South African "WA" headstamp 7.62 x 51

I acquired a fired South African made 7.62 x 51 Case headstamped “WA 80 7,62 R1M1”. What company used the maker’s mark “WA”?

Thanks for any info.

It is actually a regular PMP “A” headstamp with an added “W”. It was added to show some change in manufacturing, the “Walter” process, I believe.

Pray tell, what is the “Walter” process??? ( is it the drawing of the case from a wire slug/cupped plug of brass???)

Doc AV

I do not know, but I recall it being described as such. I hope someone with full info will post.

“W” standing for “Walter process” is a known fact in South Africa. Unfortunately nobody I contacted could tell what that exactly is. Maybe better luck here on the forum.


There is a metal drilling and cutting company in Germany, maybe they know?
Walter AG
Derendinger Str. 53
72072 Tübingen
Tel.: +49 (0) 7071-701-0
Fax: +49 (0) 7071-701-212

The information I have is that the Walter process eliminated one stage from the draw process.


There are south-african “LA” headstamps existing too. Do somebody know the meaning of the L?
Maybe it’s an abbrevation like the W.

The L stands for Luther.


Do you know the speciality of the Luther process?

This all dates from a time when we were fighting a war and most of this type of information was “secret” and even if it was not secret, due to the mind set about security, it was not well known or general knowledge. Although we now have a new government, most of this stuff was developed to kill them & their friends so it is now an embarrassing situation, & still the info has not all come out.

Now that you have the background, what I am writing here cannot be accepted as fact, only as what has been pieced together.

WA = Walter Annex or plant. Another plant was attached to PMP’s original plant in Pretoria West, on the same site. Not just another production line, a whole plant. Named after Allen Walter an ex-employee at PMP who developed the Walter process, which cut down the number of draw stages needed to produce a case. I think the plant was named in his honour, but all plants used his process, not just this one, it was just named after him.

LA = Luther Annex or plant. Where the Walter plant was primarily for military production, the Luther plant was more for commercial ammo production, but they did make military ammo when there was a need. Fanie Luther was the chap it was named after, also an ex-employee at PMP. Fanie is an abbreviation of Stefanus. Again, this plant did not do anything special that he developed, only named after him.

Hope this helps


Thanks for this information.


I asked this question in email to friends in RSA some time ago, and the last answer is the one I got, and makes the most sense - a different factory would need to be recorded in some way on the headstamp. It was no real secret that PMP expanded quite a bit from the old “South African Mint” days.

John Moss

@Will: Thanks a lot for this helpful information.

Since a lot of that 1975-85 7,62 is sold as training ammo for hunters here in Europe, it is good to know how to tell the hs’ apart, thanks for the info.

Thanks for the info everyone.

How is the accuracy and ballistics of R1M1 ammo?
I have some with B81, some with A80 and some with WA80 headstamps.

B81 is in my experience on par with any other good quality (say, DAG, Hirtenberger) 7.62 mm NATO surplus. In my experience, these cartridges are as good as commercial FMJ offerings like Sellier & Bellot. Functioning in my HK SL7 is flawless, which does not say much, because it can handle almost everything.

MEN and FN (in my limited experience) are a little better (precision-wise), but not much.
Keep in mind, we are talking not of high grade Match ammunition, but ordinary commercial quality.

Storage conditions of different surplus offerings may vary a lot and this will show up in the shooting results.

My experience is that B81 has better accuracy than WA80 and A80 headstamped ammo has.