Very Early 7.62X51, FA 51

In a lot of gift ammo, I found an unlabeled box containing 20 rounds of 7.62X51, black tip, FMJ, headstamped FA 51. Even though I am more shooter than collector, it occurred to me that these might have a higher calling than being sent downrange. Can anyone enlighten me on their collectable value?


Those most definitely are not shooting cartridges. They are pre-NATO 30 cal for Light Rifle, armor piercing. Not particularly rare but not common either. Value depends on the box, exact headstamp and condition. But it’s not like you won the lottery. Photos would help. I’d be interested in buying or trading for them if somebody doesn’t get to you first.

Check your PMs.


I’ve just spent some time examining four of these cartidges in my collection - I found the 4th this past weekend. I can hear powder in all four but two have a distinct rattle - more like that heard when a yellow tipped observation round is gently shaken. I plan to get all four x-rayed ASAP. Interestingly, the cartridge I found this weekend has a bullet more like a 30-06 rather than a NATO. The black tip looks more like a ring than a true tip, but this could just be wear.

Dave S


Let us know what those x-rays show. I’d be very interested.

The early 30 Light Rifle experimentals used 30-06 bullets. Both the M1 and M2 were tried as were the tracers, AP and others. The earliest cartridge I have is one made on the 300 Savage case with an AP '06 bullet.