Nato Ball Round with black primer


ID required, standard looking Ball but has black primer. Headstamp is not listed in
Australian Military Small
Arms Ammunition Production
1888 - 2003. by David Mayne.


Interesting headstamp. I’ve not seen a black primer on Australian 7.62mm Ammunition.

This link does not contain any information on this headstamp either, which I’ve just noticed:

I do have several cartridges with this style of headstamp.

One, “MF . 85 . . .” is Boxer-primed while a later one “MF 87 F4” is Berdan-primed.

The “MF . 85 . . .” was purchased as an inert keyring from the Lithgow Small Arms Museum several years ago and the projectile that came out of it was not a standard L2A2/F4 projectile.

I also have several “MF . 86 . . .” rounds that are in M13 links for an MG. Whether these rounds have been in links since they left the factory I cannot say for sure, but they certainly look it and I have no evidence to suggest they have not. I can not confirm if these cases are Boxer primed but they do have the exact same primer crimp and annulus as the “MF . 85 . . .” cartridge.

As for the “…” in the headstamps I believe this was part of the case drawing process as used in some of the equipment that Footscray received from the US. These similar types of “…” is present today on LC 5.56 and FC .223 brass.


Dots in the headstamp indicate a SCAMP production line: 7.62X51 Australian ID


To captain T. The black primer on Aussie 7.62 identifies a Dummy round that is sugar filled and possibly used to test bandoliers? There is a lot of dot variations in headstamps around 1985 which was codes for the loading machine. John Green in Tasmania is writing a new book on Australian 7.62x51 variations and would appreciate any help with headstamps. I think a few Aussies will reply to this question.
I have black primed dummies in dates:- 59, 66, 69, 81, 84 and an inert Grenade blank with a pierced black primer in a sectioned energy grenade. I do not have the 87 date and possibly more variations exist.
I await other replies.


Thanks for the info. The headstamp on the example that I posted also has smaller letters and date numbers than any other MF cartridges that I have, it is noticable smaller than the other examples posted here on this topic. I acquired the cartridge as a ball round so I guess I got lucky with this one, thanks again for the ID


I enclose my Australian 7.62x51 collection. I am missing many variations. This will give IAA members an idea of variations that My Aussie 7.62x51 list copy 20180315.pdf (48.8 KB)


Very cool and thanks for sharing.

That rimmed 1960 case would be interesting to see.

I notice you don’t have any “AF” or “AFN” headstamps which are listed as being Australian in the headstamps archive of this site.


Oh, by the way guys. Does anyone know what kind of sugar was used to load the cartridges? Brand, type, organic?? Lol


Guin. Glad you liked my list. AF and AFN do not exist as Aussie headstamps. A arrow F is from 1924
on .303 and .455 Revolver from memory. Never seen AFN on any cartridge.
7.62mm only noted with MF, AFF and ADI headstamps (1956-1993 at least).


That was exactly my thoughts but the cartridge headstamp files for the page listed AF (no arrow or space) as Australian and no listing for AFN. I did not fully believe this was Aussie as it was nothing like I’ve ever seen in Australian ammo.

Another quick search just now turned up a post on this forum (that never came up in the previous searches for it) calling this ammunition as being Nigerian…


Guin… I thought I had stepped in it with the badly worded statement. I thought your Aussie 7.62 symbol meant you were an Aussie and had special knowledge of experimental rounds I have never heard of.
(eg) AF may have been a broken bunter. I know that OFN is Ordnance factory Nigeria on 7.62mm.
AFN may exist but I have no knowledge. The Rimmed case I have is just the case production stage that escaped the factory before the trim and rim turning stage. Just a novelty item. Cheers.


Aussie-yes. Special knowledge of experimental rounds- no. Lol.

My original statement regarding lack of AF and AFN headstamps in your collection was more of a confirmation to me that these headstamps aren’t really Australian.

As I said, I’ve discovered the origin of these rounds and will be making a post in the next few days about it.

Yes, quite a novelty item indeed.


I do not find AFN listed on the IAA Headstamp list as an Australian headstamp
code. In fact, I do not find AFN listed at all.

To my knowledge, AFN stands for “Ammunition Factory Nigeria.” The letters AF
were also used by Nigeria. Both AFN and AF, for example, appear on 7.62 x 51
mm cartridges dated “86” and with identical cartridge characteristics, including
the headstamp font. These headstamps replaced that of OFN (Ordnance
Factory Nigeria).

As far as I know, this factory was at Kaduna.

This cartridge was covered on the IAA Forum c. 2006. Doc Ave, at that time, indicated
that the similarity in the “look” of the cartridges to German rounds of the same era was
due to the use of machinery from the Fritz Werner company in Germany.

I believe the OFN headstamp is found on 7.62 x 51 mm, .303 British, and 9 mm Parabellum,
the latter being very rare. OFN-marked rounds are known from the 1970s. I only know of
7.62 x 51 with the AF and AFN headstamps, but I am NOT a specialist in NATO rounds or
.303, and my knowledge in those fields is rather sparse. On 9 mm Para, I have only heard
of “OFN” although it is certainly possible that they exist with either AF or AFN headstamps, or
both, as well. I have no Nigerian 9 mm in my own collection.

John Moss