7.62x39 HS "14 03" Chinese?


I am not very much into Chinese headstamps, so maybe this is a stupid question for any Chinese ammunition or cal. 7.62x39 expert:

At the shooting range of the Vietnamese Cu Chi tunnel museum site I recently picked up a fired 7.62x39 case with the headstamp “14 03” (“14” at the 12 o’ clock position, “03” at the 6 o’ clock position).

The case is made from copper washed steel and has a brass primer with a red lacquer seal. Most of the 7.62x39 ammo fired on this range had Russian lacquered steel cases made by plant No. 539 (Tula). Only some of the cases were copper washed steel.

I have not seen the manufacturer code “14” so far, that’s why I picked the case up and took it home with me.
Is this uncommon at all? Has anybody ever seen that code before?

Thanks for any help!

PS: If desired, I will post a picture of the case and its headstamp.

The code “14” used Prvi Partizan in 1955-1956

i nevers seen ammo made by prvi partizan with copper washed steel case

That is a new one on me. I’d like to see a pic of the case and headstamp.


Vietnam makes ( and has made for many years) its own “soviet” calibre ammo, at the State Munitions Factory in Northern Vietnam ( info from a friend who has worked in and with the Vietnamese “higher military” for close to 35 years ).

The date of “03” puts it outside the old “cold war” Prvi Partizan production framework.

Info about what is the factory code, where it is, production capacities etc, is very limited outside of SRVN ( formerly DRVN). About the only indications are the spent cases found at “touristy” sites such as Cu Chi and others, where rich capitalists ( read gullible tourists) for a US$1 a shot, get to fire an AK etc.

When I was in Saigon ( 2007) about the only spent cases I saw in souvenir markets were Soviet 539 and some Chinese factory codes.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Thanks for the replies so far, here are two pictures of the case and its headstamp:

This is the only information about a Vietnamese ammunition plant (or storage) I found on the internet:
“HANOI, Vietnam, May 6, 2003
Big explosions at a military ammunition factory in northern Vietnam damaged most of the 700 houses nearby, killing at least one person and injuring 31 others, officials said Tuesday.
The series of five explosions Monday night at the Z115 factory in Thinh Dan village in Thai Nguyen province, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Hanoi, was sparked by a fire, said an official at the village’s People’s Committee. He spoke on condition of anonymity.
High temperatures are believed to have sparked the fire, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh.”


The PA looks pretty much Chinese.

I would agree that this looks Chinese, but if it is, it is a new headstamp to me. The only thing I have in the 7.62x39 Master List for “14” is:

Pretoria Metal Pressings Ltd., Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

Also, the fact that Vietnam was making their own 7.62x39’s was news to me.
When I was in Vietnam in 1968-69 the only rounds I ever saw were Russian and Chinese. Anybody know when Vietnam started making their own? What headstamp? Could this “14” be Vietnam made using Chinese supplied machinery, and thus look “Chinese” made?

Vietnamese Latin script and Chinese script do not have the conflict between a letter and the number 3 which Cyrillic has. A Chinese 3 is made of 2 (more than?) half circles. But the 3 in the 03 has that upper hook, like in Russian headstamps. I’m not sure now about Bulgarian 3s.


Hans–Interesting point about the number 3 vs. Cyrilic letter з. The Cyrilic number 3 is normally written with a flat top, as used in this headstamp, to avoid the confusion with the Cyrillic letter 3.

Ron: Since I had to look up this thread for a different issue I see your message only now.
The Russian figure “3” and the Cyrillic letter “Z” are normally treated as you say but reality on ammunition markings has shown that there are many (too many) exceptions where the same character is being used which is confusing even native Russians and the ammunition experts over there. Not to mention foreigners. Jane’s is one of the most famous victims of such missinterpretations.

Is it just me or are the images not visible?


Dave - all I see are two blank squares with little red “Xs” in one corner!

Idem John !!

I Can’t see the pics either…just a red x…can you reload them please so we can try and assist.

[quote=“NATODave”]Is it just me or are the images not visible?

NATO Dave[/quote]

Most likely they have been deleted from the host server sometime in the last 2 years (OP is from Nov 2010)