Primer Markings

These seem to be a popular topic at present, so perhaps the following (from my database) in one place may be useful (Updated 10Dec2020):

The following primer markings are from all over the world. Some are known to have been used on European Sporting cartridges (note primers shown are NOT to scale) (NPA = No photographic Picture Available):

+++++++++++++Non-Text Primer Symbols ++++++++++++++++++++

Acorn : German - RWS (DAG - also used on RF)

Arrowhead (Delta V) : Bulgarian - unknown company

Circle (small) : Likely Italian ? - indicating dummy primer on 1950’s Italian 303

Circle (deep ring) : US - Winchester No. 2 1/2 W Experimental primer as indicated
by the ring c1920’s-30’s. Looks similar to Sinoxid type (below).

Circle (large) : German - RWS indicating Sinoxid primed (handgun ammo).

Circle (two part) - Remington for Etronix electric primer.

Circle (incomplete) : German - RWS No VI - this is a Sinoxid “protected” Shotshell
primer produced in the 1960’s, also used by Raufoss.

Crescent : French - Produced by SOCIETE FRANCAISE DES MUNITIONS DE

Cross (Swiss Cross) : Swiss - Produced by Government Arsenals Eidgenossisches
Munitionsfabrik, ALTDORF and THUN. Used from 1919-1942.

Diamond/ 4 sided star/ Kite : Finnish - Vihtavuori Oy,
Possibly also Rheinisch Mettallwaren u Maschinenfabrik, Sömmerda
(RM-S : Germany) as this became the Rheinmetall Logo.

Dots (4 dots in rectangle) : Austrian ? - on Springer’s Erben Wien shotshells

Dots (4 dots in rectangle) : ? of unknown meaning on DWM primers - Early 1960’s
DWM 5.6x52R Likely post production marks ??

Eagle (in circle) : German - Braun & Bloem trademark registered in 1852.
Shotshell primer

Egyptian symbol : Likely Egyptian - on shotshell primers, unidentified symbol

Grenade (in circle) : Italian - likely Fiocchi - on lubricating cartridge c1956
See S.U.R. primer which also has grenade symbol.

Horseshoe : German - the Horseshoe was a trademark of the Munitions-Werke
Schönebeck (MWS) but they never produced primers. Allendorf was
the main supplier of primers to MWS and may well have produced
the copper Horseshoe primer used by MWS and later S&B.

Horseshoe with curly ends : Likely Czech - Known on “SB.P” Revolver cartridges.
This symbol could represent an elaborate Horseshoe
or possibly the Omega symbol.

Leaf (Walnut) : German - later Gustav Genschow (GECO). NPA

Leaves (Walnut with Acorns -circle) : German : Originally Badische Munitionfabrik
Later used by GUSTAV GENSCHOW (GECO) as one of their company
symbols. Also found on other companies cartridges, including “L” hs
believed produced by LIGNOSE.

Omega symbol : Unknown but on SFM “G.*” hs revolver ammunition.

Oval (large wide ‘O’) : Brazilian -used on CBC’s ammo indicates a Mil-Spec primer.

Oval with sight lines : South African (?) : By/for PMP, Pretoria

π (Pi Symbol) : - ? unknown on 11mm Montenegrin.
May actually represent a gate and so could be Nordiska
Metallverken or Svenska Metallverken

Rabbit : Likely Romanian - used on shotshells produced by Factory No. 2
(Uzina 2) in Stalin City in 1950’s.

SPADE (copper & brass) : Finnish - Vihtavuori Oy. Found mainly on 12x44R with various hs incl: “MASENG”, "HAGEN 12 * " and other cases 10.2x57R LV with “HAGEN 10-2” hs. Note that CARTOUCHERIE FRANCAISE used a spade symbol on Rimfire ammunition for export. [Moss] ACE in Leeds, had primer cups embossed with the outline of a Spade. Recently used by ZERO of England.

Star (small off-set 6-point star) : Danish - Produced by Dansk Ammunitionsfabrik

Star (6 radial lines around faint circle) : Polish - on “W.S.M.” shotshell

Star (Large 5pt): US - Star Reloads, Indianapolis, Illinois. Primers produced by ??

