North Korean ammunition

The Incident between North / South Korea this week reminded me of North Korean cartridges. I know there are a few available to collectos with a triangle and a date in the headstamp. How many calibres / headstamps are known? Didn’t the ones that are avaiable come from South America?

In '69 or '70 there were North Korean 7.62x39mm loads that showed up regularly in North Vietnamese weapons that came out of northern Laos. I brought back 20 or 30 myself.


Lew–What are the details of the 7.62x39’s you mentioned above (Headstamp, Case Material, Bullet, etc.)? I have 47 different North Korean 7.62x39’s on my list, but these sound like they may be new to me.

Ron, My memory is that they had a triangle at the top and some other markings. I traded/gave them away long ago and just don’t remember what there were. I suspect quite a few of your North Korean rounds also came out of SE Asia since the North was suppling the Vietnamese as were most countries in the Communist block at the time.



Years ago, I had a few 7.62 x 39 from North Korea, along with a few from Peru. All came from Peru through a friend of mine who was working with the police down there for a short time. Peru also made the Makarov round, of course, and another collector got some of those on a visit to the country. I don’t recall the headstamp but sever guys got them from me so maybe ne of them might be on this Forum and remember which one it was. It did not have the triangle, to my memory, but simply an arsenal number and a date like most COMBLOC rounds.

As I have mentioned before, Peru had a communist president using an anti-communist army with North Korean and Russian weapons and ammunition and Russian advisors to hunt down coomunist (Sendero Luminoso) guerrillas. Weird political situation!

Here is a list of the North Korea 7.62x39 that I am aware of. The loads with an “X” are items in my collection. All the others are ones I have seen or have pictures of from other collections. If anyone has any that are not on the list, including dates, please contact me. Also, if you have duplicates of any not shown with a “X”, I would be interested in them for my collection.



Not to forget those North Korean cal4/26.5 flare cartridges in laquered steel cases which got exported to Austia.

Any other calibers known to be made in NK?

I have a 45 Auto FMJ with headstamp
^ 93 45 AUTO

^ = Triangle symbol

I believe it is from North Korea.

To me it sounds Chinese.

EOD, where did the NK made flares get imported to Austria from? Were they straight from NK?

It seems strange about the .45 ACP that they would make one in 1993 with a commercial style headstamp.

Are there any calibres like 12.7 x 108, 14.5 x 114 or larger known to be from NK?

Here is a 14.5x114 APIT load on the left (headstamp on the right)




The “Triangle” 93 45 Auto is NORINCO commercial .45 auto ammunition that was widely sold in the United States contemporary to its manufacture. It is definitely NOT Korean.

Paul–The pictured North Korea round on the right is dated 1961.

For those that don’t recognize the round on the left, it is Egypt (United Arabic Republic) at 7 O’clock the year 67 (1967) at 5 o’clock 27 for Arsenal 27.

There are also NK 14.5x114 with laquered steel cases which are more common than the copper washed ones.

EOD, where did the NK made flares get imported to Austria from? Were they straight from NK?

Falcon, I have no details on the procedure itself but assume it to be a straight deal.

Werre they for the military or for commercial sale?

They look like regular NK military production for civilian sale in Austria and have German language labels or prints on the side of the case. These markings are easy to remove and after this is done they mostly get sold as genuine NK military. Sometimes for rediculous prices.

Do you have a photo of one or an example?

What was the reason for importation? Are flare guns used for any sort of celebration in Austria? Obviously not for marine use as it is a landlocked country. There must have been a market for them if they were imported in commercial quantities.

I visited Austria this summer with work, nice country.

If I remember right flare guns are easy to obtain legally in Austria, this may be the reason for a comparetively high demand of ammo. NK is certainly one of the cheapest suppliers then.

Thanks for that. lists that headstamp as North Korean - although it looks like a steel case while mine is brass.