Spanish Reformado "S A 1 87" headstamp



I need help understanding this cartridge. It is a 11.5 x 57Rmm Spanish Reformado. I am having difficulty interpreting information on the headstamp.

I am interpreting the SA to mean manufactured in Cartagena, Spain. However, I have read SA to also be interpreted as Subsecretaria de Armamento.

Question 1: What does SA mean - is it both of the above?

The other difficulty is interpreting the two-digit year (if it is a year) on the headstamp. Originally, I interpreted the date as 1918, but now I am not so sure because it might also be 1878 or 1898. The 1 on the two digit date does not look like the 1 at the bottom of the headstamp and the difference could be due to a broken bunter or the like.

Question 2: For someone who is familiar with this ammunition, what is the likely two-digit year on the headstamp?

Question 3: What does the solitary 1 mean?

Thank you for the time to help me.



I thought if enough people post pics of their Reformado H/S you might be able to work out what yours is.
I read mine as T A 6 87 or 80
Q3: I assumed it was the month


Your headstamp date is January 1878. I have nothing to positively identify what SA represents. Ian Hogg’s The Cartridge Guide shows the SA was used by Subsecretaria de Armamentas, Delegacion de Valencia Spain from 1896 - 1936; if that is correct, then it can’t be this maker. Hogg shows S…A having been used by Santiago Arsenal, Santiago Spain in the late 19th century, but the two dots aren’t present in your headstamp.

Yours appears to be June 1887.


I had hoped someone more fluent in Spanish than I (just about anyone who really speaks it!) would wade into this, but I had better. Firstly, the “S A” on your headstamp cannot stand for "Subsecretar