Musgrave .30-06 box

The box has an overprint “Made in Austria”. Musgrave is a division of Denel, which is a South African company. The language under English is either Afrikaans or Dutch, but not German. So, what’s the story?


I would say: illegal export to South-Africa during the international embargo against Apartheid, using an unknown headstamp on purpose. Many companies made dirty business with South-Africa. Why not Hirtenberger?

I had the honor of originally confirming that Hirtenberg was making cartridges for South Africa during the embargo, although this was highly suspected already. Aside from those cartridges with this particular code system found in relation to Musgrave, there were, in RSA, 7.65 mm Browning rounds with the headstamp * GeO * 7.65 that had some pretty suspicious Hirtenberg characteristics.

I had asked a South African collector I was trading with to please not just tear the top label off of boxes and send them to me, but rather send the whole box because sometimes the box construction had its own story to tell. In a good-hearted joke, he then sent me a basically sterile (no original markings) box for .32 Auto cartridges of the “GeO” headstamp and said “o.k., identify this.” Well, he picked the wrong box. I checked my collection and found the only box I had with identical construction was a 9 mm Para Hirtenberg box, which had a paste-on label on the top lid, that was never present on the smaller, but otherwise identical. 7.65 mm Browning box. The two boxes are absolutely obviously made by/for the same ammunition company - Hirtenberg. This confirmed the manufacture, which frankly was pretty obvious and strongly believed to be Hirtenberg before this kind of fun incident.

The overstamp on the Musgrave box was probably applied in South Africa for some reason. Perhaps the ammunition, originally meant for the local market, ended up being formally exported from RSA. Pistol calibers known with this same headstamp are 6.35 mm, 7.65 mm Browning, .380 Auto (9 mm short) and 9 mm Parabellum. Some rounds, I forget which, also had “Mus” at the top of the headstamp for “Musgrave,” but not many. I know that .38 S&W and .38 Special were made with these headstamps, again by Hirtenberg, but am not sure of other revolver rounds or rifle rounds - both out of my field. As far as I know, the “GeO” headstamp I mentioned, also made by Hirtenberg, was found in caliber 7.65 mm Browning only.

NOTE: This answer was heavily edited. Shortly after writing my original answer, I realized that I was confusing the headstamp shown by Sksvlad with another headstamp, “Geo”, which in truth was the one the box I was sent was for and which positively identified it, along with the cartridge characteristics, as being from Hirtenberg. Sorry about that. The two subjects are really inter-twined in the story of “Embargo ammunition” in South Africa, and I am sure that is what caused my lapse in memory.

A Large amount of Musgrave European contract Sporting ammo was exported from SA to Australia in the 1970s and 80s…I have .30/06 Packets, .308 and some Pistol ctgs. All made in Europe.

Labels in ENGLISH and AFRIKAANS (Not Dutch, although related).

Doc AV


Have the same round with a „M 8“ head stamp.


I have a .270 case marked L 8 .270.

I made a list on the Forum some time ago (not even sure if it was the current Forum, or the old one) of all the known date codes (headstamps) on auto pistol rounds. I couldn’t find it using the search engine for this Forum, but then had I found it, it would be the first time ever I found anything in a search here.

Codes for these have been seen with the letters from F all the way to Z (believed to be Lot numbers) with the numbers 6,7 and 8 with those being date codes for 1976, 1977 and 1978. Some also did have mus at 12 o’clock on the headstamp for Musgrave even though manufactured by Hirtenberger Austria for them. Various calibers noted in both rifle and pistol calibers.

Interesting. So did Musgrave only “produce” ammo in the 1970s?

I have this box that I saved from the bin at the range (where a lot of my old boxes from), that had a “Made in South Africa”
stamp on it, the cartridges that came out of it were marked “M8 .30-06”, as pictured above. So, any ideas where this box/cartridge was really made, or was Musgrave ammunition really only produced in Austria?

I also have a single .270 marked “K8 .270”.

Also, does anyone have any pictures of the projectiles that would’ve been packed in this box? I can’t remember what they looked like.

Recently acquired this .38 special, searching the headstamp I came across this forum post.

Headstamp Z 8 .38 Spl
Is this possibly one of the South African imported cartridges?

It would appear to be, 1978 production.

Thanks! Are there any numbers on the quantity of ammunition produced and sold to South African in those years?