Updating the Headstamp Codes page


I’m unsure if this actually belongs here, as it related to the IAA site, rather than the forum but I’m going to ask anyway.


How often does this page get updated? The reason I ask is that I have received a number of answers to unidentified manufacturer codes on this forum (either in respond to a post I started or from past posts) that are not on the headstamp codes page.


While on that subject, this should be edited.
MS Small Arms Ammunition Factory N°7, Salisbury, Australia

Should read "Explosives Factory Salisbury, Australia"
Not a big thing but there never was a No. 7 Small Arms Ammunition factory in Australia.


This is discussed every once in a while, with the basic problem being that it is a herculean task to do anything relevant to update the list, requiring input from probably a dozen sources, and then cross-checking for errors. It’s not that IAA doesn’t want the list updated, just that no one has stepped forward to do it, and then submit to Aaron to post online. Since it is mainly meant for the less-obvious military date / factory code type of headstamps, it would make sense for the serious 5.56, 7.62, 9x19, and .50BMG collectors to chime in on it. Anything Russian or Chinese could also use updating.


I might add to Matt’s explanation to say



John Moss and I put it together about 15 years ago. There were two purposes. One was to attract more people to the website and the other was to provide standard company names that the ATF accepted. We had a problem with the ATF disapproving import permits from foreign collectors coming to SLICS because they considered the names of the manufacturers on the forms was incomplete or incorrect. We worked with the ATF and they contributed to the list so if someone was filling out a Form 6 NIA they could just cut and paste the name from this headstamp code listing and the ATF accepted it.

We tried to update it for a while but it became a huge job and the list did not include rimfire or shotshells or much else that should be there. A talented and computer savy collector built an Access database that provided the capability to expand the list to rimfire, shotshells, large caliber and other catagories and vastly simplified the input. We tried for a number of years to get volunteers to take over the various sections and someone to coordinate the whole thing and had a number of false starts but I believe there has not been an update for about 10 years, perhaps longer. The database also allows images of symbols, foreign characters and even images like birds or flowers to be included. It is really a group effort to update it and keep it current, and requires some system to make sure the entries are correct. The original and the database version both included the reference for the source of the identification which is critical.

When the list first went up it was copied all over the internet. Even PPU had a copy on their website, and the ATF used much of it for the database they use for their automated Form 6. I searched one day about a decade ago and found 30-40 copies on various websites, about a third of them actually credited the IAA website!

There you have the history. I would love to see someone put together a group to care for and feet this listing.



In general I would be interested in supporting this issue.
@ Lew: How should we start


Send a PM to BobRuebel2 or PetedeCoux. Both are IAA officers who can help.



When I was involved in the abortive update, the lack of access to ACCESS, and the overly cumbersome process to get around that, rendered the effort impossible. Has that problem been eliminated by Aaron?