HP and MEN headstamps variations on modern hunting cartridge

I am checking all my headstamps and I found some variations in the basic HP (hirtemberger) headstamp on modern hunting cartridges.
The same cartridge (6,5 x 57R) has the following:
HP 6,5 x 57R
HP2 6,5 x 57R
HP3 6,5 x 57R

(numbers 2 and 3 are smaller than the letters H and P)
What do these numbers mean?Lot?Date?Bullet weight or shape?

Also the MEN headstamp on 6 x 62R Freres cartridges have a variation:

MEN 6 x 62R Freres
MEN * 6 x 62R Freres

Has this little sign a meaning?


Pivi–The small numbers are the year of production. They were used from the 1960’s through at least the 1970’s. The only caliber I had seen them on until your posting was .22 Long Rifle. I have full boxes of all the numbers from 0 to 9.

I am not sure but I should have these headstamps also on othe cartridges like 6,5 x 68 mm.Tomorrow I will send a picture

I can only add a little more detail, not much in the way of answers:

Re the Hirtenberger codes, these are known on at least 14 HP European sporting calibres including:

5.6x57 5.6x57R
6.5x54 MS
6.5x57 6.5x57R
7x57 7x57R
7x64 7x65R
8x57JS 8x57JRS

The exact meaning of these codes does not appear to be known for sure, even in Austria. Josef M

Thank you.I will check my HP cartridges and cases looking for more variations


In the munition.org website is pictured a HP3 222 rem headstamp.
There is written that the number 3 represents the bullet type


At least on .22 LR I am positive the numbers are dates. I have .22 LR solid and HP with the same numbers. Also, all the numbers 0-9 are to be found and ONLY those numbers. I would need to dig out my .22 collection, but I think I also have the numbers on .22 Short as well as LR.

I can not imagine that the numbers mean one thing on .22’s and something else on centerfire rounds.

Pivi and Ron, there may be others but the only 22 short I have with HP subnumber is HP 8. the rest are on 22 long rifle, 22 WMR and a couple of tool blanks.