WCC headstamps, 1950's

Good Morning:

I am new to this forum, and apologize for any errors I may make, but I am also new to the realm of cartridge collecting. I am interested in military cartridge headstamps generated by the Western Cartridge Company during the early 1950’s. If anyone has images of these items that they would care to post and/or share, it would be greatly appreciated.




You are covering a lot of territory. Can you narrow it down a little as to cartridge/caliber and years? WCC made military ammuntion for just about every cartridge used, including the experimentals. In general the headstamps were W C C (wide spacing) with the year in two digits, or WCC (narrow spacing) with the same two digits for the year.

Here’s a photo (not mine) that gives you an idea.



I thank you for the reply; it is greatly appreciated. As I indicated in my previous posting, I am new to this endeavour and thus do thank you. In answer to your question: I am basically interested in headstamps of small caliber WCC rifle ammunition, including experimental, that they produced between 1952 and 1954 i.e. 5.54mm up to approximately 7 mm. In that regard, I find your posted image of interest. Can you tell me more about the cartridge on the left?

Regards, and thank you for allowing me to be part of this excellent forum!



As I said, that is not my photo but one from another collector. If I remember correctly (a long shot at best ) both are experimental Project SALVO Cal 22 for Light Rifle, 7.62mm case. In other words, the 7.62x51 case necked to 22 caliber. The one on the left has an electric primer.

Cartridges with the WCC headstamps were made in 18, 22, 25, and 27 calibers during those early 1950s years. There were other calibers, of course, but they are outside your range of interest. In general, the headstamps followed the same pattern as the two shown. It would be a big job to gather a sample of each and photograph them. I’d have to count them to tell you how many there were. 30 or so?? More than a few but less than a plethora. ;) ;)


Hope these are of interest.

WCC 53, 54, 59, 63, 59, 59, 56, 88, 88, 55, 56, 54, 56, 53, 53, 58


I thank you both for your generous replies. If I may, a couple of follow-up questions. Have either one of you (or anyone much more conversant with this subject matter than myself) ever come across WCC military issue ammunition that did not have a year of manufacture indication on it? I am particularly interested in 6.5mm WCC ammunition.



Off hand I can’t think of any WCC cartridges that do not have a date, but there could be some. I know of no 6.5mm US military cartridges. WCC did make contract ammunition for many other countries and there are likely some 6.5mm among them.


Gary and Ray,

Wasn’t the infamous “JFK” ammunition headstamped WCC 6.5m/m?

Surplus contract ammunition made for another country as Ray suggests?


The 6.5m/m Carcano rounds used in the Kennedy assasination were, indeed, the WCC 6.5m/m cartridges mentioned here. Evidently originally a contract for Italy, they were resold by the Italian Government and ended up on the surplus market in Canada and the USA. They were originally made in 1954, and known lot numbers are 6000, 6001, 6002, 6003. They had a 162 grain (nominal) bullet weight, RN FMJ GM bullet, and were loaded with 44 grans of WC Ball powder, Army Lots 40816 and 40817. They were made by the Western Cartridge Company Division of Olin Industries, Inc., at the East Alton, Illinois plant.

Through tests covered in the article referenced below, the ammunition proved to be “remarkably consistent” and “neither we nor any of the other groups who tested that ammunition had any misfires, despite its 40 years of shelf life” (at the time of the tests-JLM).

Reference: Wound Ballistics Review, Vol 2, No 2, “Differences in the Wounding Behavior of the Two Bullets That Struck President Kennedy; An Experimental Study,” by John K. Lattimer, Gary Lattimer, Eric Haubner, angus Laidlaw and Val Forgett.

This is just to illustrate the WCC 6.5mm. The picture of the box was taken from either Auction Arms or Gunbroker.com (I can

Gentlemen, all:

I thank everyone of you for your participation in this thread; it is greatly appreciated. The information supplied is of great use for and in a forthcoming essay I am constructing that, with the blessing of this forums administrator, I will gladly post a link. I undoubtedly am “hooked” on this subject matter!


Do you american guys still believe that JFK was killed by Oswald only?4 shots in 6 seconds with a Carcano rifle?Toward a moving target and with increasing shooting distances?Myth

When this theory came up,Mr. Garzitto,who was an italian sniper during the WWII and is one of the most important Carcano rifle and researcher said only one word “impossible”

There were other one or two shooters,probably using a 308 or a 30/06.

Pivi - don’t think this is the place for rehashing the “conspiracy theories,” now totally disproven, about the Kennedy affair. If you would like to send a personal email, I will discuss it with you.

However, Your Italian Gunsmith friend is wrong! In a test, the 14-year old son of one of the Forensic personnel in the test, Gary Lattimer, duplicated the marksmanship factor, with an identical gun and ammunition…

you are right,this is not the place.I will send you an italian article about the trouble.Just wait some days because I have to scan it

However,I must see the video of the test or another shooter doing the same thing,and then I will believe.

Pivi - I have no video. Videos, by the way, are easily faked to show things in slower of faster time than they occur. It is from a scholarly report by people with no reason to lie. You can believe it or not as you please. American is full of people who believe all sorts of strange things about the Kennedy assassination, which is there right. Read my PM to you, and the material offered when it arrives.

If the article you want to send is from a popular-press gun magazine, don’t bother to send it. They would not have 1/10th the information that some of the sources I already have on file were privy to, and I already have lots of popular press articles that are full of misconception, faulty facts, and flawed theories.

If the Italian article is a result of a real Forensic Study by credentialed people (Criminalists, Forensic Pathologists, Surgeons with gunshot wound experience, etc), then I AM interested in receiving it.