The head stamp thread

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Aug 17, 2013
Fort Lee, VA
I'm curious about a few head stamps I came across sorting brass today. I figured I would make a thread and maybe we can all offer info about certain head stamps. Like who makes them and if there are any known issues with a particular head stamp. I know there's a list decoding head stamps out there but it doesn't offer first hand insight from someone who has used them.

Here's what I got. These are all 223 and 5.56 cases.

- FC 223 REM (I've read multiple times that Federal brass sucks)
- RP 223 REM
- MAL 5.56 12-84
- L C 7 6
- PSD 13
- PMC 223 REM
- WCC 12

Any input on the quality of these cases would be great. Any other info, like if they're crimped, would be good too.

Feel free to list anything I didn't post and give your experience with it. This isn't 223 specific.
FC 223 REM (I've read multiple times that Federal brass sucks)

It doesn't suck.
The primer pockets are known for loosening up a little sooner than other brands, but I haven't noticed it to be a huge issue.

RP brass is great.

L C stands for Lake City. It's military brass and will be crimped so you'll need a crimp removal tool.

I'm not familiar with the other ones but I'd wager they are military brass as well and will need a crimp removed.
Military brass is fine. It tends to be a little thicker than commercial and lasts as long if not longer. I love it in .308 and .30-06.
- FC 223 REM - Federal Cartridge Co.
- RP 223 REM - Remington-Peters
- MAL 5.56 12-84 - Syarikat Malaysia Explosives Ltd., Batu-Arang, Malaysia
- L C 7 6 Lake City, made in 1976
- PSD 13 Poongsan Metal Manufacturing Company Ltd., Seoul, Republic of Korea (probably at the Dongrae Ammunition Plant)
- PMC 223 REM
- WCC 12 Winchester, made in 2012

Just look at the primers and if there's a small ring around them that looks like it's been stamped, then it's crimped. You'll also find some that are staked around the primer.

Hope this helps.

You can also find many by using your google-foo powers.
Try searching using phrases like:
MAL 5.56
MAL headstamp
MAL ammo
FEDERAL (FC) Brass....

In competition circles, it's an accepted truth that Federal brass will not last nearly as long as most other cases.

For a personal example, I bought 1000 Federal (FC-marked) .223 cases from an EBay seller. They were advertised as "once-fired", and i believe that description. Having handloaded for almost fifty years, I have a pretty good handle on how brass looks in a"once-fired" state.

These cases were very short-lived, with MANY neck and shoulder splits showing up after just one loading (meaning, second firing for those cases). I ended up junking the whole batch after the second loading from my bench showed even more case failures.... over 800 cases into the garbage.

The loads were at full power, but far from excessive. WW, RP and LC cases with the SAME LOAD last for eight or ten reloadings without problems.

I now don't even keep Federals that I find on the ground.
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I scored a bunch of range brass today. A lot of 223. Anyone have experience with these head stamps???

- Tulammo 223 Rem

- GFL 223 Rem
If the cases are grey they are steel or Alum. Toss in the recycling bin.
A bunch of the Tula might be Berdan primed as well. If you don't know how to deal with them make sure you do before bothering to reload.
Here is some Sears branded Ted Williams 22 LR. Possible Federal Manufacture? The head stamp inset is "S" so either Sears or Superman. :)


The FA 36 headstamped .30 caliber brass is definitely Frankford Arsenal, manufactured in 1936. I have some that was made in 1918 from Frankford Arsenal, plus a bunch of others from WW I through the Korean War.

Hope this helps.

Ok yes I agree FA is Frankford Arsenal. When I got home I checked on what I have here, Freedom Arms is F-A.

On another note on the way home I stopped in to one of the LGS I frequent and in the "Used" section was an MTM 50 round 9mm ammo case. It had 50 rounds of 9mm in it that had a bit of age to it with a VTP 58 headstamp. They wanted 5 bucks and the case is worth 2 bucks so I grabbed it. I'll take a picture of the ammo a bit later. Both the primer and the bullets have sealant on them so I am assuming military ammo. Went to the website that is posted in a previous post and according to it the manufacturer would be Valtion Patruunatehdas, Lapua, Finland

reloadron. I knew I had a box of those around too. It's funny to see other people hang on to that stuff.


ironworkerwill. That's what 37 years in the plumbing/ welding industry will do for you. That hand at least has all the fingers. Ha.

I found some LC 57 Match casings in there as well

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