French 30-06 Cartridge and French corrosive primers


I’ve run across about 100 rounds of a 30-06 Cartridge I cannot identify. The case is laquered steel and the bullet jacket is also steel (or at least the bullet attracts a magnet.) I was hoping someone here could help identify. I have attached photos of the full cartridge and one of the headstamp.



Could be wrong since I don’t have my head stamp book with me, but that looks allot like French.


Your cartridge is French. It was made in the 2nd Quarter of 1957 (that is when the case was made - one cannot know when it was loaded without a box label or other documentation). The case metal supplier is identified by the letters “FY” on the headstamp, and was Compagnie des Forges et Ateliers de la Loire, Firminy, France. The letter’s “LM” identify the actual manufacturer of the ammunition, in this case Atelier de Fabrication du Mans (Sometimes seen identified as "Cartoucherie Mans).

Despite the 1957 date, if you do not know whether this ammunition is corrosive or not, and I do not know that, I would treat it as corrosive. French corrosive primers are something to behold. I have some experience with French corrosive-primed .30 Carbine ammunition, a caliber of ammunition that should NEVER be corrosive-primed due to the captive piston in most weapons in which it is fired (not generally authorized for removal for cleaning by troops in the field), and it would basically destroy the barrel almost overnight.

If someone knows one way or the other, for sure, perhaps they can post the information here. If not, again, I would treat it as corrosive ammunition if you are going to fire it, especially if in a semi-automatic or fully-automatic weapon, and use the cleaning procedures normal for that type of priming in ammunition.

Edited for spelling only.

John Moss


Thank you very much.


I recommend you the reading of the book « Tome 8.1, les armements de moyen et petit calibre, Les armements d’infanterie » (Volume 8.1, the Armaments of means and small calibre, The armaments of infantry).
In this book, written in the language of Voltaire and not Shakespeare, you will can find all information about the development and the use of not corrosive primer in the manufacturing of the French ammunitions. … _index.htm


Moyen Calibre== Medium Calibre. ( not “mean”)

French Steel cased .30/06 ( 7,62 Ball “O” Mle 1949) was always Corrosive primed…I have 1959 steel case production which is Corrosive, very much so, and also 1960s brass-cased Gevelot .30/06 ( “Export” headstamp) also Corrosive.

When the French used Non-corrosive is unknown to me, probably only with 7,62 Nato spec. ammo; 7,5mm ammo continued being Corrosive for some years after Nato ammo was produced. ( Mostly for trials and export.) France never adopted the Nato Standard in 7,62mm…at least not in the time period we are speaking about.

JFL, what is the current standing of 7,62mm vis-a-vis 7,5mm in French use with the AAT-52 MMG???

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


Pierrejean - perhaps for those of us not expert in the language of Voltaire, perhaps you could point the way to the page numbers of the referenced material that hold information on the development of a non-corrosive primer. I have tried to find them, looking in the table of contents, etc., and could not.

Once found, perhaps many of us could manage to get some information out of them because of the similarity of ammunition terms in English, Italian, Spanish and French. I got some interesting reading out of “Cartouches de 9 mm - La Difficile Natualisation d’une Cartouche Allemande Developppee en 1902!” I would like to see the primer part of this work if I could find it???!!!

John Moss


What was the French solution to using corrosive primers in .30 carbine ammunition?



[quote=“AKMS”]What was the French solution to using corrosive primers in .30 carbine ammunition?


Not sure I understand the question: French solution to using corrosive primers ?
Best Book out there is Chris Punnett’s 30-06 Book, but I think he is running out of them. The book has great head-stamp ID and Manufacturer information from, 1906 to 1997, I use it a lot not for
just 30-06 Head-Stamp ID
Thank you
Dave Call


French Solution is “la Solution Anglaise” ( Boiling Warer)…Obviously the French either cleaned out their Carbines with either Water or a water based solvent, or they regularly unscrewed the Gas Piston Nut of the M1 carbine.

IN anycase, Like most European nations, the French did not use much ammo for “training” purposes…saving it for pure “combat” Use. ( natural Army Economics from Muzzle loading Days…). SO the “extra” work cleaning M1 Carbines after Corrosive fire was probably not a great concern. IN any case, since they used Corrosive ( 7,5mm) ammo in the MAS44/49 and 49/56 rifles, with the small gas tube mechanism, they obviously had an effective “corrosion remover” in their cleaning gear…

Even if the French did use Corrosive ammo in M1 carbines ( and M1 Rifles), by the early 60s, most of these guns were already on the way out ( .30/06 was mostly for Brownings (19A4s)in the 1950s).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


The short-stroke piston in the M1, M2 carbines are in a housing that is stacked to the gas chamber which is an integral part of the barrel. Probably the worst accessory ever sold at gun shows was the piston-nut wrench for these weapons. These tools were not issued to the individual soldier, who was forbidden, in the American services, to disassemble the pistol nut from the weapon; they were for the use of trained articifers. That nut needs to be staked in. Loosing of the nut produces gas blowby, probably among other things, and causes malfunctioning in these weapons.

I have heard of no totally effective way to thoroughly clean out the corrosive salts from the the piston, piston nut, and the gas expansion chamber that is part of the barrel. If that part of the barrel is badly rusted, the barrel becomes unserviceable.

I have never understood why any country would make this caliber of ammunition with a corrosive primer when the United States had perfected a non-corrosive primer of high quality for carbine rounds at the first production of the cartridge in the early 1940s, or whenever (don’t feel like looking up the dates right now).

It doesn’t matter a bit how long a weapon is to remain in service - if it is in the hand’s of soldier in combat for one year, one month, one week, or even one day, and it doesn’t orperate properly, for whatever cause, in my view, as an ex-enlisted man armed with an M2 Caribne for 18 months of my serivce (albeit in peacetime), than a real crime has been committed by higher authority above that soldier.

John Moss


Actually I don’t think that use of non-corrosive priming for the M1 Carbine was a given in the U.S. service. That priming was in use, as I understand it, because Col. E.H. Harrison, knowing full well the problems corrosive primers would bring about, went out on the well-known limb and authorized the NC primers for the carbine. His decision was not without risk to his career and much else, but it worked out. Jack


Jack - doesn’t matter if it was a given or not, actually. The fact is, the problem was recognized and the result was no non-corrosive carbine ammunition was ever produced by the U.S. Frankly, I don’t know why they didn’t adopt non-corrosive primers for everything. Let me clarify that - I know why, they didn’t trust the commercial non-corrosive primers already in almost universal commercial use prior to WWII. I have never seen any evidence I considered convincing that the commercial primers would not have been just fine for military use (referring to priming mixture, not thickness of cups, etc.).

Just my taker on it. I haven’t studied primers for years and years, but at one time, years ago, did a lot of reading on them.

In a common soldier’s weapon (not talking about match guns and ammunition by and large serviced either by competitors mosre knowledgeable, and not getting shot at, like the common soldier in the field, or by AMUs or the other services equivalent of the same) corrosive primers are an absolute negative, unless someone is operating in the middle of the Sahara desert! Maybe there, too, for all I know.

John Moss