I have a lacquered steel case 5.45x39 Blank headstamped “322 5.45 97”. The headstamp guide lists 322 as “Unknown factory, Romania”. Is any more now known about this round? Also, was it a commercial round as it has the calibre on the headstamp.
The Romanians did funny things with their headstamps. The earliest Romanian 7.62x39mm headstamp I know of is “RPR 22 57” showing the well known “22” factory code. They used “22” into 1980 when they dropped the factory code all together. From 1980 until 1988, there was no factory code in the headstamps. beginning in 1988 the fatory code “323” appeared.
in 1989, the factory code increased by one, to “324”. In 1990 the factory code became “325”. In 1991, this ascending number cycle started all over, but at the number “321”. By 1995 the factory code was “325” again, starting back at “321” in 1996 and so on… To my knowledge, there is only the one small arms ammunition factory in Romania, and regardless of the “factory code”, it is the same manufacturer. I only know of your 5.45 headstamp in a ball loading, and it is one that we saw here in the US on “sporting” cartridges. Is your cartridge a plastic bulleted blank?
This blank has an extended neck with a 6 petal rose crimp sealed with red lacquer.
Interesting. I have not seen that type before.
- @ AKMS: There were MORE THAN ONE small ammo plants in Romania starting with early 1930s. The same situation is even now in Romania when the ammunition manufacture still remains a “hush-hush” subject. Today Romania also manufactures NATO type ammo and old Soviet type ammo. — @ Falcon: The answer to your question is clearly printed on page 39 [IAA Journal #455, May/June, 2007] and any IAA member could read my third Addendum about the “Romanian Headstamps Since the Beginning of World War Two”. The factory code “322” [obsolete now] shows the “U.M. Sadu Plant” [from Gorj County, Romania] as the manufacturer [which is still in production]. Liviu 07/22/07
Please explain these Romanian 7.62x39mm headstamps:
Are you saying that these five different factory codes represent five different ammunition factories? No other yearfactory code combinations outside of this pattern are known to my knowledge. No other Romanian small arms ammunition factory besides the one coded “22” made 7.62x39mm cartridges, so it only makes sense that when the three digit factory code began, it was used by the same factory that formerly used “22” (or no code at all, as in the 1980-1988 period).
Once we are identifying Romanian manufacturers I would like to know about Romanian 5.45x39 made by “222”.
- @ AKMS: It looks like the Romanian State plant “22” started to manufacture the 7.62X39 round in 1957, the same year when the production of the “SKS” started at Cugir Arsenal from Transylvania. Between 1957 and 1966 brass cartridge cases were used for the 7.62X39 round [with the exception of some lots dated 1971 and blank rounds]. Starting with 1967 steel cases were used for the 7.62X39 rounds. The Romanian factory codes “321”, “322” and “323” definitely [I’m 100% sure] show the same maker, “U.M. Sadu” plant. I am NOT 100% sure if the factory “22” is the same with “321”, “322” and “323” or with “324” and “325”. I’ve never liked to say something if I’m not 100% sure. I have more info concerning the Romanian made 7.62X39 round which is going to be used soon in my 4th Addendum. — AKMS, I mentioned that there were [and still are] more than one ammo plant which had manufactured small arms ammunition considering that these type of rounds were also made in Romania: 5.45X39, 7.62X25, 7.62X39, 7.62X54R, 7.65X17 [.32 Auto], 7.92X56, 7.92X57, 9X17 [.380 Auto], 9X19 Parabellum, 9X22.7 Steyr and more recently .30-06 [7.62X63], 5.56X45 and 7.62X51. Not all the above types of ammo were manufactured by the same plant. The Romanian small ammo factory “21” [not the one from Hungary or Poland] was a different facility. There were more small ammo plants in Romania and I don’t want to list them here since I don’t have too much substantial info, not to mention the main plant in charge of research, testing and special prototypes for small arms ammo. — @ EOD: I’ve never heard of the Romanian maker’s code “222”. Do you have a photo showing this unusual code??? On which type of ammo is marked??? Liviu 07/22/07
AKMS - I have a hunch there is a little truth all the way around here. I think there is more than one ammunition factory oeprating in modern times (I am talking in the 1990s, from the examples I have) in Romania.
Firstly, I have a CWS Steel-cased 9mm with GMCS bullet headstamped “323 93” that fits right into the scheme of what you are showing. However, I also have a Romanian 9mm with brass case, GM (or possibly even brass - certainly a higher brass content than the jacket coating of the “323” round) and headstamp “93 UMC 9X19” which has completely different characteristics to the cartridge and the headstamp bunter than the “323” round. Both made in the same year! The UMC-headstamped round, by the way, seems to have a steel core. A weak magnet placed right at the tip of the bullet will not pick up the “UMC” cartridge, but will pick up the “343” round. However, even the weak magnet draws heavily at the side of each bullet.
The “UMC” headstamp is the old factory at Cugir, I am sure. I have always wondered who is represented by the numerical designator(s). I have not seen any explanation of the totality of Roumanian Headstamps in the Post-WWII era that satisfied me as being completely correct, based on the hardware (cartridges) that are around. However, while I say that, I can offer no better explanation and I readily admit that.
I tend to agree, though, that all of the 300-series numbers represent one factory, changing with the date. I can’t see why they did that - it certainly isn’t a date code with the date openly expressed on the headstamp. Maybe just a way to confuse the issue, like the Chinese do subtracting and adding numbers to their factory codes, which its pretty obvious they do, or have done.
As said on 5.45x39. I have no cartridge anymore. I got some in my UN time in Angola and gave them to the Romanian batallion guarding the camp. Those days I was not interested in small arms ammo. Since I do collect all info on WAPA and NATO codes I was surprised to see this one.
- @ John Moss: It is correct that the Romanian headstamp mark “UMC” stands for “Uzina Mecanica Cugir” [Cugir Arsenal]. After 1990 many changes were made in the Romanian ammo industry and these changes are NOT advertised to the public. Remember the mystery 7.92X56 round [having a green lacquered steel cartridge case about 1mm shorter than normal] which even today is a question mark for us here. — Speaking about the Romanian made 7.62X39 round, we may assume that the same ammo plant made it, if we accept the idea that the codes “22”, “321”, “322”, “323”, “324” and “325” represent the same factory [an idea which I will NOT accept for having not enough info]. Liviu 07/22/07