9mm 1943 Bulgarian box

I please need help to translate the label !



I have a simmular box. Look at the bottom of the first page:

The translation is on the second page.

I think it’s a bulgarian box, not russian.
Kazanlak (казанлъкъ) is a bulgarian town with guns and ammo production plants.


Thanks for the help …

It says:

16 life pistol cartridges
Parabellum 9mm
Loaded June 1943
Kazanlk (better pronounced as Kazanlak)

Hi guys. In that label translation, “life” as in “life cartridges” is better translated into English as “live cartridges.”

John, that the native English speaker may decide, the direct translation of the word in question is “combat” as in the old days in many countries existed similar terms for ammo that was not blank or dummy.

EOD - in that instance, I would have translated that label as “combat.” I didn’t realize it. In English usage, “Life” makes no sense. I see that “live” is often translated in stuff I get as “live” by people in Cyrillic alphabet-using countries. “Live” makes sense, but then so does “combat” when translated into English. Tells us it is not blanks, dummies or any kind of competition or training cartridges. In truth, the direct English use on an English label would probably be “Ball Ammunition,” although not sure. Guess it would depend on what other loads were in that caliber (tracer, AP and the like).

Yes - it is not always easy to translate words from one language to another and achiever words that make sense to people of the other language. Your translations are always good, and no
criticism was intended.

I agree with John; it’s best rendered in English as ball cartridges. Jack

Yes. In proper translation the word chosen is often not the literal translation but the correct equivalent usage in the target language. “Ball” ammunition may be a good term for translation into American English, as this term is essentially never used on the civilian market, giving it both the correct technical reference as FMJ and the correct reference as a military cartridge.

However, it may be that the guy who translated this as “life” [live] may have the more accurate word in this case, as the distinction may in fact have been between blanks and standard live rounds.

I had forgotten how close Bulgarian is to Russian. That box is, of course, not in Russian – but even a rusty old once-semi-literate Russian speaker like myself can make it out fairly well. “Boi” is indeed combat in Russian and apparently means the same in Bulgarian.

My question is whether those rounds are steel cased, and what the bullet weights are. I went through quite a long process of debugging the WWII Bulgarian contract Star B pistol with a buddy of mine a year or so ago, and would be very interested in more detail on those rounds.

Charlie DeArmond


This boxes did appear 30-40 years ago in Europe and were, at first, considered as Russian, but quickly identified as Bulgarian (by the way, the Russian did not use the 9x19 Parabellum during WWII, but with some captured weapons).

Nothing else to add, except the "D.V.F " significance, as stated, in cyrillic letters , is for

Dirjavna Voenna Fabrika = State Military Factory (in Kazanlak)

I remember that I asked for translation one of my patients (!) coming from Sofia… He was puzzled to find that medical practice in France could co-exist with interest for ammo!!!


Hi! This is our bulgarian production, made in WW2 years:
Д.В.Ф. Казанлъкъ/State Military Factory Kazanlak
Парабелумъ 9 мм/ Parabellum 9 mm
16 бойни пистолетни патрони / 16 battle pistol cartridges
снаряжение юни 1943 год./equipment june 1943 у.