Ammunition manufacturers in Cambodia?

By now I was not able to find any reference to Cambodian ammunition manufacturers.

Does anybody have an insight maybe?

Cambodia had a French supplied plant before 1975,
Making IIR, 7.5 x54, 8x51R and 9x19.
With the Khmer Rouge, the factory was destroyed/abandoned, and I don’t know if it was ever rebuilt…The KR were so asinine that they destroyed anything that was foreign or “imperialist”…even though it may have been useful to them.
As to the new govt, after the Vietnamese eradicatedthe KR, no info about any new Ammo facilities.

Doc AV

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Doc, thanks!
Do images of these cartridges exist?

EOD - I can only speak to one factory in Cambodia, Stung Chral. It was originally put into operation in the mid-1960s, producing The factory was known as “the Cartucherie” locally, and was commanded by Lt. Col. Chum Khin, the director of the facility. The agreement between he Cambodian and Czech Governments was reached in February 1962, and involved Sellier & Bellot, who was to set up the factory in 1965. The first 9 mm Cartridges produced there, 9 x 19 mm Para that is, are headstamped simply 9mmP at the top and 65 at the bottom of the head. The only three calibers they were making was 9 x 19 mm, .30-06 (7.62 x 63mm) and 7.5 x 54 mm French. They had planned to make the 7.65 x 20 mm French Long cartridge, but evidently never did. That may be why Sellier & Bellot made a relatively small quantity of this cartridge totally duplicating the French-made cartridges in appearance and performance, but lacking any headstamp.

In the case of the 9 mm and the 7.5 mm French rifle cartridge, the date “65” was removed from the bunter because production was actually delayed until 1969.

On November 30, 1970, when the facility was overran by the Khmer Rouge. It was later taken back by troops of the Khmer Republic (Cambodia), but the facility was so damaged in the fighting and by Khmer Rouge sabotage that it never resumed production.

According to an article in the American Rifleman Magazine, referenced below, the Khmer Government had plans to establish another small arms ammunition plant near Phnom Penh, with plans to make various U.S. calibers of ammunition, as well as 7.62 x 39 mm. I have no information as to whether or not this plan was ever realized. Most likely not, due to the victory of the Khmer Rouge that ended the Khmer Republic. I have no information about anything from that time to now, regarding Cambodian ammunition production.

I will add here that the article in the American Rifleman led to me making my own inquiries thru a source I had at the time, which resulted in obtaining a partial box of 9 mm
Para ammunition. Originally thought by the author of the article to have been made in only one lot, it turned out the rounds in my box had the “65” date removed, resulting in a second headstamp variation. The box label (a copy of a French 32-round 9 mm Box, and in the French Language) indicates my rounds to be the first lot of 1969, so the 65-dated cartridges were evidently from a pilot lot. To my knowledge, only two specimens of the cartridge with the 65 date are known, that of the author of the article, and my own. When I got the box, with the war in SE Asia still going on, it was slightly less than half full, and I gave away the rounds to 9 mm collector friends. I still retain the box and one each of the two headstamps.

Reference: “Cambodian Army Ammunition Plant,” by Theodore Carlow, The American Rifleman (unfortunately, that page, all that was kept from that issue, in undated and I failed to record the date, a “rookie error,” in the Extreme.

Reference: Personal conversation by phone between Ted Carlow and John Moss

Reference: “Cambodian 9 mm Parabellum Cartridges,” Woodin Laboratory, compiled by John L. Moss, IAA Journal Issue 418, Mar/Apr 2001, pages 6-7.

Reference: Original Box Label for Stung Chral-produced 9 mm Para cartridges, 1969.

John Moss

Yes, some years back, on either this Forum or on Gunboards, there were photos of the ammo and the packets.
Doc AV

John, thanks a lot for the detailed write up!

Now I wonder if they may set up a new facility since the war is long over and the country is coming back to conscious.

John, Ted Carlow’s article in The American Rifleman, was the July 1974 issue, on page 12.

About 7 years ago I was contacted by a Cambodian Army Lt Col whose father was a Cambodian Army General. He had questions about some 9x19mm ammo being sold in Cambodia which was one of the Thai brands. I asked him specifically about Cambodian made ammunition and he claimed ammunition was never made in Cambodia. He was shocked to learn about the Stung Chral plant John mentions above. I sent him photos of the box and cartridges, and the information on the plant. He was amazed and claimed that no one remembered the production of ammunition in Cambodia. According to the Lt Col the 9x19mm being sold in Cambodia was Chinese or Thai.

I do know of a 7.65x20mm Long that was produced by S&B for Cambodia. Photo at:

Cheers,
Lew

Lew - I somehow missed much of that last thread, even though I see I contributed to it. Must be old age.

I have one of the unheadstamped 7.65 French Long Cartridges. I was not sure who they were made for, as my cartridge was found at S&B by my friend Jiri Vojta, who was born in Czechoslovakia before not too long before WW2 - he was older than I - and passed away at his home in Albuquerque a few years ago. A brilliant man. The picture shown on the older thread referenced above is identical to my cartridge. Looks absolutely French, except for the lack of a headstamp, although definitely made by Sellier & Bellot.

Vidar - thanks for telling me about the date of that article in the “American Rifleman.” I will annotate those pages in my files on Cambodia (General) and Cambodian 9 mm Para, something I should have done when I first took them out of the magazine!

I had remembered, apparently incorrectly, that I had first found out about the Cambodian 9 mm rounds from that article, but my impression is that it was somewhat earlier than that when I acquired mine, as SE Asia was still pretty much at war. Time dims the memory of us old guys! Carlow lived in California, and I may have known of him before that article, as I was one of the founding members of the California Cartridge Collector’s Club, founded in San Francisco by about 12 collectors. I just don’t recall, it seems.

John Moss

John,
The one pictured in the link came from the S&B factory along with some other S&B made items. This one was identified as a contract for Cambodia!

Lew