7.62x54R with E.D.P. hst & Caliber/date only hsts

I just ran across this cartridge and wondered if anyone can tell me the anything about the EDP headstamp.

It was found mixed with some Romanian 7.62x54R headstamped “.321. 53.9”.


Hi Lew,
The EDP is Greek, Olympic Arms. That “321” headstamp is actually an old PRC marking, not Romania.

Jon, Thanks! I know the EDP occured on Olympic ammo but all the other cases that Olympic used on 9x19mm and I think on other calibers were assorted headstamps bought in Eastern Europe, many looked like leftovers from other contracts. I have been told that the EDP headstamp was made for Olympic (who never made their own cases I’m told) with the owner’s initials or with his childrens intials (two different versions of the same story). I have serious questions about this because both sources got it from an Olympic agent at the Shotshow where it was an easy answer to provide instead of revelaing the source of the cases, assuming the agent knew.

This round and those with the 321 headstamp came from a batch of 7.62x39mm out of Iraq. I’m particularly interested since this 7.62x59mm may point to the actual factory that made the cases for Olympic. This round is a purely military load. The 02 date would indicate it may have been supplied to Iraq before OIF which began in March '03. On the otherhand, it could have been brought in by Romanian or other forces who participated in OIF. Again, only guesses without more information.

I thought that the other rounds were from Romania because they are brass case and Romania has used the codes 321, 322 and 323. The date of '53 (if this is a date) is pretty early for the 321 code in Romania and pretty early for the 321 code in China which didn’t introduce the 3xx series of codes until much later as I recall. The 321 headstamped load also has the much larger diameter primer that I associate with Romanian ammo-perhaps wrongly.

There appears to be a lot of ammo being made and shipped around in this area and it would be nice to sort out some of the locations who made this stuff.

Cheers, Lew

Well, now knowing your focus for the EDP headstamp, I can’t say who made the case, or even loaded the round for Olympic. I am pretty sure on the ID for the PRC 321 round, however. I have that code on 6.5 Jap., 7.62x54R, and 7.9 Mauser, all from the PRC in the early 1950s.

I am somewhat confused by this thread since answers appear for what seems to be no questions asked. Am I missing something? there is banter about a 321 headstamp between Lew and Jon, but I can’t seem to find any reference to the original question about ammunition with a “321” headstamp on this thread. So, I will jump in and if my answer is totally non-sequiter, forgive me.

The code “321” was used on brass-cased Chinese Communist 7.9 x 57 amunition from January 1952 until at least September of the same year. It probably represents the same factory that later used the “31” code, but I am not sure of that. China had a habit of playing with factory numbers, most of which were three-digit, and on most later headstamps, they reduced them to two digits, although three-digit and even four-digit headstamps are known, of course, on various calibers. So, “321” appearing on a 1953 round of caliber unknown to me from this thread is not too early or too late for the PRC. If the round is a 7.62 x 39 or 7.62 x 54, I can’t make any comment on it, since I know little about these rounds.

Regarding what seems to have been the sole question actually appearing on this thread, regarding the “EDP” headstamp that is best known from 9mm Parabellum ammunition sold by the firm “Olympic Industries, S.A.,” of Greece, while I, too, am reluctant to believe much of what manufacturers say about the history or identification of symbols used by their own factories, since their employees are often wrong and the factories are highly secretive even on details of commercial ammunition, I do not find it hard to accept that the EDP headstamps represents family initials. Our problem with this headstamp is that as improbable as that seems, there is industry precedent for it. I could quote the famous Winchester “R&D” 9mm headstamp, but that is a little different case, since Winchester was probably not at all aware that they were using the initials of two principal civilian employees involved in the USAF Pistol and Ammunition trials and not “Reserach & Develkopment.” One good example, though, are FEG (Hungarian) pistols made for KBI, Inc., and the American Market, all of which bear Model designations that are the initials of members of the Kassnar Family or members of KBI’s staff. The scond problem is that while we may be reluctant to accept that the EDP are family initials, what is the alternative? Is their any possible meaning for them on cartridge cases native to Romania, Czech Republic, or South Africa, all of which made ammunition or components for Olympic? I cannot find any after several years of trying.

Heck, the “H” headstamp on Winchester .22 Ammunition honors the name of F. Tyler Henry. of Henry Rifle fame. Oliver Winchester chose to do that. Not much difference than the owner of an ammunition factory honoring his children and family name on a headstamp.

In a thread on the old forum I mentioned that the chap from the Olympic Booth at the SHOT Show told us the meaning of E and D but did not know the meaning of “P”. Searching my notes, that was an incorrect statement. What he did not know was the SPELLING of the name represented by “P.”

The Owner of Olympic was (is?) a man named Basil Papadopoulos (thanks to ECRA and C. Z. Sazanidas of Greece for the spelling). His children’s names are Elias and Dimitirus, according to the factory rep at the SHOT Show. Doesn’t seem like two names that an american (which the Rep was) would pick out of a hat. Geroge Kass and I are probably the only two people who bothered to ask such a question at a trade show. If we can find a better and documented explanation for EDP heastamp than those initials, I will certainly accept it.

I don’t find it hard to believe that he would pick those intials. Earlier 9mm from this company, likely made in Romania, has the heastamp “S&W” and we can find no meaning for that other than the trademarked “Smith & Wesson,” to which it certainly does not apply. Whether it was picked to confuse with Smith and Wesson is another story and one I do not know. Again, we can’t find any “Romanian” meaning for it, unless there is a word that would logically go with “SADU & …” on a headstamp.

