Yet another 30 carbine headstamp questian

I collect 30 carbine cases and loaded ammo i was wondering were you fine the info on who made what 30 carbine cases. some of the cases have small numbers so a year is out you know like lc 43 so on so on

wra 53 ------- Frontier

lc 69 -------- winchster

82 ccc ------- psd 84

lc 53 --------- pc 43

wcc 4 -------- wcc 83

cdm --------- ps 878

lc 52 - --------wcc 87

wcc 52 ------- wcc 89

wcc 88 -------- ps 79

lc 43 ---------- wcc 84

lc 42 ---------- wcc 86

wcc 43 -------- wcc 44

sears --------- ps 78


lc 54




lc 5

p 880



lc 72


lc 4

Have a look here. This is on the IAA home page, under “Headstamp Codes to identify makers.” (Hint: Save the page on you computer). So just find the letter code in the table and thats your maker. E.g WCC 88 would be Western Cartridge Company (Olin), East Alton, IL, America made in 1988. I see you have some LC 52. Like the site I have linked to says, some of this was made by the Chinese and not Lake City.

I understand that LC 52 but when a single number shows what does that mean i did not find anything on the site you posted like LC 4

1 LC 52, made by the Chinese
2 LC Lake City Ammunition Plant, Lake City, MO
3 LC M

Have you did any reading here before … stamps.htm

LC 4= Lake city 1940

No ! Lake City 1944 using LC 43 bunter that had the ‘3’ ground off


Whoops, Maverick is correct. Sorry bout that!


Based on their external appearance, the LC 52 headstamped .30 carbine cartridges made in China are about impossible to tell from US made LC 52. However, they were Berdan primed, so if yours is an empty case, look inside and see if there are two flash holes in the head that indicate it is Berdan primed, rather than the single flash hole in the center that is standard with boxer primed cartridges.

The most noticeable external difference between the Chinese and Lake City .30 M1 Carbine cartridges with the L C 52 headstamp is the Chinese rounds have a clear primer sealant. The Lake City rounds have a red annulus. (At least on the rounds I have examined. There may be exceptions)

The bullet ogives are slightly different also. It takes a trained eye to notice.


I’ll rephrase what I said:

Based on their external appearance, the LC 52 headstamped .30 carbine cartridges made in China are about impossible to tell from US made LC 52, except to the trained eye.

It is hard to see despite the excellence of the pictures posted of the Chinese and American “L C 52” carbine rounds, but putting a Chinese round with an American L c 52 round side by side at eye level, the extractor groove and extractor-groove bevels are different between the two of them.

I wish I had one (a trained eye). ;) If you gave me ten cartridges and told me that 9 were LC and 1 was Chinese I’d bet a dollar that I could pick out the Chinese. But, without a side by side comparison I’d be lost.

The very best way to tell is to buy 2 of them from some old ammo guy and pull the bullet on one.

The letters and numbers are also obviously different, but given a handful of one or the other to identify, and I suspect most of us (with the exception of Ray and his trained eye) would have a tough time deciding if they were US or Chinese.

From the lettering and numbers of the posted ones i can see a difference in the workmenship thanks so much

Ray, Don’t think the Chinese used ball powder which would be a positive ID. Both cases and live rounds were laying all over in Korea. Was not a collector then so ignored them. Several men picked up 30 Carbine rounds, cleaned them off and used them in their carbines without problems. Not knowing hds then don’t think they were Chinese as we were using mostly WW-2 ammo.
We were never taught anything about enemy small arms except not to clean a PPHS 41 with the magazine inserted (a belly full of 7.62 did you no good). Most guys were ignorant of small arms and were ticked off that we could not use captured 7.62 54R in our M-1’s but NK could use our 30-06 in their 91/30’s!!


Gourd, so the NK were using M1 carbines?

You can fire a rimless 63mm-cased round in a rifle chambered for a 54mm rimmed case?

I think Gourd’s remark about the .30-06 being used in the 7.62 x 54R caliber rifles hinges on the phrase " most guys were ignorant of small arms" and on the double exclamation mark at the end. In short, they believed something that was totally untrue.

A lot of the American Korean War troops had funny ideas about the “one-way interchangeability” of Communist ammo with our own. I believe it started with the real case of small morters of Chinese or Russian design and manufacture being able to drop our 60mm rounds but American forces could not drop the slightly larger diameter communist rounds in American mortars.
In their minds, they expanded that out to a lot of different things that simply were not true.

Gourd can correct me if I am wrong. I wasn’t there, of course, but did serve, beginning about three years after Korea, with dozens of Korean War vets, and I was as much of a gun person then as now, and pounded them with questions. Some of the answers I got astonished me even then, when I didn’t know 1/100th of what I do now (I don’t know much now, but of course, then, I was 18 years old and thought I knew everything there was about guns and ammunition, because after all, I could take apart an M1 Garand blind-folded, and load it without ever catching my thumb). Some of the communist weapons info those vets had was pretty far off the mark. But they sure knew our own weapons, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the other end of the muzzle from any of those guys!

I would bet that ammunition in used by the CCF in Korea in M1 Carbines was 95% or more WWII U.S. given to China during that war against the Japanese. And yes, the Chinese had plenty of M1 Carbines, Tommy Guns, and other U.S. Weapons in Korea. I am not sure the North Koreans had so many, however. They probably had some, but I would guess they probably had a lot more Japanese weapons, and of course, Russian ones.

OK, got it.
I believe the mortar rounds in-question were 81 vs 82mm.

*I once ran a plow over an old Chinese 82mm mortar shell. Then I had the fun of blowing it up with the police EOD guy. At the time I was also a Combat Engineer and we had a grand old afternoon talking shop.

*Sorry for the digression, I do tend to wander.