French 5,56x45

Does anyone know the story behind this cartridge which I picked up over the weekend?

It has an aluminium case, a fired primer with a red annulus and a copper jacketed bullet. The whole thing weighs 93.1 grains which is quite a bit lighter than a conventional brass case on its own. The headstamp is ‘SF 84 5,56’

Happy collecting, Peter

I believe it was a fired blank cartridge on which they cut the top to put a bullet on. Because I had always seen iron case for ball cartridge on french made. The cartridge crimp look strange for me. But I can mistake.

Laurent, not necesseraly a fired blank case, shortened and loaded, a good look shows a factory crimped bullet. I have one with the same hst. virgin primer, no p.a. but a green blob on the head of the case/primer. The case has a more mat finish and it looks factory loaded.
Wishes, Jan.


The scanner doesn’t show detail very well when the cartridge is placed horizontally, there is less shadow when it’s scanned sitting vertically and then flipped round to the horizontal.

The cartridge shows a segmental crimp that looks to be factory produced, I don’t think it could be done with a regular crimping die.


really curious, maybe a inert load for special thing

This ammunition with “ball” is a reassembly from a fired case of a “short range” cartridge. SFM has never manufactured this type of loading and the aluminium case is not expected to withstand the pressure of a real cartridge.
The original loading is a RB1 “short range” model (Rilsan-Bronze -1 type) as shown on the picture


And now some French Short Range bullets. Enjoy !