Cheetah ammunition


I would like to have information because I read in internet a society called “Cheetah” who produced ammunition in 7,62 x 39 mm.
but I don’t found a manufacture called cheetah.
someone can tell me more ?


The “Cheetah” brand of 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition, with headstamp designator “ZI” was made in Zimbabwe by Zimbabwe Defence Industries, According to an article by Stephen Fuller in IAA Journal Number 406, March/April 1999, page 33, the machinery and expertise to make the ammunition was supplied by the People’s Reopublic of China. The cartridges are brass-cased and Berdan-primed. Some of this ammunition was imported into the United States, in the distinctive “Cheetah skin” pattern 40-round box, in 1998. That ammunition was dated from the previous year, “97” so probably was not surplus, but rather made for commercial export. The caliber 7.62 x 54R has also been made by this factory.

According a very old topic it is from Zimbabwe produced on Chinese machinery.

Possible headstamp 12 o’clock last digits of the year of manufacturing and 6 o’clock “ZI”.

There’s an earlier thread including box photos at

Dave S

thanks for your help.
I’m very surprise by the number of producers of 7,62 x 39 mm!

Don’t be surprised by the number of countries and factories making this ammunition. The rifles and machineguns in this caliber probably represent the highest number of small arms ever produced in a specific caliber in the history of firearms. I believe it is estimated that there may have been as many as 70 million Kalashnikov rifles alone manufactured in various countries. Plus there have been other rifles (SKS, CZ, etc.) made in this caliber. Even a few sporting rifles have been factory-chambered for it. The Kalashnikov has been used either recreationally or for warfare on every inhabited continent in the world, and at one time or another, even if in limited quantity for special ops, by almost every country that has a military establishment.

To put the number of weapons in this caliber in perspective, during WWII, the United States, one of the major belligerents of one of the worst wars in history, produced somewhat less than 6,000,000 M1 (Garand) rifles in .30-06 caliber, as I recall. In fact, production of the M1 Carbine and its variants in .30 Carbine caliber exceeded in number that of the M1 rifle, but was still only somewhat over 6,000,000.

it is very interresting so russian have 5,45 x 39 mm but many countries prefer today the 7,62 x 39 mm and so today many countries in asia and africa buy line of ammunition for to produce 7,62 x 39 mm.