John, here to help …
I agree that no “p.a.” (primer annulus) was used at the time these cases were made, and the red case mouth seals might not be original either…
I submit this theory: The case, primer, powder, and projectile are all original and that possibly the mere act of removing the projectile, dumping the powder, replacing the powder and re-seating the projectile, might constitute “remanufacturing” and satisfy whatever laws there are regarding this…
I can not beleive that replacing a corrosive berdan primer with a new, non-corrosive one is cost effective or necessary. Here in the US, many of use corrosive primed surplus with no problems…
- Primer has never been replaced, nobody to my knowledge did that.
- Powder used is not the originally loaded into this cartridge, though it will be original powder.
- Projectiles here are original, even though sometimes lead bullets were set for known reasons. But those 2 projectiles were not originally in the case, the case mouth seal was introduced years later as AKMS wrote.
It seems that a lot of non-ball cartridges were “demilitarized”, had projectiles pulled and received ball bullets (and calibre and trade/manufacturer mark printed on as required by CIP, not by German law!). Unexplained to me remains why the effort to pull ball bullets and reload them into other or even same cases.
What is CIP?
Sorry, looks like I’m out of luck with my excessive use of abbreviations in this topic :)
C.I.P. stands for "Commission Internationale Permanente pour l’Epreuve des Armes
I have just sectioned one of the bullets (easily pulled out, by the way) and it is definitely a steel-core bullet, so the reason for reassembling these ammunition had nothing to do with legal restrictions to importation of those kind of ammo. I fired some rounds and they all functioned well, although I noticed a bit more smoke than expected and (this is quite subjective) a slightly heavier recoil.
I have to disagree with you regarding the visual difference between the lead core and steel core projectiles used in the remanufactured DDR 7.62x39mm.
In every example I have seen, the lead core projectiles also have this very unique, flattened tip that is so common to DDR steel core (and even tracer) projectiles. There may have been several production runs of this remanufactured ammunition, but the original and first into the US all have the same tip shape as steel core. You can not tell the two types apart visually at all.
Hans - a look through my collection has confirmed wihat AKMS said. I know I have rounds in there with lead core, selected for dates I didn’t have, but I could not identify them. I do have one round that I probably got later, from someone else, and it has a “L” marked on the bullet for lead core. This round does not have a red CMS. I have a few others without a red case mouth seal as well. Did any of the lead-core DDR rounds from that exportation to the US have a neck seal? Is it normal for some steel-core rounds not to have a neck seal?
One friend suggested that a roll test of some sort might separate them, since the core densities and center of gravity of the two bullet types are probably different, but I am too dumb to even begin to know how to do that! It is possible that the lead-core replacement bullets were made on the same machinery and in the same way as were the originals, I guess, accounting for that occasional characteristic protrusion at the tip and a very small flat on all the tips.
By the way - not all of my early ones, all of which are original DDR military loadings, have the protrusion on the tip. Most of the imported lead-core ammo I saw was fairly late date, when the PA color had been changed to red, rather than the earlier purple.
AKMS - if you have the box for those DDR rebulleted rounds, could you PM me a scan of it, or post it on this thread? I had a couple of boxes, but gave them both away - silly since I collect DDR cartridges and the boxes for them. Since they were English language labels, as I recall, made for commercial sale, I didn’t “find them interesting” (how dumb of me) at the time they came in four or five years ago.
John, I’ll work on getting you a scan of the box.
The first reworked 7.62x39mm used 1960’s dated DDR cases. Later dated DDR, and cases made in Romania, Poland, USSR and Bulgaria began showing up after a while. The red neck seals were not applied to the reworked rounds, but traces of the original often are still on the case. I have some Romanian cased reworks headstamped “22 80” with gobs of red sealant left on the necks. Interestingly enough, the projectiles are not like the earlier reworks in that they do not have the “tit” or flat spot.
The red case mouth seals first showed up in the early 1960’s on Soviet rounds, with the rest of the com-bloc following suit at various later dates. The first DDR round with the red case mouth seal I know of is dated 1975, but the next one is dated 1982, and each year after that has it as well.
I have received conflicting information on the origins of the lead core projectiles. First, I was told that several million were made by Hirtenberg and sold to the Germans doing the reworks. Later I was told that these were made by a US company, sold to Hirtenberg, then to Germany. No explanation has been made as to why either Hirtenberg or a US company would make a copper plated steel jacketed 7.62x39mm FMJ in the first place when presumably, this is not the normal type made by these two entities. Secondly, why would either make what appears to be an exact copy of the unique DDR tip profile? I am convinced that there is a lot more to learn about these reworks…
[quote=“AKMS”]… I have to disagree with you regarding the visual difference between the lead core and steel core projectiles used in the remanufactured DDR 7.62x39mm.
