Mystery 7.62Nato

Hi all.
got a batch of mixed surplus most of them id’d but one slips me.
it’s a 7.62x51 round (M80 style). brass case and cupronickel jacked.
has the number “88” at 12 o’clock and 12 at 6 clock.
brass primer with three stake marks no PA sealant.

any idea who made it? thank you.

IAA headstamp reference says: Western Cartridge Company (Olin), East Alton, IL
12 is likely 2012
Look at the tabs above this post in grey area, one of them says “Reference”, click on it and find “Headstamp codes to identify makers”

thank you sksvlad.
my books said the same thing. was more of a sanity check.
in the past all Olin cartridges i had seen were only stamped with a date at 6 o’clock. was this part of a virgin or scrubbed contract?

The lack of pa seal makes me think it is a civilial lot or re-load. I do not collect modern ammo. But tomorrow I am going to see a collector by the name “NATO Dave” and I’ll ask him this question.

South Africa - ball


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The “88” is a Western / Olin headstamp. It is found on 12.7x108 SLAP rounds they made to supply Afghanistan troops with captured MG’s during their war with the Soviets.

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Nice item you show there.

Would the production of that perhaps have been funded by the famous efforts of Charlie Wilson?


Hi Dave,
thanks & no idea about the funding, but one never knows…
Also known in dummy, struck, flattened primer, hole mid-body & different sabot.

My information from a person involved in the project is that this was a US Army contract with Olin. These rounds come with a variety of sabots. A well known collector from St Louis who is no longer with us, .discovered quite a few of these rounds with different sabots mixed in a lot of fired cases from Olin. My understanding is that these were all experimental rounds. They were originally designed to shoot down the heavily armored Hind helicopters used by the Soviets in Afghanistan using a standard Soviet 12.7mm machine gun. Unfortunately that gun uses a muzzle brake and on the first test firing the sabots jammed in the muzzle brake and blew it off the end of the barrel. Quite a few variations of sabot were tested to find one that held together until it passed through the muzzle brake. This development was cancelled when a better solution was found. I have never heard of Charlie Wilson’s name mentioned in association with this round but then I never asked that question.

I think these rounds were discussed in an IAA article from the period.