Aera 51?

Could this factory be as secret as aera 51?

Its name : Factory 270
The dimensions are in mm, the language in English.
The product shown : shotshell, all aluminium case
The date of the drawing : 1964

Who is it ?

(England and USA are still possible because as early as 1910 both were very often using mm on their drawings).

JP–I think Area 51 confiscated your image. No image appears in the post.

LOL !!

More seriously who could be this factory ??


J-P - the only “Arsnela 270” I know of is at Lugansk, now in the Ukraine. Well, it was always in the Ukraine, but I mean it is no longer part of the USSR. They were a major arsenal even under the USSR, and in fact, made the first serial production Makarov ammunition after the PM was officially adopted.

The fact your source is in the English language is odd, and this may not relate at all to your shotgun shell, although the Russians made aluminum-cased shotgun ammo, as you know, but it is the only “270” relating to ammo production that I know of.

thaks john but the drawings been in english it can’t be russian.
I still think it is british or us.
More US than British .


  1. Here is an exemple :

Nothing iN THE WAY OF WRITTING giving indication if it is US, British, Canadian ?

  1. this is one of the BOTTOM view which is located ABOVE the front view
    This means the drawing has been made following the Continental European conventions for drawings, not the US ones where the BOTTOM view is UNDER the front view.
    I don’t know if Canada or Endgland was using in the sixties Continental ou US views for drawings.


Again, the draftsman’s view (no pun intended)…what JP is speaking of, where a bottom view is under a side view on a drawing, is called Third Angle Projection and is used extensively in the US. Bottom views above side views, or First Angle Projection, are used quite a bit outside the US. Also, we generally don’t write dates day, month, year…as in 19.5.64, we use month, day, year. Randy

Also the spelling of the material as “Aluminium” does not fit with it being U.S. origin. The format of the date does not preclude Canada, they seem to use five different formats, sometimes more than one on the same document! However the crossed “7” in “270” looks more continental.


J-P. I will not argue that because the drawing is in English, that it makes this headstamp unlikely to be Russian. I said that myself But, just like the instance of the Piloni-version of the Arslan headstamp being on a French drawing, I would not say that it could not possibly be Soviet because the drawing is in English. It is not impossible that it is a drawing done in an English-speaking country of a Soviet cartridge, is it? (Arsenal 270 is in Ukraine, so it would not be a “Russian” headstamp regardless).

thanks to all of you !

  1. Because :

  2. the First Angle Projection (bottom view above front view) intead of Third angle Projection

  3. the way the date is written (day/month/year instead of month/day/year)

  4. the way we have a 'crossed "seven " intead of a regular seven

  5. the fact that it is written Aluminum instead of "Aluminum"
    it is not US, I agree with you.

  6. In which country do they use english on their drawings??
    And give dimensions in mm ??
    Could it be British or Canadian ??

  7. German, I don’t think because a lot of people speak German.

  8. Russian I don’t think because in 1963 they were still communist and didn’t care to exchange infos or subcontracting shotshells to Western countries.

  9. I think rather to some countries nobody speaks the language as :
    Netherland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway.

  10. Perhaps Factory 270 is the drawing number and not the name of the factory.

THhe fact I have the same name : “factory 270” on two drawings could mean :

  1. the name of the factory
  2. the name of the product

Usually in France when we have two drawings about the same ctge (one showing a general vue for example, and the other giving internal details) we have two numbers, one for each drawing.
It is for that I think it is starnge.



Canadian draftsman/designer here. We use 3rd angle projection here as in the U.S. - it’s basically a North American standard. The Aluminium refererence points to Britain in my mind. I don’t believe the date format is an indicator of country of origin because I have seen it formatted every which way sometimes within the same corporation - tends to depend more on company standard or personal taste of the designer.

ok thanks !
it is not canadian
british you think . perhaps.
let wait for some british guy to confirm


Canadian draftsman/designer here. We use 3rd angle projection here as in the U.S. - it’s basically a North American standard. The Aluminium refererence points to Britain in my mind. I don’t believe the date format is an indicator of country of origin because I have seen it formatted every which way sometimes within the same corporation - tends to depend more on company standard or personal taste of the designer.[/quote]

JP and pdrice,

As an Englishman, born and bred, I can say that 3rd angle projection was standard in the UK when I started in engineering in 1959. The “correct” spelling of Aluminium (don’t take me too seriously chaps), date format and general style of the handwriting all point to Britain as most likely. The only odd point is the crossed character 7 but as the draughtsman was drawing a foreign cartridge he may have simple copied the cartridge manufacturers style. I am sure that you (pdrice) will have seen every conceivable format of year/month/date, month/year/date etc. When I travelled to Ottawa in 2002 to work I spent a frustrating one and a half hours in Canadian Customs beating my head against Bulls**t. Eventually, in order to be able to get on with my life, I agreed that I had got my date of birth wrong. The customs official crossed out my date of birth on all forms, which were entered in accordance with the attached notes, and switched the month and date. for the year I worked in Ottawa I had to use my “revised” date of birth in order to agree with the “lady” in customs!


