I have a 270 Winchester cartridge with the headstamp L (9 o’clock) 8 (3 o’clock) .270 (6 o’clock) with a pointed soft point bullet, any ideas?
I think it is German made for South African commercial sales, through Musgraves Ammunition of SA.
They had various calbres made in (West) Germany, mostly by MEN, and they all carried these cryptic letters and numbers. I have seen .308, .30/06, and .270 with these types of HS, in original packets. (In Australia)
All of the cartridges I have seen with this style of headstamp have been made by Hirtenberg in Austria. A very few with the same characteristics show the “mus” headstamp at the 12 O’Clock position, but most of them do not. There is a whole series of them in the wuto pistol calibers, with is what I am primarily familiar with.
When you ask about a cartridge like this, it is helpful to give all the characteristics of the cartridge, not just the headstamp and the bullet shape. Sometimes the bullet material (GM, GMCS, CN, CNCS, Brass jacket, etc) can be helpful, but what is really helpful is the primer cup material and shape, and the presence of absence of primer and case neck seals, and their color. For example, a bright red prime seal on ammunition with this type of headstamp is very likely a sign that it was made by Hirtenberger, although some made by them has no seal as well. All of the Hirtenberger-made rounds with these headstamps that I have seen have had nickeled primer cups - no copper or brass.
I cannot positively identify your .270 as to country of origin, but I am not sure that anyone but Hirtenberg used this identical coding (almost certainly a date code) on the headstamp. In the case of the auto pistol ammo, the identify of Hirtenberg as the manufacturer is not in doubt.
I just went and pulled a box of .270 Winchester - Musgrave from my collection they are headstamped “K 8 .270” the box is marked:
Supplied bu Pretoria Metal
Pressings (Pty) Ltd.
Voorsien deur Pretoria
Metaalperswerke (Edms) Bpk.
I have had the headstamp “L 8 .270” in identical boxes.
What are the characteristics of those 270 cartridges? “Supplied by” doesn’t indicate they were made at Pretoria. the whole idea of that series of headstamps was to get by the UN-inspired embargo against South Africa. Most are completely anonymous, not even having the “Mus” on the headstamp. I am not sure how many companies took part in the effort - my initial information from RSA was that it was only Hirtenberg, but I am not positive that was correct (or that it was NOT correct, either).
Hi Primer is copper with no seal, could this be a reload?