"TAA" code on a 5.56x45mm?

Here is a new headstamp on a fired 5.56x45mm case. “NATO” symbol at 12 o’clock and “TAA 06” across the bottom. Purple primer sealant. I do not know the origins of this fired case, but suspect it to be made in Israel for the US possibly. Could this be a new incarnation of the “TZZ” code used by Israel?


I have a photo of a 7.62 x 51 M80? ball round with the headstamp (+) TAA 06. This was sent to me by Frank Hackley who gives the origin as the Taiwan Arsenal Material Production Centre, Nankang, Taipei.


Many thanks for the information. Sounds like contract ammunition, since Taiwan is not a NATO member. Maybe outsourced by the US to meet the demands for ammo beyond the capacity of Lake City?


US contract is certainly a possibility, but it could be marked with the NATO symbol simply indicating it has been manufactured to NATO standards and specifications. That would open it up to sale to anyone using NATO calibers, including all the NATO nations and those who have just been armed up with M16/M4 variants, Georgia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

Since this headstamp was reported on an AR-15 discussion forum, I am pretty sure that the case was found in the US. Lots of once fired military brass finds it’s way into the shooter/reloader market from surplus sales. My guess is that this ammunition is being used stateside for training…


Have not seen any blurb in Armada International about the U.S buying any 5.56 x 45 from Taiwan. Several U.S contracts have been given to Israel for 5.56 x 45 for domestic training ammo due to domestic plants not being able keep up with the usage.


I hate to contradict Frank Hackley, a fellow Woodin Lab Board Member and far more expert on any U.S. military caliber of ammunition than I, but unless Taiwan made the headstamp in question for someone other than themselves, or have changed finally to the Julian calender, it cannot be from Taiwan. Until recently at least, they were using the Chinese Republic calender, based on 1911. A date on a headstamp of “06” by that calender, would be made in either 1916 or 2016!

Both the letters TA and TZ have appeared as Isreeli headstamps, and to meet the NATO three-entry code requirement (I think there is such a requirement) Israel has used the code TZZ, which we all know. TZ represents Hebrew words, I think (am I doing alright so far, Jon Cohen?), while TA represents English-language words. So, why not a TAA headstamp for a contract for the U.S.A.?

All Taiwanese ammunition I have seen has had a red PA, not that that is any kind of conclusive evidence at all, but most Israeli ammunition has the purple primer seal mentioned here. Coincidence? Could be.

I am probably getting in trouble here, like I have lately on lots of threads, trying to use logic to find answers for things I know nothing about, but I gave it my best shot guys. If I am wrong, I am wrong.

I can’t comment on the NATO requirement for a three letter factory code in the headstamp other than to point out that current Lake City production still uses “LC” and a two digit year in addition to the NATO symbol.

Edit to add:


This link shows “TAA” headstamp code represents the 205th arsenal in Taiwan. This link also seems to indicate that a two or three letter factory code is approved.


AKMS - thanks. You are right, of course. I never even thought about the LC headstamps. I guess Isreal changed “TZ” to “TZZ” for other reasons.

This NATO site appears to be some sort of offical sight. Wonder what country “SE” in email is. Sounds like an abbreviation for “Sverige” (Sweden) which would be odd, since they are not part of NATO. Must not be.

This ammo must have been made specifically for the United States or other NATO country, again unless Taiwan has changed to the Western calender. The date on the headstamp, otherwise, would be of no accurate meaning to the average Nationalist Chinese. Well, why not. We gutted our arsenal system, and now involved in a minor war, compared to WWII and even Korea and Viet Nam, we can’t even provide our troops with American-made ammunition. Very sad in my estimation. Wonder what would happen in an all-out world war?

I accede to wiser members on this point. Sorry, Col. Hackley. I should have known you would be right. I should butt out of these issues on non-pistol ammunition. It is clear I have not been able to keep up on them like I used to years ago.

Yes, .se designates Sweden. Per Arvidsson is a Chief Engineer at FMV, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration. The .pdf document was from a presentation given at the NDIA’s 2008 International Infantry & Joint Services Small Arms Systems Symposium, Exhibition & Firing Demonstration. Arvidsson has presented several briefings over the past few years at the conference.

I was under the belief that TZ added the second Z (to TZZ) for a specific US Navy contract requirement. Can someone confirm that?

Jon - are you referring to 5.56 caliber for the TZZ headstamp? They used it on a variety of ammunition including 9mm Para and .45 ACP, both in many variations. I know that some of the .45 went to the USMC because I have a copy of a document recalling it. Dummy cartridges, 9mm, M917 were made with a TZZ headstamp in 1989, but I thought that was basically an “all US Services” contract, if such a thing exists. There was also a “9mm Ball (115 gr), 1305-00-935-6164 (A360), 53711-5532185 (REV. B), lot TZZ 82AAC01-001” made with TZZ headstamp, but I am not sure who for. The Canadian-style 64 round packaging left me wondering who it was made for. Maybe you know.

At any rate, there certainly was the use of this headstamp “TZZ” beyond any single contract.

I thought I recalled that the first 9x19 contract was for the USN. Not my area of expertise, so I’m just relating what I thought were the facts.

Jon - I was just wondering because you didn’t specify what caliber you were talking about in your initial reply. That is good information about the possibility of a contract for the Navy for the 9mm. The first one I know of is the 64-round box I alluded to. Is anyone able to recognize the intended “customer” for that ammunition from the numbers that appear on the box, and that I transcribed in my last response? Unfortunately, I cannot.

For what it is worth, the .45 ACP ammunition I was issued for guard duty in the USMC in the early 1990’s was Israeli made with a “TZZ” headstamp. My Uncle , who was in the Navy at the time, used “TZZ” headstamped .45 ACP for training base security personnel. I still have some of that fired brass, headstamped “TZZ 89”. It came in 50 rd. boxes in a .50 cal sized ammo can.


The Isreali factory used TZ as their military code for many years. It was originally written in Hebrew, and then in western letters. When they got a military contract for ammo for a NATO country (I believe it was for a USN contract) they had to be assigned a NATO code. Since TZ was already assigned, they were assigned TZZ. This is the story I was told by a person in the code assignement business when the TZZ headstamps first appeared. Israel apparently continued to use TZ for their non-NATO production and TZZ for NATO production.

The TAA is probably Taiwan, again for a military contract with a NATO country. Like Israel the Taiwan arsenal would have had to apply for a NATO code and have one approved and assigned. The specification for the NATO headstamp would also require that the date on the headstamp be the western date, not the Nationalist Chinese date.

I have no direct information on the TAA code, but see no reason to question Frank Hackley’s identification.

There must be a book or listing around of the NATO assigned manufacturers codes. Has anyone seen a copy??? Is it classified???

Cheers, Lew

Hmmm…who might know where to get a listing like that…hmmm…uh…Lew?