MEN 7.62x51 Without NATO Symbol

I acquired a 7.62x51 cartridge headstamped simply “MEN 76” in the bottom segment of the case head. It has the usual green annulus of MEN cartridges. I have seen similar headstamps, but with the NATO symbol at the top. Is there any reason that this round doesn’t have the symbol?

Thanks for any info.

Could you tell all other features of this cartridge?

Brass case, brass primer cup (with standard three-point crimp), Standard NATO profile bullet with GMCS jacket. 6 Segment crimp at neck.

The cartridge is very typical of other MEN 7.62x51 rounds I have seen.

Think it was made for the BGS.

BTW. they made also .303 Br.

That’s the headstamp I have.

What is the BGS?

[quote=“Falcon”]That’s the headstamp I have.

What is the BGS?[/quote]

Sorry it called in German “Bundes Grenzschutz”.
A kind of borderpatrol.


The “BGS” is the “Bundesgrenzschutz” which is Germany’s Broder Police. They have some special groupls, such as Group 9, which act also as their anti-terrorist police. They are a very well-trained and generally respected group, although their work at the airport at the tragedy of the Munich Olympics was not generally well thought of. My impression, though, is that they generally deserve their excellent reputation.

Thanks for the replies.

Another collector I know (who has the correct permit) found this as a live round for sale on a flea market stall here in London. They paid 50 pence for it. I ended up with it after they had inerted it. It certainly wansn’t legal for the stall holder to be selling it. I wonder if this ammunition was ever sold as surplus in the UK.

Was the .303 for The Republic of Ireland? They were still ordering it in the '80s.

[quote=“Falcon”]Thanks for the replies.

Was the .303 for The Republic of Ireland? They were still ordering it in the '80s.[/quote]

Falcon, as you know I am not a .303 collector.

As far I remember those Ireland rounds had a lot number like 88-1 until 88-6


John, I don’t think GSG9 actually existed at the time of the Munich Massacre of Israeli athletes at the hands of Palestinian terrorists from the Black September group of Fatah, the group that is actually the “government” of the Palestinian West Bank. I believe that GSG9 was formed in response to the failure of the Munich State Police and the lack of a national anti-terrorist force.

John, the “BGS” is the Federal Police (just called border guard as it was their main field of work since inside Germany regular police was/is in charge and back in 1951 Germany was not allowed to have a military so the BGS had light weapons back then too), in Munich the BGS was not involved at all nor did the GSG9 exist at that time. All was (miss)managed by regular police which was not trained for such situations. Actually the GSG9 was created because of Munich (same year).
Today it is not named “BGS” anymore as it was renamed to “Bundespolizei” (Federal Police) in 2005. They are still responsible for border protection including air ports and air traffic and also for the railway. Right now I do not recall all details of their responsibilities but that can be easily found on their website.

Dutch, in 1976 the BGS should have used regular military ammunition which had different head stamps than the one shown. This caliber is not my field at all so this is just my opinion.

OK - mea culpa. Sorry I attributed the botched operation at the Munich Airport to GSG9. These things happen in any kind of warfare, unfortunately, and of course, I meant what I said that GSG9 deserves their fine reputation - in fact as far as entire GSG is a top-notch police agency. I had a nice talk with two GSG Officers and a Zoll officer in the train station in Verviers, Belgium waiting for the train to Germany, about their Pistol, the P225 SIG-Sauer which I think they called the P-6. They were all nice chaps. When they checked cabins after the train left, they looked in ours (my Wife, father-in-law and I, smiled, and went on. A small gesture, but one I thought was very nice. So, only one contact in my life with GSG, but it certainly was a pleasant one.

The .303 British with headstamp MEN 88 were made for the Netherlands.
That is what I was told and the containers for 560 rounds have a Dutch stock number: 1305-17-101-9770 on them. The interchange code seems to be 17-A103.

The lot numbers I have seen are 88-1 and 88-2 but do not show on the headstamps.

Edit: headstamp is 88 at 12 o’clock and MEN at bottom, just as in the photo.

Indeed, the 303 was made for the BREN machine guns used by the Netherlands Army Reserve during the eighties and nineties.

Counterterrorist snipers of the Netherlands police forces also use MEN cartridges (7,62x51 and .300 WinMag) without the NATO standardization symbol in the headstamp.

Headstamp and box of the 7,62x51 SFC used by NLD police snipers

This thread seems to have drifted off topic slightly. Can anyone confirm if my cartridge was made for any particular purpose?

I suppose the most obvious assumption is it was made for somewhere outside NATO, its a global calibre after all. If it turned up in a flea market in England its fairly certain it has been through the surplus route at some time to get here.