ID odd 7.62x51 NATO blank

I have a 7.62x51 NATO blank that is a bit odd. It is the one on the right, shown with a normal M82 blank for comparison (Sorry for the poor scan quality):

The normal M82 blank is 2.62" OAL, while the shorter one is 2.45". The headstamp on the short one is FA 59 MATCH. Aside from the shorter length, it looks like any other M82 blank (rolled case mouth with a red-lacquered wad).

Is this perhaps a prototype for the M82 blank?


Groove, headstamp, and length jive with it being a .30-06 case used. 7.62 NATO blanks I have dated '59 are the old style standard length rolled mouth type and I assume pre-date the development of the extended case version adopted for feed functioning purposes. Very interesting…



As Dave said, that is an interesting case. It is made from an '06 without a doubt.

I believe that the prototype for the M82 is the XM82. It is full length (2.6"), made from an '06 draw piece since it has the '06 extractor groove. The one I have is headstamped simply FA. It has the flat brass primer with the 3-stake crimp just like the M82s.

Looks like a trip to Bill Woodin’s is in order.


Dave, Chip

I’m always looking to upgrade my knowledge of the Experimentals and Prototypes so can either of you tell me - was the short case blank ever adopted as a standard or was it always an Experimental (XM192) ??



I have no documentation to verify, but it was always my impression that the short case blank was never adopted as standard. From what I understand, it was a matter of function in the U.S. M60 MG rather than the M14 rifle. The 1959 era seems late to get around to making a blank work well as both the M60 and M14 were well under way at the time.

Once again, this is all from things I remember from over the years and I have nothing to show for documentation on the particulars. Another Dave (S) probably has all the answers!


Thanks Dave. We are thinking pretty much along the same lines.

I’m not sure how much weight we can give to specific dates seen on headstamps. I have an XM192 with an FA 59 headstamp and an M82 with an LC 62 but we know that blanks were often made from whatever brass was available at the time.

I realize that Dave S could probably give the real answer but I can only bug the guy so much before he quits answering my questions. The same with Bill W, Frank H, and Gene S. Those three guys will never get VOL III finished if I asked them every question that I have on my list. I’m sure they cringe when they get an e-mail from me.


OK - I can take a hint :-)
I’ve seen no evidence that the short blank (XM192) was ever adopted. The two examples I have in my collection are headstamped (+) FA 58 and (+) FA 59. Ray M is correct in stating that for blanks (and dummies for that matter) you can not rely on the headstamp to date the cartridge - empty cases that failed qc for ball, tracer etc production was often diverted to blank production. However, if the XM192 had gone into production I would have expected to see far more variations in headstamp unless it was only used for brief period.
In addition to the US cases, I also have an XM192? headstamped (+) DA 58 - Canadian production or US made on a Canadian case? I also have a blank similar to the XM192 formed using a commercial case - headstamp W-W SUPER 308 WIN - I wonder if this is a commercial blank, but can anyone shed light on this? Final cartridge in the photo is a short Candian blank headstamped (+) IVI 73 - again I’d be grateful for more information.

Left to right
(+) FA 59, WW SUPER 308 WIN, (+) DA 58, (+) IVI 73

As to the original photo, I agree with Ray that the prototype for the M82 was the XM82 and the example I have is heastamped FA. I don’t have an answer as to why there is a difference in overall length. However, in the early days of 7.62 NATO, blanks were formed from 30-06 and 8mm Mauser by a number of countries and qc may have left something to be desired!

Dave S

NATO GUY to the rescue again. Thanks Dave.

