I checked the clips in 3 different bandoleers, and all seem to be a faint SF.
Here is what my friend answered about the headstamp lettering:
The stamp marks on the ammo are “m” (fifth form) “i” (in english, “long e” as in “pita”) and a character which does not look like a letter to me. Is it a 2 with a line through it?
The bottom characters are "ri’ “ri” if the center is the bottom and they are upside down in the photo
Otherwise they are “g” “g”
Here is the amharic as best I could reproduce it on the weird online keyboard. There was no character for the one that looks like a “w,” but it is another way of writing “s,” so I used the “s” that was on the keyboard.
ይህን ምንነቻ አንደገና ሰለምንገልበት ኦም/ ጦርመሳረይ ግ/ቤት ተመሳሸይ ሆን
Amazingly, the writing on the bandoleer supposedly says:
“We did not repeat this incident again”.
My friend added the following:
“This strap (bag) is going to be used again by the ground force, return it to the ground force army store room”
This squares then with the reused metal box and most likely could apply to the clips too.
These cartridges were manufactured after 1974 by the Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia, when Haile Selassie I was removed from the throne; that is why they are not marked with his initials.
Early examples made in 1976 are headstamped “ፕ ፋ” (Pə Fa), but I don’t know its meaning. The second letter may stand for “factory” (ፋብሪካ / fabɨrika), but this is conjecture.
In 1977, a new headstamp was adopted using the initials “መ ኢ ድ” (mä ʾi də), which I believe stand for “Defense Industry Organization” (Mäkälakäya ʾinədusətəri dərəǧətə). This interpretation is supported by the initials found in 7.62x51 English language boxes from this era marked “DI” (using Latin alphabet), that also contain cartridges headstamped “መ ኢ ድ”. Also, you can find the same initials in Homicho boxes of recent manufacture, because the latter was under control of this organization -at this time named DIS- until 2010 (now under METEC).
I can also add that many boxes used for this ammunition are of British origin (RTB) and made in the 1960’s. Regarding the clips, cartridges from 1976 are reportedly packed with examples of US manufacture, like BRW, HA, IS and SA.
A quick rummage around the internet produces some interesting information on Ethiopian use of Garand rifles and surplus US equipment in general;
Truly, one learns something new everyday.
This is the clearest marked “SF” Garand clip I’ve found to date;
Link to ammo, however, out of stock.
The outer finish of the cartridges has a very American look.
Ethiopian ammo supposed to be back in stock, if interested.
A product you showed interest in is now in stock.
[Ethiopian 30-06 Ammunition AM2965A 150 Grain Full Metal Jacket Lead Core
Can of 192 Rounds
They are sold out, again!
Here is what I received from SG AMMO.
The 80 headstamps were on SF marked brand new clips and the 76 headstamps were in refurbished with black paint BRW, HA, IS and SA Garand En-bloc clips. All bandoleers marked the same.
Joe, excellent reference! Great headstamps!
What do we have now, 5 or 6 different headstamps???
Maybe one can post them all in separate thread?
your images seem to answer the question about the origin of an unidentified round in the old forum.
Great, thank you for posting!!!
Hans, I understood this question was solved long ago no?
Well possible I missed that
No worries, it was along those un-headstamped 7.62x39 made in recent years by Homicho.
Detailed information on the Ethiopian ammunition can be found at this interesting article at this link from September 2018 written by N.R. Jenzen-Jones:
It also mentions that more information will be found in an upcoming IAA Journal article.