Recalled CBC 7.62x51mm ammo

Some years ago, possibly 10 or more, this ammunition was recalled from the US market by CBC and the importer. Apparently there were instances where guns were destroyed because of high pressures. Notices were printed in just about all the major gun magazines. I saved a copy from The American Rifleman and The Shotgun News but now I cannot locate either one.

Did anyone else save one of the notices? I would sure like to obtain a copy if you did.


I don’t have a copy of the actual recall notice, but this may be close to what you’re looking for

I have two similar boxes in my collection - Lot # 15-2-TRIM-1975 with a CBC 7.62 75 headstamp and Lot # 33-4-TRIM-1976 with a CBC 7.62 76 headstamp. Cartridges from these two lots have a very heady neck crimp which is not seen on Lot # 34-4-TRIM-1976 which does not have the FAMAE label. I believe that engastada is Spanish for “crimping” so Reengastada equals “re-crimped” which is consistent with the observed differences.


Dave - you could be correct on that Spanish term, “re-engastada.” The verb engastar means, among other things, “to set” as to set a jewel into its setting. So, re-engastada could well mean that they have re-set the bullet, which would involve recrimping. I know of three words used specifically for only “crimp” as it applies to bullet seating - Cierre (a closure), engarce and rebordo, depending on the country of usage. That makes me think that perhaps this has a slightly more varied meaning than just “crimp” itself, although again, that would be part of the bullet-seating process.

Perhaps one of our friends from Argentina could help us, since they are not only fluent in the language, but also in how it applies to ammunition, and probably in most of the local usages of various terms. That is important. I remember showing a picture of the label to a neighbor, fluent in Spanish at a well-educated level, and he found the usage odd, believing it meant “repacked” but saying it was an odd choice of words to say that. He knew nothing about ammunition, however, and admitted it could have other meanings.

I have not yet found my copies of the various warnings on this ammunition. I can’t, at the moment, stand and go through files quite as well as I would like. I will continue looking. One problem when you have thousands of files is trying to remember where you put it, especially something like this that involves a Hazard, a specific caliber, and two different cartridge manufacturers and two different countries. If I pulled those five files alone, they would fill almost a full file drawer. Again, I will kep looking on behalf of Phil.

John Moss

I probably don’t need to find my copy of the information on the recall of the CBC "re-engastada 7.62 x 51 mm ammunition. I just read the information on the website that Dave posted the link to, and it consists of the same factory letter that CBC sent to various ammunition industry and industry-control agencies throughout the world. What I have probably is primarily a forwarding of that same letter.

John Moss

NATO Dave & John

Dave’s link takes me to exactly what I wanted to find. Thanks a bunch.

The ammo is made in Brazil, so we can assume “reengastada” is Brazilian Portuguese with the same meaning: “re-set”.


yes, "Re-Engastada may be the same in Portuguese (Brazil) and the Spanish language, but FAMAE ( Fabrica y Maestranzas de Ejercito) is Spanish, and is the Chilean Ammo and Arms Plant…

So the ammunition could have been “reworked” in Chile to some extent …whether just “re-crimping” or “resetting the charge?”.

Has anyone checked the two types of packets ( NO FAMAE mark and FAMAE marks?) to see if the Powder load is the same, or there is some differance, etc???

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Thank you, being slow I eventually understand what it is all about…


CBC 7.62 76 Lot # 34-4-TRIM 1976 NO FAMAE label
No case mouth crimp - bullet pulls very easily
Bullet 145gr GM FMJ BT
Powder 45.6gr ball

CBC 7.62 76 Lot # 15-2-TRIM 1975 FAMAE label
Heavy case mouth crimp - bullet more difficult to pull
Bullet 145gr GM FMJ BT
Powder 41.7gr stick

CBC 7.62 76 Lot # 15-2-TRIM 1976 FAMAE label
Heavy case mouth crimp - bullet more difficult to pull
Bullet 144gr GM FMJ BT
Powder 41.9gr stick

Most obvious difference in the boxes with FAMAE label is the the casemout crimp and change from ball to stick powder.

NAT0 Dave

Without going into forbidden territory, it is obvious from the “loading” data that the Tubular grain Powder load of the “re-engastada” Marked packets is a more “regular” load for the 7,62 cartridge. ( max. Load of a correct Tubular grain Powder is about 43-45 grains…, and that is looking at what is normally commercially available to handloaders for high velocity Load density…so a 41.xx grain load is very mild indeed. Even if the Powder is un-identified…

The Ball Powder ( one usually needs more than Tubular to give the same function results) is obviously the culprit in the "bad Loads " episode…as well as the Light Bullet Pull ( ammo falls apart readily.) But the 45.xx grains does seem a bit excessive, even for Ball Powder… Also it could be the “Wrong” Powder…one velocity Ball Powder looks much like another, whereas Tubular Powder is more obvious in its grain size differances…at least between the Slow, Medium and Fast varieties. Of course one cannot rely simply on Powder grain size to do other than a general distinction…correct Type ID is almost impossible without extensive Chemical and Physical Testing, and even then “Lot name” ID is still almost Impossible.

Doc AV
A V Ballistics.

