Does PP stand for PPU?

To me it is a not answered question if PP stands for Prvi Partizan in Užice.

Facts are that in former Yugoslavia the maker mark on SAA and related products always was/is composed of the plant’s initial(s) followed by the location’s name initial(s). For better understanding the following examples in Latin script, all of them actually come in Latin and in Cyrillic:
IK Igman Konjic
MBL Milan Blagojević Lučani
PG Pobeda Goražde (to be honest, I can’t remember if PG also comes in Latin, JonnyC?)
PPU Prvi Partizan Užice
SMB Suvenir Makedonski Brod

If PP followed the same pattern, then PP must be someone else!(1) Unless - customer’s choice - there was a requirement for an export contract (likely inside Yugoslavia only police and military placed orders for mil style SAA).(2)

  • (1) Then we can assume the existence of a Cyrillic PP, then we can assume Latin and Cyrillic box label information in Yugoslavian languages. Are there any?
  • (2) Then we can only expect box label information on PP boxes in other than Yugoslavian languages. Are there any?

In the recent topic about the PP marked .303 it was suggested that, because of the identical visible characteristics shared with PPU ammo, either PP made the cases for PPU or the other way.
This then also must be true for the other known makers, including the not listed PKI who all look the same.
Then during the years of armed conflict between Serbia and neighbours, namely the to be BiH, PPU must have made cases with clandestine marks 010 and 011 for IK. Or IK supplied cases to PPU across the front lines. Is this really an option?

Thoughts and facts please!


I have only ever seen or heard of PG in the Cyrillic “nr”.

Sorry jonnyc,

I had you in mind but it seems it was not you. The Cyrillic PG we had on the old forum: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=561&hilit=pobeda


I am not sure now if I will answer something or just contribute to the confusion.

Somehow Hans’s question is interesting even if I have to admit that in the first moment I was surprised about the idea that “PP” might not be the same as “PPU”.

We might need to clarify first if “PP” is “PP” or if it is already cyrillic and then would mean “RR”. Since it is used together with the latin abbreviation “Cal.” or “CAL” it might be the latin “PP”. But still I’d like to see a confirmation.

Inspired by Hans I had to digg out this 6.35 Browning box and found to my own surprise that there is also a “PP” logo on the box itself. Here it would be good to see early Yugoslav ammo catalogs to see what they were advertising at that time and what logos were used.
The contained hs is: CAL. 6.35mm PP-71 (green PA)
The box is marked in Serbo-Croatian (the 2 main sides), German, English, Russian and French. The small tape sticker in latin Serbo-Croatian is from the proof house for firearms and ammunition in Kragujevac, a well known name in Yugoslav ammo business before WWII.

Who will e-mail to PPU and ask them about “PP”?
Here their website:



that’s what I like about you. You always find rabbits to pull from your hat, for this one I’ll pay you a beer next time we meet!

I’ll give PPU a try, though there is little hope: PP dates a whole working life back!

Have a great weekend,


Hans, my dear friend. That old Forum entry about Pobeda was mine, “John” instead of “Jon.”

Now, I think we are all trying desparately to think of reasons whay a fact is not a fact! I have similar boxes to that which EOD showed, and many, many other boxes from Prvi Partizan. Let’s look at some things:

  1. On the box that EOD showed is the PP logo that I have on at least four or five boxes. All are Yugoslav, but generally anonymous as to the maker’s name. From the languages involved, these are obviously export boxes. Some of these boxes contain ammunition with PP headstamp and some with PPU headstamp.

  2. On most Prvi Partizan printed material (not all, but most that I have) where the factory name is shown, it is shown simply as “Prvi Partizan,” and often as "Prvi Partizan Yugoslavia. Seldom is printed “Prvi Partizan Uzice.” The name of the town is simply printed on the back of catalogs as part of the factory address. The Branch Office was actually in Belgrade. Uzice is not shown as an integral part of the factory name on most box labels or catalog titles. Even the most current boxes, on the top, say simply "Prvi Partizan.

