"Société Française des Munitions, de Issy-Les-Moulineaux. I= Société de Métallurgie Franco-belge de Issy-les-Moulineaux, firma dependiente de la SFM" (info from municion.org), 4-53 - date of manufacture, april 53.
I'm glad somebody knew, I was clueless on that one!
I pulled this ammunition from a Garand enblock clip, out of what was supposed to be a can of CMP Greek HXP. One bandoleer had a mix of this ammo, Lake City, and HXP.The other three bandoleers all contained HXP, but about 10% was corroded and in poor state.I also counted at least five different makers of clips, including SA and WRA.
On the Frenchy ammo, the primer pocket is surrounded by an indented thingy. I haven't seen this before on 30-06 ammo. Does anyone know its purpose and origins?
My guess is the indented thingy is a primer crimp.
The French use a non-standard-sized primer (so typically French...) so forget about trying to reload it because new primers won't fit even if the case is boxer (ask me how I know...). It's also corrosive, so restrict it for use in bolt actions or machine guns.The Greek stuff shoots very well though. Many people claim that it's more accurate than Lake City. I like it a lot, and it's primers only have three like stakes holding them in place and those are easily removed with even the simplest primer-pocket de-burring tool, making them a joy to reload. Non-corrosive and excellent brass.
IMHO,The French ammo is Berdan primed... pull a bullet, empty the powder, and look inside, you will see two flash holes. Sure sign of Berdan primers!
What Murphy's law said about the HXP.I also like it alot, and when the steel jackets are allowed here in So Cal, that's what I use. It was also the issue round for the CMP Western Games at Camp Pendlton in 2006. The discussion there was that the HXP was hotter than Lake City, which presumably would move the POI up a bit. Other than that, without a doubt, wonderful stuff.
GentsThe "ring around the primer" may be a historical artifact - I cannot think of a functional reason for the ring, UNLESS it is to work-harden or stiffen the case head. Or, as I said- maybe its just because they were used to "the ring".The French 8mm Lebel Model 1886 was a tube fed bolt gun. The 8mm Lebel cartridge bullets were pointed. The ring on the head was supposed to catch the bullet point and keep it from hitting the primer of the round ahead of it under recoil.Must have worked. I have not heard of the Model 1886 exploding n service, and the French issued about a million of them during WWI.Why they would do it on a .30-'06/M2 ball, unless for the reasons above, is beyond me.Maybe because they are French?RegardsGKT
Here's where I look up headstamps:http://cartridgecollectors.org/headstampcodes.htmhttp://www.afte.org/ExamResources/gallery2/v/Headstamp-Gallery/Antibubba
This is partly speculation, partly prior experience: French-made .30-06 ammo - especially from (apparently) an official government arsenal/production plant - that features Berdan-style primers has to date back to the late-30's - early-40's at minimum, I think, and could easily go back a decade or two further than that, so far as the forming dies used to make the casings are concerned. It seems quite likely, since the overall case dimensions for the 8MM Lebel and the .30-06 are not that dissimilar, that a forming die originally intended to be used in making French Lebel cases was re-made into a .30-06 forming die. The original die already having been machined with the protruding ring (that would form the recessed ring in the case-head) never had the ring removed, although the .30-06 rounds did not require it.In the end, it doesn't seem to matter much, except as a curiosity.I've seen that recessed ring before, only on Italian and Egyptian cases from the 40's and 50's; always wondered what its intended purpose was, if any.
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