First 2018 dated headstamp?

I just openend a case of Winchester brown box military styled .45acp 230gr fmj ammo with a WMA 18 heastamp today. It seems fairly early in the year to be seeing these already, and I wondered if anyone else has seen a 2018 headstamp yet? This ammo type has been around since at least 2015 from Winchester in the brown box style, and is sold either by the box, or in a 4-box 200rd wooden vintage military-style wooden crate with slide top lid.

My 500 rd cases of this ammo came from who currently have this ammo on special for an internet-best price (with shipping considered) for new production retail packaged brass-cased .45acp of $233 per 1000, which is surprising for being Winchester, whereas brands such as PPU, Aguila, PMC, or Armscor usually win the price battle for stuff like this. I am not certain yet, but something looks a little different about the jacket on this 2018 loading as compared to some 2017 dated stuff of the same type that I also have. I am wondering if they have cut corners and saved on cost by using plated bullets instead of traditional jacketed bullets? This could explain the unexpectedly low cost. The blow torch will tell all tomorrow when I check pulled bullets…




I came across some Federal .223 marked 2018 today at the range.

I’ll get a pic of it tommorrow as my mate claimed it for his brass stash.

What would you say is the typical turnaround for ammo from manufacture to market?

It’s not that the manufacturers don’t start producing newly dated ammo right away in January, it’s just that I usually dont see them until May due to the amount of time it takes for distributors to rotate through their existing stocks that are on hand at the beginning of the year, and also the factor of there being a limited amount of dated headstamps available for retail sale usually only in 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, .45, etc… The distributors might have the new dated ammo in stock as early as January or February, but I believe they all rotate their stock to get older ammo out before newer stock.

At first I could not find a lot number printed anywhere, but then I found an impressed number of NB51 on an end-flap. In checking back on the 2017 version of this box, this is also how they did that one.

Today I noticed for the first time a reason as to why this ammo is such a good deal, and as to why SGammo describes it as a “Special purchase”. On the end flap of the 500rd case it says: 500 (10 rd boxes ).

This is obviously an error and should read 500 (50 rd boxes). The ammo is the same, but I wonder if Winchester wanted this batch of cases to disappear, or if not, maybe all the cases are like this? I assume that being a very early 2018 run, that some one has noticed and corrected it by now.

I can also add that the jacket is a standard FMJ, and not a cheap thin plating job. I did however notice what looks like one of the roughest flash holes I have seen on domestic ammo from a big brand like Winchester. It may be hard to see in the photo, but it has not been deburred at all, and has the remains of hole-punch tailings flaring up all the way around the hole. This might well be inconsequential to the function of the rd, but it looks relatively bad.


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That label probably meant to say "500 (10 - fifty-Rd boxes) or something
to that effect. A big boo-boo regardless!

John Moss