  3. A printed box in my collection that has only the four different languages of Yugoslavia printed on it has a trademark of somewhat different form, but still show a partial depiction of a gear (as in the gear in an clock, or an automobile), a typical Socialist symbol, and laso containing a red star in the design. The “PP” in that logo is in the Cyrillic (“nn”).

  4. The PP and PPU early auto pistol cartridges with green primer seals are identical in appearance - I consider this the LEAST important point. In fact, I think we are too hung up on “Identical appearances.” I have three unheadstamped 7.9 x 57 mm ball Type sS rounds with green seal and three primer stake-type crimps. They are from Polte, Germany, FNM of Portugal, and one other German factory that escapes my memory and I can’t find my note on it. I believe though it is from a DWM plant. They all look identical - same color seal, identical bullets, same color-tone to the brass case, same primer cup in appearance, same extractor-groove width and extractor groove bevel width and angle. And, why note. Many factories use machinery produced by the same companies, often either Fritz Werner or Manurhin. In my earliest catalog, unfortunately undated but still known to be earlier than my others, Prvi Partizan says proudly “…application of the most up to date technology and modern equipment supplied by Fritz Werner and Manurhin resulted in ammunition of very high quality.”

  5. The ab ove mentioned catalog shows an early form of the PP trademark, also on a box I have, where the letters “PP” in the western alphabet are crossed like crossed swords, and for symmetrical affect, the “P” that crosses to the left is backward from the “P” that crosses to the right. Inside the same logo is the date 1928. From the same above referenced catalog, another quote: “Prvi Partizan was founded in 1928.” Aside from that, right next to that logo on the catalog are the words “Prvi Partizan Yugoslavia” (note - NOT Uzice). There is a case of the Prvi Partizan name used in direct connection with a “PP” logo.

I do not consider that PP and PPU being both headstamps of Prvi Partizan to be a possiblity or a guess, but rather that it is simply a fact, proven in many ways by many things. I believe anything else is simply clouding the waters to no particular purpose or avail. The evidence is simply overwhelming. By the way, reiterating, there have been three forms of the “PP” commercial logo, but all include three elements - the intials PP in either the Western alphabet or in Cyrillic, a portion of a gear or a complete circular rendition of a gear, and a five pointed star. One of the three sometimes incorporates the date 1928 and sometimes does not.

I am a very, very skeptical person, but I think in this instance, skepticism about the identity of the PP and PPU headstamps is totally unfounded and without merit.

There is nothing personal in my answer. All commenting here are dear friends and I have the greatest respect for your knowledge, in every case of which it far exceeds mine regarding ammunition in general, and many arms and ammunition subjects in particular. I have often been wrong on this Forum, and so proven, and I am grateful for that because it is part of the learning process. In this instance, I believe to think the PP and PPU represent two different companies is simply wrong. Since I do not know of a second actual factory for Prvi Partizan, I do not believe they represent different factories either. There may be an in-house reason, or than just whimsical use of the two different abbreviations. I consider that likely. But, I don’t know what it is. It is not necessarily the result of a contract with a single seller, as for example, there is another series of boxes from Prvi, English Language only, showing the brand as “Valor.” This was a contract for the first Yugoslave ammunition from Prvi Partisan that even showed up in the United States, and was sold primarily in pawnshops. As an interesting aside, my first contact with Bill Woodin was to help him, at his phone request, to identify the PPU headstamp, which I was able to do because the Pawn Shop across the street from our first location of the gun shop sold this brand. I had bought some for my collection. In the 6.35 mm boxes was a “PPU” headstamp dated “67.” In the .32 Boxes was a “PP” headstamp dated “66.” Cartridge characteristics other than caliber are identical.

Just my take on this subject for you folks to except or reject, but my opinion will remain the same either way, in the instance.

edited for spelling only, no changes to content.

John Moss

So, I am going to send this scan to Jordi, because it is missing in MUNICION.ORG collection, and tell him it is Prvi Partizan, and if it is not, blame John Moss. OK?


John, thanks a lot for clarification on the “PP” being latin “PP” since you have a box showing it as cyrillic “ПП” (PP). Your explanation on all your boxes is exactly what I hoped to hear about. Great work!

