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.
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 (AFTE.com)
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,
CARTOUCHERIE DE BISCHWEILER : French - from 1918 - see BISCHWEILER
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
HWM : Belgian - by or for HARALD WOLF MASTERGUNWORKS ??
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 "AC” 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 (offset): German - RHEINISCH-WESTFÄLISCHE SPRENGSTOFF AG
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
SFM * GG * : French : Produced by SOCIETE FRANCAISE DES MUNITIONS DE
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’.
Thanks to all the (many) people who contributed to this information.
Note - Photographic Flash primers are shown in the posts below: