Unidentified Numbers on Israeli Boxes


Does anyone have documentation or thoughts about the meaning of the following numbers found in boxes used by the Israeli armed forces? These are enclosed by a circle and the numbers in question are located at 6 o’clock. Usually, it is a 3-digit in the 100 or 700 range (Israeli made) or a 4-digit in the 4200 range (mostly foreign made; some Israeli made).


Numbers are found in boxes of cartridges of any caliber, including artillery. Also, the same number can be found in boxes of different calibers.

The other two numbers at 9 and 3 o’clock indicate month and year; the former may or may not match the lot number. The Hebrew character at 12 o’clock equals a Latin “N” (נ = Nun).

Any help would be appreciated.




Maybe some sort of identification of the unit responsible for accepting this lot?


Jochem, I don’t know, but there are many different numbers and can’t find a military unit using them. I’ll compile a list of numbers and cartridges; it may help us to find an answer.




Here is a preliminary list:

TZ (Hebrew):

  • 5.56 mm = 4208
  • 7.62 mm = 704, 713, 750, 771, 4208
  • 9 mm = 704, 731, 750, 771, 4218
  • 12,7 mm = 750
  • 52 mm = 119, 734
  • 105 mm = 716
  • 155 mm = 712
  • Other = 728, 734, 737

With other Hebrew initials or markings:

  • 5.56 mm = 4213, 4299
  • 7.62 mm = 721, 722, 728, 750
  • 7.62x39 = 728, 4213
  • 120 mm = 718
  • 160 mm = 721

Foreign contracts for Israel

  • 5.56 mm = 700
  • 7.62 mm = 728
  • 40 mm = 4213
  • 120 mm = 703

I think that the “נ” may stand for “נבדק”, which means “Inspected”, because I found a picture of a RSA contract box marked “INSP”.



Fede, it seems the that the first 2 digits do give the caliber (not the case length) and the 3rd and 4th digit gives the sub-variant it seems.


I think Fede might be right as to some kind of inspection code, but the markings might also be a simple cataloging system. I am, however, pretty sure that there is no connection to any specific unit or branch of service.


731 = 9mm. Conformation of what I have. I will look for some more boxes I have.


I edited the list to add another number. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the earliest and latest numbers I have observed date from 1971 (119) and 2015 (4299).

Thanks to everyone for the help.




I guess exception to the rule?



Joe, no, this is not an exception, because you won’t find these numbers in export boxes having “IMI” lot numbers, and your box is a contract for Belgium.

Great pictures, by the way.




Great images indeed1
In what and where did Belgium use 30-06 in 1992?


I wonder why they put the segmented circle on the box, if they had no intention of utilizing it?



Because this is the NATO marker for blank ammunition.



Who knows. It would have to be some M1919 variant, as that is the only thing I am aware of that will digest those links. It is also possible they were just the broker, unless Fede has more pertinent information…

I did see a news picture a couple of years ago of a French military vessel in the Somalia straights with a couple of M1919A4’s mounted on the side in permanent mounts. I could not decipher that caliber. It was either Cal. .30 or 7.5 French.




But it is not a NATO caliber?




Do you know why Belgium would have procured this ammunition?

FN had done extensive engineering and such on the M1919 and it’s variants, but I do not believe Belgium ever adopted the firearm into there own military.



Joe, do not mix the STANAG sign with the load indicator what is the case here!


Not to good with NATO and STANAG interchangeability markings. The only STANAG symbols I know are below.
NATO Ammunition Identification Symbol, Left
NATO Ammunition Interchangeability Symbol, Right

Alex, is there a chart available of the other ammunition related symbols?



So then this would be a STANAG or NATO symbol for Ball ammunition?



The small circle to the right of “Ball M2” is the symbol for ball ammunition. Tracer would have a rectangle.
The “circles on a line” symbol below both says “linked ammunition”.

Due to the wholesale application of “limited distribution” or even classification to the most trivial things, it is not possible for an ordinary person to simply buy the STANAG document that contains the symbol definitions. And those who have access cannot pass on copies to others. That is the reason why it is difficult to get the list you would like to have.

So we find the STANAG for 7.62 mm NATO fully printed in a Russian book, or other STANAGS cited in Chinese publications (because they were given to the Chinese via official channels), but the ordinary citizen of a NATO country is considered too large a security risk to know the contents of highly trivial documents created several decades ago.