ID 5.56x45 headstamp

This fired case was found recently in Iraq. I received an incomplete description, but assume it to be brass. Headstamp is “5.56x45” over “97” and the primer has a green seal. I do not know what kind of crimp the primer has, if any.

Any ideas?


If it’s a 3-stake primer, it smells very Iranian.

I just received confirmation that this case has a three-stake primer crimp and is brass. Also, it was fired by terrorists/insurgents in Iraq.

My first thought was Iran as well, but did not think they made 5.56x45mm.


My first thought would have been Syria. Is there an image?

Sorry, no image available.

Why do you think Syria? Do they manufacture 5.56x45mm?

The headstamp layout, green primer seal and three-stake primer crimp sounds very similar to the “sterile” 7.62x39mm ammunition that turned up recently that is beleived to be of Iranian origin.



  1. 7,63x39 of this style were/are in Iraq.
  2. For decades Syria uses this h/s style for export purposes, while of Iranian I never heard - ok, I don’t know it all

so that’s why Syria was my first thought.

To my knowledge Syria made 5,56x45 as much as Iran did, for both of them it was to start. If you find the “family signs”, it was Iran. Congratulations, a very good find!

Hans, you are right about the Syrians using the same headstamp style on their 7.62x39mm for export. However, this ammunition typicly has a purple primer seal and smaller primer crimps. The Iranian 7.62x39mm with the same headstamp style has a green primer seal and the primer crimps are much larger. Another way to tell them apart is that the headstamps themselves on the Syrian ammuntion are neat and well-formed. The Iranian headstamps tend to look like the headstamp bunter was poorly made or very worn.

This is good though, because before this, I did not know that either Syria OR Iran made 5.56x45mm!


Admittedly, the way I expressed it can easily be misunderstood. Clearer is:

“… as Iran did, that’s to say NOT at all, for both of them it was to start.”

In both cases I would have been more than surprised yesterday. With all the clues you give there is no alternative to Iran as the maker.

Defence Industries Organization of Iran:

Ammo they report to make (from


thank you for the update. Just a few years back there were no 5,56 in their scope.

I become curious now about such information about Syria manufacture, but make this a separate post.