I came into a bag of several hundred loose .45 ACP FMJ rounds, HS is TZZ 86. Are these likely military or civilian, as there is no box for better identification? I know the Israelis used a variety of weapons over the years, so I suspect these may well be military. I just have not seen any .45s headstamped TZZ before. I’ll probably shoot most of them up (except for a few specimens) if there is nothing particularly desirable about them.
Just a comment. I think the line between Israeli military and civilian is extremely blurred and no ammo is either one or the other entirely.
No .45 ACP weapons in IDF service since some Thompsons were used back on the 40s-50s. The TZZ headstamps were developed for US military contracts, but I believe the ammo was sold as commercial surplus direct from Israel.
I didn’t know that there were US military ammunition supply contracts with Israel prior to Iraq.
During the 1980’s I was a Navy Small Arms Instructor attached to a large command and we went thru thousands of rounds per week. TZZ headstamps were almost the norm for us and I still have hundreds of cases that I ‘aquired’ and still load. While ours was a training allotment, I know for a fact the TZZ was combat issued too, in .45 ACP. This was about the time of the transition to 9mm, as I recall, and I was told that they were buying 45 ammo from Israil because it was cheaper than buying US.
The answer that this headstamp on .45 can be found in military use and for commercial sale is correct. The USMC bought a lot of IMI .45, but it evidently didn’t work out well. I have, somewhere in my .45 files, a copy of a withdrawal from service form for bad performance. I forget what the complaints were. If I have time next week, I will try to find it. The “name” of the form is not capitalized, by the way, because it is not an official form designation, simply what I chose to call it to describe its use.
Very interesting information. I’d like to know more background about the use of Israeli ammunition in US military service. I knew there was a considerable amount of it purchased after 9/11 when US small arms ammunition production capacity was stretched thin (supposedly limited to training, lest those of the Islamic persuasion be offended by its use in combat), but was unaware it had been used by the military prior to that.
I did a bit of an internet search which established that TZZ .45 ACP ball dated in the late 1980s was indeed used by the US military during the 1990s, but very little detail beyond that could be found (by whom, how much, when, why). Opinion seemed to be it was ballistically the same as US-manufactured .45 ACP. Not surprising. Does anyone have a picture of an original box for the IMI/TZZ .45 ball ammunition that was used by the US military? Or for that matter, any Israeli ammunition boxes containing small arms ammunition of any caliber purchased for US military use? Might make an interesting collection.
During the Cold War, a Lot of European Plants were under the US “Offshore Procurement Program”…These were Plants which could meet US Milspec standards for SAA, to supply direct to US units based outside the USA, and also for delivery into the CONUS.
Amongst some of the Companies…FN,(Belgium) SMI (Italy) HXP (Greece) MKE ( Turkey) IMI (Israel) and several others I am unsure of.
Some of these plants (HXP and MKE) benefitted from US Aid in resetting their production Lines (Usu. Olin/WCC technical assistance). This accounts for the similarity of these products to US-made Ammo.
AS with most things, when .45ACP was no longer required in the quantities that made it economical to maintain production lines in the USA, it could (and was) acquired “Offshore”… Also the acquisition could also have been a “Production (User) trial” thing to see if Offshore supply was still an efficient method, and the offshore producers were still capable…
Great information. I was unaware of the offshore SAA procurement program. I know there was a lot of the Greek HXP .30 M2 ammunition sold through CMP. It seems to have a problem in my M1 rifle, as occasionally a case will stick in the chamber resulting in the rim being pulled off by the extractor. That’s never happened to me with ammunition from any other maker, and as a result I won’t shoot it in the M1 any longer.
I assume Korea was also part of the offshore SAA program?
As to the original question/comment. TZZ markings on .45 ACP’s seem to have occurred for a 10 year period 1984-1994, in both the same headstamp style you have and those marked “match”. Both the match dates and non match dates for the years 1984-88 had SCAMP markings on them which appear as (up to) 3 dots on either side of TZZ with which I gather made it easy to track individual lots for quality control (John can give a far better explanation than I can). I don’t see the dots on the remaining years 1989-94, although 1989 & 1990 are known to have examples with one large dot.
If you’re somewhat obsessed like myself, that means about 100 different headstamps to find not just 20 or so…
DocAV, as usual, has the offshore procurement spot on, as far as I can remember. Yes, both Korea (Republic of) and the Phillipines were involved. When we looked at the TPFDD “time-phased force deployment detail” or “tip-fid,” the amount and weight of small arms ammo was impossible to meet by shipping from the States, in any theater, so having theater facilities in place, tested and ready to go would help meet that need in wartime/contingencies. Of course, it wasn’t used that much in peacetime, because of the issues with competing with US suppliers, etc.
