing they knew AD offered it in their catalog. Apparently reverse engineered from the material on display. Another is that Anthena sold them rights to the design. I guess both could be true if they copied the Anthena bullet and then settled by buying the rights.

Note the 2007 Carcel catalog shows both the Anthena bullet and a “D-Shock” bullet which looks an awful lot like an Extreme Shock bullet.

CBC and their associates have a number of AP designs available, but I have never seen the Anthena design offered by CBC.

I hope someone has the full story on this.


Lew, MEN obtained ANTHENA (out of business today) licences as several other companies did. MEN being part of CBC now is what is closing the circle. Also as mentioned before CBC seems to have provided CLA with licences, machinery or components (or a mix of all).

Thanks EOD. I have not seen a CBC family load (except the '06 vintage MEN) with this bullet. They were at the last Shot Show I attended a few years ago with a number of AP, but not this one.


Lew, it is all a very difficult issue I assume as globalization and connections between all the manufacturers make it all but transparent.
I also imagine that one manufacturer has not to rely on one design only. MEN has also the said own range of AP types in SAA.

Since we are on the story of Abu Dhabi, I can fill in just a little bit on Jim Bell’s connection with it. I don’t know if he did or did not supply the first machinery for Abu Dhabi, but to my knowledge, he made the first cases in 9mm with the “AD” headstamp (not to be confused with the “A D” headstamp used for awhile by Indonesia on 9 mm Para and other calibers). The only specimens I know of in the US of the particular date and slightly different headstamp orientation, including my own, are dummy rounds with an empy primer pocket and no flash hole. They are some samples Jim retained and gave out at a Chicago (or perhaps St. Louis - I have forgotten when the show moved) cartridge show.

The headstamp, oriented the best I can typing it, is 95 AD 9mm. That is with the headstamp information oriented to it can be read without rotating the cartridge. The later headstamp was of the style AD 99 9MM (AD and date reversed in their positions from the earlier 95 headstamp, and “MM” instead of “mm” for the caliber marking. Every round I have seen other than that dummy has the second headstamp style, with various dates.

At the time, Jim was using the MAST Technology company name, according to my notes.

Hope this adds something to the story.

Lew and Alex, until 2006 the 9 mm PPI cartridge was always an Anthéna product but its loading was contracted with MEN, which used its own cases. The following year this French company ceased its production.

Fede, I mean the time after 2006.
They or somebody who bought the rights issued licences to several other manufacturers.

Some new information turned up. The MEN range received these bullets from a French company, probably in 2004. They loaded some (typically 20 rounds or less) for test firing and the results were not impressive and testing was terminated. In 2006 some of these bullets turned up mixed with old bullets that had been tested about two years before and were being disposed of.

MEN could have loaded other bullets for Anthéna and probably did. The round that came out of Spain was likely one of these. There apparently was no production, or even medium scale loading of this round by MEN.


The DAG 12.7x99 DM31 sniper AP is an Anthena design.
As if not everything is confusing enough already the DAG hs is made by CBC…

Old subject but here an ADCOM box from 2009 with lot code “AML”.
Does “AML” also exist on headstamps?


from what I saw, the 5.56 cartridges bought by the French Army at ADCOM in 2006 and 2007, all had AD in their headstampss, and all the packages were stamped AML.