WW II Bunters, again

There was a recent thread about WW II bunters where the 43 bunter was used for 1944 by grinding off the “3”. Did the 1945 ammo have a single digit HS also? That old thread also indicated that the 1955 cartridges had a single “5”.

This question is active on another Forum and concerns TW ammunition with a single “5”. Is it 1945 and corrosive or 1955 and OK to shoot?


The single “5” is not a WWII bunter. It always represents 1955. All of the single dates, both “4” and “5” double to give you the last two digits of the year, on American small arms ammo. They only exist, to my knowledge, in “4” for “44” (1944) and “5” for “55” (1955).

Ray–What is strange is the “single 4 or 5” can be either off center (bunter with one digit ground off) or centered, which is obvioisly a newly made bunter with only a “4 or 5”.
Plus, the double digit “44 or 55” exist. So, guess after they used up all the old “43 or 54” bunters, no one could make up their minds about continuing with the single digit, or to revert to the standard 2-digit style.

Thanks John and Ron.

John, the way you explained it made perfect sense. If the single number was used in any year other than 44 or 55 there would be no way to tell what year the cartridges were manufactured once they were removed from the box, bandoleer, etc.

Ron, I’m sure you’ve also seen those single number “4” cartridges with the number sideways. What was that all about?


Actually, the system would work for any double digit date, ie: 44, 55, 66, 77, 88, 99. I started to type “00,” but that could be confuse for a date ending in 10 (2010, for example).

Ray–Yes, I have seen sidewise and upside down numbers.
I think the guy in charge of making bunters that day had a hang-over from a long night on the town. Seriously, I suspect they mean something, but I have no idea what.

Please don’t tell me that the upside down and sidewise numbers appear on .45 auto ammunition! I have never seen them. What caliber are they on?

John Moss

The only sidewise number I have seen is on the 1954 production 30-06 by Twin Cities.

Here is a scan of a “normal” TW 54 headstamp next to the sidewise headstamp.

The 4 is oriented sidewise to the rest of the headstamp. Also note it is a different style (closed top 4 as opposed to open top 4) from the “normal” TW 54 headstamp.


While we are discussing WWII bunters, I have another question. Does anyone know why Evansville Ordnance Plant (Chrysler) and Evansville Chrysler, Sunbeam Ordnance Plant used so many different style bunters on there 1943 45 ACP production? From what I have seen, most US Ordnance Plants used one style and font on the bunters, but I have four different ECS 43 headstamps and three different EC 43 headstamps. Why so many?

John–It’s your lucky day. The stange headstamps were on .30-06. I can’t remember which year the upside down one was just off hand.


IIRC (and I probably don’t) I have at least 2 different letter sizes and 3 spacing variations on 45acp EC headstamped cases. I kept them simply to show the varity, as I’m not normaly a headstamp collector.
I simply put it down to which workman made the bunter, and on what day of the week he it. Again I’m open to corrections.

As to the EC headstamp variations I’ve seen/have probably 20+ different counting the variations in EC 42, EC 43, & ECS 43.

Copied and pasted this from AKMS’ post on the other headstamp thread:

[i]I think that the deep and underlying truth is that there was a conspiracy by the German headstamp bunter manufacturer’s trade guild to ensure steady work for it’s members, even during the lean war years.


Substitute Any other country name for “German” and it applies equally well. :) :)