Paraguay 5.56 headstamp

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

Below are my three INDUMIL headstamps. I don’t have an 'INDUMIL 9MM". My headstamps are below!

I agree this is a CDM product.

I can’t argue that this is not a CIL product…

I Don’t know about this one!

If anyone has other INDUMIL boxs, please post them!


Hi Lew this one seems the same but the text color on the side & the bars on the top are white & not the yellow of yours. Might well be the same box just different storage conditions?

Thanks Pete,
Mine is an old and dirty box!

The more I look at this thread, the more I wonder what INDUMIL actually produces. The 38 thread EOD references tells a similar story.

If someone said that INDUMIL never made pistol ammunition, or never made small arms ammunition period, I wouldn’t argue with them since I don’t see any clear evidence that INDUMIL has ever made SAA!

Does anyone have clear evidence they make the SAA pictured on their website. Probably Fede has the best insight.

Has anyone been through the INDUMIL plant???


Screen shots from an Indumil promotional video on YouTube, 2013:

A couple of more screen shots from another video:

Thanks BD! At least we know that they make some ammunition.


Is there anything in those photos that indicates they make their cases? It is
clear that they load ammunition.

The first Colombian 9 mm I ever obtained, altready mentioned above, has a case
clearly made my Winchester, and came in a box likely to have been from Winchester
regardless of having a back label in Spanish (the rest of the print on the box is in
English). The back label reads:

Bajo Licensia de
Olin Corproation U.S.A.
Trademarks Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. Marca Reg.

The use of the word “Elaborado,” which means "prepared"
or “made,” is unusual for a cartridge box, with most I have
seen with Spanish labels say “Hecho en …,” "Fabricado"
or even “Cargado” (loaded) with the national location.

The cartridges in question were, in my view, loaded in Colombia
on Winchester cases, probably from the appearance of the
primer, NPE cases, as they have a FMJ RN CN bullet more like
those common to FN than anything ever loaded by Winchester-Western.

Just an observation on my part, and curiosity about whether I missed
something in those pictures that would indicate actual case production
at IM, rather than just a loading plant.

John Moss

Cartridge case draw cups without rims/extractor groove.

Below is the same picture from above with red arrows pointing to a draw cup as cup exits the machine.

Draw cups in collection bin. No rim/extractor groove

Below, cartridge case annealing station?


Brian - Thank you. I was probably looking at the pictures without my reading
glasses. I should wear them a lot, but since having my eyes fixed, I have almost
20-20 vision at any distance past the finger tips of my arm extended forward.
I get lazy, I guess, about wearing reading glasses for super-closeup work. I see
now the cups - thanks for the arrows - and I guess I just didn’t recognize the
annealing station as being that. Only place I have ever seen one is at Bell Lab
years ago, and don’t recall too much what it looked like.

Obviously, INDUMIL now has complete cartridge manufacturing facilities. One
of the things in the back of my mind when I was not sure of that was that of my
eight or nine Colombian 9 mm Para specimens, the only caliber I have a IM cartridge
in, all of them have characteristics that would indicate the cases were NOT made
at IM, and in about half, that they were not loaded there.

I tend to get into a time warp, forgetting that all over the world, ammunition factories
have been built in countries that before WWII didn’t have them at all, and many
older factories have been very much up-graded.

As usual, thanks for pointing these pictures out to me.

John Moss


One thing in your favor is the image quality of the video from which these screen shots were taken is not all that great.
Also they devoted very little time in the video showing cartridge production so it still unclear as to whether they produce all the cartridge calibers they list or just some of them and still import some of the other calibers. The video did NOT show any obvious 9x19mm production.