An USSR 22LR box


I have a friend who own a box of USSR manufactured steel case 22LR ammunition without any headstamp on the cases.

Below a pic of the box.

Is there anyone who knows who was the manufacturer of these cartridges?

All the best


Take a look at this PDF with information on USSR .22 boxes:


This is one of the Vostok boxes.
Not sure if black steel cases but sold in Australia around 1970’s ?
They gave a few mis-fires so not very popular I believe. I have used them. Ron.

The shown box is from 1971.

The manufacturer is Klimovsk Stamping Plant.

“Vostok” was an “umbrella” trade brand used by Soviet state-owned export organization for gun-related products (rifles, shotguns, ammo), regardless of actual manufacturer

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Sirs, thank you for the replies!!!

…your knowledge is priceless to me!

Two additional questions…how do you know that the ammo was manufactured by the Klimovsk Plant?
I mean…is there anywhere on the box a number, a word, a code or anything else that identifies such manufacturer?
and…do you know the meaning of the number two and the code M56 printed on the side of the box?

All the best

It is amazing what kind of stuff you can tell just by seing that old box :D

Dear Andrea,

The manufacturer of cartridges is the Novosibirsk Plant of Low-Voltage Equipment (now the Novosibirsk Cartridge Plant).

In the former USSR and later in Russia, rimfire cartridges were produced only by two plants (Klimovsk Stamping Plant and Novosibirsk Plant of Low-Voltage Equipment). In both cases, the official foreign trademark “V” (VOSTOK) was stamped on the base of the cartridge case. Traditionally, the cartridge manufacturer was no designated on the package of cartridges (Made in USSR). Determine the manufacturer of cartridges can only be the trademark on the package.

Cartridges were manufactured in 1971. Marking M56 is the lot number of cartridges. The number 2 inside the rhombus is a sign of quality control.

Best regards

In the former USSR and later in Russia, rimfire cartridges were produced only by two plants (Klimovsk Stamping Plant and Novosibirsk Plant of Low-Voltage Equipment)

Match-grade .22LR ammo was, and still is produced by TsNIITochMash in Klimovsk

The box says “первая категория” (1st grade). How many grades there are? 2,3 or more?

Indeed, СNIITochMash indicates itself as a manufacturer of cartridges. In fact, this is not a manufacture, but an assembly of expensive cartridges in a small amount for high-level shooters from components manufactured at the Klimovsk stamping plant (these two plants are located in a common area).

Probably no one will answer this question.
In the former USSR and later in Russia, there are no and never have been normative-technical documents that establish requirements for rimfire cartridges. The cartridges were manufactured in accordance with the requirements established in the documentation of the manufacturer. After 50 years, no one will say what quality levels were established and by what parameters.

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I can say something about the quality of 1970s Vostok .22LR: it’s better than Fiocchi’s .22 offerings.
Firing 10 rounds from 2 different boxes of 1970s Vostok, and 10 rounds from 5 different boxes/types of Fiocchi .22 LR, the Vostok was more evenly loaded (even velocity), had the same level of sound/flash, and had an acceptable precision with no “fliers”.

The Fiocchi on the other hand was VERY uneven, with varying shot sound, varying velocity, and a lot of “fliers”.

I don’t know how much it says about the Vostok but it does say a lot about 2017-made Fiocchi that 1970s steel case ammo performs better…


It does not surprise me. In the 70s, the quality of products in the USSR was very high, especially for products intended for export.

Certainly. I did not even have any light rim strikes, or “failure to fire”, with the steel cases.
With the Fiocchi brass cases, I’ve had many throughout the years. Even .223 ammunition from Fiocchi seems to be hit or miss. And when Barnaul is cheaper than the Fiocchi, well…


Rimfire cartridges manufactured in the former USSR were characterized by low sensitivity (steel cartridge cases about 14 cm, brass cartridge cases about 10 cm). This, of course, significantly lower sensitivity compared with foreign equivalents. After that, all depends on the weapon. For individual models of weapons, there were massive misfires.

Mikhail, the manufacturer of the box shown above is the Klimovsk Stamping Plant. The contemporary production by Novosibirsk used a two piece box with their logo on one of the side panels.



Dear Fede,

I am 90% sure that this is Novosibirsk.
I found on the Internet a photo with the trademark of the Novosibirsk Plant of Low Voltage Equipment (open contacts) at the bottom of the package.


However, there is very small doubt. The fact is that in different years we bought cartridge cases for our rimfire cartridges both in Klimovsk and in Novosibirsk. I distinctly remember this trademark (rear sight and front sight) on the boxes with cartridge cases, but I do not remember where these boxes came from.


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Mikhail, you are showing a Novosibirsk two piece box exactly like the one I’m showing in my post, but the box posted by Andrea is a one piece box by Klimovsk marked “Vostok” on the sides.