Portuguese 7.62x51mm


A friend of mine has been shooting a lot of Portuguese made 7.62x51mm ammunition lately. This ammunition is headstamped with “BF” as the factory code instead of the expected “FNM”. Why is this? I also noticed that on the box, the label says “20 ROUND” instead of “20 ROUNDS”. Is this a typo or a translation error? Was this ammunition made for an export order perhaps?



That ammo came out of Africa, I think, but not sure if it went to Angola, Rhodesia, or South Africa.


The Portuguese ammo was covered on a previous thread here not long ago, entitled "8 x 56R Kropatschek “F.A” Manufacture, which turned into an excellent thread on Portuguese SA Ammo manufacturing. The “BF” headstamp appeared mostly in Southern Africa, with a lot of it coming out of RSA. It was made for there, but I am not sure which country specifically. No one, even the Portuguese, know exactly what the B.F. stands for, only that the purchaser requested that headstamp. Our friend and Forum contributor Vitor Teixeira recounted that when FNM largely shut down its ammo activity, most of the records and archives were destroyed, so it is probable that we will never know the answer of “B.F.” and “A.S.C.” etc., unless someone in South Africa or Southern Africa is forthcoming with the information. It is doubtful that many there would know, either.


Good evening!
Just back from the ECRA yearly show in Holland. A real pleasure to meet again so ma


With regard to the MDRP hs, I have a French example in my collection. I also have two others that appear to be Israeli-made based on appearence of the primers and the box they came from. Does anyone have any more information on these cartridges?

Dave S

French-made MDRP

Israeli-made MDRP

Box containing MDRP cartridges

Israeli box and cartridge for comparison


Dave, you should post those other mysterious “African” NATO rounds you have, perhaps they fit this story also.


Here they are!

Cartridges are brass with a very dark extractor grove. Both cartridges have GMCS bullets - I have pulled a bullet from one with the FP hs. Bullet weight is 145gr. Case in Berdan primed. Powder is very fine ball.

Brandt et al. in their book on NATO catridges describe three similar headstamps - .308 DW, .308 VH and .308 YF.

The only information I’ve able to find is in “Small-Caliber Ammunition Identification Guide: Small-Arms Cartridges up to 15mm. DST-1160 G-514-81, Vol. I. Sept. 1981” stating that the FP hs was found “on 7.62 x 51 cartridge from Central Africa, manufacturer unknown”.

Dave S


The primer crimps and annulus color suggest Iranian manufacture to me. Just a thought…



The crimps and annulus color may suggest IRN manufacture, but I doubt it. The crimping is WAY too clean. IRN headstamp crimping is usually not that good.


I can’t believe that these are Iranian. The hs and crimping of the three Iranian cartridges I have is poor in comparison withe the FP and AR hs (see below).

Dave S