Rws 32 s&w

Here’s a RWS 32 S&W. rws%2032%20Sw%20HS

Does the large dot have any significance? It appears to be much deeper than the rest of the headstamp. (after market alteration?)


On RWS and Geco autopistol cartridges, the dot pattern on the headstamp appears to be an indication of the date of manufacture, or at least the general period of manufacturer, but I have no idea if this applies ro revolver ammunition.


In my opinion, that dot does not resemble either in placement, size, or quality of application to the Geco/RWS dot’s, perhaps a date code or loading line code, that appear from one to four places on some headstamps. I know them primarily from pistol cartridges.

That dot on the pictured .32 revolver cartridge looks to me like it could have been caused by a firing pin strike in a revolver badly out of time or where there was either a failure of the hand to effect full cylinder rotation for the firing of the round, or a faulty cylinder bolt or badly worn cylinder-blot slot in the cylinder, that allowed the cylinder to over-rotate, letting the hammer (or firing pin) strike the edge of an out-of-line cartridge.

I have seen this many times, and in fact, in one of my own SAA Colt Revolvers during a CAS match, when a burred, worn cylinder-bolt slot allow “skipping” and caused several misfires before the problem was diagnosed. In that case, it required a new cylinder, as the bolt slot was too deformed for repair.

It could also just be damage caused to the head during the manufacturing process, but I find that less likely than the above possible causes. There may be other ways this could have occurred that I have simply ignorant of, as well, I suppose.

John Moss

Lew and John, thanks for the replies.

I also thought the dot could have been post manufacture. A firing pin strike could explain that. I would have though a firing pin would have created more of a crater type indent with case material being pushed out around the edges of the impact.


Rimfire - your suggestion about the cratering effect of firing pin indentations is not unfounded. The often have the effect that you describe. However, studying firing pin indentations on primer cups often reveals simple indentations, without the raised edges, and the reverse, as you describe, as well. Brass cases are usually harder material than that of primer cups, and perhaps would not be so prone to the crater effect. I could be very wrong about that, as I am not a very technically-minded person, but as I recall, my own experience with the problem of over or under cylinder rotation due to mechanical problems involved a Single Action Army Colt, which even when tuned for competition shooting (lighter hammer drop included), has a relatively heavy firing-pin impact. I don’t recall any raised edges (cratering) of note on the cartridge cases involved, but even if that memory is correct, it cannot cover all circumstances.

I think your comment is interesting and certainly should be considered. The “dot” on the headstamp in question could well have been caused by something else. Faulty cylinder rotation is only one possible answer, although I cannot think, of hand, of any other, which of itself, means nothing. My thought processes when it comes to tech stuff are not exactly perfect (is THAT the understatement of the year? :-) ).

Thanks for your thoughts on it.


Perhaps it was fired in a 32 rimfire revolver? I’ve never seen one IRL, so can’t say if they use a firing “bar” (like most 22LR) or a pin.


I’m sure my revolver shooting experience is much less than yours. I guess I’ve been fortunate to never have had an indexing issue. I too don’t claim an expert in that area, so as of now I guess a firing pin strike would probably be the most logical explanation.

With old cartridges one can only imagine the history they’ve seen and what they’ve been through.

Thanks again,