Romanian factory code suffix "RPR"

To all those who do hs by year:
Can anybody narrow down the year when Romania stopped using the “RPR” (Republica Populara Romana) suffix on their numerical factory codes?

Thanks in advance!

The last use on Model43 I know of was in 65.


The latest 7.62x25 Tokarev I know of is 21 RPR 63.

Gentlemen, thank you! That is a great lead already.
Anyone else?

In 9x19mm, I only know of the headstamp with a 55 date.


Lew, are there hs post 1955 having only the number without the RPR? In particular between 1955 and 1965 then?

EOD, I have the following number codes and dates on 9x19mm cases:
321 00
323 93
325 05
Nothing in the date range you are looking for.



Lew, that is great info on 321 and 325! (323 I have an entry on already)
All great hs I can use for my database.
Also it seems then that Romania had a “break” in 9x19 production for about 45 years and if they stopped back in 1955 no surprise we have no “RPR” between then and 1965 when they might have stopped using the suffix.
Your info is much appreciated, thank you again!

EOD, I went into my files and I have a photo of a case:
324 04 9x19
22 76 7.65 (on 7.65Browning)

I understand that all the codes 321 through 325 are used by the same factory. The codes rotate with the year of manufacturer as follows

321 = 1 or 6
322 = 2 or 7
323 = 3 or 8
324 = 4 or 9
325 = 5 or 0

You probably knew this but maybe it is of interest to others.

There is still something missing here since my 321 case should show a date ending in 1 or 6, and not 00, and the 7.65B case referenced above with a code of “22” should probably have been a date ending in 2 or 7 instead of 76. In both cases the code is a year ahead of the date. This implies to me that perhaps the date changes on the change of calendar year, but the code perhaps changes on 30 September or at some other time before the end of the calendar year. If that was the case than most production would follow the scheme above but some, like the two cited would show a date a year behind what the code would imply!

Maybe your research will shed some light on this. Looking forward to seeing your conclusions.



Lew, thank you for the update on the two other head stamps.

You are exactly describing the problem with Romania. They have 5 year steps in their end digits BUT there are always “jokers”.
So far this tiny detail and the final confirmation for a single plant using the same first two digits is something I would need a definative proof for.

For the time being I just can keep records and log everything I come across. So for the time being I am sitting over my “homework” and rather watch than tell.

By the way, anybody knows where Liviu our Romanian friend is?

EOD, Over the years, I have listed various manufacturers in Romania. As I research them they all boil down to the same location using different names over time. Besides the codes we have discussed, they seem to have used “CMC”, “SADU”, “S&W”, “UMC” and “U S”.

Good luck. I look forward to seeing your results.



  • @ EOD: Well, Liviu is here and I’m going to explain you the meaning of the headstamp mark “RPR” which is connected with the Romanian history after the end of WW2. On December 30th 1947 in Romania the King “Mihai” (in Romanian language) was forced to give up the throne by those communist thugs who had the full support of the Russian troops (the Red Army troops remained in Romania until the spring of 1958). On December 30th 1947 Romania became “REPUBLICA POPULARA ROMANA” (in Romanian language) which can be translated into English as “Popular Republic of Romania”. During the summer of 1965 the ruling communists from Romania decided that Romania to become a “Socialist Republic” and the name of the country was changed to “REPUBLICA SOCIALISTA ROMANIA” (in fact nothing was changed in Romania, it was the same communist terror generated by the government). The short of the “REPUBLICA POPULARA ROMANA” was always “RPR” and “RSR” was the short for “REPUBLICA SOCIALISTA ROMANIA”. The short variant “RSR” was never used as a headstamp mark but the short variant “RPR” was used on headstamps for these Romanian made cartridges: 7.62 X 25 Tokarev, 7.62 X 39 M43, 7.92 X 57 (8mm Mauser), 9 X 19 Luger / Parabellum and 14.5 X 114. Since Poland and Hungary also used the factory code “21” the Romanians wanted to make sure their ammo made at Cugir Arsenal (located in Transylvania) which used the code “21” too, could be correctly identified by using the “RPR” mark. The earliest Romanian headstamp I know which has the “RPR” mark is dated 1952 (7.62 X 25 Tokarev) and the last Romanian headstamp having the “RPR” mark is from 1965 (7.62 X 39 M43). Starting with the year 1966 the Romanian headstamps for small caliber ammunition had only the factory code (at 12 o’clock position) and the two digit date (at 6 o’clock position). If you have any questions regarding this subject please let me know. Liviu 06/09/12 P.S. I’m sorry but I forgot to mention above the Romanian made 7.62 X 54R rimmed cartridges with brass shell cases headstamped “21 RPR 52” (raised headstamp markings) that had been manufactured in 1952 by the plant “21” (Cugir Arsenal).

Liviu, great to see you here again. I thought you went missing. I’ll PM you.

  • @ EOD: Please note my “P.S.” from above with the Romanian made 7.62 X 54R rounds headstamped “21 RPR 52” Liviu 06/10/12
  • @ Lew: As you well know, starting with early 1940s the Romanians manufactured 9 X 19 Luger / Parabellum ammunition which was for the 9mm Orita M1941 and German made MP-40 submachine-guns. In Romania after the end of WW2 the surviving wartime MP-40 submachine-guns were kept in reserve but the Romanian made 9mm Orita M1941 submachine-guns (with the modified variant 9mm Orita M1941/48) remained in the Romanian army service up until the late 1950s. In the 1970s the 9mm Orita M1941/48 submachine-gun was still used for training by the so called “Garzile Patriotice” (Patriotic Guards), a kind of civilian national guard and territorial defense that had been created in Romania during the autumn of 1968 as a direct response to the soviet military invasion of Czechoslovakia in August the same year. With the 9mm Orita M1941/48 submachine-gun declared obsolete in late 1950s, there was actually no need to manufacture in Romania more 9 X 19 ammunition. The Patriotic Guards and the Romanian movie industry used 9 X 19 live and blank cartridges manufactured in 1950s.
    Starting with 1990s the Romanians used again pistols and a submachine-gun chambered for the 9 X 19 Luger / Parabellum cartridge and because of this the manufacture of this type of round started again.
    —> NOTE: For those interested to read about the Romanian made 9mm Orita M1941 submachine-gun, I recommend my article named “ROMANIAN 9mm ORITA M1941 SMG” which was printed on pages 43-50 of the Small Arms Review magazine, issue January 2009. On page 45 of the SAR magazine (January 2009 issue) there is a picture of a Romanian ammo label with a Romanian headstamp for a 9 X 19 cartridge (“CMC” over “9L”). On the Romanian label it can be read:
    50 CARTUSE LOT No.59
    P A R A B E L L U M
    Cal. 9 m/m LUNG
    C. M. C. - C U G I R 1944
    The label translation is: “50 Cartridges Lot #59” over “Parabellum” over “Cal. 9 X 19” over “For the ‘Orita’ and ‘MP-40’ submachine-guns” over “Copsa-Mica Cugir - Cugir 1944”.
    Liviu 06/10/12 P.S. Starting with 1950s the Russians forced many countries to adopt soviet calibers and cartridges (7.62 X 25 Tokarev, 7.62 X 39 M43, 7.62 X 54R, 9 X 18 Makarov, etc.) with their weapons and to give up to some calibers and type of cartridges (7.92 X 57, 9 X 17 Short, 9 X 19 Luger / Parabellum, etc.) with their weapons. This situation happened in Romania too.