7,62x39 Russian Cartridge Headstemp


I have this cartridge:

60 ist the manufacturer “Russian State Factory at Frunze, Kirgisia, Russia”

But whats about the letters at 6 o’clock?
In my lsit I can find this letters: г , д , Е , И, К

In my list they are between the years 52 and 57.

Is that a sign for a year?

I am puzzled by your question as you ask if the Cyrillic letters at the 6 o’clock position on the head are date codes, but you seem to have already recognized that in the same comments about the headstamp?

There is some thought among some pretty knowledgeable guys that I correspond with in Eastern Europe who feel that the codes came about when the USSR began supplying their then-new post-war weapons designs to their satellite countries, including ammunition. By 1960, these weapons were well-known world-wide, and Russia abandoned the practice. Oddly, the codes on cartridges headstamps do not necessarily represent the same years as those found on weapons. I am not any kind of expert on Russian weapons in general, but I can tell you that the letter-date codes on Makarov pistols from the late 1950s do not match, letter for letter, with the letter-date codes on Makarov ammunition produced at Lugansk, and (with codes) briefly at Yuryusan.

г = 1952, д = 1953, Е = 1954, И = 1955, К = 1956

What is the significance, if any, of the two ⋆ at the 9:00 and 3:00 positions?

The stars are “technical marks” as per their documents. Means they indicated some sort of production process, used material or something related.


Thanks for the information.


Manuel, just to keep it straight. The manufacturer is “Bishkek Machine Building Factory” of Bishkek (former Soviet name: Frunze) in Kyrgyzstan which is an own state and not related to Russia.

Interestingly they are still using the abbreviation “BShZ” of the “Bishkek Stamping Plant” as the factory was named in Soviet times. HS today still is “60”.

Do I understand that these Cyrillic code letters for dates shown in this post only apply to 7.62x39mm and that similar codes on 9mmM could (or do) represent different dates?

EOD, You make a great point. We tend to use “Russian” and “Soviet” as if they are the same thing and they are not. Same thing with Yugoslavia and with Czechoslovakia. Complicated for me since during WWII, the Germans created Slovakia as a separate country which was not recognized by the Allies. I referred to something as produced in Czechoslovakia and was corrected that Slovakia was an independent country at that time! As I work on the last section of my 9mmP headstamp guide I have had to make sure that I keep track of this.

Interesting thread!


As I understand it, those same date codes, with the same meanings, were used on 7.62x25 Tokarev, 9mm Mak, 7.62x39, 7.62x38R, 7.62x54R, and some larger calibers also.

Jon, you are correct of course.

Lew, yes, I often notice that many listst of factory codes which are in circulation are decades old and do not reflect “newly independent” states, changed factory names and as in Russia and the former USSR renamed cities. Unfortunately too many people do stick to this as proper comprehensive sources do not exist (but I am working on that).

Lew - No, you read my answer wrong. I said that the date codes on ammunition do NOT represent the same dates, necessarily, as those found on Makarov Pistols (and I assume other firearms, but I do not have the knowledge to address more than the PM). For example, the Cyrillic Letter “D” (I have not learned how to reproduce the Cyrillic alphabet here, although I can it in Word and Word Perfect documents) represents 1953 in ammunition. However, because of certain features found on “D”-dated Makarovs, it CANNOT represent that year on the pistol.

Jon - you are correct. The letter codes representing dates on ammo are the same at least on 7.62 x 25, 9 x 18, and 7.62 x 39. Note all the same codes necessarily exist on all those calibers though. For example, the code representing 1952 appears on 7.62 x 25, and I am sure on 7.62 x 39 as well, but does not appear on 9 x 18 mm simply because 1953 was the first year the 9 x 18 mm cartridge was serially produced, that falls within the time frame that the codes were used.