PAC / PCA headstamped Plastic cased cartridges


I have three cartrigdes with plastic cases. Two .223 Remington and one .38 Special.

The .38 Special is all grey plastic, with brass primer. The headstamp is: “P A C 38 SPL”

The first .223 is made of grey plastic, with a brass base, coming about 10mm (0.4") up the case. The primer is also brass. Headstamp is: “223 REM PCA 03”. The stamp is poorly struck.

The second .223 is made of dark green plastic, with a brass base, coming about 10mm (0.4") up the case. The primer is also brass. Headstamp is: “223 REM PCA”. The stamp is far more clearly struck than the first.

Which company loaded these? I also presume they are not reloadable, as the plastic is damaged by hot gases, and the extraction on a semi-auto .223 Weapon. I take it these are a semi-experimental way to produce cheaper ammo.


The cartridge stamped PCA is produceret by Natec USA



Another very good reason to join IAA. The JOURNAL has some very good articles written by our own John Moss that covers the Polymer Cased cartridges.



Ray, I want to join, but I can just never get the money together.



You sound like a level-headed young man with a real interest in cartridges. I’ll repeat my offer to pay one year’s membership for you. But, it probably means you will have to furnish a mailing address. Contact Gary Muckel at the address on the Home Page under “Memberships” and send him a copy of this post. I will arrange to pay Gary when he is ready to start your membership.



Falcon - your P A C .38 Special case was made by Polytech Ammunition Company, of Minden, Louisiana, U.S.A. They were interesting in that ity was the first completely minority-owned ammunition company in the U.S.A. The company started up in 2003 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Never could quite figure out why the Agriculture Department was involved. They appear to be out of business, unfortunately. I have heard rumors that they are trying to reorganize the company, but for certain they are not currently producing. I hope that they are able to make a go of it eventually. The quality of their ammunition was very good, but unfortunately, the polymer-cased ammunition, from any company and in any caliber, runs into very stiff competition on the ammunition market. It is really not significantly cheaper that brass-cased ammo, at least at the retail level (I have no idea concerning the relative manufacturing costs), and of course, there is no salvage in the case - it is not reloadable, so the buyer loses that “bonus” if he is a potential reloader.

Regarding IAA Membership, I urge you to accept Ray’s generous offer. I will paraphrase something I have said before on this forum - when you buy a cartridge, you learn about one cartridge; when you buy a book (IAA Journal), you learn about many. We all have budget restraints in our collecting, but I have often chosen not to make a cartridge purchase in favor of buying some new book on ammunition. None of us will ever get every cartridge we would like to have, but we can get the information to enjoy them vicariously, anyway.

By the way, Ray, thanks for your nice comments, even though I didn’t write an article on plastic ammo in general, but only on NATEC. You gave me food for thought, though, about an article on plastic-cased auto pistol ammunition. Will have to look into it.


Thanks John, another very thorough answer as usual. I wish I could spend as much time as you writing answers, but I have other commitments like homework :-(

Ray, An IAA member in the UK is going to sort out my membership soon. I had the money together, but something else came up.


Falcon - don’t wish for that. Firstly, I am a fast typist and have a large, quick to use (for me) library. Secondly, I am 67 years old and retired. I wish I was your age again. I spend too much time on the computer and not enough time outside, although I am an active shooter in CAS competitions, and a range officer at my club, so that keeps me somewhat out of trouble. It is great you are young, and keep at that homework! You are a bright young man - study hard. Lord knows we are raising enough uneducated people around this world of ours. You kids who use your brains are the hope of the future, and, by the way, the hope of our hobby.