EOD - Retirement has become somewhat of a nightmare. I am businer than I ever was at work, where I worked a hard 10 hour day as normal. I will try to post some pictures of Yugo boxes showing the various trademarks and factory Appelations in their primary form on the boxes, which is almost always simply "Prvi Partizan, seldom used in with the city name “Uzice,” despite all the PPU/nny headstamps.

I hope my answeer will not be offensive to any of you guys. It was not meant to be. It is simply that I believe no challenge to the initials PP and PPU was ever necessary due to the evidence that they are the same; evidence that we have had in our collections since the 1960s.

I know that just because something has never been challenged doesn’t meant it is true - I have challenged some old “common wisdom” identifications before and found to be rigjht many times, and wrong probably just as many. I have also been the first identifier (In the US anyway) of several foreign headstamps, all of those proved right when I finally revealed the answers after verifying my information. Sometimes I have started out with an identification of my own, and found it not only to be wrong, but almost childish in theory as to why I thought I had the right identification.

In this case, I just can’t see any room at all for doubt. There are always odd instances though. One is why in .32 and .380 we find full boxes (actuall, full cases of boxes) of Igman headstamps in Prvi Partisan boxes marked “made in Serbia,” instead of “made in Bosnia-Herz.”

John Moss

John, no offense at all. I need to say that I do not have as many boxes or head stamps as you or like Phil on the 7.92mm to judge by.
I just tried to follow a view which did not automatically accept PP as PPU as Hans suggested and see what I could find - what was little in fact and without any significance. Here you helped a lot and and came up with some hard facts. I guess this is why we have a forum here and appreciate it much. Again, thanks for clarification John!

Good morning John,

the evidence you brought up ends my decades of doubt and I can sleep so much better now, thank you for your time and effort! And I apologize, by stirring up the hornet’s nest I did not mean to further stress my old friend’s retirement life, but you did not share this part of your wisdom here any earlier ;-))

It is true the question moved me for decades now. News about the existence of both marks in the same box, identical appearances, contents headstamped PPU but no Užice on the box alone I found not at all finally convincing. But the PP logo in combination with the name Prvi Partizan on a box for me is significant enough to end all discussion. Case solved, files closed!

BTW, I did not mean to assign the old forum’s topic to Jon, I just meant to show him the Pobeda headstamp on a Tokarev.

Thanks again for bringing the long searched for fact into the light, a great Sunday to all of you out there,


Ok, EOD gets one for his rabbits, I’ll pay you even a big beer once we meet, John!


You did not stress me. I only commented that this has been a hectic year for me and sometimes it is hard for me to do the type of research now that I used to before answering questions. Quite to the contrary, my dear friend, it is this research that I enjoy and relieves my stress, quite the opposite of your worry.

My only fear with an ongoing question of identification of something that for many of us was proved for years is that the thread would start confusing new collectors and “undo” research that identified these headstamps years ago. Of course, that is always a danger when it is necessary for someone to ask any question. I have done the same thing, believe me - asked about a subject where I have formed a theory just to find out the answer really was proven, commen knowledge and my theory was all wrong.

I answered about which “John” wrote that answer simply because you seemed to ask. I certainly didn’t mind an attribution to “Jon” (now Jonny). He could have answered it as well or better than I, for sure. He knows way more about the Tokarev round than do I.

Two things you mentioned that I don’t want misunderstood -andf I might be misunderstanding what you wrote - is that the PP and PPU headstamps were not found in the same box, but rather in two different boxes, one for PP and one for PPU, both boxes of identical design inclding the PP logo; and secondly, that the boxes in question didn’t have the PP Logo and the name “Prvi Partizan” bot on the, but rather a CATALOG I have has the same logo as appears on the box and then the Prvi Partizan name after it. Also, the logo as drawn on the catalog adds only the year 1928, the correct founding year for PP. That is the evidence that the logo is that of Prvi Partizan.