Chip, we have kinda ignored your original question. If I had to make a SWAG, I’d say your blank could be a variation of the XM82 used to see how a shorter case would feed. An XME1 ??? Put the pressure on Bill W to ID it. I doubt if he’s busy. ;) ;)


Dave S,

Thanks for the imput on the subject. Glad to know you’re not sore at Ray…yet…


Regarding hs dates and actual dates of manufacture, I guess I assumed the dates could be earlier but not later than actual manufacture unless forward dating was done for some reason. My thoughts were that it seemed unusal that I hadn’t seen blanks earlier than 59 (until Dave S indicated he has a 58 dated XM192). With all the other varieties of loadings well under way, it seemed unusal that no earlier blanks were out there. Also, a full length M82 blank (my earliest is LC (+) 61) I would think was always intended to be an M82 due to the extra length and an '06 case rejected before trimming wouldn’t have NATO markings. Just seemed odd that blanks came around so late in the program and if they’re from old stock, even later.


I have nothing to add to the subject at-hand…but if you wondered why Dave S. took so long to enter…
Imagine a very hairy older chap, doing a triple gainer off his back deck, and landing all-akimbo in his back yard, all to the accompaniment of his two laughing dogs. Painful? Probably. Entertaining? Of course!
The Pommie couldn’t even get out to the range yesterday!

Thanks for informing the world about my mishap - it’s no wonder I prefer golden retrievers - they may laugh (lots!), but at least they keep it to themselves. On minor matter, I was once a pommie, but now I have a certificate that proves otherwise!


True, I stand corrected. Are you now a Limeyank? A Pommerican? A Pommeranian? A Great Yanker? What exactly is the PC term for you???

I prefer American citizen and proud of it.

Dave S

Dave, that’s no fun.

I bought these from Jim Tillinghast years ago when I was collecting all military rifle and MG cartridges. Jim described all four as XM82 rounds.

Here are the notes I have for them: Left to right.

  1. FA 58 Red-tip 5-pt rose-crimp mouth. Lot FA X7.62-2645. Box miss marked? M64 type case. Cart. Wght. 188.2 grs.
  2. FA 58 Mouth roll crimped over red disk. Lot FA X7.62-2721. Cart. Wght. 193.6 grs.
  3. FA 59 Mouth roll crimped over red disk. Cart. Wght. 190.1 grs.
  4. FA Mouth roll crimped over red disk. Cart. Wght. 226.7 grs.

The later dated M64 Grenade Blanks I have weigh 224-225 grs.

As I said the XM82 designation is from Jim Tillinghast and I thought I would throw that out there for you all to chew up!!!

This study is concerned with the development of a blank cartridge for the 7.62mm family of United States weapons which would accurately simulate the performance of ball ammunition. It is concluded that: (1) the short blank cartridge developed at Frankford Arsenal was unsatisfactory for use in the M60 machine gun, and (2) that Belgian, Dutch and Canadian blank cartridges function the M14 rifle and M60 machine gun satisfactorily at ambient (70 F) temperature, provided blank firing attachments having correct orifice diameter are used. It is recommended that foreign blank ammunition be used in United States 7.62mm weapons if the ammunition can be modified so as to be used with blank firing attachments compatible with the XM82 blank cartridge.

Does anyone have a copy of the full report?

Dave S


I would not consider myself knowledgeable enough to question any of Jim Tillinghast’s designations but there was an XM192 described as Cartridge, 7.62mm Blank (Short Case).


In my notes I have June 1961 as the date the XM82 designation was assigned. That

I took the round in question to the Woodin Lab today. Bill said that it was an early prototype for the M82 blank (and of course he had several variants on hand for comparison).

Chip - That’s good news to get from Bill. It confirmed my SWAG.


I agree, there is a lot of confusion. Box labels would surely help but I’ve not seen any.

I don’t think FA necessarily assigned XM, or T numbers in any particular order. Or M numbers either. They used whatever number was available and often used both an XM or a T number for similar cartridges. Frank Hackley had a couple of very good articles in the JOURNAL some time back where he discussed the mess. After you read Frank’s articles you’ll still have a lot of questions.

To make matters even worse, some contractors (WCC for example) would sometimes assign their own T numbers without approval of FA. HWS would spend hours or days looking for an official drawing for a particular number only to conclude that no such drawing exists. If those three guys sort this all out it will be incredible.

I’m still trying to find a comprehensive (complete) listing of both XM and T numbers. I’ve been looking for one for a long time and am beginning to think no such list exists.