Paraguay 5.56 headstamp

The below image was posted on the IAA Facebook page by an instructor doing training for the federal police commandos in Paraguay. He was wondering about the headstamp / factory and if it is anything interesting. He implied bringing some empty cases back to the U.S. if there was interest. He might have acces to fired cases of whatever their pistol rds are as well - 9mm?

I, for one, would be interested in both.

Ditto that. He could probably sell, if priced as fired cases,
about as many of any caliber with a Paraguayan headstamp
that he could bring back.

I would be a customer for any auto pistol case type, for sure.

John Moss

yes please 5,56 and 9mm

I would love to have the matching 9x19mm headstamp, or at least a photo of it!


The American instructor in Paraguay claimed he would be able to bring back several fired cases of 7.62, 5.56, and 9mm without problem. I thanked him and plan on following up.

Many thanks!

Well the headstamp is undoubtedly Columbian.

The original message from this instructor mentioned Dirección de Industrias Militares as what he thought, but he was not sure.

I have a 9mmP that came out of Paraguay headstamped “IMP 88”. There is also a headstamp “IM” that may be associated with Paraguay, but that is harder to pin down.

There is an arsenal in Paraguay that has been in operation off and on. It is operated by the Directorate of Military Material (DIMABEL), and is located in Piribebuy, Information is pretty fragmented, but it appears the factory was set up or re-quipped with German (IWK) machines in 1955 ( and equipped by FN in the mid-1980s. Then in the mid-1990s the facility was re-equipped by FAMAE (Chile) and produced the “F D” headstamp indicating FAMAE-DIMABEL. In the late 2000s the factory was again reactivated by the Belgian firm EDB Engineering and their representative in Paraguay, PROEL Engineering. This information is from the DIMABLE website in 2010. Subsequently from Janes “December 2010 DIMABEL began to produce 7.62, 5.56 and 9 mm munitions after more than 10 years of inactivity.”

The source material rambles a bit and seems mostly to talk about the various VIPs associated with the effort. I suspect the facility has been there a long time since there is even passing mention of an American machine from 1917.

If anyone has found a good account of this facility, please share it.

Below is a photo of their F D headstamped 9mm repackaged for commercial sale. Also a photo of a SMG reportedly made in Paraguay.


The headstamp is typical INDUSTRIA MILITAR (INDUMIL) Columbian layout with date and lot along with the green primer sealant. Why the disbelief?


No disbelief, just saying what the guy thought, and I am not familliar with these at all. The good news is that they are rare enough to generate interest from the year & code I guess, and some will soon be here.

Hello, as mentioned by Joe above, these cartridges were made by Indumil in Colombia for the Paraguayan Police. Below you can see a previous post with some details:

Lew, here is another link with a great discussion about Dimabel: Ammunition for or by Paraguay

And regarding the submachine gun, it is a Rexim Favor made in Spain.




Very interesting! This is the first case I know of where Columbia exported ammunition. From what I have seen, CBC was the major exporter of ammunition within South America for the past few decades. Otherwise the ammunition was bought from Europe or the US. I don’t know of either Korea or the Philippians exporting to a South American Government. I guess China has also likely sold 7.62x39 but that is not a caliber that I follow very closely. My comments above are based mostly on what I see in 9x19mm.

Have there been other sales within South America within the last couple of decades that you know of, other than by CBC?

Wish your first post had been a bit longer. As far as I can confirm, IM has only been used as a headstamp by Columbia, but INDUSTRIA MILITAR is a pretty common term in South America and is in fact the the origin of the second two letters in DIMABLE. I personally had not seen this date and lot number combination on 9x19mm.I hope the 9x19mm rounds have this same headstamp, it would be a new one for my records.



Not sure of the era, but perhaps would fit your “two decades” limitiation. North
Korea exported 7.62 x 39 mm to Peru for their military, when they were fighting Sendero Luminoso
guerillas. I got a few rounds of it out of that country, headstamp “93 84” some years ago. I still have
one in fact that I kept just because of the incredible set of circumstances it represented. Peru was
using a number of Soviet weapons at that time, augmenting what they already had. That is why
FAME (Fabrica de Armas y Munciones del Ejercito) made 9 x 18 mm Makarov cartridges.

I think you and I had a pretty good discussion about the political situation there some years ago.

John Moss

Lew, here an older thread with some unanswered questions regarding Indumil. Not that it helps here but illustrates the possibility of Indumil exports or a S&B production.

Here the indumil site with the “IM” headstamp on 9x19:

General ammo overview:

John, I remember the North Korean order now! I suspect you told me about it. When I said Korean earlier I was thinking of PMC. Thanks for the info.

I suspect that IM has bought both ammo and perhaps cases which they loaded. I have four IM headstamped 9x19mm rounds and at least three, and perhaps all four are bought, by INDUMIL-probably as loaded rounds.

This round was found in Belgium in a large lot of 1960s dated 9mm. The case was clearly made and primed by FN. The bullet is a nickel plated non-mag identical to other FN production, Identical rounds were found in Columbia with both 1966 and 1968 headstamps. I suspect this ammo was loaded by FN.

This round us confirmed to have been made by MEN in about 1980. The bullet is typical GMCS German production.

This ammunition is confirmed to have been made by DAG in 1991. Again it is loaded with a typical German GMCS bullet.

This round also has a typical FN nickel plated bullet and is likely to be loaded by FN. The print style is consistent with FN production, but it could be from another source, not FN.

I have three INDUMIL headstamped 9x19mm rounds, all with different headstamp styles. I can’t confirm that any of them were actually made in Columbia. I do have one INUDUMIL box, commercial, but no where on it does it say it was made in Columbia.

Their website shows 9x19mm with the following headstamp and box. As I read the headstamp it is “9mm” on the top and from 9 to 3 it reads “L15 IM 12”. Similar to the format of the 5.56mm headstamp at the top of this thread.


Looking at other products shown at their website we can see for example South African designed ordnance.
The M26 grenade they are showing has a South African made Fuze on.
One of the primers on a cartridge they are showing has the typical “0” on which we know from CBC.
This would allow to think of components having been made by other manufacturers.
Of course this is not answering any question.

Lew, I have nine rounds I attribute to us in Colombia, specifically made
for Indumil.

W-W 9 mm LUGER - This round obviously has a primed case from Winchester.
It came from a standard Winchester box of the time (yellow box, as I recall - I have
a photo of it in my files, but not the box itself), except the back label is specific
to Colombia, and has the following advice, which I have translated from the Spanish:
Made in Colombia under license of Winchester. This is from memory, but is close
enough for our purposes here. The bullet is CN FMJ RN, and may be FN. Primer
is nickel.

9 IM 9 68 - FN thru and thru, in my opinion
IM 9 m m P a r a - MEN for sure, as you said
IM 85 9 mm PAR - I didn’t know on this one, but agree now, thanks to your ID that is is DAG
I N D U M I L 9M/M PAP - Cartuchos Deportivos de Mexico, almost certainly. Now known
as Industrias Tecnos. The “PAP” is the clue here.
INDUMIL 9MM PAR - Three variations to do with primer crimps, or lack thereof, and primer
seals or lack thereof. In my view, undoubtedly from CIL in Canada. Brass primers and Purple PA (or none)
INDUMIL 9MM" Much bigger headstamp letters, nickel primer with red PA. Looks Winchester, but not sure.

I bet, Lew, that if you look, you have most or all of these yourself. I had never seen the box you show or the
headstamp on those rounds, until this thread. Also have never seen the “Cal 9MM” headstamp before.
Thanks for posting. I had no luck printing out any of their website from the connections (links) given on this
thread, even though they opened for me.

John Moss