RSA 9mm Contract?


At SLICS I got a 9x19 made in South Africa (GM, brass case and primer), with a PMP M1A5 03 headstamp. Was this for South African use, or a specific export contract?


This ammo (a few boxes) was “found” in RSA. The format of the headstamp and both the size and the label of the box does not comply with any military or police standard in SA. The conclusion is that it was probably the left over from an unknown export contract. It could also have been the residue of a bid on a contract that PMP did not win. Typically, the bidder will submit 1000 or 2000 or more rounds of loaded ammunition as part of a competitive bid for the buyer to test and qualify that the ammunition meets the standard of the contract. This may have been left overs from a contract bid that PMP didn’t win, or perhaps did win but the headstamp on the production contract may have been changed.

It is interesting that the headstamp uses the RSA description of the case design. M5A1, normally shown on RSA government cartridges as simply “51” on the headstamp and the caliber is not shown on 9mm ammunition. I can’t explain why this designation occurs on this headstamp.

When I get time I will post a photo of the box. It is a 50 round box with a black & white label that has no more data than the headstamp.