Igman headstamped 32 ACP in Prvi Partizan boxes


#1

Before the old Forum crashed, there was a thread in mid-July (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6879&hilit=Partizan) that talked about finding 32 ACP cartridges with an Igman headstamp (IK 03 7.65x17) in a Prvi Partizan (PP) box marked “Made in Serbia” and mixed with nny loads. There was a lot of speculation, including mine, but no very good ideas on how these cartridges got in a PP box. I had seen a photo, from Crotia, of a 9mmP headstamped IK 03 9x19, and was hoping that perhaps this may have gotten mixed with some PP loads also. In mid-July I went looking for PP ammo but it was not available on any of the sites I visited, so I backordered 9x19 (124gr & 115gr), 380 and 32ACP from Midway. This past week the ammo finally arrived at Midway and they called mid-week to see if I was still interested. I got the ammo Friday. Given the circumstances of the buy there can be little doubt that this is the ammo that PP is shipping out as new ammo in the fall of 2009.

The three headstamps are illustrated below. The 9mm boxes were all the current PPU headstamp which I first saw in early 2008, but I was delighted to see that the 32 was entirely the IK 03 headstamp. The IK ammo also had a red pa which is no longer used by PP on their current commercial pistol ammo I see.

The boxes were all the current PP labels and all said “Made in Serbia” on the back. Note that there are loading dates/lots on the inside end flap. The 115gr 9x19mm box was marked “0943”. Note the 32 box which was shipped in mid-09 is marked with an 03 date!!! This is clearly an indication of when the ammunition was loaded

I looked up some other boxes of PP commercial ammo in my collection with the following results
Monarch box: 0903 (obtained in 2009)
PPU 158gr box: 0501
SJ box (European distributor) 9701
Wolf Gold: 0601
Hansen Blanks: 8804
Hansen Ball: 8901
PP 25 round commercial: 8303
Lignose 25 round: 8303
It seems PP has been using the Date/Lot format to mark their commercial boxes for at least 26 years. The earlier PP boxes I have do not have a stamp like this.

The box inserts are interesting. The 9x19 and 9x17 are almost identical and are almost the same as those in the Monarch, PPU 158gr and SJ boxes. The 32 ammo was in 25 round trays of a completely different design. These trays are however the same design as the 25 round trays used for 9x19mm ammo in the 1980s.

So where are we? It looks to me like IK had a contract with someone in 2003 for both 32 ACP and 9x19, and perhaps other calibers. This may have been a police contract since the ammunition has a police/military format with the date. It seems to me that PP make a deal with whoever had this ammo (perhaps as excess) and picked it up and repackaged it as PP ammo, but retained the correct date of manufacture marking on the box. Perhaps the 32 was packed in 25round boxes before being repacked by PP.

I don’t have any Igman 25 round boxes from the correct era so cannot compare inserts. The only Igman box I have is a pretty current HOTSHOT box which has a different date stamp, which is stamped so part of it missed the paper—no help. This box has a totally different black insert. John, perhaps you have Igman and PP 25 round boxes in 32 from the right era.

Cheers,

Lew


#2

To add…some .380 also came in with the IK-03 headstamp.


#3

Was that recent or in the July timeframe???


#4

Prvi Partizan is not a stranger to mismatching headstamps with boxes in recent years it seems, and they don’t mind their ammo appearing in other brand packaging. I have a couple boxes of Wolf 7.62x25 HP “Gold” ammo which has PPU headstamps. I’m guessing that headstamp-to-packaging relevancy & accuracy is not as important to Prvi as it is to a brand such as Winchester.


#5

It was back during the summer. That original post was mine, and the box and round pictured were the IK-03 in .380.


#6

DK - The instance of Wolf “Gold Brand” cartridges boxes with PPU headstamps is not really a mismatch in the sense of the Igman ammunition, in my opinion. The Wolf boxes indicate Serbian production, while the PPU boxes with Igman ammunition in them credit manufacture in Serbia when, in my opinion, the ammunition was possibly made in Bosnia. Of course, it also may have been made by PPU for Igman, rather than the other way around, and be a failed contract, to be disposed of commercially to prevent loss. Not uncommon in ammo. Further, there is a reason for the Wolf ammunition not having the Wolf headstamp. Prvi Partizan has an unyielding policy of payment in full up front, no refunds, for making ammunition with another company’s headstamp. If you want to pay at delivery, you will get Prvi Partizan’s own headstamp. Frankly, it is a smart policy.

Lew - I can’t help you with Igman boxes. I have not one in my collection, of any caliber, of which I am aware. Perhaps military for 7.62 x 25 mm, but those boxes are put away in a big box, as I ran out of cabinet space. I have the .32 auto cartridge from PPU with Igman 03 headstamp. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get the .380 one, either a cartridge or a box. I don’t even have the current PPU .380 cartridge that you showed on this thread.

The only box from the former Yugoslavia, aside from military boxes from Arsenal 11, (PPU also as I recall), is an early 1967 9 mm parabellum box from Pobjeda Gorazde for ball ammunition. The headstamp is the Cyrillic form of “PG” which is also part of an Insignia on the box label. They must have had some connection eventually with PPU as I have a box that is virtually the identical format, although different color, that has a different insignia with the Cyrillic “PP” on it.
Both are for 25 rounds.

I have no boxes for .32 and .380 from Igman, but that is not surprising since their catalog, inclduing the Website the last time I looked a couple of months ago, has NEVER offered the .32 or .380 cartridge. An argument for the .32 and 380 1903 stuff being actually made by PPU.

John Moss


#7

It is possible that the IK 03 was made by PP, but if it was a failed contract, and as you say, paid for up front, why would they wait until 2009 to sell it. If they never delivered it to Igman, then it would have been offered in 2004 or 2005 I’d think.