The layout of the “english” could be either British (maybe Birmingham Proof House details of imported Russian made ammo); OR Russian done in preparation for exporting to some English Speaking country, again probably Britain.
The use of the crossed Seven is typically European (and Russian), but NOT British, unless the writer is of European Origin…say a refugee Pole or Hungarian etc from WW II and later (a Lot of Poles remained in Britain after WWII rather than go back to their country under communism.)

The cursive script has an indication that it was written by someone whose writing was developed in Europe, in any case, probably as a child.
I remember my “copperplate” writing classes in classic “English” cursive script back in the 1950s ( using steel pen and ink)…I can still write that way if I concentrate…European cursive ( even with individual country differences) of the period, is different in style from English 1950s and 60s cursive.

Also the use of Independant ( semi Block) capitals with normal cursive is a sign of someone not used to the “colourful” and almost Gothic English Cursive capitals.

The actual layout of the details ( 'drawn by, checked by" etc, is typically British Engineering Practice, or used by someone familiar with British Engineering Drawing Practice.

Anyway, an interesting item.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

PS, find a Forensic Handwriting expert and see what they make of it…

I think we reading waaaay too much into the “style” of the lettering as most designers I know/knew in the pre-CAD days had there own styles and you could identify the designer without looking at the title block. That having been said, I agree that Britain sounds the most plausible.

Gravelbelly, I hope you learned 2 valuable lessons:

  1. You can’t argue with the people in Ottawa - they know what’s best for you :)
  2. You Never Ever argue with Canada Customs. Do they call it “strip search” in England too? :)

thanks Doc

  1. if it is coming from a british company i don’t see which one.

  2. about russia, sfm never had contacts with this country after wwii

  3. either british or dutch or scandinavian I think
    Indeed, sorting my documentation I discovered sfm made a lot of ctges for British, Dutch and Danish manufacturers after wwii.
    Therefore all is open !


J-P - this is just a question, not a criticisum. You mention in your last Posting that SFM had no contacts with Russia after WWII, and then you mention who SFM made some ammo for. Since the drawing is of unknown origin according to what I have read so far, where does SFM come into it? There was no mention of SFM before this on this thread, other than when I used SFM’s drawing of the Italian Piloni shotgun shell simply as an example of one company making a drawing of another company’s cartridge, so why is it important to this drawing what SFM made or did not make, and what contacts they had or did not have? I am confused on this point by your entry.

I would doubt that the “7” is an important factor here. I have been making my sevens that way here in the US since I was about 6 or 7 years old, but it is very rarely that I see anyone else here do it in that style. Couldn’t tell you where I picked it up, but if I could, anyone anywhere else could have also.

Hi John
excuse me to have been a little bite confusing.

  1. SFM made of course ctges for Russia because not only CRB (cartoucherie russo belge) was SFM but also because of direct orders.
    This was till the bolchevist revolution.
  2. After the revolution no more order coming from USSR (about shotshells I am sure).
  3. Here is the way the SFM archives work:
  • each ctge made by sfm has a drawing
  • each ctge from another manufacturer which has been analysed has also a drawing (example the Piloni shotshell) or a picture (more recently)
  • there are also documents given by the customers to sfm when they ordered special ctges.
    Here again either there was a drawing made in the old time, either there is only the customer document more recently.
  1. I am just sorting some drawings and documents from after WWII.
    I discovered funny things:
  • shotshells made for the British goverment after wwii (Colonial British Office)
  • shotshells made for NWM (Dutch company)
  • shotshells made for Sweden, Denmark
  • and so on

All these shotshells of course with the hstp of the end user, meaning the customer hstp, not the sfm one.

  1. And there were these pictures of very bad quality, because they are pictures mlade in very bad ambiant conditions and not scans of old archives pictures.

It looks like an order because they are quantities of 160 000 and 300 000.

  1. The strange point is, as I already said, the fact there is no drawing number except if we take “factory 270” as a drawing number.

In France it is never like that : two different drawings have always different numbers, despite the fact it is relative to the same product

Therefore we can think it is the factory number.
And this has more signification if it is just a drawing sent by a customer for an order. (no need to give an internal drawing number).

Here is all what I know


Hi John
did the 270 Arsenal in Ukraine made 26 mm Flare with aluminium case ?