In every example I have seen, the lead core projectiles also have this very unique, flattened tip that is so common to DDR steel core (and even tracer) projectiles. There may have been several production runs of this remanufactured ammunition, but the original and first into the US all have the same tip shape as steel core. You can not tell the two types apart visually at all…[/quote]
John & AKMS, all lead core reloads I saw had a sharp tipped bullet. Admitted, I should have drawn the line “as far as I have seen”. Next time.
The machinery and tools installed in 04 and 05 was sold, not scrapped. I knew that “demilitarization” and production of fresh ammunition was/is made on those machines (fresh: SM in Chemnitz). It makes sense to produce lead core bullets when tools are there and require only small modifications. The unique flattened tip not necessarily would have to be removed of course.
Like AKMS I never saw freshly applied neck seals. Neck seals, again: I saw! result from what already was on the case or bullet. I even have bullets with red neck seal combined with green neck seal (DDR SRT) on the case.
I can confirm 04 75 in 3 variations:
- purple p.a. / no neck seal
- purple p.a. / red neck seal
- red p.a. / red neck seal
It is said those latter 2 were finished after the turn in 1989/1990 out of existing components. And that makes sense: Up to 04 80 I only have purple primer seal/no neck seal rounds in my collection, the first all red seals in my collection apart from that is an 04 80.
AKMS, it must be confusing because there are/were several reworkers. To start with, both 04 and 05 did rework/recycle. 05 was sold to a US company - here the Americans come into play - and now is an important munitions scrapper/recycler in Europe. But who said there are/were only German companies doing this kind of job? And why should they all use the same projectiles? And it is no secret that Hirtenberger held close ties at least to 05 already before the turn in 1989.[/quote]
Not to hijack, but if anyone know of suppliers of the bullet pulling machines, I am interested. We have several 100 million rds to rework.
I can only suggest some of the large, European Ammunition making machine suppliers: New La Chaussee ( Belgium) and Fritz Werner (Germany). Sellier & Bellot (Czech Republic) could also be a Possible supplier; they make a lot of their own machinery.
Machinery of this type comes in basically two types, one that actually destroys the cartridge case, by cutting lengthwise through the neck of the case so that the projectile “pops” out ( used for “de-commissioning” ammunition, especially larger calibres ( 12,7(.50cal) and upwards))
and the actual “pulling"machines, which use a set of extractor collets or claws to grab the bullet and pull it from the case, this preserving case integrity. the Case can then either be emptied of Powder and reloaded, or the projectile (FMJ) simply substituted with a"sporting” projectile of similar mass, utilising the original Powder charge.
Some machines have a separate annexure which “pops” the primers and then removes the “fired” primer, removes the primer crimp on the case, and resizes the case for further reloading ( actually termed “Re-manufacture”).
Since WW II, several enterprises have “re-worked” old Military surplus, at least to the substitution of projectiles stage; one manufacturer in the USA has actually “Re-manufactured” US GI ammo in the 1980s and 90s, to make more accurate and reliable ammo in standard US Military calibres( 50 cal, 7,62mm, and .30/06).
Those earlier firms involved included Lapua (Finland) working on contract for Interarms (.303, 7,62x54R and 7,9x57 ammo all converted in the 1950s and 60s). and Belmont Ammunition (New Zealand) which converted Canadian-made .303 DI Z 43 ball ammo to Soft Point in the 1990s; In both cases, only the projectile was substituted.
(Lapua used British-made .303 which was all Cordite loaded, and as such was the easiest to re-work.(No spillage possible).
A Google search of the names I mentioned above should get the Web pages concerned of machinery makers…others which spring to mind are “PrviPartizan” Uzice (Serbia), FN-Herstal, Pakistan Ordnance Factories and of course Norinco (PRC) all of which also offer machinery set-ups for complete Ammo factory development.
There are also some world-wide machinery dealers in this field, which specialize in cartridge machinery, but due to the interference of the UN with its Disarmamment activities, most old machinery in this field is ordered scrapped/destroyed and is not allowed to be sold on to “non-state” buyers, under various naive treaties instigated by the UN and its many corrupt members.(to ensure both State and civilian (private) Disarmament.).
AV Ballistics Technical Ordnance Services
Here is the box for the German re-worked 7.62x39mm cartridges. I know of no other variations, regardless of the headstamp, who did the re-working or import period Anyone have other variations?