Stars (5 in circle) : Unknown on Shotshell with "10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * " hs

V (truncated V with flat bottom -looks like a “U”) : Brazilian - CBC Magtech.

V (two inclined lines) : Argentian - reloaded by “3 Grillitos” (3 Little Crickets) ()

“Waffle” primer : UK - National Arms & Ammunition Co (N.A.& A. Co)

Text/Number based Primer Symbols ++++++++++++++++++++

1 (possible I) : French ? - Likely Cartoucherie Anderlecht on DIANE shotshell

3 B (possible Russian symbols) : Likely Polish - on “Miedziankit” shotshell which is
a Polish explosive.

7 (serifs, +dots) : Likely US - only on Austin Cartridge Company (A.C.Co) Shotshells

A (small, offset) : US - CCI on improved primers eg on Speer Gold Dot (

A (large) : US - Alcan - known on S&W cartridges.

A : Czech - Sellier & Bellot pre-WW2. Significance of the ‘A’ is not known. NPA

AB or BA (monogram) : French - monogram originally Benjamin Albert before 1905
Taken over by Albert-Barnier post 1926 which kept the trademark

AMINOX : (as in "GG * AMINOX * ") : French - SFM : Post WW2

ATS : French - Atelier de Construction de Tarbes, Tarbes also used on ATE cases
Atelier de Construction de Toulouse, Toulouse, France

B (small, offset) : US - CCI marks its BR-2 and BR-4 primers with a small “B”.
Small B known on Norma cases in 1981, Norma uses CCI primers
See also Atzl, Scheiring. Small “B” primer on 7x67 Leuven (W115)

B (large serifs) : ? - on WW1 8mm Mauser, the “B” means Beschuß. (proof).

B (small serifs) : English ? - on Nobel Ballistite shotshell (B=Ballistite or proof ?)

B (others ?) : “B” primer is known to represent Bofors (Reuter). NPA
US : Manufactured for Cor-Bon by Federal and “B” stands for bench rest. NPA

BAILEY’S PATENT GAS CHECK : UL - F.Joyce & Co (shotshell primers see FJ
Bailey’s primer patent of 1882 (c1882-1888),

BISCHWEILER : German/French - Patronenhülsen- Fabrik Bischweiler,
Walbinger Meuschel & Co". In various syntax. Some with “GB”
Manufacturer of the brand: J.Gévelot (see “GJ”).

C (large) : Brazilian - on CBC Magtech and other CBC cases

CA (monogram) : French - Cartoucherie Anderlecht on DIANE shotshell c1893-05
Diane was a trademark of S.A. Anderlecht,


CBC (rotated tri-spaced) : Brazilian - on CBC Shotshells

CD : French - Chaudun & Deriviere (Cf. “GD”)

C F (Vertical) : US - CCI Blazer : CF = “Clean Fire”

C. F PARIS (with or without a star or A or B at top or C on RHS) :
French - Cartoucherie Francaise. 1930’s codes ?

Cie Fse MUNITIONS : French - on “Sté Française des Munitions” shotshells
See also : Sté des MUNITIONS

C R (vertical) : Brazilian - on CBC Magtech CR = “Clean Range”

D : US - Remington, on 30-06 indicating “Dummy” cartridges

D (large), D * * * : Likely French - D = Devilliers on Mock-Duel cartridges.

DA (offset) : Danish - believd to be Dansk Ammunitionsfabrik - see also “Star” .

D.A.G. : German - DAG (RWS)

DIANE (+stars + symbol) German - symbol indicates Oberschlesische AG
Note Diane was a trademark of S.A. Anderlecht,

E (offset right) : US - Precision Ammunition = Fire Frangible

ELEY (ELEY____) : English - Eley & Co - on Shotshell primers

FJ : UK - F. (Fredrick) Joyce & Co , London , operated from 1820 to 1908.

F.N.C.M (+star +symbol) : Brazilian - Fabrica Nacional de Cartuchos e Munições
From c1926-1936 when taken over by CBC -Shotshell primer.

G : French - An early product of GEVELOT, use of which is known to have been
discontinued by 1875.

GD : French - Gaupillat & Delion (?) See Gaupillat.

