7.62 x 51 primer ID

I picked up a very plain military box of these rounds with the headstamp ZV 69 7.62 ( czech, brno made in 1969 ) the only marking on the box is ZA on the top flap (Zbrojovka Arsenal ? ) standard looking fmj rounds except for the shiny Black primers , any reason ?, thanks Randy

Randy–I do not know the reason, but all black primers are standard for this maker.

I too do not know the reason, although I have heard several theories. I would hesitate to call this a standard practice with the maker (ZV), since their 7.62x39mm do not have blackened primers. At lest not the half dozen specimens I have run across…

That being said, blackened primers are quite common in Czech. made small arms ammunition.


Thanks guys, makes you wonder why they go to the extra effort for no reason at all, maybe its a fashion statement, sure looks purty. Randy

It would take no more effort to chemically blacken a primer cup that it would to nickel plate it. Maybe even less. I suppose many shooters would look at black primers as something of lower quality. Shiney always look higher quality.


The box of yellow tip bxn 57 headstamped 7.62x54R I have laying here all have blackened primers!

Firstly, “ZV” is Zbrojovka Vlasim, the export mark for Military ammo of Sellier & Bellot, of Vlasim, Czechoslovakia (Then) and NOT “Brno” which had a headstamp “Z” in the 1930s and 40s, for their acquired Factory in Bratislava ( and leater durng WW II, set up at Povaske Strojarne (in Slovakia), which became the “PS” factory of sporting ammo after WW II.

The original factory, before acquisition by ZB ( 1935-6) was “Circle M”, and before that “JR” ( Jiri Roth…connected to Georg Roth of Vienna ( pre-WW I).

The Blackened primer is found on 1969 dated 7,62x51 ( Labelled “T-65”, the US trials designation which became the 7,62 Nato cartridge.). Reason for the Chemical Blackening is unknown, whether to identify Primer composition, or special order, or maker of the primer (S&B makes most of its own, at a separate factory from the Ammo Plant at Vlasim, but primers in the CSSR were also made by other factories as well. Thye Black primer had been used on previous “ZV” 7,62x39 and 54R as well ( export)

ZV 70 have normal brass primer cups.

BTW, the Czech word “Zbrojovka” means “Arsenal or Armoury” in English, and can refer to any sort of Ordnance Plant; not just rifles or ammunition.

As most surplus ZV69 and 70 came from Spanish Enclaves in North Africa(Melilla, Teruen, etc) the primers are a bit Iffy, especially the Black ones (69). so beware if shooting it.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Regards, Doc AV

The “ZV 69” ammo in ball, AP and tracer that turned up at gun shows here in the US back in the late 1980’s was decent ammunition by all accounts. I also found some in an FN-FAL magazine in Kuwait during “Desert Storm” back in 1991. Seems this ammo got around…


I have assumed that the black primer indicated corrosive composition as the later ones, post “Soviet era” were brass. The ZV 308 uses corrosive primers.

All of our shipments of Czech X39 were corrosive, with black primers.

I’ve got a couple in my collection. They were in a bag at a place I used to work for. They were FMJ but have been drilled to make them JHP. I’ve been told by a good mate they were corrosively primed. I gave a whole heap to him. He wanted them for the components. Can’t remember if they were Berdan or Boxer primed in the end.