Bertram Headstamp and SMI Headstamp ID's


I am trying to ID two modern reproduction cartridges from another forum. Apparently the owner of these cartridges and cases does not own a micrometer.

First up is a Bertram fired case with the headstamp “AUST”.

Second is a hand loaded cartridge marked SMI USA. I have seen this headstamp before (on non-Italian made reproduction cases), but I can’t remember what it stands for. I think other SMI cases that I have seen were of the lathe turned variety, but this one looks like a drawn case. I have cases by Red Willow Armory and Rocky Mountain Cartridge that have headstamps in a similar form. I want to know what SMI stands for and any guesses on the cartridge ID would be appreciated.

I have reposted the owners pictures with his permission.



Possible SMI information: Rwa & smi usa

[quote=“Fede”]Pete, the turned cases headstamped SMI USA were made by Stevi Machine in Stevensville, Montana. It seems that their first case was a .45 2.6’’ basic advertised in mid 1990.

In 1991 SMI changed its name to Red Willow Armory and later to Red Willow Tool & Armory, although in some cases both designations were used concurrently.

In 1993 they went out of business and the company was reorganized in Cody, Wyoming as the Rifle Works & Armory.

In late 1996 or 1997 their new designation was Gain Twist Barrel Co. (Rifle Works & Armory.)

In 1998 the company moved to a different address in Cody and again changed its name to Ballard Rifle & Cartridge, LLC.

In 2007 they moved to Onsted, Michigan, where they still operate as the Ballard Rifle and Cartridge Co.




Excellent information! Thank You.


According to my records on Bertram Bullets, that “AUST” headstamp is known on: 25-20 SINGLE SHOT, 35 WCF, 11MM (43) SPANISH (unformed) and 45 BASIC 2.6" (maybe the example shown ?).


Thank You WBD. I agree that these are probably.45 Basic cases. Do you have any information on when this headstamp was used, is it an early production headstamp?


My records show that the BB 45 Basic with “AUST” hs was produced before 1989 and as BERTRAM BULLETS, Co was formed in 1985 that should give it as c1985-1988. The other “AUST” hs were also all used <1989. - ie fairly early Bertram production but may have been produced much after this as well.


Excellent! I commend you for your record keeping!