Cartridge .38Sp. PGU 12/B

I’m looking technical information about .38Sp. PGU 12/B ammo in use or used by the US Air Force.


Sorry a response took so long; I had to register;)

PGU 15/B is the designation for a less-expensive 30mm practice round for the GAU-8 Avenger canon on the USAF’s A-10.

Could there be some error in the caliber designation?

Wendigo - There is no mistake in Rob’s terminology. In the new book on .38 and .357 Headstamps by Otto Witt, Volume II, page 313, there is a picture of a box labeled:


The last entry is the manufacturing lot number. The box is white with black writing. The cartridge pictured is of the type with a case cannelure perhaps 3/16" below the case mouth, and the bullet protruding from the case mouth only about that same amount, making a very short ctg. OAL. The bullet is a GM FMJ RN.

You can see that the designation PGU-12/B, at least at the time this box was printed, clearly referred to this .38 Special loading, if indeed the PGU Numbers are unique for each cartridge caliber and loading. I really have never understood them very well, to be honest. I have a 9mm Para box with the designation PGU-19/P. Do you have a record of that number. If so, it would be interesting to know if it applies on your list to a 9mm Parabellum cartridge (flat nose bullet) or to something else.

Here is a link to a list of the types of PGU numbered cartridges. … .html#_PGU

Click on Index of ASETDS Designation Listings at the top for a complete list of all the 2-3 letter designators used by the military.

John–There was a mistake in Rob’s termenology. He had used 15/B when it should have been 12/B, as you said.
As stated by Windigo, the 15/b is a 30mm cartridge.

Rob–I have corrected your post to reflect the correct name for the .38 Spl. I assume it was the .38 Spl and not the 30mm that you wanted information on. As you had posted it, you had mixed the two parts of the designation.

Ron - OK, sorry about that. Did you correct Rob’s error before or after I posted my answer? I didn’t pay much attention to Wendigo’s answer as far as the number went, but I would swear that when I read Rob’s question, it said “12.” Maybe I need a new pair of glasses. I don’t see any “edited” entry on Rob’s answer.


John–I corrected it after your comments. Rob had posted it as “.38 Spl PGU-15/B”. Of course this was wrong as it had to be a 12/B if it was a .38 Spl. or if the 15/B was correct then the cartridge had to be a 30mm. One part or the other was obviously wrong. I assume Rob had the .38 Spl. part right, so I corrected it to reflect the proper number for that round.

Glad you DID NOT notice the wrong designation because now we have a nice post with the wording on the box. Thanks.

By the way, when I, as Moderator, edit a post, it does not generate the “Edited” line. That only gets attached when the original poster does the editing.

Ron - guess I’ll have to stop having that bottle of wine with my breakfast - I can’t even read anymore. I love getting old!

John–Doesn’t wine taste a little funny on corn flakes? But, I guess if you drink enough of it, you wouldn’t even notice the corn flakes.

Yah, getting old, as they say, has it’s benefits, but the older I get, the harder it is to see them (even with my glasses)


Many thanks for your reply.
Sorry for the mistake PGU 15/B versus PGU 12/B.
The RNLN use the 30mm TP PGU 15/B ammo many years in the Close In Weapon System (CIWS) Goalkeeper.

Many years ago (1987) I found a empty .38 Special Ball PGU 12/B box at the military shooting range Leusderheide near below Amersfoort.
Lotnummer WCC81D041-034.

I’m looking a technical description and/or information about PGU 12/B ammo.

Best regards, Rob

Caliber .38

Number Type Identification
PGU-12/B Ball (Light - 132 gr- high velocity) Deep seated bullet with heavy cannelure 1/4" below mouth
M41 Ball (Light - 132 gr - low velocity) None
XM142 Ball (Heavy - 158 gr) None
FX SimunitionTM Non-lethal training round Shortened brass case with a colored plastic projectile.