All in all, I think this turned out to be a good thread, rather than “making things muddy.” Perhaps it was a subject, after all, that needed to be revisited.

Thank you Hans, for you question and for you concern. You are a good friend to all of our hobby members.

Just for interest on this thread, I will try today to scan a good selection of PP boxes and have another dear friend of mine, Joe Jones, post it for me.

John Moss


my mention of PP and PPU in the same box I thought to remember a previous topic. And I must have been overwhelmed when reading about the presence of logo on a box, your words are clear, you wrote about a catalogue, thank you for putting that right!

It is true, it was a good post which shows how effectively you can address an unsolved problem to a worldwide public and get it solved within just two days. The next unanswered question is, why they used PP and PPU during the same period, but this will be a something that the company will have to tell. Can they after 40 years!?

Thanks again for your help,


Picture One

Picture Two

Picture Three

Picture Four

Picture Five

Picture Six

Picture Seven


As promised, here are photos of some Yugoslav auto pistol-caliber boxes from Prvi Partizan. I will try to give a very brief explanation of each picture, of which there are seven in all. Most of the boxes are self-explanatory and need only very brief captions.

These are not the best pictures I have done, but I think they will serve our purpose here. I did them in kind of a hurry, because of the amount of time it took me to find them in my cabinets (by caliber, not by country) and get them out. I knew it would take longer to put them back. It always does when I take a lot of boxes out at the same time.

I missed a couple of Tokarev boxes, but the styles of those boxes happened to be repeated in other calibers pictured, so I chose not to do them as another picture. I also ignored Hansen and Company boxes. My Hansen boxes of Yugoslav origin would have almost doubled the number of boxes shown and the number of pictures needed. They are common boxes and I think most of us are aware of the general style.

Caption, Picture One, five boxes:

these are boxes with ammo marked with the old code of “11” with the exception of the top row, right, which is my earliest Yugo auto pistol caliber box, with headstamp FOMU 35. This plant became Prvi Partisan. The other two in the top row are 7.65 Browning and 9 mm Browning Short caliber with Arsenal 11 headstamps. The bottom row are various style of 9 mm Para. I had another box style, but with faint labeling stamp, and to use it and make it legible would have ruined the picture, so I omitted it.

Caption, Picture Two, 12 boxes:

These boxes are all from the era when they were using the Western Alphabet “PP” and “PPU” headstamp. Notice that the top row of boxes show two of the three styles of “PP” Logo from Prvi Partizan. None have the company name on the box, but the logo’s identification is proven by a catalog which shows one of the three existing styles next to the name “Prvi Partisan Yugoslavia.” If it is desired by anyone that I show the third style, which is on the side labels of some boxes, I will make a separate photo of it on demand and post it later.

Caption, Picture Three, five boxes, all .45 caliber:

These .45 Automatic-caliber boxes span the production of Prvi Partizan through the PP, PPU and nny periods, and show military and commercial-styles.

Caption, Picture Four, three boxes:

Three military box labels for the 7.62 x 15 mm Tokarev. There are probably many more, but this is all I have.

Picture Five, 15 boxes:

Here is an assortment of commercial and contract-style boxes most of which contained ammunition with the “nny” form of the Prvi Partizan name. “9 mm Kratiki” means “9 mm Short,” the .380 Auto cartridge. The other ones that just show “9 mm” are for caliber 9 mm Parabellum. The small, 50-round box at the lower left of the picture, bottom row, is for the special headstamp ammo made for Sherwood International Export company, with the headstamp bearing the initials "SIEC: along with other entries. These cartridges, although appearing to be live ammunition, are almost all inert dummies. Little live ammo was made before the contract was cancelled. Primarily inert samples arrived at Sherwood, in South California.

Picture Six, seven boxes, all blue & black:

These are the most current commercial boxes we have seen in the United States. They are self-explanatory.

Picture Seven, 13 boxes in all.

Her are a group of boxes for various brand names, but with ammo all made by Prvi Partisan, and with only two exceptions, headstamped with Prvi’s “nny” markings. The top left box is another SIEC box I found late and inserted as an after thought.