Looking through some of the TZZ 86 .45 rounds I have, I saw four different dot patterns. There may well be more, with from 0 to 3 dots per side (six dots total), there could be 15 dot patterns (not counting no dots). Or was there a lesser number of total dots prescribed, such as 4 which would be 12 patterns? Didn’t the dot pattern designate a loading machine instead of a lot number?
I have a fired .45 ACP case headstamped “T Z Z 8 5” which I think may have been a proof load. The case is brass with a dark grey tinned finish. The entire case head also has the remains of bringht pink lacquer. The case head also has some impressions where it appears that the brass was forced back into the bolt face of the weapon on firing, suggesting a heavy load.
Are there any .45 ACP weapons that Israel would have been proof firing in 1985, or is it more likely to be a contract load?
Nothing for the IDF, but a .45 version of the Uzi was produced for export. IMI/IWI has also produced some .45 ACP pistols for export, but I’m not sure which might have been around in 1985.
I found a photo online of some IMI .45 ACP Uzi bolts. The impressions on the head of my .45 ACP case match exactly with the markings on the bolt face of one of these. So it looks likely that this proof round was used for proofing export Uzis by IMI.
I wonder how this case found its way from the proofing range at IMI in Israel to the UK. I got it from a friend in school before I knew that cartridge collecting as an organised hobby or the IAA even existed. He got the case in a bag of fired cases he acquired from somewhere.
Conway, and others in the UK, have bought large quantities of Israeli ammo. The UK Proof House might even have used them. Not really such an odd thing to find in the UK.
Finding just the .45 ACP may not be unusual. However, from the markings on the fired case it has actually been used to proof a .45 ACP Uzi. I doubt that there are any .45 ACP Uzis in the UK.
A quick way to check the US used headstamp code info is to use the Mil STD 1461 (Ammunition Manufacturers and their Symbols). I have 1461E (1990) and MIL-HDBK-1461A (1999) posted on http://gigconceptsinc.com/ go to Free Download Link on left. There are two sections to 1461, one is a listing by manufacturer name and the second is by symbol.
I have TZZ marked 9mmP dated '82 through '00, so the TZZ code was assigned as early as 1982. The story I was told was that IMI requested the TZ code (which they used at least as early as 1976) but that had already been assigned to Texas Foundries Inc so the US Army (who controls 1461) assigned TZZ, but apparently IMI had already begun delivering TZ headstamped ammo or components or something. The early TZZ codes were used on contract loads for the US Navy, but I suspect that IMI had some sort of Task Order Contract because in 1984 the USAF was issuing contracts to IMI because it was quick and easy, indicating that the contract was already in place. In the late 70s and into the very early 80s there was some pressure in DOD to buy from Israel. Note that there were 6 different symbols (TZ, TZC, TZM, TZZ, IMJ, IMU) assigned to IMI for DOD Ammunition related production and in 1990, all were identified as “ACTIVE”.
The 1990 versions shows the following for IMI:
[quote]IMI, AZHACK-AMMO SMALL CAL PTL, PO BOX 678, NAZARETH ILLIT, ISRAEL
TZ TWO LOTS WERE MARKED TZ BY MISTAKE CORRECT SYMBOL TZZ
IMI, CHEMICAL DIVISION, PO BOX 1044, RAMA HASHRON, ISRAEL 47100
TZC JAN 87
IMI, ROCKET SYSTEM DIVISION, PO BOX 1044, RAMA HASHRON, ISRAEL 47100
IMU JUN 86
IMI, AZHACK-AMMO SMALL CAL PTL, PO BOX 678, NAZARETH ILLIT, ISRAEL
TZZ TZ MARKED TWO LOGS
IMI, JERUSALEM DIVISION, PO BOX 1505, JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 91014
IMJ MAR 84
IMI, BNEIFH PLANT, PO BOX 1044, RAMA HASHRON, ISRAEL 47100
TZM JUL 86
Falcon, I’d be VERY surprised if British Special Operations people (SAS for example) and Special Police units didn’t both have some .45 UZI weapons, along with suppressors. There is a long history of both groups having a lot of “funny” weapons. I think your case came right out of a British Proof facility.
Lew, do you have any idea what kind of equipment the IMJ and TZM codes might refer to?