Cuba to begin production of 7.62x39

Here’s a story about Cuba planning to start production of 7.62x39 on Russian supplied equipment. Wonder what the headstamp will be?

A very interesting article, especially in the light that collectors have thought Cuba has made 7.62 x 39 ammo for many years now, every since an Italian collector who inspected the cargo of foregin ships in Genoa harbor found scrap metal loads in ships coming from Cuba with tons of empty 7.62 x 39 mm fired cases, many headstamp “13” and a date of manufacture. The number “13” was subsequently identified as being a Cuban factory, although since I don’t collect that caliber and was not part of the identification, I do not know what process was used, other than the connection to ships coming out of Cuba, to do so.

From this article, it would seem that the identification is wrong, although they did mention components (ammo or loading machinery?) in storage in Cuba for a number of years. Perhaps the cartridges were simply loaded in Cuba?

One more mystery that must be cleared up if we are to keep referring to Arsenal 13 as being Cuban. In my opinion, this article trumps any evidence I have seen to date (none other than the ship’s cargo connection) that the cases marked “13” are Cuban.

Great - A new supplier to the Mexican narco cartels.

The supplier of the machinery is likely to be KBAL from Klimovsk. On their website they are seeking personnel for a job in a “Latin American Country” to set up a small arms ammunition production line. The project is planned for within 2012. Duration 4 to 18 months.

That they bought a production line now does not mean they had none before.
Those cases we know from the Cuban scrap load also contained many draw stages. Would be unusual to turn up in a country that did not make any ammo maybe.
Just a thought…

I thought this is taken care of by US agancies?

Matt–Interesting news. Too bad it did not indicate a time frame for production to begin. Now, the next question is when it is in production, how will we get some in the U.S.? I suspect we will out of luck.

Maybe a defecting solider in a rubber raft with full pockets from his base? Otherwise it will probably be about as common as North Korean & Iranian ammo is to collectors…

Iranian 7.62x51 is not rare here in the UK. I believe shooting quantities of it were imported as I have seen alot of fired cases around. How rare is it in the USA?

The Cuba story goes beyond number “13”:

Among the scrap in the Genova harbour there were also 7,62x39 cws cases marked “PMV”.

In another edge of the world, South Africa, there were brass cased cartridges found in that calibre without maker’s mark, just the year at 6 o’clock. They were taken from insurgents and captured inside Mocambique and Angola by S.A. forces, identifying them as Cuban aid. They come with lead core bullet, single flash hole and yellow or blackened primer, all with red primer seal, different from the (Soviet style) red seal found on the cws case ammo.

brass cases
dated 69 through 75
cws cases
PMV dated 77, 78 and 79
13 dated 80 through 88


Whether but you have a Iranian 7.62x39?

Well, let’s try it again. Another disappearing answer down the drain.

It appears from the evidence presented here that our notion that Cuba has produced the 7.62 x 39 mm cartridge for some time is correct. While it is possible that some other country produced the ammo in question FOR Cuba, the presence of case-draw sets in the salvage would seem to rule that out. So, it seems like the author of the news article wrote it incompletely or in ignorance. It is likely that the Russians are simply going to modernize the existing plant, or that they are building a second factory for Cuba. Neither of those cases were explored by the author of the new article. Of course, ignorance in the media is legion, as is out-right dishonesty, although the latter is undoubtedly NOT the case here.

You must pardon me if from time to time I play “Devil’s Advocate.” I suspected what the answer would be when I posed the question. I do believe that when a source that some people still believe is totally reputable publishes something that seems to contradict information we already have, I believe it is important that questions are raised and that long-filed evidence is given the light of day again for re-examination. In this case, I personally believe the “old” evidence stands up well, and that Cuba has made the 7.62 x 39 mm cartridge for many years.

Whether but you have a Iranian 7.62x39?[/quote]

I can not say for the UK in specific but have seen several from military sources in Europe and the US.

About the PMV headstamped cases, some reports stated in the late 70ies that the manufacturing facility was named as PIROTECNIA MILITAR (from) V… This is absolutely no proof…

I tried to find a city or place in Cuba with a name beginning by V,… but did not find (no accurate maps avalaible) any, except Varadero, the trouble being this is a touristic resort, and not at all an industrial spot !!!

It also could have been the inital of some valiant “hero of socialist revolution”, as Castro’affidates love to use, in order to assume themselves the famous genious they are !..

Well, just guesses, but I would say that the Cubans certainly manufactured 7,62x39 ammo from a good time ago…aside of what they did import from “brother countries.”…

Who will ever know ?

I am not CIA !!!


There doesn’t seem to be any documented Cuban ammo production since 1988. If PMV and 13 were a specific factory, perhaps it stopped production and the Russians are starting another from scratch.

Were any explosions reported in Cuban ordnance plants or the like? If so that might be a reason to get new machinery.

Some of the Cuban used 7.62x39 brass cases with black primers are assumed to be at least partially of Czech origin. Who knows more?

We should simply write a letter to Fidel and ask him.

Those machines were submited last year when Cuban authorities contacted Rosoboronexport after a visit to the ammunition line being constructed since 2006 in Venezuela. These will be destined to the Empresa Militar Industrial “Ernesto Che Guevara” (EMI “Ernesto Che Guevara”) in Manicaragua.

Several Cuban publications agree that the first ammunition factories were set up with Soviet aid during late 70’s and early 80’s. These were placed in Villa Clara, a province in the center of Cuba.

So, does PMV(illa Clara) make sense?

In my “7.62 x 39 Master List” CD I show that “PMV” is “Pirdtechnica Di Manmicairragua Las Vulas Provibuce, Cuba”. I don’t remember where I got that information.

Just supposition, but since there was a Pirotécnica Militar de la Habana in Cuba at one time, could there be a Pirotécnica Militar de Villa Clara?

Ron, “Pirdtechnica Di Manmicairragua Las Vulas Provibuce, Cuba” makes no sense in Spanish language. It could be something like “Pirotecnia de Manicaragua, Las Villas”, “Pirotecnia de Manicaragua, Villa Clara” or “Pirotecnia Militar Villa Clara”, but I have never read any evidence supporting any of these names.

“Las Villas” province name was officialy used only between 1940 and 1976, when it was divided into three smaller provinces: Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara.