Israeli Match Ammunition

For jonnyc and anyone else who knows.

I collect US match ammunition and so I’m very familiar with the procedures used to produce the cartridges. But, on another forum, a member asked about Israeli match ammunition and what special production methods they may have used. Truth be told, I did not know that they did manufacture match ammo so it was hard (impossible) for me to answer.

So my questions. Did they, and were there special steps used in the production?


Ray - I can only address .45 Match ammunition, and yes, they made some for the U.S. (Also some .45 Ball ammo for the USMC at least, as somewhere I have some document regarding a recall for poor quality of some of the Marine Corps ball ammo).

My match box, which is the typical US style woth an Eagle surmounting the word “MATCH” (Eagle, though, is in green or greenish-blue ink, no blue), is from TZZ Lot 84K 001-008. Information given is the bullet weight of 120 grains, and the velocity of 855 FPS. Also, “ISREAL MILITARY INDUSTRIES.”

The cartridge is brass case, GM FMJ RN bullet, no case cannelure, Nickel cup Boxer primer with red primer seal. The headstamp is: TZZ 84 •MATCH ••

I think this ammunition was made on a SCAMP line, as between ball and match, there are many combinations of dots on the various headstamps. The one reported is my box specimen. I have others in my singles collection.

I don’t know if they made any .45 Match ammo for the US in other years. I do collect the .45 MATCH boxes by year-date only, and I only have the one for 1994. I did not check for other dates in my singles, and cannot do it right now. Perhaps later, if of interest to you.

Edited to correct erroneous Lot Number date and headstamp date.

Not a clue. Definitely one for NatoDave.


Thanks for that information.

Here’s a photo of an ammunition box of Cal .45 Match that I have in my files. I don’t recall where I got the photo or who owns the box. It’s from an earlier time (84) than what you have, so I suppose they (TZZ) made match ammo for quite a few years.

I have a carton of 7.62mm LC Match M118 with an Israeli over label, and a photo of a carton of Match M852 that was evidently made by TZZ. So, I guess it’s safe to assume that they (Israel) both purchased and made their own.


We had some of that 7.62 x 51mm LC Match ammo (I think it was LC) overlabeled for Israel. That’s an instance of the cartridges going in the opposite direction, from US to Israel, I think. Our ammo was a reimportation from Israel.

Regarding my .45 TZZ Match box and round, fate conspired to make me create an error in my first report to you on this. The date in both the lot number on the box and the headstamp is “84” and NOT “94” as I originally reported. The date on the lot number has a poorly stamped “8” that looked like a “9” to me, and that same digit on the headstamp has an anomoly that gave the same impression when I look at the date, that it was a “9.” I have four variations of the 84-date TZZ MATCH load in .45 - two with brass primers and two with nickel primers. The only other date I have in the Match is “86” and it has a brass primer cup. Wish I had the box for that one. It is one of the missing years in my .45 US Match box collection.

That can is cool. I don’t know if it is the lot before mine or not, since I don’t know the significance of the letter before the numerical lot number.

I am going to edit my original response to correct those dating errors. Even with this explanation, no sense leaving them that way. Sorry for the initial error. A real coincidence that both the numbers “8” were disfigured slightly, which coupled with my crappy eyesight and missing computer glasses. did me in.

Ray, it seems that before 1984 the only match ammunition made by IMI was a 7.62 mm M118 having a white tip, and since that date they have introduced other match loads in this caliber and also .45 Auto, 5.56x45, and .50 cal. (i’m not sure if they ever made a true match 9 mm Parabellum). No idea about the production methods but, are you looking for any other particular information about these?

Ray, that picture came from me. It is our local range carpenters toolbox these days. It belonged to a marine who used to train at our range back in the day.

Soren - thanks for letting me borrow (steal) your photograph. I’ll make a note of who owns it and give you credit the next time I use it.

Fede - I was looking for any information on the procedures used by TZZ to manufacture match ammunition. Did they use dedicated tooling? Special inspections? Tighter accuracy specifications? Things like that.

John - Your corrections are noted. The box (Soren’s box) shows a manufacturing date of August 1984 (84H). Your cartridge lot number indicates manufacture in October 1984 (84K). “001” is the interfix number which identifies the same manufacturer, location, item, design, and process. The last three digits are the lot sequence number.


Sorry but I don’t have any specifics on the IMI manufacturing process but I’ll add what I have on the 7.62x51mm match rounds.
The IMI website currently lists a 7.62x 51mm long range match cartridge loaded with a 175gr open tipped Match King [sic] bullet. The site doesn’t give an official designation but I assume that it is equivalent to the US M118LR

I have seen photos of Israeli M852 boxes labelled in Hebrew that translate

LOT < 4-98 TZ >

The headstamp is (+) IMI 98. A later lot 3-01 is headstamped IMI 01. I find interesting that the box is labeled ball despite the bullet being an open tipped match. I wonder if this relates to the past issue of using open tip bullets in combat especially as the Israeli M852 is clearly marked for sniper use.

I’ve always associated the Israeli white tipped ball round with the boxes marked in Hebrew that translate

LOT: < 42-80 TZ >

I’ve pulled one these rounds and the bullet weight is 144gr indicating that this round was not equivalent to the US M118. Please can you provide more details on the white tipped M118 you mention.

As an interesting aside, at one stage the IMI website had pictures of 7.62x51 cartridges headstamped (+) PMJ 07. Does anyone know of a relationship between IMI and the South Korean Poongsan Corporation?


7.62 Samson Match was commonly found on the ranges here before the pistol ban. When the pistol ban took out the market for the bulk of his business the importer threw the towel in and the 7.62 disappeared off the shelf. I think it was imported by Mountain & Sowden into Britain

My memory was that it was better than MILSPEC but not Major League. I don’t think at that time it was a Match King bullet but as Nato Dave says my recollection was a 175grn bullet.

I’ve always associated the Israeli white tipped ball round with the boxes marked in Hebrew that translate

LOT: < 42-80 TZ >

I’ve pulled one these rounds and the bullet weight is 144gr indicating that this round was not equivalent to the US M118. Please can you provide more details on the white tipped M118 you mention.[/quote]
Dave, IMI describes these cartridges as “Match-M 118” in a brochure dated November 1983 and specifications indicates a 9.72g (150gr) bullet with its tip painted white. Maybe this was made to promote sales, as almost all of the other loadings are also listed with US military designations but none seem to agree with its specifications.

Regarding Israeli 45 Auto, is this what we’re discussing?

Box came with only fired cases. Ammo shown is from 1987 but not associated with a box. All cases bear 2 dots at 3:00 and 1 dot at 9:00, nickeled primer, crimped, no case cannelure.

No, we were discussing 230 grain FMJ RN Match loads, with “MATCH” on the headstamp, and supplied in at least one year in a replica of the classic white box, blue eagle (but on IMI, the eagle is green) made for the U.S. military.

I have several headstamp variants in the 185 grain SWC load, none of which have “Match” on the headstamp, including some that are nickel-plated cases loaded with lead, HG68-style SWC bullets. I suspect they were not only loaded in the USA, but also that the cases were plated here. My box like the one shown is identical, except mine reflects lot number TZZ 85G001-016.

Then, there are standard 230 FMJ M1911 ball loads from Israel, in not only the style of the box pictured for the 185 grain SWC load, but also a more conventional box, of which there are marking variations.

No eagle, green or otherwise, on this one, but a 230 grain FMJ RN bullet with match in the headstamp.

Pete - Thanks for posting. What is the date on the cartridge? Just wondered.
I have never seen that box before, and it seems like a late lot number. On my screen and with my bad eyes, I can’t read the date off of that headstamp that is showing. Also, does it have a brass primer cup as it appears, or is it nickel-plated? And lastly, does it have a red primer seal?


When you see a photo that you cannot quite decipher, simply save it to your PC, then open it with one of the photo shop programs, and you can enlarge it as big as it takes for your tired old eyes to see. Takes only about 15 seconds. That’s how I do it and my tired old eyes appreciate it.

In real life, my eyes have become a slave to a jeweler’s loupe for headstamps that I used to be able to read across the room. ;-)


Ray, just press “Ctrl” and use the scroll wheel and you will enlagre it right there, no need to save anything. In the lower right corner (magnification glass witha blue “+” in) then you see the magnification in %. When nothing is done it is on 100%. Yu can scale up or down as you are pleased. After you are done you can scale back to 100% or just click on the figure given and it will reset to 100% again.

TZZ 86
Nickel cup & RED annulus color

Yes I also though very late & I can only assume they has a bunch of excess to warrant printing this box or perhaps just the rubber stamps & filling the boxes. Lot 90? in 1989 if I’m reading the lot number correctly?

edited to correct annulus color

Yes, I use that option too. But, sometimes, the photo is not the best quality and you can enhance it with photo shop. I recently found a photo of a carton of Match M118 cartridges where the lot number was washed out by using a flash. When I doctored it with photo shop I was able to bring out the image of the number. I used to dabble in photography and an old pro told me that the details are captured on the negative. All you need is the skill to bring them out. Modern photos do not have negatives but the principle is still the same. I think.


Screwed up on my TZZ surplus box post the rounds have a red annulus
Going to edit the post to correct it.