GECO *, GECO * D * : German - Gustav Genshow & Co,Shotshell primer post 1919

GEVELOT * GG * : French : SFM on large rimmed primers c1924
GEVELOT ∆ GG ∆ : French : SFM on large rimmed Shotshell primers, “∆” = ??
Primers known with small letters indicating years. C,G,K,L,M,N,O,R
Date code systems were used by Gevelot and other French Companies
Re-used by Cartoucherie de Bischwiller starting 1923, also CF post WW1:
See : Primer Markings - #55 by WBD

GFL (monogram) : Italian - Fiocchi trademark (GFL=Givlio Fiocchi Lecco) see SUR

GG (monogram) : French - SFM)

GJ (Raised) : French - GEVELOT, Jules c1845-1885 [see FR105]

GYTTORP : Swedish - Shotshells have been produced in Gyttorp since 1908 under the brand Gyttorp. The production was started by Gyttorps Sprängämnes AB but currently by the company Gyttorp AB. Primers used by Nitedals and others.

H (or symbol?) : Bulgarian ? - unknown company

H (elaborate) : Austrian ? - Likely Hirtenberger post WW2 on ÖJP shotshells

H * * * : Austrian - likely Hirtenberger. Austrian shotshell - Prob cWW1 (6-pt stars)

HEOPX ∆ symbol (best quess at characters syntax) : Russian - Murom old
trademark symbol registered in 1963. On Russian Azot Shotshells

H F (vertical) : US Remington : HF = “Heavy-metal Free”

HP * * : Austrian - by PATRONENFABRIK HIRTENBERG on Shotshell primers.
Used by other companies including Nitedals. Likely post WW2.

HUNGAROXID - Likely Hungarian - Nitrokémia/NIKE-Fiocchi/Haltech companies.
Unknown tradename on Hungarian Shotshell primer - see also NONOXID


I (large capital ) : ? for IMPALA by ?

ICI (monogram) : UK - Imperial Chemical Industries on Kynoch hs used xx-yy ?

IPM (with “AC") : Portuguese - Industria Portuguese de Municiones (IPM). 2004+
The "A
C” evidently indicates the case was made for Angola.

K (in offset circle) : Likely German on KNIPP cartridge primers (see KNIPP),
“K” primers known by 1984.

K (large letter with serifs) : Likely German - for KLAUS by ?

KC (in shield) : Austrian - Keller & Co - on shotshell primer

K.R.A. R. : German - For Vereinigte Köln-Rottweiler Pulverfabriken, AG Rottweil,
K.R.P. R Likely by Bischweiler - Shotshell primers 1890+

L (large) : Likely German : On 11.5x50R Werder with GECADO * " hs. 8x72R,
9.3x72R S&S (B.Stahl) 9.3x72R (Likely Lignose but poss Lindener)

L : (elaborate stylised) - Czech For LIBRA (Czech) being their registered trademark.

L F (vertical) : US Remington cartridges : L F = “Lead Free” primers

L L L (triple 'L’s radially 120° apart) sometimes with stars between and possibly an
‘A’ in the center as per the Lignose Trademark.
German - Lignose AG on Shotshells

M (in part circle) : Czech - Produced by ZBROJOVKA BRNO c1928-1934.

MA : Austrian - Mandl. NPA.

MG * * * (as M.G. with stars and sometimes “.S.”) : French : Marcel Gaupillat & Co
Can have date letters

MGC P (as M.G.C curl P curl) : French : Marcel Gaupillat & Co, Paris, 1891-c1930

MGM ooo : French - Manufacture Générale de Munitions.
c1935-1978 shotshell primers.

m|m : German - Represents Müller Munition, produced in the 2010’s by ?

MÓ : Likely Hungarian - Jagdpatronen-, Zündhütchen- und
Metallwarenfabruk AG á Magyarovar (Hungarian Hirtenberger factory)
on Hubertus Shotshell by them, also on 22 LR

M&S : German - Mayer & Sohn : early-mid 1980’s. Produced by ?

N : Uss - used by the Federal CC (NPA). N indicates “Non-toxic” primer.

