7.62x54mmR Round ID needed

Round has copper washed steel case with brass primer headstamp is 21 74. I think this is made by M

Yes, heavy ball with mild steel core. The projectile is quite long and is very similar in design and construction to the WWII German SmE “Lang” projectile. This color code was basicly unknown until large quantities of this very ammunition was imported into the USA for the shooter market a few years ago. It (the color code) is only used by Hungary and IIRC they call it the “DPS” (D=heavy, PS=mild steel core) . The first Czech 7.62x54r ball loads were basicly identical to this later Hungarian version. Comparing the two sectioned examples in my collection, the diffrences are very minor. The Czech load has no tip color. I have seen this silver/yellow tipped ammunition sold as “sniper” ammunition, but have no reason to beleive that it is so, as the crates and cans it is packed in make no mention of this.


Thanks AKMS! Lots of good information.

AKMS’s comment about “sniper ball” is right on, as far as I am concerned.
Everything these days in ammo is “Match-grade” or “Sniper ammo” if they want to sell it to you at a gun show. It makes me make this entry that I probably shouldn’t, but you all know by now I can’t keep my mouth shut.

The four most over-used words in the “gun game” today are: Tactical, experimental, sniper and rare. Not necessarily listed in any order. There are probably others used poorly and too often. I just got an offer to buy some cartridges from a dealer in England. Every cartridge on his list was “rare” even though some of them are found by the box full as shooting ammunition. I don’t need to expalin myself for most people on the other I three words. Anyone know where I can buy some “Tactical” shoe laces?

So, John…could I interest you in an expensive, rare, experimental, tactical sniper round?

Seriously, you’re right on. Just look through Auctionarms and Gunbroker. Almost every item is described as you mention above.

John if you are looking for “Tactical” shoe laces try Ranger Joes ;-)

In all seriousness, I know what you mean! I too had heard the “this is special sniper ammo” but thought it a load of BS.

One of my favorites was when I saw 7.62x54R M39

Yes, that cartridge came from Hungary, but 21 covers "Bakony Művek, Veszpr

Bakony Művek, Veszpr


The only problem I have with the identification of the Hungarian “21” maker’s code NOT being MFS is that all of the Hungarian 9 x 18mm Makarov ammunition encountered here so far is headstamped “21” while all of the Hungarian commercial 9 x 18mm Makarov encountered is headstamp “MFS” and in “MFS” boxes. Can that be explained? I would think that logic would dictate that both military and commercial production of this caliber would be produced by the same factory. Only a thought.

John Moss

Hello John,

I have no proofs about this, but military production of this caliber ended in the late 80’s or early 90’s by the close down of the Bakony Művek. Till this time there were no commercial production in Hungary, only military ammo could be bought for self defence handguns. The only remaning ammo plant (23, MFS) started commercial and police contract production in the early 90’s.


Vince, I will try this again. I did an answer but it didn’t seem to post. If we get it twice, forgive me. Thank you for the great response. With your good information, the seeming discrepancy starts to make sense. I seek out the 9mm Makarov cartridges very actively, and my collection tends to confirm everything you said. My last date in a “21” Hungarian 9x18mm is 1989, while my notes indicate that I got my first MFS headstamp in this caliber, a new, unprimed empty case, as a result of the IWA Show in N

If there were no wars,what would you collect??


“If there were no wars,what would you collect??”

Sporting cartridges??? ;-)

Good info. Thanks guys.

I would happily collect sporting cartridges if there were no wars. I already do, actually. I Probalby have more commercial auto pistol cartridges than military.