Tiny "8" on HP .22LR Hstp

I have a fired .22LR case headstamped “HP” in the usual intertwined Hirtenberger style.

Underneat the “P” there is a tiny number “8” which is hard to see, and is impossible to photograph.

Is this a lot number or something else?

Any info would be helpful.

Falcon–It is the last number of the year of production, 1988. I have HP-0 to HP-9.

Ron, do the small numbers on HP centerfire rifle hs follow the same rules ?

Where did you learn about this ?

WBD–I assume the numbers on centerfire do mean the same, but I can only vouch for the rimfires for sure. When George Kass and myself were writing the “Rimfire Headstamp Guide”, we observed the little numbers starting in 1981 and at first did not know exactly what they meant. But, as each year went by, 1982, 1983, etc. we noted that the boxes of HP rimfire coming into the US always had the number corresponding to the last number of the year they were imported and no other number. That is, in say 1984, you NEVER saw a 5 or 8 or9, etc. ONLY 4. It was clear by the time we included this headstamp in the “RHG”, that it was a year indicator and not a lot number. Also, note that the only numbers you see are 0 to 9. If they were lot numbers you would expect to see 14, 18, etc.

Why do you suppose they used these dated headstamps only during the 80’s?

Thanks for the info Ron.

Guy–I can not say that they used them ONLY in the 1980’s. George and I were in business as Forensic Ammunition Service from 1981 to 1988 and those are the only years I had the opportunity to see newly imported HP rimfires on a yearly basis. They may have continued into the 90’s reusing the numbers. I just do not know for sure.

I have several CF cases with those little numbers that date back the 90’s , but don’t know about RF ammo