N (in shield) : German : Produced by RWS from c1928 till approx WW2 on SINOXID (patented corrosion free primers). The ‘N’ stands for the RWS Nürnberg factory. RWS supplied primers to many other cartridge manufactures and that is why these can be found on GECADO, M+FA, DWM and other manufacturers cases (although reloads also exist of course).

NC - See “NG”

NG (small offset) : unknown ? on Russian BAIKAL shotshells. Possibly Russian ?
Sometimes inverted and mistaken for “NC”

NOC : Italian by LMI S.p.A. likely Italian on SMI Shotshells

NONOXID : Likely Hungarian - Nitrokémia/NIKE-Fiocchi/Haltech companies
- Unknown tradename on Hungarian Shotshell primer - see HUNGAROXID

NP (monogram) : Swedish/Norwegian : Produced likely post WW2 till c1990 for
NORMA PROJEKTILFABRIK. Used only by factory indicating Norma loads.

NR (as >N-R< or >>N-R>>) Czech -NEROXIN Brand of non-rusting primer made by
Sellier & Bellot. “NR” stands for Nerezavějící (rustproof). Patented 1933.

O : US - Remington - used on cWW2 US mil experimentals and also reloads.
See also the newer oval “O” symbol used by CBC (Mil-Spec primer).

ORBEA ● (rotated) : Spanish - likely Hijos de Orbea, Spain on Shotshell primers

P, P (in circle) : US - on Peters primers prior to 1960

PH : Likely German - for/by Pulverfabrik Hasloch< Maine

POLOXID ● - Polish : PRONIT Chemical Factory, Pionki - used PAWAM hs
Tradenames on shotshells. Used by others eg. Gyttorp

R (plain centered & serifs centered) : US - Remington - known on 30-06
(serifs centered) known on Robin Hood Shotshells

R (serifs centered) : UK - Kynoch - indicating the use of “Rifleite” powder loading.

R (small offset), R1 : Norwegian - Produced by Government arsenal RAUFOSS

R (in shield) : German - Produced by RWS from 1905 till 1925.

REY (as in “REY ● REY ●”) : Likely French for Rey Freres, Nimes . Shotshell pr.

RN : Norwegian - Produced by Government arsenal RAUFOSS AMMUNISJONSFABRIKKER to be used on reloaded sporting cases to indicate genuine factory loadings. RN = Raufoss/Norma (see RANO)

RR (ornate monogram) : unknown - likely German on Shotshell primer
Used on Munitionswerke Schonbeck (MWS) shotshell

RS (or Russian equivalent) Unclear & unknown -likely Russian on Azot Shotshells

RWS N (N at bottom) : Both used by RWS, with “N” = early, without in 1963.

S (Small offset) : Likely German - RWS? : On 8x68RS expt likely post 2000

S (Large centered, plain or with serifs in 4 different sizes): US - Savage Arms
in the 1900-1927 period,

S B, SB * * * * : German - Sellier & Bellot, Schönebeck - on Shotshell primers

SBP * * * : Czech - Sellier & Bellot, Prague - on Shotshell primer

CHASSE. On Shotshell primers, revolver and tool ammunition.

SINCORRO : German - rust-free primer trademark used by VEB Sprengstoffwerk,
(poss also S&B, Schönebeck) 1951-1990 period. Shotshell primers.

SINOXID : German - RWS post-1928

SK (in circle with radial lines) : Austrian : (Seraphin) Keller & Co -poss also “K&C”

S K D (rotated tri-spaced) : German - Selve-Kronbiegel-Dornheim AG, Sömmerda

SM : Swedish - (Offset) SVENSKA METALLVERKEN post-WW2 till c1965.
Small and large text variations.

S M : German - SM Chemnitzer Sportwaffen und Munitionsfabrik

SMITH’S PATENT : UK - Samuel Smith British Patent 5978 of 1830

SP [with stars] : German - S&B Schönebeck for Scorzato-Parietti, Argentina
CENTRAL & CALIBRE shotshells

Sté des MUNITIONS : French - on “Sté Française des Munitions” shotshells
See also : Cie Fse MUNITIONS

SUPER X (monogram) : US - Western Cartridge Co., - poss use of RF cartridge

S.U.R. (+ grenade symbol) : Italian - Fiocchi - used on Shotshells.
“S.U.R.” = “Sine Ulla Rosione” = Fiocchi trademark = ‘without any burning’.

