Origin Mexican 44's?


Can someone pass on information regarding production origin ?

4 Cart’s with same measurements.
Bull .42
CL 1.27
Base .46
Rim .51

Clearest H/S= “MEXICO C-44” ( though the 4’s are open top)
the quality of H/S is good on 2… then light H/S strikes on other 2
Lead bullet, but no oxidation.
Same dimensions as UMC 44 WCF, except primer on specimen(s) are larger (+/- .22), and gentle if any case crimp, (and UMC is Flat Point.)
1 picture has UMC 44 WCF as comparison.
Jack J


Can’t help ID it, but can comment that the same “MEXICO” appears
on 7.63 x 25 mm Mauser (.30 Mauser) pistol cartridges. Although it
is somewhat better stamped, at least on my specimen, than on these
.44-40s, it is not a first rate job.

John Moss


I believe these were made in the 1960’s and 1970’s by Fabrica Nacional de Municiones, Sante Fe, Mexico.


Am curious enough that I will pull bullet as primer type and rim/ construction appear about BP era.


More research points me to Fabrica Nacional de Municiones, Sante Fe, Mexico. and the 44 LARGO. More research points me to Fabrica Nacional de Municiones, Sante Fe, Mexico. and the 44 LARGO as South America knew the cartridge ( prior to 44 WCF) to feed the 1873 WINCHESTER

Read more: http://www.rifleshootermag.com/ammo/early-mexican-army-rifles-and-cartridges/#ixzz4mzPYgdYc

Any leads on the Santa Fe facility appreciated. My Spanish is poor.


Years ago, I was going to do an article on all Mexican Headstamps
found on center-fire metallic ammunition, thinking there might be
30 or 40. Once I researched them from various publications, personal
searches of some very good collections (Woodin Lab first and foremost),
and had drawn some 200 headstamps, I gave up on it.

The “MEXICO C-44” headstamp is a product of the Fábrica Nacional de
Municiones factory. This “MEXICO” headstamp appears on the following:

MEXICO 7-63 (Likely from FNM, but maker not verified. I have this cartridge)

  • MEXICO - 32-20
    MEXICO 38 - ESP
    MEXICO 38 - A.C.
    MEXICO C - 44
    45 - Mexico 1931 (also 1930)
  • MEXICO - (No other marking. The lines are longer and curved. 3.5 x 28.5 mm
    Miniature Mauser
  • MEXICO - 7m/m - 1925
    7 MEXICO m/m 1930 (also 1931)
    MEXICO 30-30
    MEXICO 30 E-30 ( caliber is also .30-30)
    MEXICO 30 H-30 (caliber is .30-30)
    MEXICO 30***30 (the “***” represents a small rectangle with point ends, I cannot
    reproduce here) (this headstamp from a printed source I could not verify from a ctg.)
    30 ESP-MEXICO-1933- (.30-06. Also 1932)
  • MEXICO - 303

These are not, by any means, the only headstamps from FNM. They are simply the only
ones I have documented, mostly from specimens, that have only “MEXICO” and not the
factory initials, on the heads. Some may have other dates than those shown. If so, they
are ones not discovered by me at the time I did my research.

There is also “MEXICO 30 MAUSER” but if actually made in Mexico, and not made elsewhere
FOR Mexico, it is likely a product of Productos Regiomontanos, Monterrey, NL, México. It
is almost certainly not from F. de M.

Also, there are headstamps with the country name “MEXICO” on them that also include the
factory designator. Example: F.N.C.45 - MEXICO 1934, a style used from at least 1931 to
1936 on caliber .45 Auto. There are other similar headstamps dating back as far, at least,
as 1886.

I welcome additions and/or corrections to this list.

John Moss


Jack J - not sure what “leads” you are looking for on the Factory
at Santa Fe, near the Federal District of Mexico (Mexico City). I
have found very little. There is some information in the book
"Mexican Military Arms, the Cartridge Period 1866-1967", by
James B. Huges Jr, Pages 120-121. Because of a general lack of
backup material, I can only quote the book, but cannot guarantee the
accuracy of the information. I will quote it, as I don’t have time to retype
the two pages of text on the referenced pages.

