Iraqi ammunition factories today?

Is there any information available on Iraqi ammunition factories and what has happened to them in 2003 and the time after?
To what we can assume they are all inoperational today.

One would assume that exploitation reports were prepared after the invasion but these are likely classified.

I haven’t heard of any Iraqi made ammo made since 2003. I use to have some insight into the ammo used over there. It was all from other locations. Much of it that I heard about had just the caliber at the top of the headstamp and the year at the bottom. This was reputedly US purchase from overseas sources for the Iraqi forces. The containers were in English with only the caliber and quantity. There was a box of 9x19mm with these type markings. It had something hand written on it in Arabic. The cartridges appear to be made by Iran. It is quite possible the ammo was made in Iran and sold to the US through a 3rd party dealer like Olympic who reportedly sold Iranian made ammo in the past. The headstamp style (caliber over year) has shown up on 9x19mm dated as early as 1995 in places like Crotia and other conflict areas. The ammo may be pre-2003 contracts by the US for various conflicts, or perhaps this headstamp has another origin. This style headstamp showed up on 7.62x54R in Iraq. The ammo was clearly made by PPU.

Not much help. I don’t have any insight into what is going on in Iraq anymore. Sorry!


EOD, from what I have read regarding your question, it seems that the factories have been “neutralized” (blown up?) within the region, and in some cases, looted for whatever might have been left. Sorry I can not be of more assistance.


I have heard the same. For security reasons the weapons and ammunition factories were destroyed, as they felt it was easier to “Control” Imported ammunition and distribute to the appropriate parties, and if need be, shut down any importation until things stabilize. Ammo I have seen from examples of people who were there there (and by all means not a complete list) have been either Chines (70’s and 80’s dates), Russian (from the 1970’s and 80’s, un-marked, by PPU and US contract made.


Added…Though this is no proof and is for Mortar ammunition, please see this link as an example of Ammunition purchasing process in Iraq…

[color=#0000BF]Also news article:[/color]
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech prime minister says his government has approved a plan to donate further weapons and ammunition to Iraq and also ammunition to Jordan to help them fight Islamic State militants.

Bohuslav Sobotka says 6,500 assault rifles and 7 million pieces of ammunition will be transported to Iraq by the U.S. for the Iraqi and Kurdish armed forces.

Sobotka also says he hopes that after last week’s visit of Prime Minister David Cameron to Prague Britain will drop its objections to a planned sale of Czech-made L-159 light combat planes to Iraq.

He says the country will also provide Jordan with about 7 million pieces of ammunition for assault rifles and machine guns.

The Czechs sent hundreds of tons of ammunition and hand grenades to Iraq before.

Thank you gentlemen.
So the status is as assumed, means demolished in 2003, later looted and finally liquidated after the invasion.

I am aware of the imported ammo since 2003 and as it seems it will remain like that for a longer time unless somebody decides that Iraq can have an own ammo industry again after they manage their economy independently.

Wish the US intel reports on the factories were available but the last I have seen were on WWII and even none on Korea, let alone SEA/VN and everything later.

EOD - regarding the Korean War, I attended a seminar in about 1960 as a member of an Army Reserve School Unit (6227th ARSU) that while primarily about POW conduct duinng the war, had some overviews of other matters.

The view in that class was that while the UN controlled NK, prior to the CCF Intervention of 1950/51, the only weapons factory found there was making a copy of the PPSh 41.

Even though an Army Presentation, I make no declaration that the specific information was accurate. As I say, that was a footnote, more or less, to the presentation, and was presented by a leading US Army Psychiatrist who had interviewed almost every repatriated American POW after the Truce. I don’t even recall now if it was part of the formal presentation, or simply came up in the discussion that followed it, when attendees were allowed toask questions.

John, the NK made ammo during the war was 7.65x17SR and 7.62x25 or? What are the known years if so (and not coded).
Also I wonder about NK made 7.62x54R which is said to exist but I have never seen any real specimen (inlcuding photos).

Alex, below is a NK 7.62x54R headstamp and round. As to your Tokarev questions, I have * 50 *and > 50 < that both came out of the same NK box, V 55 that is universally identified as NK, and an odd ^ 86 (or 98 v) that I believe is NK.

Alex - I have never heard of before, nor seen, a North Korean-made pistol or rifle cartridge that was not with a post-Korean War Date. Do you have a photograph of one or any documentation for the statement that they made 7.65 mm and 7.62 x 25 mm at that time? I have cartridges tied to NK duing the war as being from NK packaging, but because they are good quality and very similar looking to Russian and other East European Soviet dominated countries, I have long felt they were not actually manufactured in NK. The ones with two Triangles on the headstamp, but no factory designator, are very similar to Russian rounds, in particular. Perhaps Russian with special headstamp to conceal the real country of origin? I have no documentation either way, so welcome DOCUMENTED contrary opinions. All I have to offer are a gut feeling bast on looking at a whole log of Combloc pistol cartridges in the last 50 year. Admittedly, I have not disassembled rounds for a look at inside case construction, powders used, etc. Likely if load in NK in the 1950s, much of the components would be from countries allied with them but with a much better and broader manufacturing base than NK had in the immediate Post-WWII era.

[quote=“jonnyc”]Alex, below is a NK 7.62x54R headstamp and round. As to your Tokarev questions, I have * 50 *and > 50 < that both came out of the same NK box, V 55 that is universally identified as NK, and an odd ^ 86 (or 98 v) that I believe is NK.

Jon, thanks a lot for this hs image! I have never seen one of those before!

John, actually I tried to ask if the 2 calibers were made during the war already. Sorry for not having expressed it in a clear way.
Are the NK 7.62x25 boxes any different from the usual 70rd packs we know from so many other countries?
Did they have NK characters on maybe?

My NK 70 round box has a very faint label, but I will try to post a pic tomorrow. It does appear to be a paper covering over a possibly Russian box, but I stick with the NK identification due to the Korean labeling and the lack of Russian info.

Here’s the NK box I mentioned yesterday. I also started a new thread on it.