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I have had these 7.62x39mm cartridges for a long time and wanted to post the data to find out if there is anything rare or unusual.

1. cupro-nickel bullet - steel case -black copper color primer - headstamped bxn over 53 l

2. silver-green tip red band at cannelure-brass case-nickel primer red seal - 711 over 67

3. copper bullet red band at cannelure-brass case-silver primer-headstamp 954 over 75

4. copper bullet red band at cannelure-brass case-brass primer-headstamp 31 over 66

10,116 Posts
7,62x39 headstamps

The first one, bxn 53 is Czech (S&) and originally 7,62x45 Vz50 ammo...a lot of this was "sized down &trimmed" in the USA to make 7,62x39 ammo for Military training in the 1960s.(the Czechs did not make 7,62x39 until about the 1957-58 changeover to Soviet uniformity in ammo.)
The others are all ? Chinese Milsurp, the 711 and the 31 are PLA controlled Military factory for PLA use, the 954 is a PLA factory for "clandestine" export use (disguised HS)...PLA China- use ammo is made by Coded factories which end in "1" (Ammo plant)

regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics

849 Posts
DocAV is right about the first cartridge being reformed from Czech. 7.62x45mm vz.52 (or vz.50) round. This was first done by the US Army at Fort Ord in California and has since been done by other firms for retail sale, back before this caliber became plentiful. A number of headstamp variations are around with both the nickel plated jackets and regular gilding metal plated.

Your second round was made in the Soviet Union by the Klimovsk Stamping Plant (factory code 711). The green tip signifies a T-45 tracer load. The red case mouth seal color does not mean anything. A few rare examples from this factory have a green primer annulus, case mouth seal and tip to indicate tracer, but usually the color is red. This is a copper washed steel case, not brass.

Your next cartridge is Chinese, but I have no record of a factory code "954".
Is it "964" by chance? Again, copper washed steel case and the red seal means nothing. Standard "Type-56" ball cartridge with mild steel core.

Your last cartridge is also Chinese, and basicly identical to the above round.

None of these are rare. The ball cartridges bring about a buck or less and the tracer, if in mint condition is worth $5-$8.

DocAV and I disagree on the Chinese ammunition factory code issue. While it is true that most Chinese ammunition factory codes end in "1", there are multiple examples of codes being used that do not end in "1". I do not think that this means the ammunition was intended to be used for clandestine "export". Firstly, Chinese ammunition that is known to have been made for clandestine export uses headstamps that attempt to copy that of another country entirely. Ie: The well known .30 carbine "LC 52" and 7.62x51mm ammunition with the "RG" headstamp. The markings on the packaging is also in English and is very simple and plain. The Chinese ammunition that is headstamped with other than "1" at the end of the code comes in very typical Chinese packaging to include the sealed spam cans with Chinese writing stenciled all over them. Not a very clandestine way to package ammunition if you ask me! Some of these codes, "944", "946", "947", "948",
"964", "6202", "6203" are known only for one year, some are known to have been in production for many years. The more likely explanation is that all of these codes as well as many other chinese factory codes date from the years of the Vietnam War. Conventional wisdom says that all of these many and varied codes were an attempt to disguise the number and location of all the Chinese ammunition factories. Since no doubt a lot of Chinese made ammunition was being captured from the VC and NVA, The Chinese probably did not want their true capacity revealed. Not "Clandestine" but rather an attemp to disguise...

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