Headstamps are, by and large, at the whim of the customer buying the ammunition or the factory making it. This includes military ammunition, where the military and/or government, and their regulations, represent the “whim.”

The headstamp on that 7.62 x 54R “EDP” round is one of these caliber and dated headstamps that could be either military or commercial.

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This appears right under the pic.

“It was found mixed with some Romanian 7.62x54R headstamped “.321. 53.9”.


Jon - thanks for pointing it out. I simply missed that completely. Between fading vision and losing my mind, if I ever had one, I probably shouldn’t even be on this Forum, since by and large, it is populated by intelligent people. If that entry had been a snake, it would have bit me.

The headstamp style . 321 . is always Chinese - nothing to do with Romania.
The 1953 date is very consistent with this style of Chinese Headstamp.

Joh, I have gone back into my “stuff” and I also have some early Chinese with the 321 headstamp. No question you are correct.

I’m interested in what the Eastern Block ammo specialists have to say about the EDP headstamp. I have not seen previous Olympic ammo with a dated headstamp. Has anyone seen 7.62x54R sold by Olympic back when they were selling a lot of ammo in the US?

If it is actually Olympic production, then it is interesting that it showed up in Iraq with a 2002 date. I have a hard time believing that Greece would approve an import order, but perhaps Olympic did supply a shipment of this ammo to somebody who was kind enough to send it to Iraq at some point in time. Does anyone have any insight???

The only Olympic x54R I saw here in the US had no EDP, but has 7.62x54 (@12) and 02 (@6). The 7.62x39 I have is also dated 02, but has the EDP in the same style as your example.

Gentlemen, for those clueless like me could you show the headstamps you are talking about?

Lew - You said “I have not seen previous Olympic ammo with a dated headstamp.” I am sure you don’t mean that. ALL of the Olympic 9mm ammo we have encountered so far, except for the EDP headstamp, have been dated. That includes the “S&W” and the “NPA” headstamps.

I have one 7.9 from them, and it is caliber marked and dated also, but has no factory designator, only the caliber and the date on the headstamp.

There are a lot of ways that round you mention could have come into Iraq - thru Iran or Syria with a “foreign fighter,” for example. It could have come in thru the Kurds and Turkey, or to the Kurds originally from Greece, who have no love for Turkey (“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”). I guess it would depend on how much of it was found. If a warehouse full was found, then I couldn’t explain it at all. If it is just a few rounds off of a single fighter, then it could have come from dozens of sources.


You’re not alone. I missed it too.

I try to make a point of posting all dialogue and then inserting any photos at the very end. That way, nothing gets lost.

Ron - Maybe you can pick up on this and post a note?? Or not. ;) ;)


Thanks for the replies.

John, Sloppy writing on my part, I meant EDP headstamped Olympic rounds. The NPA were of course a police contract for Taiwan and the S&W were also a contract loaded for someone by Romania. Both loaded this ammo and Olympic bought cases and loaded their own ammo in them.

Jon, Many thanks for the information on your Olympic 7.62x54R and 7.62x39 rounds. I picked up the EDP headstamped round cause I’m pretty sure that whoever made the EDP cases for Olympic is also the supplier of the 9mm ammo that has only the caliber at the top and the two digit date at the bottom. For quite a while there were just a couple of fired 9x19mm cases with 9x19 at the top and 00 at the bottom and they were found at a range in the US mixed with a large pile of EDP 9x19 headstamped cases. Obvious conclusion is that a couple of these cases got mixed in with the Olympic EDP cases. This style is also confirmed in a 95 dated case so it has been around for a while. Some time ago I found some 7.62x54R with this style headstamp (pictured below) with a red/orange pa and a belt that looked Serbian (PPU). This ammo was suppose to be a US contract load for the Iraqi forces. Now I have picked up a few 9x19 with the two position headstamp and an 07 date. The box label is only

              50. Cartridges 9 x 19     

These rounds do not look Serbian to me. Is Olympic still around??? I thought they were out of business, or not in the ammo business for some time. No evidence except I can’t find any active adverts for their ammo on the internet in a quick search. From the ads it does look like they did load military ammo at one time.

Note that the EDP hst 7.62 has the same type primer crimp as the 9mm pictured below with just the caliber and the 07 date. These crimps also occur on the 9x19mm fired case with the 95 date, but not on the 00 date found with the Olympic EDP headstamps.

The headstamp style of the 7.62x39mm I posted in another thread (repeated below) and rumored to be Iranian have this same primer crimp and a headstamp that is the calibe and date format with another number (lot???) added. I have also pictured an Iranian 7.62 NATO which also has these primer crimps.

Seems to me that the EDP cases used by Olympic could have come from Iran (though the EDP 9x19 didn’t have primer crimps, nor did the 9x19 00 cases mixed with the Olympic EDP cases) that might make sense if they were loaded by Olympic and not in Iran.

I’ve got a strong feeling that the EDP and caliber over date headstamps on 9x19mm are linked, and other indications point to Iran as a possible source.


I just received an email today from an expert on Iranian arms and ammunition who has translated some Iranian headstamps for me that the headstamp “9x19 07” is definately as are the 7.62x39mm’s I pictured above with similar headstamps. This makes it pretty clear that the “EDP 9x19” headstamped cases were produced in Iran. A member of this Forum also sent me an image of a headstamp on 7.62 NATO supplied by Iran to Bosina which was simply 7.62x51 across the top of the headstamp. Many thanks to the members of the Forum who have supplied this information.

Cheers, Lew