Ammunition for or by Paraguay

The excellent thread by Fede and Claudio on 5.56mm from Chile motivated me to ask about Paraguay. Until a couple of years ago I had nothing in my collection from Paraguay until the following box and cartridge turned up.

We knew that FAMAE was the ammunition factory in Chile, but John Moss was clever enough to discover that DIMABEL was the Armed Force’s Armaments Directorate of Paraguay. It turns out this was perhaps a contract by FAMAE for Paraguay, or based on some of the information below-perhaps a cooperative production of ammunition in Paraguay with FAMAE assistance. I’d have never guessed who made this ammunition without the box label since it is Berdan primed and FAMAE produces Boxer primed cases for Chile. The bullet had a brass jacket when FAMAE porduction had GM jackets and this cartridge had a very destinctive primer crimp. it is obvious that this cartridge was made to meet the specification established by DIMABEL in Paraguay and perhaps was actually made in the DIMABEL factory. There was also a companion round produced in 7.62mm NATO.

More research yielded up the following:

[quote]In April 2008, Directive 12036 ordered the launch of Paraguay’s defence industrial capacity. DIMABEL, the Armed Force’s Armaments Directorate, will produce small arms munitions, explosives and rockets. In December 2010 DIMABEL began to produce 7.62, 5.56 and 9 mm munitions after more than 10 years of inactivity. Production of small arms munitions was re-launched in early December 2010 by DIMABEL’s main factory located at Piribebuy. The factory, which was originally established in 1987 with a machine procured from FN Herstal, can produce NATO standard 7.62 mm, 5.56 mm and 9 mm munitions.[/quote]
It seems like from 1986 until sometime in the mid??? 1990s or so Paraguay produced it’s own ammunition, perhaps in all three calibers listed above.

Further a friend in Chile told me that:

A Spanish language site provided the following:

[quote] The importance of the factory would be even if it began to occur again. The factory was acquired in 1985 of the Belgian FN Herstal. Already started production after the fall of the Stroessner dictatorship, but its greatest activity was between 1996 and 97 under an agreement with the Chilean firm Famae, they reported in the DIMABEL. Since 2000 not caused by lack of raw materials and maintenance.

To reactivate the ammunition factory of the Armed Forces still lack a lot of investment, although the State has already spent a few G. 6,400 million between 2008 and 2009. This resource is used in the first phase of recovery and was in charge of the Paraguayan PROEL Engineering firm, which represents the Belgian firm EDB Engeeniering.[/quote]

A Forum in Paraguay provided the following:

[quote] According to sources consulted DIMABEL yesterday, which will show the operation of a “line of cartridge refilling” 7.62 caliber NATO with a German machine 1955, upgraded. Also showcase the work of other machines that were first thought to be repaired with a high economic investment. DIMABEL The factory was acquired in 1985 of the Belgian FN Herstal. Began to occur after the fall of the Stroessner dictatorship, but its greatest activity was between 1996 and 97 under an agreement with the Chilean firm Famae, as reported last September. Since 2000 not caused by lack of raw materials and maintenance. As explained to parliamentarians, the recovery would still require a lot of money, although the State had already spent about G. 6,400 million between 2008 and 2009. This resource is used in the first phase of recovery and was in charge of the Paraguayan PROEL Engineering firm, which represents the Belgian firm EDB Engeeniering. An amount of G. 20,000 million was awarded in 2009 to PROEL to continue the process, but the action was not executed by an abrupt cancellation of the contract earlier this year.[/quote]

Another reference indicated that in 2010, the facility had produced 200,000 9x19mm cases but was short of powder to load them.

Then there was the following photo of the boxes from the Piribebuy factory.

Given this history of production of 9x19mm and other calibers in Paraguay, I have two rounds that, based on their primer crimp, look like they are products of or for Paraguay. I have found a document on the internet that confirms that in 1988 there was a “Directorate of Military Industries” which could explain the “IM” on the headstamp.

Note how similar the letter style is on these two headstamps. The shape of the numbers is similar to this FN 66 headstamp below but the letter style is somewhat different.

Now the question!!!
Does anyone have ammunition made by or for Paraguay???
Has anyone seen cartridges with the two headstamps above in other calibers???
Is there any other information out there on ammunition made by or for Paraguay???

If someone just happens to have a couple of the JAGUARETE boxes pictured above, I sure would like to talk you out of one of them!!!



I have two 7.62x51 rounds, one each from Israel and France, with MDRP as part of the headstamp. My info is that the MDRP is for Ministry of Defense Republic of Paraguay (in Espanol of course).

It has been suggested that the French made MDRP 7.62x51mm cartridges were destined for a Southern African country, probably South Africa. Use of the MDRP headstamp was designed to hide their origin - a necessity because of the arms embargo on South Africa in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I don’t know if this is the case for the Israeli-made cartridges.


I have three 7.62x51mm catridges with the IM headstamp
IM 72
IM 047 87

I’ll post pictures tomorrow. I have these as being manufactured by Indumil-Industria Militar, Columbia.


Hello Lew,

The “Dirección de Material Bélico” (DIMABEL) from Piribebuy, Paraguay was set up in 1988 and a test lot of 50.000 rounds of 9 mm Parabellum was produced. This ammunition was headstamped IMP 88 (Industrias Militares de Paraguay 1988) and is reported to be packed in 25 round plastic boxes (belgian FN egg-cup type). In 1989 the same production line was modified to include 7.62 x 51 mm NATO cartridges. In both cases the machinery was set up with FN assistence and the ammunition was based in FN drawings but was entirely PRODUCED IN PARAGUAY.

