Headstamps hi-lighting

I don’t know what others use to hi-light the headstamps, but I was told white wax. This did work but left bits of wax in places where I did not want them. I have started using a product called Tipp-EX. As its a liquid it fills the smallest stampings. Once on just wipe of before it dries. The pic is a .303

“Tipp-Ex” is a correction fluid like “White-Out” for those wondering. My only question would be; is it easy to clean off if you want to remove it? I have heard of people using chalk by rubbing a fine powder into the headstamp, and this will wash out easily enough. But is the white-out more permanent? If so, taking care not to ring the primer annulus would be prudent.

We use BIC Wite-out the WATER BASE variation. I put it on carefully one or two sections of the headstamp at a time & remove the surplus with my thumb, wiping towards the rim. i then use a wood toothpick to carefully cleanup other areas. If your careful you will keep it out of the primer pocket & being water soluble it’s easy to remove.


The so-called “Tipp-Ex” or its American counterpart is excellent as far as it cleans out quite easily, either with a carefull rubbing using extrafine steel wool (as used by wooden furniture makers), or if you remove it quickly enough, before it’s getting to hard, with aece of cloth. Toothpick (wooden or plastic) is a good way to clean the extra white.
Always take care to avoid the primer annulus area, which could be destroyed.

I never had any trouble with ths technic.


Tried many things and the best for me is normal white chalk, the type teachers use on black boards. Very cheap and not messy at all. I have just over 6500 images on my website at the moment and it is all I use. Just as important is a good quality scanner. I don’t use more than 600dpi and with the white chalk is is easy to do some basis editing on the headstamp.

Some headstamps, especially military ones can be a bit rough. They didn’t have cartridge collectors in mind when they made it, therefore some editing is necessary sometimes.


I only use chalk for showing up markings on stripper clips.

I buy a lot of packets (the stuff is cheap enough) to find one I like, the stick has to be hard but the chalk fine and soft. I cut the end of the stick to a blunt point which means there’s less surplus to rub off. A gentle wipe with my thumb gets rid of most of the loose chalk and leaves the stamping good and prominent, and for what’s caught in corners I use a pull-through square either rolled to a point or with my thumb-nail behind it. Once I’ve finished, a wipe with a soft cotton pull-through with a little gun oil, so little it’s almost dry, on it takes everything out of the markings.

Just be careful to put the chalk on with as few rubs as possible as the fine powder makes quite an efficient polish.


thanks guys, its good to see how others do it…paul.

Over the years I have tried all kinds of methods of highlighting including both water based and non-water based white-out liquids for the photos in my 9mmP Headstamp Guide. I have settled on plain old white chalk. The only exception is on German WWII lacquered steel cases where sometimes the lacquer somewhat fills the headstamp and provides a surface that will not hold the chalk. Then I use the water-based white-out or the non-water-based, which ever holds best in the particular case, and usually have to touch it up with a very fine brush.