Abandoned Ammunition Production Facility in Polican (Polichan), Albania

John, “KMP” stand for “Kombinati Mekanik Poliçan”.



Fede - great. I would still like an enhanced version of the entire stamp that was on, if anyone can do that, as well as a translation of the entire stamp. “Mekanik” and “Poliçan” are obvious. I assume “Kombinati” is a form of how the company is constituted, like “Incorporated” or A.-G. in German, etc. etc.

At any rate, I appreciate knowing the word Mekanik is what was there. I simply could not read it as the printing of almost all the word was poor.



Google Translation from Albanian:

Polychrome Mechanical Combine
Poliçan Mechanical Combine is a state-owned enterprise, established in 1962, to meet the requirements of the Albanian Armed Forces for weapons. The plant is located near the town of Poliçan, in the district of Skrapar, 22 km south of the city of Berat. The Ammunition Production Plant (today the Polychrome Mechanical Combine) was built and started operating in the 1960s. The plant started producing ammunition for the first time in 1967. Initially, the production line was put into operation.

Thanks Manoos!


I think at least in the title, and in the part in parenthesis in the third and fourth lines, the name “Poliçan” is being translated as “Polychrome.” Otherwise, I cannot see the relationship between the Albanian-language title and that of the English Translation.

Since Poliçan is the name of the city, it normally would not be translated (the city of San Francisco is “San Francisco,” not Saint Francis, whether in Spanish or English, and yes, I am aware that in some languages a city name changes, such as “Paris” becoming “Parigi” in Italian). Can anyone confirm that the actual current name of this company is “The polychrome Mechanical Combine,” and not the “Poliçan Mechanical Combine?”

Can anyone provide a translation of the information contained in a Square on the 9 mm Spec sheet that Lew published?

John Moss

John, the square on the 9 mm spec says:

Republic of Albania
Ministry of Defence
Mechanical Combine Poliçan

I can also add that, given that this city used to be part of Greece, the historical name was Politsani or Polytsani (romanized Greek), and was not changed to Poliçan until the 1920’s, when a new border limit was settled and it became part of Albania.



John Moss. Google translated it incorrectly, in English transcription the name of the city will sound like polichan.

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Jay, have you ever seen other calibers with the Vairog logo?
As per their website they are also offering 6.5x49 (Creedmor), 7.62x35 (300 BLK) and 7.62x39.

Fede and Mangoos - thank you very, very much for that information. It may seem a small thing, but it is NOT for me. My study of anything in 9 x 18 mm weaponry and the companies that made it has been a project of mine since the war in Viet Nam (I wish to point out that I was not there - I was a Cold War soldier) starting about 1968 or so. Almost an adult lifetime study for me. Every tiny bit of information is of interest to me.

Thank you, my dear collecting colleagues.

John Moss

No not yet, I think it is marketing. Even the 5.56 and 7.62 were 6 to 9 months have original promise date. I think they are moving the line to the USA, which
is also nuts.

Odd indeed, now I am looking forward to them showing up in the hands of US researchers.

John, no need to express anything as I worked for them 3 times in 2 countries.

A few years ago I added Polican to my list of 9x19 & 7.62x39 to import from Europe on my Form 6 in hopes some would show up. I got an email from the ATF that it was illegal to import any SAA from Albania. They lined it out on my Form 6.

The next year I put Armenia and Azerbaijan on my Form 6. The ATF approved Azerbaijan but disapproved Armenia.

As I understand it Congress adds language restricting some countries, or the Administration gives the ATF that direction. In both cases I asked the ATF for the rational for the restrictions and they didn’t know anything except that is the direction they received.

It makes sense that an Albanian company would move to the US.


What is the reason for that? As of 2009, Albania is a NATO member. Why would it be illegal to import ammunition from a NATO country?

Not having the answer but maybe because the US govt once was scammed with Chinese ammo from Albania? And as we know politicians were never interested in details and facts.

And how does it all square with the Albanian shooting ammo in 7.62x54R that was imported to the US some years ago?

First, this Topic doesn’t show up on my forum under General Ammunition Discussion and hasn’t since my last post. I have to find it under my symbol.

EOD, some decades ago, a huge quantity of Yugoslavian 9x19 was shipped into the US all labelled as Greek. The top of each box was torn off removing the label and the wooden cases were spray painted black. This was done in Greece. At the time ammunition import from any Communist block country was illegal. Some of this ammo began showing up in the possession of the IRA in Northern Island. The British were delight to learn that it was not a Communist country supplying the IRA but it was only patriotic Irish Americans. I suspect the Albanian 7.62x54R came in the same way.


Lew, indeed, there is lots of disguised origins and way too many questionable business men involved.



Here’s a couple of images of 7.62mmx39 cartridges from Albanian No.3 factory. Two different colours for CMS, the violet lacquer being on earlier cartridges (1987). The other image shows the ‘I’ mark on one cartridge headstamp, ‘II’ on another, and blank space on another (with a feint bunter mark in its place that seems to have had the original figure ground off.) Does anyone know for sure what these figures represent (was thinking possibly a period of the year of production?)

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#3 is the factory (KMP).
The 2-digit figure is the year and the Roman numerals are not really identified. I think it could be the production line maybe.

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