Unusual 7.62x51 PRE-NATO headstamp


Gidday guys, I need some help with this one.
This has a very clear N 1 49 headstamp
non magnetic GM FMJ, domed shiny silver primer ring crimped in.
Case has unusual finish possibly from cleaning in the past.
Can someone please ID this headstamp/manufacturer?
Who else was making these so early?

Shown with a F A 51 round (top) for comparison


I don’t know anything about this caliber, but I doubt that this headstamp’s year marking is legitimate. I believe the date and headstamp to be spurious and made for clandestine reasons. It is highly similar to some Israeli 9 rounds headstamp “S 1 44” and “S 1 49,” probably made in 1954 and 1959 respectively, in format and letter style. There was also a Portuguese round with a similar headstamp, although I forget it now (I had a fired case I found on a range, but it is or was in the Wooden collection - I gave it to Bill). It has a brass primer cup and bright green primer seal as I recall.

Maybe someone more familiar with this caliber of ammunition can tell us for sure what it is.

The case color is from a case-cleaning agent, either the product Case-Brite, or something chemically similar that puts that dull, almost gold color to the case. Very characteristic of Case-Brite, but there may be others.



Could that “4” be a corrupted “7” as in “67”? With a 10 ogive projectile, I would think 1949 is early for that one as an original loading. Or perhaps something more exotic as John suggests…



Headstamp is very clearly and cleanly struck.
Definitely reads 49


I have the same round in my collection and I have it listed as Israeli, although I can’t find in my notes the source of that identification. I’ve also seen many surplus Israeli 7.62x51 cartridges that have been cleaned like your round. Sorry that I’m unable to provide a more definitive answer!


I believe this is widely recognized as a clandestine Israeli round, but for some unknown purpose or recipient.


Yes…John C…that’s my story on my rounds like it


Nice find Craig! Very interesting.

As John Moss indicated there are two other similar headstamps on 9mm rounds, are there other headstamps in this “series” in 7.62mm or other calibers to look for?



Dave - I missed your question the first time around. I don’t know about any series, but I’ve been told that this 7.62x51mm ball and tracer (with extra bullet cannelure) round are also of a clandestine Israeli nature.


Phil - absolutely correct. There are three numbers that are found on 9 mm Para, with the same style headstamp. Most of the rounds found have no tip color and were originally assumed to be ball, but we know now that many were tracers, perhaps more commonly encountered than ball rounds (in 9 mm Para I am talking here), and close examination of the bullet tips with a powerful magnifier often reveals bright red residue in the pores of the bullet jacket.

There are also Israeli clandestine rounds in 9 mm with no headstamp, and with the headstamps “S 1 44” and “S 1 49” believed by me at least to represent the actual years of 1954 and 1959 respectively.


Phil & John,

Thanks for the additional info. Great headstamps to look for!