7.62x39 Origin?

I can’t recall if this headstamp has been posted before, but I just got the round at St. Louis. I believe it came out of Iraq. It has a GM bullet, brass case and primer, 3 primer stake crimps, and a bright green annulus. Can anyone identify its origin and the “208” code?

How many elements are on this headstamp? Can you give the complete headstamp?


7.62x39 208 07

That is a new headstamp for me. The primer crimps, headstamp numbers/letters and green seal look very much like known Iranian 7.62x39mm cartridges. No doubt it came out of Iraq!


My first guess is Iran, but the headstamp almost looks too good, much better than the previous 1994-95 examples.

Are the Iranians making ammo with European-style headstamps? I’da figured they’d be doing everything in Arabic script.

Could it be Euro-made on contract for the Iraqi armed forces?

Gotta be a good time to be a 7.62x39 collector…

It would be, if examples could get into collector circles with any regularity or quantity.

The Iranian headstamps I have seen (on x39 and others) range from very good quality to very poor. The late date on this cartridge and the addition of the third element might mean a new factory, new owner/operator, higher QC, who knows. Known Iranian 7.62x39mm headstamps range from Farsi script, to just caliber and date to un-headstamped. They all have the same three stake primer crimp and green primer seal in common though. The generic caliber/date headstamp and un-headstamped rounds are presumed to be for export/clandestine aid. One of the lots of this ammunition arrived on the US shooter market a few years ago, reportedly via Israel. Reportedly this ammunition was seized from a cargo ship that had other Iranian manufactured arms and munitions that was trying to deliver it to Hamas or whoever else is fighting against Israel. Another lot that turned up around the same time reportedly came from Bosnia or Serbia, presumably from stocks given to or sold to the Muslim forces over there.


I was sent a pic of a round similar to mine, but with a “7.62x39 06 93” headstamp. I now believe that my round is Iranian, with 07 being the date and 208 being a lot number.

One more for the fray…

The vessel AKMS is referring to is the Karine-A.The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a web site all about it:

I wonder how many rounds constitute an Iranian lot?

Wow, great information! The question begs to be asked: Why the inclusion of what appears to be lot numbers? Either they are really cranking out a lot of ammunition to support the insurgents in Iraq or they were having a lot of QC problems…or both?