Did you ever wonder why some Cal .30 Match cartridges are headstamped MATCH and some are headstamped NM? You don’t care? Well then, you’d best move on to the next thread because I’m about to tell you.
When the new T291 and M72 Match ammunition was manufactured beginning in 1957, Frankford Arsenal would select one lot to be sent directly to Camp Perry to be issued for the Excellance In Competition (EIC) matches. The selection was based on accuracy tests, and while the best lot was usually the one selected, the other lots were equally good. In real life, it’s unlikely that the average shooter could tell the difference between the “Camp Perry” ammunition and all other lots, which were distributed for practice, lesser matches, and establishing zeroes. Frankford did not mark the cartons, boxes, or cases in any way. Only the lot number identified the ammunition.
In 1962 the manufacture of all M72 was transferred to Lake City Arsenal, soon to be renamed Lake City Ordnance Plant. From 1962 until 1966 they marked the Camp Perry cartons with special wording and the case headstamp was changed to NM. The NM cartridges were manufactured with extreme care, special attention to detail, constant inspections, using the best bullets available, and loaded in quantity only after rigouous testing. All other Match ammo for those years continued to be headstamped MATCH.