Id: wma 13

What does “WMA” mean in the headstamp of a 9 mm Parabellum With a similar bullet as those described in viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14831&start=15?



Morten, here is a recent thread about this headstamp: … =8&t=14851

Thanks, Fede. I had forgotten this thread. Could anyone post an image of the ‘WMA 12’ headstamp, please?

I really must learn how to take decent digital photos.


Today’s surprise

Have read references to WMA 13 (over) 40 S&W-headstamped cases on other forums. Crimped primers and in Winchester white boxes. I, however, haven’t seen it.

Yes, Virginia, there is a WMA 13 40 S&W. Note flat top 3 and Winchester ampersand. Crimped primer and found with a bunch of WIN 40 S&W with same firing pin indent.

I see the NATO symbol on Morten’s sample, but is that bullet legal for NATO purposes? Or is that a reload using a military case?

Pivi, I think these are cases form production overruns which were sold commercially later.

The cartridge Morten illustrated was loaded by an outfit in Oregon which calls itself ELP (Extremely Lethal Projectiles).


All good information, but what about the original question. Has anyone come up with a positive identification of the mean of the headstamp initials WMA? I have not found where it is actually identified and documented on either thread dealing with these rounds. Did I miss that somewhere?

John, I don’t have documentation, but in my opinion everything points to a new manufacturer code assigned to Olin’s new centerfire ammunition production at Oxford, Mississippi. I don’t know the exact date when this plant started manufacturing (not likely before 2012), but the WMA headstamp was first used on April 30, 2012.

Also, if this is a code its initials may have no official meaning at all, or maybe only an in-house interpretation. What do you think of “Winchester Mississippi Ammunition”? Sorry, no more guesses from my part, I better wait for real documentation to show up.



Fede - I just wrote a long answer (more questions than answer, really) and when I hit “Submit” it simply disappeared. I love computers.

I will make this briefer, so pardon telegraphic style.

Your message, although without documentation was valuable to me. After three years out of the loop in cartridge collecting, I didn’t even know that Winchester-Olin had opened a facility in Mississippi. Thanks for the info.

You give a postive date for the introduction of the “WMA” headatamp, right down to the day, but what is the documentation for that. I ask because your statement about possibilities of it being for the Oxford, Mississippi facility equivocates somewhat - it is not definitive.

I agree that WMA could just be a code, and not have a specific meaning for each initial. However, American military headstamps usually do have meaning, at least on SAA, ie: LC, FA, RA, TW, FC, WRA, WCC, SEL, LEW, etc.

John, the date of the introduction of the WMA comes from the fact that this marking was also registered as a trademark by Olin Corp. of MO and this is mentioned as the date of its first use in commerce. So far, this agree with the earliest reported headstamp date and the beginning of the manufacture at Oxford.

Fede - good documentation. Your normal highly efficient and thoughtful way of doing things, which is certainly to the benefit of all of us. Pardon my inquiring mind - I have a lot to learn still in my old age, so I ask more questions than I used to.

Muchisimas Gracias, amigo.

The WMA headstamp is obviously used on US military contract ammunition. The code “WMA” was assigned by the government using what use to be called the MIL-HDBK-1461 (titled “Ammunition Manufacturers and Their Symbols”) process which has been used for decades to assign these letter codes for US military ammunition. The symbols are assigned by the government, but manufacturers can request a code and normally it will be assigned.

This process was run in 1999 (date of last handbook 1461 I have found) by Commander, Industrial Operations Command, ATTN: AMSIO-IBQ, Rock Island, IL. In 1999 the symbol “WMA” was not assigned.

Sometime after 1999, probably about 2001 or 2002, MIL-HDBK-1461 disappeared. It was probably automated and put behind the DOD firewall making it accessible only to .authorized users. Most DOD went behind the firewall in the years after 9/11.

Clearly the process is still being used. Does anyone know what the current process is and who has access to the current equivalent of MIL-HDBK-1461??? If so drop me an email. I would love to see if we can’t find some way to document these codes.


I just acquired 4 - 45 acp rounds with the headstamp
Brass pr, gm fmj.
Bob R.

Bob, is the WMA spread out or close together, you write it as WMA or is it more like W M A?

I have a fired case with that date & it has W M A & so I was wondering if there were variations.


spread out.
Letters and numbers a identical to the W M A 1 3 and W M A 1 4 on page one of this thread only in 45 acp. caliber.