Help with ID -.308 "HEI" Silver projectile yellow/black tip

I have these .308 rounds with a silver projectile, with yellow over black painted tips. Brass case without annealing marks. They were marked HEI n the box, and a paper (which I don’t have anymore) stated that this ammo had steel jacket, and a “firing pin” inside with an explosive chemical. It also has a small cutaway drawing of the complete cartridge and measurements. I do not remember the exact name of the composition used inside. I don’t remember the paper having any manufacturer info. The headstamp reads 308 HP 7.62x51. Like my other “spotter” rounds shaking the cartridge lightly makes a light rattling sound. They look like commercial remanufacture of a original spotter cartridge, but I am just guessing. Here a picture:

Thanks for any assistance,


These cartridges were reloaded with bullets coming from Argentine contract 7.65x54 Mauser spotter cartridges made in the 1920’s by Nederl. Patronen-Fabriek Dordrecht. Do not use a kinetic bullet puller!

I don’t trust any of these gun-show reloads where a .313 (Argentine) or a .312 (Russian) API or HE incendiary type projectile has been resized and stuffed into a .308 case. The bearing surface may be disadvantageous for the typical twist rate in .308 barrels, and I’m not keen on resized steel jacketed bullets either. There’s usually one or two sources for these kinds of loads who will do some large bulk quantities using projectiles purchased as surplus at a place like Knob Creek, and they filter down the vine from there with details and provenance melting away the further they go. If it were somebody solid like Jim Haak doing the load then fine, but then he wouldn’t do this sort of resized / repurposed sort of loading anyway.

This bullet is the same idea as the German 7.92 “B-Patrone”, and the Russian 7.62x54r “PZ”. The yellow tip on yours is added by whomever resized / reloaded them so as to give a more familiar spotter indication (U.S.). Here is a section photo of the Argentine spotter done by one of our members here, Kevin Gross:

Thanks for the info guys…

These were in a pile of old ammo I bought from a collector, 3 loose and 3 in plastic shrink wrap. I am new to collecting, and am trying to classify and ID everything I find. Since they are of unknown origin to me, from the bottom of a box, I was not going to use them. I wouldn’t trust them, especially since they are explosive! Thanks for the tips too. I have a collet puller on my press, but I don’t disassemble ammo, or have not needed to yet. But I would not use a kinetic puller on anything suspect like these!

I have 2 boxes of Yugo spotters made with German projectiles, some Italian 303 spotters that I have started my collection with. Those I had the boxes for, I knew the seller and the ammo matched the research I had done. These I had no clue. I did not know abut the sources to supply Knob Creek, cool info. The closest match I thought was the Italian APIT, with a steel jacketed projectile, but those have the 4 holes spaced around the jacket. I read the post by wolfgang and his cutaway pictures on them. I just could not match these up. Now to look up Argentine spotters…

Anyways, thanks again for the info,


Just as a FYI, on explosive rounds.
Here in the US, if the bullet carries less than 1/4oz (109.3gr) of explosive filler, it’s perfectly legal.
As a side note to that, you have to get into the over 50cal rounds to get that kind of payload inside the projectile.

Edit because my math went south (original post indicated the equivalent of a 1/4 pound, not ounce). Thanks Ray and Pete


A 14.5 Russian also qualifies as too much.

1/4 oz is 109 grains…

Tailgunner - your statement about explosive ammunition needs to be modified. There are many states where explosive ammunition is regulated or outright prohibited. In California, where I am stuck living (unfortunately) simple possession of an exposive round is a felony crime. They are not even covered by having a collector’s Destructive Device License, which allows things like tracers, incendiary etc. That license became so intrusive and potentially expensive, I gave mine up years ago.

I just didn’t want anyone new to collecting, or in a foreign country, to get the idea that explosive ammo is legal everywhere in the U.S., because it simply is not.