MESKO-35 9 x 18m/m Makarov

I have in my collection a 9 x 18mm Makarov cartridge headstamped “9x18 Mak MESKO-35.” the information I have received is that this round, as well as 7.62 x 39 cartridges with the numbers “34” and “35” replacing the date at the 6 O’Clock position on their headstamps, were made for the Brandeburg Police during that period following the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic and the completion of rearming to Western firearms and calibers.

However, I have not been able to find out precisely the significance of the number “35” on the headstamp of the Makarov (or the “34” or “35” on the headstamps of the Kalashnikoff rounds, for that matter).

Does anyone know the meaning of these numbers. I was told on the AK rounds that they were lot numbers representing the trial lot and the accepted lot, but that doesn’t explain why they are on the headstamp instead of a date, or why numbers in the 30s were used instead of lots “1” and “2.” I really need a postive, documented answer, not conjecture, as this is for my Makarov book.


I can only confirm that I’ve been told that the “35” represents a lot number on the 7.62x39mm. This information comes from a German collector with an impressive 7.62x39mm collection.

I’ve also been told that the “35” represents a 35,000 round lot. I discount this information…


I doubt that it is a lot number. Firstly, in 7.62 x 39 it is found only as “34” and “35” and it replaces the date. Where are the other 33 lot numbers?
Now, not impossible that they picked two numbers at random for the two lots, but what about the Makarov? Odd that it should also say 35, and again, on an undated cartridge. Why put a lot number and no date?

I have both the 34 and 35 in 7.62 x 39 by the way, kept only because they were made for what was left of the weapons of the former DDR in Germany, and I collect DDR cartridges. These are probably post-DDR, but it is an associated item. I have over 100 DDR 7.62 x 39.

Lots of you guys didn’t know I had any of that stuff, did you? Well, the shame is, I have the east German metallic rounds in good assortment, over 300 total, but I don’t know diddily about them. It was a collection of opportunity - that is, I had the opportunity to build a DDR collection without too huge an outlay of cash, because I was given a good starter collection right before the Berlin Wall came down.

I was hoping someone had some inside info on this MESKO oddity. It was supposedly made for the Brandenburg Police, and that much I believe. The shift to Western weapons was not overnight. I have a couple of Makarovs from the Landespolitzei Sachsen-Anstalt, and so marked, with the caliber marked on the slide. Caliber and police markings were done after the wall came down, with the caliber there because they were slowly integrating in 9mm Parabellum pistols and didn’t want a caliber mixup.

I have received a picture of a box label for the 7.62 x 39 made by MESKO in Poland for the Brandenburg Police, and with headstamp “7.62 x 39 35” and the box shows the lot number as “35.” Evidently, the number I questioned is a lot number.

It is odd they would put a lot number as high as “35” on a box, when there is only one other known lot number in that caliber, 34, and no other known lot number in the 9 x 18m/m Makarov cartridge, and in addition, put the lot number on the headstamp but with no year on either the headstamp or the box. Very odd, but it is hard to dispute the box label.

While the new information came in a personal email to me, I thought it wise to print the information here for the sake of closing out this thread, unless anyone has any better information.

I am still suspicious that although called a lot number on the box label, that this may refer to a contract or delivery agreement number. For now, though, I concede we must call it a lot number.

John, to add to the 7.62x39mm “35” rounds, they are lead core, not steel cored M-43 types. My German friend tells me that this is because these rounds were for the Police and that steel cored rounds would be considered armor piercing and not appropriate for police use.


AKMS - evidently, one of the reasons the ammo was made in Poland for the German Police in Brandenburg is that one of the requirements was that the ammo meet CIP Standards, and only Poland had such ammunition available in the calibers required. That may also explain the lead core, tied in with the non-military use of it.