This plant ceased to work in 1993 and negociations started with chilean firm FAMAE. Work started in 1995 with evaluation, reparation and service of the ammunition machinery. The next production included 2.500.000 rounds of 9 mm Parabellum caliber (headstamped F 9x19 D 96) and 2.500.000 rounds of 7.62 x 51 mm NATO caliber (headstamped F 7.62x51 D 96). The materials to produce these rounds were bought in South Africa through FAMAE.

In 1998 another production of 7.62 x 51 mm NATO cartridges was carried on, this time with argentinian FM FLB cases, german bullets and powder and primers from South Africa. One million were produced.

The “Jaguarete” brand ammunition is packed in the same boxes as the FAMAE & DIMABEL ones with an added over label. “Jaguareté” (also spelled “Yaguareté”) is the guaraní language name for Jaguar. I’m not sure of its contents.

I can also add that there are at least 5 different lot numbers in the FAMAE & DIMABEL 9 mm parabellum boxes (01 to 05). All were loaded with powder lot number 21 dated 1995.

Dave, I do recall that South Africa story as well. Could be true for both the French and Israeli headstamps…or perhaps for Paraguay.

Thanks for the great information. Some of the material I read indicate that, in December 2010, the factory had produced cases with the assistance of the Belgian company EDB and was seeking powder to load them. Any idea what this headstamp may be?

The material I’ve read indicates that Paraguay probably bought ammunition on contract over the years. Is there any evidence of unique headstamps on any of this production?

Thanks for your post. The “IM” code was also used by Columbia. Not surprising since Military Industries (Industrias Militares) is not a very unique name. I have the following “IM” headstamped rounds cataloged as from Columbia.

I had the “IM 9 66 9” round cataloged as Columbia also until I realized that it shared the unusual primer crimp of loads from Paraguay, so I have tentatively identified it as Paraguay. Fede’s identification of the IMP headstamp as Paraguay helps as doesn the documention that Paraguay had a Directorate of Military Industries that had a relationship with FN. The “IM 9 66 9” round came from Belgium and was mixed with a large number of FN loads from the period. I suspect it was a Belgian contract load for Paraguay, but that is just a guess.

Too bad we can’t just write a letter and sort out this kind of thing. I tried that once with Zimbabwe. I wrote them a letter noting that they had produced 7.62x39mm ammunition and asking if they had also produced 9x19mm. I received a letter from a Colonel there denying that they had ever produced any ammunition, that all their ammunition was bought from other countries, and then asking who had told me that they were producing ammunition!

Thanks for all the help!


General, did you then inform the Col. that he was incorrect, and send some box and headstamp pics?

Based on my experience, I didn’t think it was worth the postage!!!

Of course, there is always the possibility that Zimbabwe did not make that 7.62 x 39 ammunition. both cartridges and packaging are very good looking quality, and yet I have never been able to find out anything about the manufacture of ammunition actually in Zimbabwe, or Rhodesia, for that matter, other than the Matthews Ltd. 9mm Para ammo. In this world, the words “Made in - (fill in any country name)” is really no guarantee they were really made there.

Just playing Devil’s advocate. My experience with some “experts” from foreign companies has been similar to Lew’s with the Colonel in Zimbabwe. At least two employees of Thun told me, one direct and one thru a friend’s inquiry on my behalf - that Thun never made a 9 x 23 mm cartridge case headstamped “T 9 x 23.” My insistence and Frank Neremberg’s help finally put me with the real expert there, a lady, who knew all about it and was very, very helpful. Many people at Norma denied the existence of a Norma-headstamped .40 S&W and a Norma +P headstamp on 9 mm. Morten finally found someone who knew about it. It was actually made by Black Hills Ammunition Company for Norma, but company “experts” should have been aware of them. Just two examples of many of lack of knowledge of their own products or name-use by factory “experts.”

The IM rounds dated 1966 were made for or by Industria Militar from Bogotá, Colombia. This same headstamp format was also used in .30-06 between 1965 and 1967 (for example: 30 IM 30 65). Some of this rifle rounds do not have any crimps while other have rectangular ones. It is highly possible that these cases were made by FN and later loaded in Colombia.

The close connection between FN and both Colombia and Paraguay probably explains why the "9 IM 9 66"
headstamp from Colombia and the “IMP 88” headstamp, which I had never seen or heard of until this thread,
are so similar. I, too, believe the “66” headstamp is from Colombia, not Paraguay. Boht countries got assistance
and technology from FN.

Fede, Of course the IM 9 66 9 is from Columbia. All I had to do was to look at Chris Punnett’s great book on 30-06 where he even shows a box. Given the crimp, it looks like the ammo was loaded in Belgium by FN, or at least the primed cases were sent to Columbia.



Current Indumil boxes: 9 mm Parabellum and 7.65 mm Browning

What is the 7.65 headstamp?

Headstamp reads INDUMIL 7,65 mm. Primer is CBC and maked with a typical “V”.

We might mention that INDUMIL is from Colombia, in light of the title of this thread. First time I have seen these boxes, a nice revision of a previous design. Thanks for sharing the photos Fede.

Indumil, in their military line, makes and assortment of 5.56 x 45 and 7.62 x 51 ammunition, as well as M79 type grenade ammunition and larger stuff like mortar shells. In the commercial line of pistol ammunition, the make .32 S&W Long (.32 Largo), .38 Special (.38 Especial), 7.65 mm Browning and 9 x 19 mm Para (9 mm NATO). Their catalog also indicates they make a SMG load in 9 mm NATO. The names they use for these cartridges in shown in Parenthesis. 3They also offer 12, 16 and 20 gauge shotgun ammunition in various loads. Surprisingly, their commercial catalog does not show any rifle sporting ammunition, not even .223 and .308 Winchester which they make in the military versions and show in their Military Products catalog.

I have never seen the .32 auto cartridges (7.65 mm Browning). Wish they would export to the US!