7.62x39 Iranian Hsts-ID by New York Times

Sunday I was surprised to see the front page, top of my NYT featuring two headstamps I recognized.

The story is interesting, dealing with the seaqrch by a British researcher who in 2006 ran across this ammunition being used in most of the trouble spots in Africa. Both 02 & 03 dates were noted. One of the places it turned up was in Guinea in 2009 when about 150 protestors were killed by soldiers. The ammo also showed up with the Taliban.

The researcher appears to be a James Bevan who is the director of “Conflict Armament Research” an English firm that tracks conventional weapons. In late 2011, Mr Bevan obtained copies of a bill of lading for 13 shipping containers seized in Lagos Nigeria in 2010. The containers were listed as containing building material, but conceled behind the building material was this ammunition. The bill of lading indicated the containers originated in Iran. The shipping company was based in Tehran. Apparently the US military had already identified this ammunition as Iranian according to documents obtained under the FOIA.

I know there is a lot of this kind of research going on. I think both we and the researchers would benefit if we could establish communications. In this case, cartridge collectors strongly suspected an Iranian connection for these cartridges in 9x19mm around 2005.


Here the article:

nytimes.com/2013/01/12/world … wanted=all

Looks like “clandestine ammunition” could be an interesting collecting specialty:

Other examples:
Canadian 9 x 19mm “9MM 42” (or 43 or 44)
Canadian 8 x 57mm
U.S. .30-06 “Bay of Pigs” ammo

The foreign made faux LC 52 .30 carbine rounds, etc.

Don’t forget the dozens of “discreet” headstamps made by the Germans for the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s.

And so many others…

The Iranian hs being clandestine is merely an assumption only. The lack of an indicated manufacturer is not automatically a measure for clandestinity. (does this word exist?)

It does now!

I think it was widely known in the IAA that these rounds were Iranian long before these other international researchers “discovered” the fact. I wonder how much the IAA membership contributed to the process, both overtly and covertly.


Mr Bevan, the author of the report on which the NYTs article was based was kind enough to respond to an email I sent him last evening. He said he is familar with the IAA website. He directed me to his website http://www.conflictarm.com where the full report is available. I have scanned the report believe that most of us will find it very interesting. Mr Bevan documents the basic headstamp in a number of calibers including 12.7 and 7.62x54R. He also discusses other Iranian headstamps and some from Sudan that I did not recall having seen before.

His website also has a number of field guides, including one on the markings of Eastern Bloc ammo crates.

I believe that supporting this kind of effort is important for two reasons, first because it is the right thing to do, and second because it underscores the value that the IAA and other ammunition associations, and our community provide. When the UN, back in about 2000, was looking at an international treaty on guns and ammo, we had the IAA registered as a NGO with status to give a presentation. The paper we submitted made the point that the vast majority of the material publically available to the police, crimelabs, government activities and researchers (like Mr Bevan) was published by the collector community and most of the basic research was done by collectors, The government created documentation, like the Defense Intelligence Agency Small-Caliber Ammunition Identification Guides generally have errors that are obvious to the collector community. As we go through periods like the one right now in the US, our community needs to make the case for the importance of what we do to the police and others to prevent our hobby from being shut down by accident.

Again, thanks to Mr Bevan for his excellent work, and he is always invited to this Forum.


These always seem like the sort of organisations that would support UN gun treaties and similar.

The regulations proposed are always “catch-alls” that would affect legitimate gun owners. They probably also support surplus stocks being destroyed rather than sold to shooters and collectors.

Taken from their website:

[quote]Conflict Armament Research supplies timely, reliable and impartial policy guidance and assistance, designed to aid policy makers at all stages in the [color=#FF0000]development of political initiatives[/color] and the drafting of international instruments.

The company’s staff has extensive experience of providing research and analysis, advice and evaluation to support a wide range of political processes, including:

  • [color=#FF0000]Initiatives to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW)[/color];
  • International control agreements to address specific weapons (such as MANPADS);
  • [color=#FF0000]International regulatory schemes, such as conventional ammunition management[/color]; and
  • Guidance, advice and support to the design and development of international initiatives.[/quote]

That’s a well-worded way of them saying that they support gun and ammunition bans.

Well, this applies usually to governments and armed groups in conflict zones. This is not meant to affect domestic civilian gun and ammo ownership. Just some politicians who know a jack about what they are doing (sometimes under public pressure - see what is happening in the US right now) want to apply such possible regulations to everything that looks like a gun.