Going rate for Sterile 7.62x39 U.S Government Cartridges

As the title says, can anyone tell me approximate current market value?

Not knowing of others than those made by Lake City or Frankford Arsenal. Those are about .50¢ to $1 in my mind for a typical ball round. It these can be positively identified as to exactly who made them that would probably double the price, again to my mind.
Bell also made some & those would be the same price range .50¢ to $1.
A box is a different matter altogether as most all of the Government packaging I’ve seen have the printed name / ID removed.

Thank you Pete. I’ll post mine later this evening.

Your welcome.
Those look to be either FA or LC & I can’t tell the difference. Bell used a blue annulus color.

Why would rounds (especially military) be made with no identifying headstamps? I have never seen that done before.

It was done before and is done still.
Examples are almost countless.
Why? Not to tell anybody that you are involved into dirty business!

There is also a blank made by LC in the early 1970s for an Army training facility, in Texas as I remember.


There is also a ball round with headstamp, as I recall, " L C 7 1" which anecdotal evidence says was a mistake - that is, putting a headstamp on them was a mistake - and they dropped it quickly. Don’t know if that is true, or simply someone’s mistaken belief. I had one of the rounds. Wish I had kept it.

John Moss

Thank you all very much.

Are there any compiled dedicated resources on 7.62x39 in book form or on the web? Or is a matter of just searching tis forum and such?

One of my interests is cartridge literature and to the best of my knowledge there isn’t even one book that’s dedicated to the worldwide study of the 7.62x39 cartridge. There are several books that cover the 7.62x39 in specific countries, but these are in the language of that country. There are several books about 7.62x39 firearms that show cartridges, also in the English language, but I guess that’s not what you are looking for.

There is a book “AK47, The Grim Reaper”.
While it is quite good on all the variants of guns around the world the ammo section there is a shame.
Though they are crediting Woodin Lab (and others) for assistance I think Bill never got to see the whole chapter and was just asked some few questions or so as I personally know that Bill knew the things which are wrong in the book.
And I remember well that on a presentation of these book folks at the IWA in 2014 I think I approached them and informed them that there are serious flaws in the ammo section. They were grasping for air and looked at me like I was going to rape mother Mary! And basically gave me to know that who t… f… I think who I am to dare to express my critics…
I hope one of them will read these lines here.

I put this list together for the benefit of the membership & it is found in the IAA Membership guide. One not listed here is Lamont, Wyant & Fuller, Steve., Simonov SKS - 45 Type Carbines Pantera Group PO Box 10943 Burbank CA 91510 ©1988, as it has a chapter on ammunition but it is lacking in information about the rounds.
edited to add the updated version
revised Jan.2020 Important Books for New Collectors.pdf (216.8 KB)

I am not an expert on clandestine ammo, but I read that US production of 7.62x39 was undertaken mainly due to the success of Operation Eldest Son, which involved sabotaging enemy ammo of all sorts in Vietnam. Special forces had used captured communist arms and ammo until Operation Eldest Son made it dangerous to shoot captured ammo.

Unmarked ammo can hardly be called clandestine. Cartridge cases that are not head stamped would stick out like a sore thumb, to anyone that bothers to look. That would go double for brass cases in that theater.

There is 2 factors (at least) one is smuggling ammo into enemy storage areas (like with US ops. Pole Bean, Italian Green and Eldest Son in SEA) or simply supplying a conflict party and not telling somebody where the ammo came from.

Variant 3 would be faking headstamps of someone else. That was done more than once.
Here again 2 versions.
1 To deceive parties in a conflict
2 For commercial purposes faking an “expensive” brand

Variant 4 is making up entirely new “fantasy” headstamps which do not feature any known pattern.
Usually done for/in conflict zones.

And all of the above may become uncovered when people (like we do here every now and then) know technical aspects and appearance of certain ammo and still can ID it.
That then is not only headstamps but many more features and surrounding material of the ammo in question.

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