The Wolf boxes, while the Russian company, have “nny” headstamps. PPU will not use another company’s headstamp unless the order is paid for in full prior to the beginning of set up and production. Hence, non-Prvi headstamps, but made by them, are not prolific! There are boxes made for the Eduard Kettner Company, an Abericrombie & Fitch type organization of fine stores selling many products made by others but under their own name. I don’t know who sold the “Lignose” brand, a resurrection of a very old German brand name that used to use an “L” headstamp. The small white box for 25 cart. 90 mm Para Ball have an “FC” headstamp and reportedly were made for México. Why the box label is in English is beyond me, if the Mexican connection is true. The bottom two boxes are interesting. Both were made for FNM of Portugal by PPU in Serbia. One has the “nny” headstamp while the other has an “FNM” headstamp. Cartridge characteristics of both are pure Prvi Partizan.

That’s all I have to offer. A good glance at Yugo boxes but not a fabulous collection. Please forgive any typographical errors here. I have done this in a hurry. My Pardner (You ain’t a cowboy if you say “Partner”) Joe will post it when he can, and he is not responsible for any errors that are here, I am.

Photos, Collection and Text by John Moss

John you have some great boxes there. My nose tip is going slightly green…

As for the Mexican connection. There are 7.62x51 extended blanks (brass case) made by PPU and it is said they were for Mexico.
HS is: ППУ 90 7.62 MM

EOD - I should have mentioned that in picture two, the boxes on most of the 2nd row down, the gray boxes with the cartridges pictured having Orange cases in the pictures, are the Valor line. Valor imports was, as I recall, kind of a pawn shop operation. More discount places and pawn shops carried this ammunition than did gun shops. In some parts of the country, it was totally unknown, and I believe these were the first non-surplus, and maybe the first of any Yugoslav ammunition that was sold in the U.S., certainly after WWII.

Some of these boxes were obtained empty, so I don’t know what was in them. Others I got full, or partially full, in which case they have been reduced to a single box specimen. Those Valor boxes, by the way, were actually among the very start of me saving cartridge boxes - I did so because it was also the first time I had ever had a police inquiry, in this case from Arizona thru Bill Woodin, for me to identify ammunition. It kind of jumped my casual cartridge collection, actually then samples of ammunition to go with the pistols in the auto pistol collection I had and was working on then (long gone - sigh!), up a few notches and made me a bona-fide cartridge student and collector, probably more-so than I am now.

Of course, the biggest importations of Yugoslav (Serbian) ammunition to come in the U.S., perhaps even up to now, were by Jay Hansen (Hansen and Company). I explained why I did not include Hansen boxes. It was Jay who told me my two Yugo cartridge boards - one for 7.62 x 39 and one for .223 - were factory real, and not put togethers, when he visited me once.
He even wanted to buy them but I simply didn’t want to sell them.

John Moss

Interesting to hear John.

Now you made me curious about that 7.62x39 board. Any way you show us a photo of it?

EOD - any photo of those two boards will have to wait until someone young and nimble visits me. You will think I am crazy, but my box collection was in such a mess that when offered, I bought another metal cabinet like the the one now under it, map cabinet size but with five, deeper drawers. I put it on top of the other and now three of my cartridge boards on the wall behind it can’t even be seen. I can’t get to them. Too old and fat. They are my two Yugo boards and the Eley Board I have that is between the two. I am meaning to move them, but it is simply too much for me now - I can’t climb around and on top of my cabinets.

They are not boards that show everything made. They show ball and tracer in each case (.223 and 7.62 x 39) but every every step of manufacture both in full and cut away. There is not even any way to photograph them, because the cabinet, while not right up against them, is only about 4 inches in front of them. No camera angle available. If my son comes down one of these days (I usually have to do the 250 mile round trip to see my family - not the other way around) I will see if he can get all three boards moved around the way I want to do them. That could be as late as next year, though.

Sorry about that. Like I have said, getting old is wonderful. :-( The only thing worse is the alternative.

John M.

John, no problem at all. In our business we all learned to be patient.

John, you leave me speechless.