Wcc 1984-1989


I have brass 9mm Luger and 45 Auto cases with headstamp “WCC (over) 1984” through 1988 (9mm) and 1985-1989 (45). Were there other calibers with this WCC style headstamp? Were there other years with this WCC style headstamp? Although I remember buying some of the WCC 1987-headstamped ammo in the 1986-1992 timeframe, I don’t recall what kind of boxes they come in?



Are you asking about the WCC headstamp in general or the pistol rounds in particular? If it’s a general question, WCC has been used on US military ammunition since before I was here. And that’s a long time.



This particular style of headstamp “WCC (over) 1987” or 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989; on pistol rounds apparently for the U.S. civilian market.


I was surprised to learn this was civilian ammunition, especially considering how much trouble the ammunition industry has gone to in making it so difficult to determine production dates from the box codes.


I now understand the Q a little better. I too am surprised that it’s civilian ammo. Unless it was contract overruns and sold on the surplus market. Do you have boxes to so indicate?



I don’t recall what kind of boxes they come in


The early Winchester USA economy brand of ammo used the WCC stamp for some of their loads. The loads that I have besides the 9mm is the .38Spl 150LRN (stamped: WCC 1987) and the .38Spl. 130FMJ (stamped: W C C 8 3).

Both are brass cased and the LRN has a nickel primer and the FMJ is a brass primer.

The boxes were white with large bold black lettering of the caliber and bullet type (“CAL 38 SPECIAL 150 GR. LEAD”) on the front of thr box and in the upper left corner of the box was USA in red lettering and ****MADE IN **** in a circular pattern around the red USA letters with “MADE IN” forming the top of the circle.


Would those Economy brand boxes have cardboard trays with no dividers so the rounds went in one-up-one-down?


Yes, they were just cardboard boxes packaged one-up-one-down style.


I seem to remember…many years back, when I owned a Mini-14, that Winchester USA brand .223 cartridges came in the white boxes with black lettering and were headstamped WCC and year…this would have been in the early 80’s…



Well, I totally lost my reply, this time with no indication of why.

Let’s start over. The key to dientification of the USA Brand, Olin’s Generic brand of ammunition, was the four-diget dates (ie: WCC 1984) on a two position headstamp. U.S. Military ammunition has NEVER used a four digit date, to my knowledge, and even all the foreign contract U.S.-made pistol ammi I can think of has two-digit dates.

The packaging has varied over the years for this W-W General ammo, including outside boxes and the inner box or trays. No time right now to catalog all the variations I have. They are not important anyway.

These are the Olin equivalent of the Remington “UMC” line, and the CCi “bLAZER” line. We don’t see much of any of those around here any more, and haven’t for some time. One probel was, before the age of Obama, that the “full line” ammunition was offered of and on at such good prices from the factories and jobbers that often dealers have, for example, Speer brass-case ammo of a given caliber and load cheaper than the CCI aluminum-case equivalent, and so on.
No incentive to buy the generic ammo there! Today, as well all know, it ia all expensive.

I don’t collect dates, so I can’t really supply a list of all the dates that have appeared on the various claibers. Some ot the generic loads, like .38 SUPER, never had the Para-Military style headstamp. In recent years, the Olin generic ammo in 9mm, for example, could be found to contain ammunition with the standard W-W headstamp, or even pre-NATO or NATO-headstamped cartridges. The other calibers like .45 could be found with straight U.S. Military headstamps or commercial headstamps, while those that never had any special generic-type headstamp simply had the W-W and more recently, the WIN headstamps.

John Moss


I have four of these USA economy brand boxes; two “CAL. 9mm 115 GR. BALL” (lots 71GA52/25 Jan 1993 and 11CG52V/25 Jul 1989) and two “380 AUTOMATIC 95 GR. FULL METAL CASE” (lots 83BD12/21 Apr 1988 and 83FK10/01 Sep 1992). The 380 autos were headstamped “WIN (over) 380 AUTO” with nickel-plated primer and red primer sealant. I also read on another forum where a fellow found “(NATO) WCC 06” crimped primer cases mixed in with standard “WIN 9MM LUGER” cases in Winchester White Box (WWB) 9mm boxes with lot numbers indicating production in December 2006 and January 2007 (XN and YA).