“On the 7th of May, 1900, the brother of Gral. (note: General) Manual
Mondragon, Lt. Col. Enrique Mondragon, opened the National Powder
Factory extension at Santa Fe, near Mexico city.”

“In 1906, as a part of a military industry expansion program begun by President
Porfirio Diaz in 1897, the Santa Fe extension was enlarged to include an
Artillery Park, a National Arsenal, and an Artillery Foundry. This same year, the
small arms ammunition plant, Fabrica Nacional de Cartuchos, was opened to
produce 7 mm Mauser cartridges for the rifles and machine guns then in service.
This plant was patterned after those in New Haven, Bridgeport, and Karlsruhe.
With the introduction of the then new Naval Yard and Arsenal at Ulua Castle in
Verz Cruz harbor this same year, the importation of cartridges ended. All other
arms and war material was still imported.”

Note: The earliest FNC date I have seen or heard of on a 7 x 57 mm Mauser cartridge
is 1909. This does not address a factory using the headstamp FNA (Fabrica Nacional
de Armas) that made at least blanks, reported in .43 Spanish and .50 Carbine calibers,
with headstamps dated in 1886, as well as a .30-06 proof load, date unknown, with
headstamp FNA Sobre Presion.

“1963 saw a new building for the National Munitions Factory inaugurated in Tecamachalco
as well as the explosives plant in Santa Fe. Production for the year 1963, by the Military
Industry Department for the army and navy amounted to 25 million pesos.”

“The Government of Mexico is keeping the military production facilities current.”

Not really much information there. No explanation of the changes in nomenclature for
the cartridge division of these factories (FNA, FNC, F de M, F de C, FC) that appear
or did appear a various times, or the headstamps of Mexican cartridges all believed to
be made at the Government factories. We are not including purely commercial operations
here, even if they made some ammo for the Mexican Military.

Hope this is of some help. Wish I had more.

John Moss


Thank you John for taking the time to check further! the information in the book
"Mexican Military Arms, the Cartridge Period 1866-1967", by
James B. Huges Jr, is a fascinating glimpse. Did you find the book online?
With the turbulent history of early Mexican government I would guess any information is spotty.

These 4 cartridges have just started to intrigue me. I had a month prior read a biography ( and the the autobiography) of Ulysses S. Grant, which discuss his actions in Mexico as a young but apparently efficient quartermaster. It prompted curiosity of who supplied arms and ammunition to Mexico, and what they were able to produce themselves.

A read of a much abbreviated “Rifle Shooter”- ‘Early Arms and Ammunition of Mexico’ only prompted more curiosity.
I had purchased an old wooden briefcase ammo collection at auction for relative pennies- luckily to find over 100 cartridges, with the most recent being of WWI vintage (I will count that as my 1 lucky find in life). Almost all cart’s were BP …spencer carbine, european military, obsolete American sport loadings. Yes- these 44’s could have been added at a later date- but I can’t help but think with the crude H/S might also be 1900 era.

Your information is greatly appreciated. on a side note, as a new collector, I will research Woodin Lab. I have heard it mentioned before, however it sounds like a unique reference repository!
Jack J


Jack J

At the time I purchased the book on Mexican arms, by Hughes, I don’t think
I even had a computer. Amazingly, there is no date of publication from Deep
River Armory, Houston, Texas although their is a zip code. Copyright date
is 1968. It is 135 pages total, and a “paper back.” In physical preparation,
the cover is the best part of the book. There is much to criticize about quality
of photos, etc., but it really seems to have been a pioneer study of the subject,
about which I worked for two years to get very little information. I doubt that it
is still in publication, but then, I haven’t checked on that.

I don’t know why Mexican ammo has been ignored so much. I was going to write a
"little article" on the headstamps, but as I researched, what I thought would be a few
turned out, with headstamps made in Mexico for their own use; made in Mexico for
export; and made in other countries for Mexico, to be over 200, not including dates. I
still have all my drawings, each one on a 3/5 card in a little recipe box. I never did
write the article, as it would have been, likely, longer than the book in discussion here.

John Moss