7.62x39 Midway and some general questions


What age is this headstamp? Is it made before disintegration of the USSR and avalanche of cheap Eastern Bloc ammo? Approximately when did cheap foreign ammo flood American market? How is it still profitable for US companies to sell and compete against milsurplus? When and why did Clinton ban Chinese ammo imports? Why ammo only, Chinese guns are still arriving to US showrooms? All this happened before I got ammo curious, so I’d like a refresher. Thanks.


As I recall, this cartridge pre-dates the flood of cheap Chinese and Russian imports. I remember back then the only ammunition available when the first AKs came in was Lapua and Midway. I had a slam-fire with the first round I chambered in my Hungarian SA-85M back in 1985 or so…



Isn’t this the Midway Arms headstamp?(USA) They were covered in a thread awhile back about the 9mm japanese revolver cartridge and this cartridge was mentioned, dated in the early 1980’s as I recall. Don’t know when the flood of surplus hit US but would it not have been after 1989 or so? John Moss can certainly give us production dates of the Midway ammo, as he did on the 9mm.



I’m sorry, but I can’t be of much help. The first listing for the 7.62 x 39 from Midway was in their catalog 1-83 (1983, but I don’t know what month - the “1” is NOT necessarily January, although it could be). From there, I can only tell you that the next catalog I have, from February 1994, does not show it. In fact, it shows only a few calibers of Midway pistol brass on sale - probably selling out what was left. If I had to guess, I would think that by about 1995, the Midway brass was pretty much discontinued, but I could be wrong. All I know is that it was short-lived.


Weren’t supplies of Eastern Bloc ammuntion coming into the USA years before the Soviet Union fell, due to supplies that were captured from various places around the world?


Falcon - not that I know of. I think after our shipment from Israel, there were some later. I think some came to the US out of Angola, or at least Southern Africa, but I don’t think there has ever been a big supply of soviet surplus 7.62 x 39 around. Most of it was “new” Chinese, which may well have been military surplus, but it was sold directly by NORINCO to the U.S. jobbers. That stopped when the Clinton government stopped most NORINCO products from coming in as a punishment to that Chinese Agency specifically, over some sort of technology they got from us and weren’t supposed to pass on, but did (probably weren’t even supposed to get it originally but people with “juice” like Feinstein’s husband were evidently violating that right and left. I seem to recall it was suppose to be a five-year suspension of their export to US privileges, but was never rescinded, which is typical. I could be wrong. The reasons were known at the time, but its been a lot of years now.

I think a little ammo cam in once from CBC in Brazil, and of course PPU started fairly early sending ammo in, via Hansen Cartridge Conmpany. I just can’t think of ever seeing many shipments of soviet ammunition, even coming from other countries that had captured it. Most of the stuff captured in bulk in VN was either destroyed, I believe, or given to Cambodia before that country fell to the Khmer Rouge.

Of course, in collectors quantities, with all the fighting all around the world, literally never stopping since WWII, plenty of single box lots, individual rounds, or “handfuls” of mixed rounds have shown up here and in Europe, as well as the middle east and Southern Africa.

Just my take on it, and I could be wrong. I had weapons in that caliber, though, and finding cheap ammo was always a problem as I recall, aside from our lot at our store, or the Hansen stuff, which was almost as cheap and better anyway. The Norinco was one exception, until they got shut out. Millions of rounds came from China.


I was wrong about that then, I thought alot of ammo showed up earlier from various places.

I suppose theres not much hope of the Norinco ban ever getting lifted even if the Republicans win in 2012. You can buy their replica Winchester 1897 trench guns in the UK, I’m sure they would sell really well in the USA if you could get them.


We can buy the Norinco 1897 shotguns here too. I believe that .22s and Shotguns were exempt. It was, of course, a thinly-veiled excuse to keep inexpensive, good quality ammunition out of the hands of American shooters, as well as inexpensive handguns such as the T-59 Makarov, and Tokarev series of pistols. Not to mention SKS carbines and “assault rifles.”