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Home | Ammunition | 7.62x39 Headstamps 
AK-47.net: 7.62x39 Headstamps
 
    By Code(10)

It is not intended here to exhaustively illustrate Communist head stamps in this caliber, but typical styles of headstamping are shown. Communist 7.62mm M.43 ammunition, with few exceptions bears headstamps, although occasionally, for reasons connected with subversive activities, headstamps have been omitted entirely or partially. However the standard method of headstamping within the Communist sphere is to mark M.43 ammunition with the year of manufacture and with a factory identifying mark.  The date usually appears as the last two digits of the year of manufacture, but some, mainly Yugoslavian, may have the full 4 digits. In the 1950s, the Soviet Union made limited use of a Cyrillic letter in place of the date, the reason for this being


obscure. (For letters concerned see below.) Some North Korean M.43 ammunition, but not all, has the date shown by means of a Korean character or hieroglyphic.  Although numbered factory codes are used throughout the Communist world, including China, and although the factory numbering sequence seems to be a common one, some duplication of numbers exists.  Apart from numbered factory codes, some letter codes are used instead. Early Cuban manufacture and Czech and Yugoslav codes are letter codes, and most North Korean M.43 ammunition uses a Korean letter or hieroglyphic.  Universally,headstamp factory codes, dates and other ciphers are stamped, not raised. Apart from factory codes and dates, some Communist 7.62 mm ammunition includes in the headstamp additional ciphers such as a star, triangle, etc.

CYRILLIC  LETTER DATE CODE, USSR:
r 1952
A (Cyrillic A) 1953
E 1954
N (Cyrillic inverted/turned N) 1955
K 1956
 

FACTORY CODE LETTERS, 7.62 mm x 39 AMMUNITION:
ZV Czecheslovakia
aym Czecheslovakia
bxn Czecheslovakia
PMV Cuba
IK               Yugoslavia
NK  (Cyrrillic inverted/turned N) Yugoslavia
nny Yugoslavia
PP Yugoslavia
 

FACTORY CODE NUMBERS, 7.62mm x 39 AMMUNITION:
04  East Germany, GDR / DDR
05  East Germany, GDR / DDR
10  Bulgaria
10  unknown (believed not Bulgarian)
13  Cuba
21  Hungary
23  Hungary
21   Poland
343  Poland
22  Romania
RPR 22  Romania
93  North Korea
93 ( zero in triangle )  North Korea
3   USSR/Russia
17  USSR/Russia
60  USSR/Russia
270  USSR/Russia
539  USSR/Russia
711  USSR/Russia
31  PRC/China
031  PRC/China
51  PRC/China
61  PRC/China
71  PRC/China
81  PRC/China
101  PRC/China
111  PRC/China
121  PRC/China
301  PRC/China
351  PRC/China
391  PRC/China
501  PRC/China
661  PRC/China
821  PRC/China
964  PRC/China
6201  PRC/China
9121  PRC/China
9141  PRC/China
311  unconfirmed, possibly PRC/China
451  unconfirmed, possibly PRC/China
671  unconfirmed, possibly PRC/China
946  unconfirmed, possibly PRC/China

Duplication occurs over the allocation of Code 21 which is used by both Hungary and Poland. Hungarian ammunition, however has the factory code 21 and the date both the same way up, whereas Poland has the date inverted.

Code 10 was at one time a factory code used by USSR on calibers other than 7.62mm x39, but this factory ceased manufacture after 1945. Code 10 is still used by Bulgaria, including use on M.43 ammunition. However in the 1970s M.43 ammunition coded "10" appeared, which, from its style of head stamping, did not seem to be Bulgarian.

From the early 1970s, a large number of new Chinese factory codes appeared, mostly three or four digits, on a number of calibers, including 7.62mm x 39. There seems little doubt that these new high codes do not represent new factories, but have been allocated to the original factories, probably even more than one such number being allocated to the original factories. As far as can be ascertained, the original factories in commission prior to 1970 were numbered 11,31,41,51,61,81, although a factory 21 may also have existed. those of the original series known to be making 7.62mm x 39 ammunition are shown in the previous listing (table).  It is assumed that the allocation of the new higher numbered codes is an intentional measure, designed to cause confusion outside China, and the higher number codes have been in service parallel with the original low-digit numbers.

7.62mm x 39 identification chart with key (1-30)
7.62mm x 39 identification chart with key (31-58)

  

  
 

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