I always thought that Winchester used the “WCC 19xx” style headstamps to appeal to the survivalist and Militia type people who like to play Army and will buy things quicker if it looks “Military” instead of civilian.


Ron - I don’t think anything like that at all was involved with Winchester’s decision to put the headstamp they did on their generic ammunition. They simply established a cheaper brand, which was intially sold somewhere around 20% cheaper than the equivalent standard brands, probably more to compete with foreign-imported ammunition than anything else. Eventually, the line got very blurred, price-wise, between the so-called “generic” brands, and the regular brands, with the latter sometimes being sold cheaper becauser of “sales.”

It is not just the lunatic fringe, by the way, that are drawn to the appeal of “military things.” I know lots more people who collect military cartridges than do civilian loads. I do not believe, in most cases, that their interest stems from "Walter Mitty-type motives. In fact, when I have visitors and show them my collection, most are not interested at all in looking at the commercial parts, whereas in every field I collect, I save the commercial loads with all the zeal that I with the civilian loads. The same in various fields of guns I collect. I have as many commercial Makarovs as I do military ones, while many people I know who collect them totally ignore the civilian production, with occasional exceptions to represent a country for which they can’t find a true military one, like China.

Not everyone who likes military things is a “survivalist” or “militia type.” The market for ammunition based solely on that appeal would be, in my estimation, tiny. Price is the biggest appeal with ammunition, speaking with 36 years of retail firearms business experience in one of the biggest gun shops in the Western United States. It is possible that the sales department at Olin figured a military headstamp might confuse the issue of commercial ammunition and milsurp, and that milsurp generally (not always) offered good quality ammunition at cheaper prices, taking away any belief that their ammunition might be of inferior quality because it was sold cheaper than the main line. That might make some sense. All of the generic brands on the market, done by the Major US manufacturers or those they contract production to, are a good quality product. Not match grade perhaps, but certainly sufficient for plinking, combat and cowboy speed sports, and self defense. Unfortunately, sometimes price trumps quality, although we would not sell any ammunition in our store that proved to be low quality. Aside from the factor of lawsuit possibility, their was an issue of integrity involved with it that was much more important to us.

John Moss


John–I think you read a lot into my simple comments that was never meant to be implied. I was only offering a possible suggestion as to why Winchester choose to use a “para-military” style headstamp. I agree, as far as general sale to the “Average Joe”, that price is foremost if he is not a “Serious” target shooter. As long as it goes “bang” without any problems and is reasonably accurate, that is all he cares.

I never said that Survivalist and Militia types are the “Lunatic Fringe” Two of my best fiends have a survivalist mentality and I certainly don’t think they are “Lunatics”. Who knows, maybe their point-of-view is more realistic than my naive one is. Only time will tell on that.

My comment had NOTHING to do with what kind of cartridges people collect or what kind of people collect mostly military cartridges. After all, my current passion is 7.62x39. So, if I thought only “lunatic” types collected military cartridges (or bought them for shooting), then I would be painting myself with the same brush. I admit to being a little strange, but I don’t think I am a “Lunatic”.

I agree, you do not need to be a Survivalist or Militia type to like military things. I love going to military based museums and displays and I am neither a Survivalist or a Militia type. But, I still think that the people who have a Survivalist or Militia point of view, prefer to buy things that look military. They would buy a GI ammo can at twice the price of a plain plastic container that would serve just as well. They often dress in Military surplus or military-type knock-off cloths because they like the military look, regardless of the price. so, just maybe, a military style headstamp would appeal to them over a “standard” headstamp, if the price is the same. I agree that Winchesters decision to use that type of headstamp was not to draw “ONLY” that market, but, since they had to use some type of headstamp, why not try to appeal to them. It is as good of choice as any.


Seriously guys, NOBODY looks at the headstamp when buying ammo. Except us. But that’s only recently for me.