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I am a dedicated M14/M1A fan, and have a question about ammunition (this is NOT another question regarding .308 versus 7.62!!)

What is to be made of '7,62 x 51 NATO' and '7,62 x 51 BALL' ammunition that does NOT have the cross/circle mark on the packaging or headstamp? (Of course this ammunition does not have a 'maltese cross' mark either).

There are large quantities of this ammunition available by manufacturers such as Santa Barbara and Hirtenberger, and several lots which I have purchased appear to be very clean, of recent manufacture (late 1990s) and relatively inexpensive. I have not tested the accuracy of these cartridges yet, but I do understand the difference between NATO 'identification' and 'interchangability'. This ammunition seems to be a good choice for plinking, but -

Why doesn't this ammunition have the cross/circle headstamp, and does it matter?

Hans Bakken
 

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My understanding is that the NATO cross within a circle mark simply means that it is manufactured to specifications set by NATO and may therefore be issued to troops of any member nation.

The fact that some ammo doesn't have it really doesn't say anything. My suspicion is that a manufacturer/arsenal must have some qualification to produce nato spec. ammo.

There are also lots of countries who are not NATO members who use the 7.62 and could care less about the headstamp.
 
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