Indian 5.56 x 30mm MINSAS

I was browsing the website for the Indian Ordnance factory earlier today.

They make a very interesting range of arms and ammunition, and everything is listed on their website. It is unclear whether they are actively manufacturing everything, or can do so if a customer orders.

I noticed that they make a version of the INSAS rifle chambered for a 5.56 x 30mm Cartridge known as the MINSAS. I had never heard of this calibre before, but it seems that there is a wikipedia page on it. This page claims that the calibe is based on the 5.56 x 30 MARS.

Has anyone ever seen an example or a photo of one? I would like to know what the headstamp is.

Wonder if this is the same as 5.56 x 30mm French Exp GIAT ADR listed on

Apparently the ballistics are not superior to the similar and much more widely used 5.7x28 or 4.6x30. Info on the weapon system can be found here:

India is one of those countries that is difficult to get any collector cartridge items out of since gun & ammo ownership is very restricted outside of military & police for “prohibited bore” (military calibers), so seeing any of these cartridges will be difficult other than at a major military trade show in Asia.

The cartridge has been around for quite a few years but I’ve yet to see even a photo of it, let alone an actual round. The dimensions must be very close to those of the 5.56 x 30 Colt MARS as both are based on the 5.56 x 45 case cut down to 30mm, but the Indian round is presumably loaded to much lower chamber pressures as the ballistic performance is greatly inferior, with only 550 J muzzle energy compared with 1,100 J for the MARS.

The existence of the MINSAS rifle and its 5.56x30 cartridge was revealed by OFB as early as 2006 but I only have two pictures of this cartridge, and only one is worth of sharing. In my opinion it looks more similar to the French 5.56x30 ADR than to the 5.56x30 MARS.

Thanks Fede - that’s interesting, the bullet seems proportionally much longer than I would have expected considering its weight.

Tony, the bullet is specified with a weight of 2.6 g (40 gr) and with a lenght of 17 mm (.669"). Cartridge lenght is 42 mm (1.653").

It seems that 5.56x45 INSAS loadings are very scarce in cartridge collections. Does anyone have a checklist of known headstamps/loadings?