If it was an Igman production in 03, the headstamp and the three calibers 32, 380 & 9mmP would imply a special order, they would have no reason to list it in their catalog if it wasn’t there normal production.

If the ammo was made by PP for IK and delivered, then I’d expect it to have been listed by IK as a commercial product or delivered to their customer in the '03/'04 time frame.

The 6 year delay between production and sale strongly implies to me that the ammo was delivered to some third party, and didn’t sit in storage at either IK or PP. Then in 08 or 09 it was acquired by PP and sold as new ammunition. If it was originally made by PP for IK, that could explain the “Made in Serbia” but that could also be simply the use of the normal PP box to load the ammo.

The pa color on the 32 is looks very close to that on 9mmP in my PP box from 97. My PP rounds from an 05 box have no pa color. This would seem to argue for PP manufacture of the 32s, but my Igman made rounds also have primers very close to the same color, but perhaps a little closer to the 32 than are the PP loads. This could also be just my imagination.

The letter styles in the headstamps are also close enough that I can’t decide who made the 32s. Below is a selection of Igman and PP headstamps for your comparison of pa colors and hst styles. Let me know what you think

Below are the photos I have of two IK 03 9x19 headstamps. The pics were sent to me from different sources so a comparison of pa colors is not valid. I have also added a photo of the box for the IK 03 9x19 round and it sure looks like military or police to me.


I’d love to know what inserts are used in PPU headstamped 32 ACP ammo currently on sale. Does anyone know???

Cheers,

Lew


#8

I got confused myself recently when I have seen a Prvi 7.62 Tok. box with Polish surplus inside. The owner stated that the content was original. Any opinions?


#9

EOD, Any idea if the box said “Made in Serbia”???


#10

Lew, that unfortunately I do not remember anymore.


#11

Lew, the .32 ACP box says “Made in Serbia”.
I’m not sure if these are relevant or helpful, but here goes…




#12

It may or may not be connected but I believe PP have recently had a fire at their plant. I was told that on another forum. Can anyone else confirm this?


#13

Vince,
it was also published in English by various internet media sites, you will find them. There are also a few pictures of the underground production area.


#14

The true story of the Prvi Partizan accident last month:

3 September - Serbia
090903-02-C Uzice. Prvi Partizan. Four explosions occurred around 21:30 in
the Prvi Partizan munitions factory, killing at least six people, and injuring at
least ten, according to Zoran Lazovic, a spokesman for the local hospital.
Unofficial sources said that the explosions occurred in the gunpowder propellant
production unit. Predrag Maric, the assistant interior minister in charge of
emergency situations, said three people were injured in the incident, but they are
not in a life threatening condition. There were about a dozen workers in the
plant at the time of the explosion. The fire that followed the explosions has been
localized, Maric said.
Serbian Interior Minister, Ivica Dacic, said that the explosions happened in four underground tunnels of the factory
at 21:30, though local media claimed the Uzice fire brigade received a call at 21:20. He said at least seven people
had died, and 14 were injured. State TV said the explosions occurred around 22:00.
Uzice Mayor Jovan Markovic said late on September 3 that at least four
explosions took place in an underground section of the factory. He added
that fire-fighting teams contained the flames, adding: “It’s dark down there
and no one knows what caused the explosions”. He said he did not know
how many people were in the facility when the explosions occurred.
Prvi Partizan, which employs about 200 people, has been in business for
nearly eighty years. It produces ammunition for the Serbian army and
police, for foreign armies, and also produces sporting ammunition.
On September 5, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior
Ivica Dacic said that the results of the investigation into the explosion
showed that negligence was the cause of the explosion, and five factory
employees had been arrested. Dacic said that the five employees have been arrested on suspicion of criminal
negligence which put safety at risk. It is suspected that they did not follow safety protocols while handling
dangerous substances which led to the loss of life and property. According to investigations, all of the victims died
of carbon monoxide poisoning.
On September 7, Dacic said the suspects were believed to have mishandled gun powder in a space that was not
allocated to the purpose. According to Dacic, the victims did not work in that part of the factory and were not
responsible for causing the accident.

Best regards,

Rob


#15

And there is a video, not much thrilling though: balkanforum.info/f37/uzice-1 … zan-73419/


#16

Anothre data point on the IK (Igman) ammunition which showed up in PPU boxes in 32ACP and in 380, both with the IK 03 (caliber) headstamp.

I was recently fortunate enough to pick up an example of the IK 03 9x19 headstamp. I was also told that both PPU and Igman are owned by the same group of people and it would not be surprising if one manufactured ammunition for the other, so this is likely all Serbian (PPU) made ammo regardless of the headstamp.

I have wondered why the 32ACP and 380 turned up in commercial boxes in the US and not the 9x19mm. One answer may be that it went to Iraq, perhaps through one of the US buys of ammo for the Iraqi military or police, or by one of the government (or non-government) orgainzations that were their. The evidence is that some of these cases turned up on a pistol range in the Green Zone, so somebody there was using them.

Cheers,

Lew


#17

So the question is; was the ammo sent there and someone used it, or was someone sent there and brought their own ammo from some other location?


#18

[quote=“jonnyc”]Lew, the .32 ACP box says “Made in Serbia”.
I’m not sure if these are relevant or helpful, but here goes…
[/quote]

Dear Jonnyc,

I would be pleased if you could let me know the LOT No. on the Igman 9 mm ammo box on the pics. What can be the approx. manufacture date of tham?

Thanks in advance,

r1


#19

I have 4 boxes left and they all have the same “0 1-03-” stamp. It looks like something is missing, but that’s it.


#20

Thank you!

r1