Russian Code 188

Has anyone seen or heard of a code 138 on a 1997 9mm Makarov cartridge.Manufacturer? It has a long top left on the “one” so could possibly be code 738 but looks more like 138.Copper cased with black primer lacquer.

Curtis, this date is known with a “188” code. Can you post a picture?

boy vacation put my cartridge mind in a haze…lol…You know I didn’t even think of that. Now that I look at it, I think it is a 188 code with a worn upper 8. Thanks again.

I think Fede is on the right track, as usual, with his identification of this code “138” actually being a mis-read “188.” The 188 code was assigned to the JSC Novosibirsk Cartridge Works, a division of the Novosibirsk Low-Voltage Equipment Works, of the USSR.

The long serif (“hook”) on the numeral “1” in the manufacturer’s code matches perfectly their style of headstamp numbering. It is definitely a numeral one, as the seven does not have a hook on their 97-dated headstamps.

The year 97 is known on at least two loadings - an enhanced penetration round with all black, semi-pointed bullet with black case mouth seal, but with a red primer seal which does not jibe with the description given. There is also a tracer round, with FMJ RN GMCS bullet. It has no tip color, but is identified as a tracer by a green neck seal and a green primer seal. In poor lighting, the primer seal could possibly be mistaken for being black, but that would be highly unlikely with the neck seal. Only one loaded lot was manufactured to our knowledge, and they are dated “95.” However, some dummies of this round were acquired at a trade show and they are dated “97.”

These “188-code” rounds have copper-washed steel cases, and brass primer cups.

To properly identifiy this round, we would need a good photograph of the head of the cartridge, as well as one of the profile.

I only have the pic of the headstamp.

and here is a clear 188 headstamp

identical except the wear on the first 8 on the top one.


O.K. Everything fits with what I said. The primer seal of the “97” round is red, not black as originally described. While it is hard to tell due to the color tone of the picture, it appears that the primer seal on the bottom round, dated “95”, is green. The date would be correct for the tracer round with green primer and case-mouth seal, as I described.

You are correct John my error in stating black…It did at first appear black but after lightening the photo it was easy to see it was actually red. Same font so this one is a wrap. Thanks for the assistance.