Mystery ammo? Headstamps and painted band colors

Mystery ammo 1: Scalloped headstamp on rimless 7.5mm cartridges. I don’t see the B P or SMI headstamp in the IAA list, but I realize that is only a first check. The bullet diam = 7.55mm, case length = 51.15mm +/- 0.05mm.

This is the first of about five types of misc cartridges I found in a full shoebox of ammo I got as part of a purchase of cast lead bullets for .44 and .45. Didn’t really want them, but seller threw them in to get them off his hands. I am asking here for assistance in identifying cases to make sure I don’t just strip and recycle a cartridge someone could use in their collection. Most are pretty straight forward as being 6.5mm variants from WWI era, but a few I’m having trouble identifying. Photos attached. Thank you for any help you can provide. Mystery1b mystery1a Photo added to better show scalloped case heads. DSCN0005

This second batch is pretty clearly 7.7x58 Arisaka, and most have a color band on the bullet at the case mouth. Given my color sight issues, I believe I have a few examples each of ball (salmon color) and AP (black). The cartridges have mostly unmarked case heads, but a few have what appears to be a dot in parentheses. “(.)”

6.5x52 Carcano

BP and BR the initials of the inspector.
B-11 indicates production at the Bolongia factory in 1911
B-18 indicates production at the Bolongia factory in 1918

SMI indicates Società Metallurgica Italiana, Campo Tizzoro and the numbers indicate the year of production (1936 and 1939 respectively).

Thank you, Mayhem! Rechecking the list, they’re both in there. I was looking for either BR or B11, so I overlooked the “B”. No excuses for completely missing the SMI.

Thanks again, Mayhem. Your feedback helped me see there are a number of reloads and wildcats(?) in the shoebox. For example, the Carcano round I pulled for measurements did have a 7mm projo and Lee factory crimp marks. Only a few mic’ed at 6.5. Evidence is there that the previous owner tended to pull military bullets from berdan primed cases, and reload using IMR style powder and spitzer bullets for use in milsurp guns of the 60s. In 6.5x54 alone, I have HA factory reloaded (Delta next to V146) ammo from 1948 showing collet crimp marks; some PS with T3 primers, and some shorter cases built on RWS cases.

The 6.5x53R with wooden projos looks original, but some of the PS 6.5x57 and 6.5x57R have newer spitzer style projos and collet crimps, so the T3 primer isn’t a solid indicator these are unchanged. As pretty as the Carcano headstamps and the PS primers are, these are all going into the pull and scrap bucket.

By the color bands, I’m pretty sure the 7.7 Arisaka cartridges are original. The Israeli marked 8mm from 1958 also look original. I’ll put them in the IAA marketplace for any novice collectors INCONUS for the cost of shipping. If no action after a couple of weeks, scrap🙂. (I donated the Czech 9x19 to a local collector of WW2 firearms to place with his Waffen-stamped P38)


I’ll take 'em if no one else has yet…………


30Army; you’re first in line. I’ll send photos tonight so you can see if you’re still interested.

Roger that…………PM seems to go right to the Forum…….email is wydraw(at)

Because no one else mentioned it, I would like to point out that bullet diameter .2972" (7.549 mm) is exactly the diameter of 7.35 mm Carcano bullets. The cartridges in the first message to me seem like an attempt to make cartridges for shooting in a 7.35 mm rifle.
I wonder how the loader managed to “create” bullets with the correct, unique diameter.

Wow. So I stripped for scrap the one rarer cartridge in the shoe shoebox?!? And I posted here in an effort to avoid just that. Oh well.

Anyway, a collector has the remaining stuff now. I’m just disposing of some odds and ends that fell apart in handling, are very heavily corroded, or are obvious reloads of commercial US cartridhes. Those wooden bullet Mannlicher Schoenauers were falling apart.