T3 monogram : Czech - Produced by POVASKE STOJARNE (PS) c1945-1954. Primer is generally referred to as the “T3” the significance of which indicates the corrosion free properties of the primer. SBP had it’s own NEROXIN type.

TB : Likely Swiss - used on early Schmidt-Jung cartridges - poss also “FB”

Tell (repeated 4 times) : Unknown on “M+FA” shotshells - likely Swiss.
“Tell” probably refers to “Wilhelm Tell” the fictious Swiss marksman.
This is a brandname used by several companies: Venus Waffenwerk,
Sauer, Genscow and possibly M+F.

TESCO : German - Teschner-Collath on large rimmed primers from c1924

U : German: - unconfirmed by H.Utendoerffer-RWS until 1905. NPA

U (in shield) : Germa - RWS registered in Germany in 1929.

U, U (underlined : US - On UMC primers prior to 1911 & Remington later.

US, US monogram, (both also underlined) : US - United States Cartridge Company
(USC Co.) before 1938 on most calibers including European Sporting.
Also found on Savage ammo as USC CO made ammo for Savage Arms:

V : Czech - Sellier & Bellot from 1935-cWW2. V believed represents Vlasim factory.

V V (double opposed V’s and offset-opposed V’s) : Brazilian - CBC

VIS : Italian : Leon Beaux

VIS NOX : Italian : Leon Beaux (corrosion free)

VP (monogram) : ? Vapex (by ?) - Used on a variety of handgun cases (WIN, FC)

W, W (in circle), W (using 2 'v’s), W (underlined) : US - Winchester Repeating
Arms Co, typically on “W.R.A.Co.”. Also as a “protected” primer - see image.

W : French - Gaupillat - W primers were evidently sold at Gunther & Co
in 1852-1862. NPA

W&C. W : German - Wolff & Co, Walsrode - on shotshell primers likely made by
Bischweiler for Wolff. Shotshells from Wolff Walsrode with
the SFM primer also likely made by Bischweiler

W.M.&C. PATENT ZUNDER D.R.P. ●183353● : German - Max Walbinger
Meuschel & Co Patented 1905

W.R.A Co. : US - Winchester (as in “WRA Co NEW No4”) on shotshell primer.

Z (in circle) : Czech - Produced by ZBROJOVKA BRNO c1928-WW2.

Z (in circle -with line thru Z) : Scandinavian or poss Czech - Used on “DPI” hs
Danish Shotshell = “Dansk Patron Industri” = plastic shotshells
from 1949-1952 and also on GYTTORP of Sweden shotshells,

ZL : Swiss - where ZL is a trademark and represents ‘Zündhütchen Lienhard’.
Not Zimmermann.

Thanks to all the (many) people who contributed to this information.

Note - Photographic Flash primers are shown in the posts below:


This may be tangential rather than an addition, but I think that in the case of US commercial centerfire calibers there is a fairly close correlation between the adoption of smokeless powder and appearance of the lettered primer. The American makers didn’t like people handloading smokeless powder and blowing something up, and quickly became anti-handloading.

I think that marking the primers perhaps helped ID handloads, especially if marked primers weren’t offered for handloading. Of course, some determined enthusiast could perhaps get the proper primer and destroy old Betsy, but unmarked or wrongly marked primers might have helped stay the hand of the handloader. Or at least maybe make him a bit more careful. Jack

That’s an interesting observation Jack !

I know that Norma only used their “NP” primer for factory loads - didn’t sell it to the public. Especially when they began to sell cases as they would be able to determine whether a particular cartridge was their own load or someone else’s reload. This was from c1947 to c1990 so way after when you are talking about in the USA.

Brad, excellent work, thank you very much for sharing.

I can confirm that “A (Large)” is Alcan, “VV (double opposed v’s)” is CBC, and “VP (monogram)” is Vapex. US primers marked “0” are Remington made.

