U S Military Arsenal DECADE headstamps


A while ago a friend called and asked about a few cartridges he had found in a pile of 30 caliber Carbine rounds the stamp LC 4 had no year. Was this a rare find? No I told him I have seen them. I checked my little collection of 30 carbine head stamps and found L C 4, E C 4, and WCC 4. Checking my 45 acps I found F A 4, T W 5, and others. The first 50 BMG round I checked was F A 4. I pulled out my “30-06 We Have Seen” by Jerry Marcello and found headstamps on 30-06 rounds were also marked with out the year by almost all the WW2 U S arsenals and ordinance plants. I know that there are a number you that know why this was done but I just have not heard the explanation.
Thanks in advance for enlightening me and others.


It was done to save money and production time making bunters. They used, for example, 1943 bunters by removing the “3” leaving only “4.” This signifies 1944 (“44”) production. This leaves the “4” of center from the manufacturer’s initials. Occasionally you find a round with a centered “4.” I can only assume that this represents a newly-made, single-digit bunter, done simply to conform with the others, and to replace a worn-out or broken bunter. This practice was repeated in 1955, using altered 1954 bunters. A single “5” represents the year 1955.


Thank you John. Just one little pieces of information that I did not know.