Russian imported Frunze (60) cases in Romanian tins


#1

I recently came across some late 80’s dated factory 60 (Frunze/Bishek) 7.62x54r cases located inside of Romanian ammo tins, fully loaded and finished, bulk packed. Does anyone know the circumstances? This harkins back to the 1975 Lugansk tins of 5.45x39 M74 that i discovered contained Ulyanovosk headstamped rounds.

Can anyone translate?


#2

AIRcarbine, that is extremely interesting and valuable reference. Thank you for sharing!

Obviously Romania purchased cases. Reasons for such an action may be manyfold.

Do you have the data on those 5.45x39 from Lugansk/Ulyanovsk on hand?
Within the USSR it was not that unusual that cases and other components were exchanged amongst factories. More often one factory made cases with a code of another factory and delivered them.
Some Russian researchers observed this while visiting factories.


#3

Are the bullet jackets magnetic ? (in other words: does “GJ” mean gilding jacket?)


#4

In Romanian certainly not but there we have some mix up of languages.

The irritating thing here is the “p.c.s.” as the Romanian abbreviation for the quantity is “buc” (for bucată). Also the model designation of the caliber “908” referring to the M1908 spitzer projectile variant of the round. Actually it should have been “908/30” or “930” then as the cartridge as it is made since 1930 (2nd modification - the rim bevel) is the one in question.


#5

Here is a translation of the label:

Recommendation for use of ammo crates painted inside with copper naphthenate

    • Should not be used for other purposes, crates painted inside with copper naphthenate, than the purpose for which they were intended.
    • After use, waste paper, cardboard boxes inside will be destroyed by burning according to regulation A-103/1974.
    • Unpacking the content of the crates will be outdoors or in rooms provided with natural ventilation.
    • People who come in contact with the inner surface of boxes, should have hands clean of organic solvents or petroleum products.
    • Hand-washing is mandatory after finishing work.

#6

Interesting. That is the stuff I was trying to figure out when I posted this:

Not the headstamp I was expecting.


#7

I think I figured the meaning of the LPS-GJ. It was so obvious that I did not stumble over it.

Following the Russian system the projectile type (here LPS) is given followed by the case material. In Russia that would be (in correct English transliteration) LPS-GZh.
Transliteration from Cyrillic into Latin alphabet languages is different from country to country as it depends much on the pronounciation of the Latin letter in every language.
Means a transliteration to English is different from one to German or to Romanian - as we see here.

So the Cyrillic “ГЖ” is the Romanian “GJ” and the English “GZh”. All this is denoting a cladded or galvanized steel case.

AIRcarbine, it would be great if you could pull one of the cartridges and show us the separated projectile and tell the OAL of it. The weight should be at 9.7 gram.


#8

EOD, thank you for the explanation.


#9

To add a bit to this mistery: back in the mid 1990’s I have found in an army firing range here in Romania a spent casing with this exact headstamp: 60 over 89. No idea how it got here, and why would Romania need or get Soviet ammo, since at that time the factories here were working full time, no supply problem.
These cartridges are definitely Soviet - apart from the headstamp, there’s also the obvious annealing, which is never to be found on Romanian casings.
I’d venture to say the tins they are packed in are also Soviet due to their color, as Romanian painted tins have a much darker green, not this mustard light green.


#10

What do you think of the Romanian cartridges with Cyrillic markings?


#11

In the 1980s within the Warsaw Pact almost all countries made ammunition with Cyrillic markings (maybe all but I did not encounter specimen of all countries so far).
I know of at least these: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, GDR. I may have missed Hungary as I simply do not remember - will have to check files and images to find out.
Bulgaria and the USSR of course had not to do much about this.
As per verbal information from people wo worked in the ammunition industy back then there was a Russian/Soviet based requirement to make such ammunition for standardization reasons.
Probably inspired by the NATO system.
Unfortunately I was not able to find this document/agreement in any of the countries in question.
In case somebody has such a doc I would be glad to study it.

The crate above is dated 1974 so this could be an export contract. Here only the regarding documents from the manufacturer and or MOD can tell the reason.


#12

The next question is: When the other countries of the Warsaw Pact marked their ammunition crates in the Cyrillic, are these markings in the Russian language, or are they simply sound-transliterations of the words in the language of the ammunition manufacturer? Since I don’t read Russian, I am not qualified to judge that from the markings, and doubt many of us are. So, it is a question waiting to be offered and answered.


#13

John, to what I have seen it was Russian Cyrillic as everything else would have caused a chaos in readability. But my observations are not strictly bound to SAA where translations of case materials etc were less critical.

One thing that is puzzling me is that the “Cyrillic system” was not applied to all ammo made from a certain date on.

Of course there are exceptions like on that “Romanian” #60 crate from Bishkek where the markings are in Romanian but the qty. is abbreviated in English. That makes not much sense as we can assume since the Romanian abbreviation would be “BUC.” or “buc.”. On the other hand we know that many eastern countries and also the USSR were not the designated language specialists what we can see still today when we look at factory documents which are published in English - they are full of distorted translations.


#14

I just noticed that the Romanian marked box with the #60 headstamped cases which is suggesting production at BShZ in Bishkek (Soviet: Frunze) is featuring the propellant manufacturer “i”.
The odd thing here is that the USSR/Russia is not using this code for a propellant manufacturer (also not in Cyrillic).
So this would allow the question if the cartridges were really made by factory #60 then.


#15

[quote=“EOD”]I just noticed that the Romanian marked box with the #60 headstamped cases which is suggesting production at BShZ in Bishkek (Soviet: Frunze) is featuring the propellant manufacturer “i”.
The odd thing here is that the USSR/Russia is not using this code for a propellant manufacturer (also not in Cyrillic).
So this would allow the question if the cartridges were really made by factory #60 then.[/quote]
You’re right. But I have another version.
I saw only one Romanian producer of gunpowder VT - U.
The cartridges can be of Soviet manufacture, and Soviet-made gunpowder, could be designated as I (for example, Import or anything else indicates a Soviet gunpowder)


#16

Yes, I am aware of the “U” (“Viromet S.A.” of Victoria).

I just wonder if the cartridges were made at #60 if the propellant would be declared as “imported” when in loaded cartridges.
I guess we will have to wait untill regarding docs will become available to explain what was done back then.