Doc - if I am reading you correctly, you attribute the cartridge problems to the ammunition that was in the original, not re-labeled CBC box, since that is the ammunition with the ball powder. (“The ball powder…is obviously the culprit in the “bad loads” episode.”) Yet, all the warnings concern the ammo from FAMAE with their “Reengastada” over-label. How is that explained? Also, why would light bullet pull raise pressures to the point of blowing up guns? I don’t personally know any reloaders off hand that use more than a friction crimp in bottle-necked rifle rounds (I know there are some - Lee sells their “factory crimp” dies, but there are two totally different viewpoints on the value of those). Uneven bullet pull affects accuracy and I would think that heavier bullet pull would raise pressures, not lower them. Am I confused? Certainly, we all know that I often am!

John Moss

Like John, I’m confused by Doc’s posting! The warnings concern ammunition in re-labeled boxes. Cartridges from these boxes are loaded with stick (tubular) powder. In contrast, cartridges from CBC boxes not re-labled are loaded with ball powder. I don’t see how it’s possibleto draw the conclusion that the ball powder is the issue - am I missing something?

With regard to powder loads, I looked at a number of cartridges in my pulled collection - the weights for stick (tubular) powder ranged from 41.7 to 44.5gr (sample size = 6) while the range for ball powder was 41.1 to 45.6 (sample size = 8). Interestingly, the low stick and high ball weights were the CBC rounds in question. All cartridges were M80 ball rounds or equivalent. To me this demostrates that there isn’t a “regular load” for 7.62mm cartridges - it depends on the manufacturer and their source of powder. This is something we will not know unless we get access to detailed factory loading cards.


Now I am confused…I assumed(asses braying loudly here) that the straight ball CBC ammo was the “bad lot”…and the question was who did the “re-engastada”.

On reflection, maybe the FAMAE ( Chilean) ammo was the “bad ammo” because of (a) the variable Tubular Powder loads, and (b) the heavy crimping (Thanks, JM).

And why would FAMAE be “reworking” CBC ammo, unless (a) it was defective to start with, or (b) they bought the cases from CBC, and simply Loaded them in Chile, stuffing up the loading themselves, and compounding the problem with the heavy crimp?

Yes, correctly, unless we examine Factory production records of the Lots in question, we will never know for sure…Which lots of “CBC” was recalled? all of it by year alone, or the FAMAE packets, or what??? Some recalls (any Industry) suffer from the “Scattergun approach” ( or NECAT OMNES) method, ‘’'get it all off the market, good or bad as it may be."

An interesting detective work…anybody got any Forensic contacts in Chile? (all mine are in Argentina).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Doc’s latest post touches on something that had occurred to me concerning this thread. In Spanish the prefix “re” doesn’t necessarily mean something done again but can also signify an emphatic act; thus “reengastada” could (conceivably) mean “heavily crimped” rather than “re-crimped.” So perhaps the loaders at FAMAE did purchase CBC brass, load it with stick propellant and then apply a really heavy crimp for reasons evidently unknown. Jack

Phil, this is the CBC recall notice you mentioned above (this one is dated 1992):


The spanish word Reengastada (with re repetitive or intensification prefix) is rarely used in relation to ammunition but it means “to set or fit one thing [projectile] into another [case] for a second time”. Other synonims are [i]encajar /i or encastrar (reencastrar) which have identical translations. All these words originates from latin word Incastrāre.

This was done by FAMAE of Chile at least between 1982 and 1984 with CBC ammuntion from years 1975, 1977 and 1979.

To get 130,000 PSI chamber pressure, I’d think that it would have been likely that a heavy charge of very fast burning rate propellant (maybe a pistol or shotgun powder) was loaded instead of a rifle propellant by mistake. I have somewhere a test report on attempts at Colt to blow up an M16 using Bullseye (I think), and peak chamber pressures of about 200,000 psi were measured. Seems I remember that the M16 held together even at those pressures.

fede - thanks a lot for the scan of of CBC warning. I have a couple of different warnings that I cut out of different publications and filed somewhere but I still have not found them.

Dear friends from IAA.
My friend Claudio told me about this discussion and asked me to write some conclusions we have had related to this ammo. First of all, It is right to include that Chile decided or was forced to buy ammo in foreign countries because of the U.S prohibition to buy any weapons or ammo from other countries. (that embargo was known as: Enmienda Kennedy, C. 1976). Claudio once told me that he came across a brazilian box of this ammo that had a label on it with the word: “reengastada”, according to our information these rounds were dismantled and reloaded with 41,8 grains using tubular gunpowder (originally they had 45,6 grains loads of spherical gunpowder). In the early 90’s some amounts of these rounds were sold as a surplus and caused serious accidents while shooting, strangely the Brazilian company was blamed for this, not Famae. In fact CBC assumed the responsability and asked to give them back. It is known certain lots with this problem.

• Lote 2-1.TRIM.1975 (FAMAE REENGASTADA 1983)
• Lote.19-3.TRIM.1975 (FAMAE REENGASTADA 1984)
• Lote.19-A 3.TRIM.1975 (FAMAE REENGASTADA 1984)
• Lote.56-2.TRIM.1979 (FAMAE REENGASTADA 1984)

Even today there is no clear if these problems affected the “reengastadas” or CBC 1975 original loads only. The question is: Why did Famae decide to “reengastar” only some lots of this ammo applying a crimp on the case? Did they have loads problems or were the bullets getting loose?
Hope It helps a bit.- Yours, Adolfo