From the experience of a Visti to S&B Vlasim, in 1993, I can say that “discretion” is the byword for all staff at the Vlasim Plant.
But shrewd and careful observation (by me) told me much more that what the Chief consultant Engineer or his assitants answered of my questions.
The complete lines of Soviet made 7,62x39 Drawing machinery, set up in a "continuos production " method arrangement (converyors, elevators etc to shift shellcase draws from one machine to the next), showed a lot about the “modernity” of the Plant (Brass manufacture was still the same as in German occupation times…separate machines, maybe in banks of several, and all product transfer done by Wooden crates, BY hand/Trolley.
Even the lacquering of primers etc done by hand ( in blocks of 25 or 50, for Pistol ammo)
Yet the Lacquering of 7,62x39 (Lacquer over grey steel cases) was done by a very large machine, in a continuos operation…
And the machinery “plates” showed origins including Germany (DWM, Fritz Werner, etc; Soviet Russia (in Cyrillic), and of course Local ( ZB and also “in House” at Vlasim. I was told that “Primers” were not made at this plant, but some distance away, and would require separate Authorisation to visit;
I was even shown experimentation at using Brass Wire (“rod”) for making 9mm cases by the “crop and head” method, in a machine similar to a Bolt header used in the Nail and Bolt industry, for pre-forming the Cups which are then drawn in the usual method for making 9mm cases…they were obviously having a lot of trouble because there was a LOT of waste(out of spec) material about… The Crop and Head method is used to cut down on the waste created by using the “Punch and Cup” method from Sheet Brass…With the Wire, there theoretically, is no Waste. But the cropping has to be exact (90 degrees) and the centering of the slug in the heading die also has to be exact, for the draw to be concentric and uniform.
Any requests for information as to production quantities, headstamp codes, etc were politely deviated to other subjects…a matter I did not delve into further ( for Politeness, as a guest)…Pictures tell thousand words (Labels on Boxes, crates, etc. of Ammo on the despatch dock)…It was the time of ongoing Fracas in Former Yugoslavia ( August 1993)…and the ammo was “going across the Danube”…was the cryptic answer I got.
SO , all in all, Discretion is the byword in Vlasim…as it is in most Ammunition factories ( it took several months of “pre-arranging” and then a full morning in Prague for my documents to be examined by the Czech Security( Military) Services, before we set off for Vlasim at about 11AM (I had been at the office since 8 AM) —a 60 km drive thru some of the best Forest deer country I have seen in Europe… And a very good Czech Lunch in the Castle Museum of Vlasim ( Sporting arms, and the manufacturing Museum of S&B).