North Korean 5.45x39

I just read an article about North Korean small arms in the “Small Arms Review” 2nd quarter 2012.

There is mentioned that North Korea is producing an AK variant (Type 88) in 5.45x39.
It might be a legitimate assumption that they are producing the cartridges too.

Anybody out there with more or better info on this subject?

recently I saw of Korea’s Supreme Leader among soldiers holding AKs with that characteristic muzzle break. With a bit of luck I can publish the link next week.


Hans the Type 88 was depicted in that journal mentioned. I was about the cartridges.

EOD, ok, you are right. Without saying so I implied that if the gun is in N. Korea’s services they will also make the ammo. I do believe this makes sense, but have not seen any proof for that though.


This is why I asked and because I am curious to get any info about (including head stamps). I do not even dare to think of images of these cartridges if they do exist.

Not a lot of surprises I can think of now. Even design and case material/coating is predictable. But I agree, finding pictures would be a great surprise indeed.


Not reading any Russian, I must ask, does that say anything about North Korea?

On this picture it is written that JSC “KBAL” delivered in 1996-1998 the automatic rotor line for production of cartridges to North Korea

Thanks, Pavel!

Hello Hooke, welcome here! Thanks a lot for the info, this really answers some questions!

And creates more!

Like; where to get them?

FYI there is a couple of great videos on Koshkin and his work with rotary lines at the plant in Klimovsk that now bears his name, KBAL.

Just to revive this thread and to see if any news may have come to light.
Here an image from North Korea taken in 2010. … rea_18.jpg

From a new propaganda movie which shows the conquer of South Korea:


Thanks Hans! Here we can clearly see the less curved magazine which speaks for the 5.45x39 as the muzzle brake itself could have been adapted to 7.62x39 weapons.