ID of 5.56x45 rounds please


Can anyone identify the 5.56mm rounds in the above pic, in terms of purpose? They are as follows (from top to bottom):

Light alloy case with plastic bullet, no headstamp. Some kind of blank or short-range practice?

The next one I think I know - French short-range practice (h/s = SF 4-84 5,56)

Solid light-alloy drill/dummy round. By who?

Plastic with light-alloy base: blank or short-range practice? By who?

Thanks for any help.


#1 French short range
#2 Hirtenberger (Austria) short range (they made this one in several calibers)
#3 ? (French???)
#4 could be an Austrian or Bakelitfabrikken (Norway) Blank

Someone else may know better and come up with more info.

Images of the case heads certainly will help ID-ing them.


The orange one I have listed as French “Mle F1” Dummy.


#2 - the bullet appears to be the Hirtenberger type, but the headstamp is pure French. Will see what I can dredge up when my CD drive is free (almost certainly it will be on the first CD of the Fuchs set).

#3 - Regulation French dummy circa 1981, per Hughes.

#4 - Does it have a dramatically large primer?



Yes, it fills most of the base.


1 - French short range, exists with (5,56 SF 86 for my copy) or without HS.

2 - I have the same headstamped 223 5,56 HP

3 - French Dummy, Other color where used (silver, gold, …) but the orange color was selected by French Army.

4 - Blank, Austria (official designation : 5.56 Knallpatrone/StG77) made by SMI (Assmann) for the Austrian Army. The HS is on the shoulder !



There is different versions of SMI Blanks, here is some:
Early versions have text A 1980 or A 1981 in neck, but later versions haven’t.


[quote=“Iconoclast”]#2 - the bullet appears to be the Hirtenberger type, but the headstamp is pure French.


Hirtenberger made at least 9x19 for France and a “strange” 9mm Makarov exists with Hp head stamp as it was used only by France on 9x19. So 5.56x45 may be entirely possible or?


EOD - the round you refer to as a strange Makarov round, with headstamp HP HP-4-72 9 (normally appearing, as you said, only on 9mm Parabellum-caliber rounds made for the French - GIGN?), is not a Makarov. Aside from the truncated bullet - way too early to be mimicking the later Russian truncated bullet of the 9 x 18mm PMM cartridge, case measurements and bullet diameter tell us this is part of the Austrian/German/Swiss 9 x 18mm Ultra/Police series of cartridges. If you can confirm this headstamp exists on a 9mm Makarov round, please post a photo of the round and all case measurements. I will eventually do an article for someone on the 9mm Makarov cartridge, as it is a big specialty of mine.


Hi John!

The only reason for the HP HP hstp on 9 mm Para made for France by Hirtenberger (Austria) refers to the French way of headstamping cartridges at the time, when lots were ordered for Gendarmerie Nationale, and not especially for GIGN. The first HP is for the maker’s code, and the second for the brass furnisher…It was,of course an Austrian interpretation of the French system.

As for the French 9 mm Mak, lots of stupidities have been written about:

In the late 70ies, MANURHIN in Mulhouse -Bourtzwiller had been manufacturing cartridge machinery for a while and used to make test runs, for some quantities of loaded cartridges, unheadstamped.

The French Makarov rounds came from this tests, but probably some were discretely diverted and sent to th Christian Phanlangists in Lebanon,as they were just in heavy fightings at this time.

I have a copy of the original Manurhin drawing, text is written in German, which is natural as the factory is in Alsace. Of course, MANURHIN never answered our demands about the exact nature of this cartridges, neither did give their exact destination, but many reasons are in favour of some discret middle east country “contract”, or secret services delivery.

The same stories goes for 7,62x39 made for Albania, also on MANURHIN machines. We had this ammunitioin samples here well before any arrived in Albania and was so-identified later on !!!




John, the head stamp (round) I mean is: “HP HP-2-80 9” and the projectile is a pretty strange one. Here it is:

I hope this is the round Philippe was talking about, if not he may tell us more, in particular about the projectile.


It may be the photograph, but that case looks longer than 18mm.


I can’t tell about the case, but that is not the bullet of the 9 x 18mm Police load. I really need accurate measurements of the case. If the rim is not the normal 10mm Rim (actually for the Makarov 9.83 - 9.90mm - essentially the same as the 9mm Para) than it is not a 9mm Mak case. If the rim runs between 9.30 and 9.45mm, it is from the 9 x 18 Ultra/Police series. The bullet is odd - reminds one somewhat of the early FN soft-point bullets that had only a thin rim of brass showing above the case mouth before the lead appeared. Of course, it is not entirely like that. I would really like to get the measurements for this round - very important to a study I am doing on All Makarov items - pistols, holsters, accessories, cartridges, cartridge boxes, etc.

I think the French rounds, made by Manurhin, all are without headstamp.
At least, I have not seen one with a headstamp. they certainly would not have the HP HP headstamp.