Headstamp Identity for .50 BMG fired case


#1

This afternnon, another collector brought to my house a .50 BMG fired case with the two-position headstamp “S B S 09”. It has a brass case, a brass primer cup with three almost square primer crimps, and the remnants of a violet-color primer seal.

A quick guess, probably totally wrong, that I made was it might stand for “Santa Barbara, Seville.”

Can anyone poisitively identify this headstamp, and also tell us if it appears on any other calibers of small arms ammunition.


#2

John, this headstamp was made by General Dynamics Santa Bárbara Sistemas -since July 25, 2001 integrated to General Dynamics- at their factory located in Palencia, Spain. In June 13, 2006 this company was homologated as an ammunition provider for the US Army and supplies both .50 cal. and 7.62x51 ammunition with this headstamped since then.


#3

Fede - Thank you. I told the owner of it that you would be the first to answer the question! My WAG wasn’t off so very far after all. :-)


#4

Part of the “Offshore Procurement” system of the DoD.

Initially these were Factories in Nato Countries which re-structured with US assistance ( usually Olin Corp aka Winchester) to provide US Milspec Ammo to US QA levels to both the Nato ally and the US forces in Europe as required. This goes back to before Vietnam ( example, NWM supplied 20mm M103 for the F4 Phantoms etc for use over NVA).

The process has been up-graded once US Corporations have acquired control of several European Ammunition Plants.

The “Santa Barbara” National corporation in Spain, was a Holding entity for all the old Franco-era individual Pyrotecnia plants ( Valencia, Sevilla, Palencia, Toledo etc) and were called collectively Industrias Santa Barbara ( the Patron Saint of Explosives workers, Miners, and Artillerymen…even the colloquial term (in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian) for an Explosives etc Deposit is “La Santa Barbara”)

DocAV