Philippine Army 9 mm Box label

I was reorganizing part of my box collection and came across a box from the Philippines, the back label picture of which, below, is self-explanatory. I got this box many years ago, along with a couple of cartridges turned into key chains. Later, I was able to get one loaded round, obviously a range pick up (a bit beat up). It is ordinary ball ammunition, GM FMJ RN bullet, brass case, brass primer cup, Headstamp " RPA 97 9mm ".

To date, I have not seen another one, nor even seen any rounds of this headstamp around.

John Moss

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Bill Woodin told me that the Government Arsenal at Camp Antonio Luna only made the single lot of this ammunition.

Bill had photos of 5.56mm with a BMP headstamp made by the Bataan Munitions Plant, but apparently they never made 9x19mm

The 9x19 is listed in the attached, and the cover photo appears to picture the box on the left side of the table.
GA Bullet-in.pdf (1.5 MB)

The attached provides more information:
Government Arsenal History http.pdf (30.1 KB)

I hope someone else had additional information.


Well, the box wouldn’t contradict that statement. Good information of which I was not aware. I note that my box is from lot number 1 of 1997.

Mr Moss, you got me looking at a subject I have ignored for years. I found a RFP dated 2016 asking bidders to propose on supplying the GA (Government Arsenal) Philippines with 9x19mm cases and bullets. The specification required the following headstamp:
image image

The contract was for 5 years with initial funding in 2019. The two qualified bidders were PMc & CBC. CBC won based on price.

There is no indications in the document that the asterisks mean anything. GA clearly means Government Arsenal.

It is pretty obvious from this package, and others dealing with 5.56 & 7.61 components that the GA loads ammo but procures components offshore. The contracts I looked at all show PMC or CBC as the winning bidders. The companion Small Pistol Primer contract was awarded to Nashe Enterprises, a Philippine company.

A seperate contract for labels showed the following label for 7.62 cartridges.


Info on these and other ammo contracts can be found at


Some interesting footage here:

Interesting video, although likely now outdated - it is almost 8 years old. Still, I had never even heard of the SWC and RN blue-coated lead bullet loads in .45. Wonder how many hundreds of variations of ammunition that we, as collectors and students of ammunition, never even hear of, much less see? Also new to me was the reduction in bullet weight of the FMJ RN .45 M1911 loads to 210 grains from 230 grains. Of course, the original .45 bullets in 1905 were 200 grain, so that is not really a new development, but interesting just the same. I don’t have any .45 Auto round dated within the 21st Century.

Thanks for post that, Alex.

John M.

John, you mean these I guess? Obviously existing in other calibers as well - I assume in 9x19 (background).

Image source: internet.

Background cartridge in the post above by EOD is:

Government Arsenal Cal .45, 190 grain Semi-Wad Cutter bullet.

Source: Internet


Brian & EOD, Thanks for the additional information. Thefilm shows a 7.62 Musang which looks like a 300 Blackout!!! Or, am I going blind???

The 45 ACP rounds pictured appear to be headstamped RPA 11 (which makes sense for a 2012 video) so the use of the GA headstamp in their contract documentation with CBC may not be in use yet!

John, I agree that we only see a very few of the items out there. When you consider the bid samples from losing bidders (I think the US government had 6 bidders for a 9x19mm contract some years ago) and the experimental rounds that never get to large scale production, and the rounds from countries that we never see items from at all, my guess is that we see less than 10%of what has been made.


Lew, I assume what you saw was the 7.62x38 Musang AR.

Image source: internet.

Screen capture from the 2012 Government Arsenal video posted by EOD above, note the typographical error in the box label. The 7.62x37 Musang box is labeled 7.62x57mm.
Photo below is from the article:

From left to right, the 5.56x45mm NATO, the 7.62x37mm Musang and the 7.62x51mm NATO.