Nigeria Headstamp AFN

The current headstamp for Nigeria is “OFN” for Ordnance Factory Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria. The former headstamp was “AFN”. Does the “A” stand for Army, Armament, Armory or what?

Perhaps ‘Awful?’

The only acronyms native to Nigeria for “AFN” are “Armed Forces of Nigeria” as cited in this article: or else “Athletic Federation of Nigeria”. I’m inclined to believe it is the armed forces one. The earlier headstamp sort of denotes possession as in those cartridges being owned and used by Nigerian military. I’m guessing they switched to the OFN headstamp because it is more ambiguous and as such, more compatible for export sale.

DK–That certainly fits. Does anyone have a box of any caliber with AFN headstamped rounds to confirm what AFN stands for?

The two official languages of Nigeria are English and French, although there are several non-Colonial languages spoken as well, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. There may be others. So, we can look to English

OFN = Ordnance Factory Nigeria
AFN = Ammunition Factory Nigeria

No idea why they changed the name. It could be as simple a reason that they produced only small arms ammunition, and decided “Ammunition” was a better reflection of their production than was the word “Ordnance.” Probably we will never find out the real reason, unless someone makes contact with the people responsible for the name change.

We discussed this headstamp before, on a thread titled "AFN on 7.62x51 ctg, begun by “Jan” on September 29, 2007.

The closest we could pin down the name change was between 1983 and 1986, done from box labels, etc. Some would say 1984-1985 because of observed cartridges dated OFN 83 and AFN 86, but headstamp changes don’t always follow the calender year, so an OFN 86 is possible, as is an AFN 83, depending on when the change was actually made. We won’t know until cartridges are observed, or not, with all the possible dates. A few year spread, as ammunition information goes, isn’t bad anyway. It puts us all knowledgeable of the era the change took place in.

On the original thread, Doc AV provided some of the good information on the thread, repeated to some degree here.

The factory is at Kaduna, Nigeria Small caliber ammunition produced included 7.62 x 51mm NATO, .303 British, and 9mm Para, the latter very rare. I know of only one specimen in a collection. Wish it was mine!

John–Now that you mention it, I do remember that thread. Thanks.