A distinct variation of the CBC “VV” marking is also found in Argentine made cartridges by FLB: New Argentine 7.62x51 and 9x19 cartridges by FLB

It is worth mentioning that any company is able to stamp a desired mark on the primer cup during the seating operation, which means that not all primers with special markings are contract made. In the early 2000’s, this system was implemented in Argentina for commercial reloaders and I was lucky to be in charge of the primer marking design. Back then, I didn’t know how to use Photoshop, so I draw all the markings using Microsoft Paint! You can see an example in the last post of this thread: Argentine 45 ACP Blank



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Impressive work, Brad!
Thank you for sharing.

Primer marking M in circle:
Municije, Bratislava from 1928 1934 ( originaly JR Jiri Roth), bought out by ZB, 1934-35, Factory moved from Bratislava to Povaske Bystrica, ( Factory Povaske Strojarne). Primer mark changed from Circle M to fullcircle Z ( the
ZB cartridge trademark). No ammo was actually made at Brno.

Doc AV

Doc, my understanding is that:

Prior to WW2 the Czech Government controlled all arms and ammunition manufacture under the title Zbrojovka Brno (Brno Arms Factory). Upon the government take-over of the ex J.Roth Bratislava factory in 1928 (see: “J.Roth”), the company became known as the “Československé muniční a kovodělné závody a. s., Bratislava.” but was under the control of Zbrojovka Brno.

This produced both military and sporting ammunition using a hs monogram consisting of an “M in a circle” which was used from 1928-1934. Primers are known on their sporting calibers with “Z” in a circle but these could be reloads.

In June 1934, the Bratislava factory was closed for political reasons (too close to the border) and a new factory was set up by Brno, “Zbrojovka Brno, AS, zavod II Povazska Bystrica” at Bystrica in Slovakia on 6 June 1934. This factory produced both military and sporting ammunition using a “Z” hs. A ‘Z’ in a circle has been also been used in the hs, but is rare (see images). The trademark “Z inside rifled barrel bore” (see image) was registered by “Zbrojovka Brno, a. s.”. On June 19, 1935.

ie Still under the management of Zbrojovka Brno.
This information comes from Czech articles on the subject.
Povaske Strojarne was post-WW2.

Thanks for the confirmations and additional info, Fede.

Great information! THANKS Brad & very neat Fede.

Hi, i found a marking “Pa(ris)” “C(.F)” one the primer for 35 mm case [FR signal ammo from 20’s - export to PL], marking looks like a typical - but font is small. I am looking for confirmation whether I made the drawing correctly.


I found a photo from 25mm: C.F and “star” ?


Yes, that C.F PARIS primer looks the same as the one shown in the original post above. I have amended the original text. Thanks

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In the case of Winchester, they did offer marked primers to reloaders (I have several boxes of such) and the stamped primer did come about with the switch to smokeless. Primer packages for smokeless are labeled “Marked W”. Can’t speak to other manufacturers.

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Are these copper or brass

Are these copper or brass ??

The #4 are copper. The #3 is sealed, but I suspect they are brass since that was the usual for smokeless. I’ve included a photo of the #4 and also photos of a #2 1/2 W and #5 W that are open, in order. Hope this is helpful.

These are from Finland.
I guess the one with the "spade"is the one mentioned on Maseng and Hagen 12mm,I have seen them on Hagens.(reload).


Here’s a VICTOR primer. I know nothing about it, primers are not my thing.
victor primer
victor primer 2


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Owl, that is really useful information which answers a few questions about primer markings but raises others !

I assume that as well as gunpowder, Vihtavuori Oy produced these primers themselves (?) but no longer produces primers anymore (as part of the NAMMO group) ?

If so, that would explain the origin of the “Spade” primers and the Diamond/ 4 sided star primer (also shown at the top of this post). However, that last symbol is also one used by Rheinmetal (RMM/RM-S) logo. So were these produced for Rheinmetal or someone else or was this their own independent symbol having nothing todo with Rheinmetal?

Also does “ruostattamattomia haulikon nalleja” actually mean “stainless shotgun balls” ??

Great info !!Always thought the ctgs with the w impresed primer were only factory made.
Anyhow these primers must be around 100 years old or more…
Thanks again

Thanks for showing that :VICTOR" primer Paul - I had not seen that before so can’t provide any info either.

Sorry,but I have no answers to any of your questions…🙊