Ethiopian Headstamps Identified!

As it usually happens, looking for something else I came across a Bulgarian 7.62x39 crate with markings indicating delivering to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This prompted my interest in Ethiopian ammunition and learned that in the late 1940’s an ammunition factory was established in Addis Ababa by Považské Strojárne of Czechoslovakia. Although this happened before the Communist coup d’état of February 1948, Ethiopia maintained relations with the Warsaw Pact alligned regime and the factory continued being supported by PS.

Now knowing that Ethiopia’s ammunition factory was located in Addis Ababa, I tried to link this with the Amharic characters found in cartridges like 7.9x57, .30-06 and .303 with no success at all, to my regret. These does not stand for something like “Addis Ababa Factory” or variations of the same.

Then, I tried to find out which Amharic characters are represented in these headstamps, a not very original approach I guess, but I was lucky because I find out that these are:

ቀ ኃ ሥ


ቀ ኃ

In Amharic script each character represents a consonant+vowel sequence, which means:

ቀ = q+ä = qä

ኃ = h+a = ha

ሥ = s+ə = sə (ə is a mid-central toneless neutral vowel, like the “a” in “separate”, for example)

The result, these are the initials of none other than Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974!!! His name in Amharic and Ge’ez languages is written ቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ, which transliterated to Latin is “Qädamawi Haylä Səllasé”, so his intials are “Qä. Ha. Sə.” or ቀ. ኃ. ሥ., as found in headstamps. The translation of his name is “Power of the Trinity” (Haylä Səllasé) “First” (Qädamawi).

Well, that’s all, I hope it was interesting.



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Fede are any headstamps documented in existance?

Today’s cartridges in 7.62x39 have no headstamps to what is known (with one suspected exception but that it is in Latin).

Alex, I’m afraid I don’t seem to have color pictures, but information about these early Ethiopian headstamps can be found in: Labbett’s “Military SAA of The World” p. 58 and Punnett’s “.30-06” p. 62. I hope the drawing below helps until someone post pictures.


Regarding the 7.62x39, do you mean those made by Homicho? I thought there was a post about them not long ago.



Fede, thanks for the drawing! Maybe real headstamp images will show up from a member here.

Yes I mean Homicho but do not remember it having been discussed here. Of course with my lousy memory this has no meaning at all.

Color picture of one example .30 Cal. Model 1906. Magnetic projectile.



Great information!!!


Great picture!!!


Here’s the 7.92x57 variation, with a GMCS bullet:

Joe and Jon, thanks a lot for helping to illustrate this thread with those nice pictures.

Alex, this is the thread showing the Ethiopian unheadstamped 7.62x39 rounds by Homicho: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12474

Joe and Jon, thankls for the images, thse are very helpfull.

Fede, ah - yes, back then we did not know it was Homicho.

I never heard of Homicho until now.

Homicho Ammunition Engineering Industry (HAEI),140 km west of Addis Ababa. “Small and medium ammunition: 7.62 x39 AKM ball, 7.62 x54 PKM ball, 7.62 x39 AKM blank, 12.7mm and 14mm AAMG”, see … n-industry for additional information on the structure of the industry and items produced.

From viewtopic.php?f=8&t=12474

These would be the ones in question:

So are these attributed to Homicho?


Brian, yes, these are the ones made by Homicho.


Thanks for the confirmation.


I thought I should add this .30-06 h/s to this thread also.


Fede - Wow! (I am uncharacteristically speechless, and can’t translate “Wow” into Spanish.) Incredible answer!!!

John Moss