Strange 5.45x39 headstamp

While browsing i discovered a 5.45x39 cartridge from plant #21 indentified as Hungarian as the year “88” is not inversed.


Apart from the common mistake that #21 is not Sirok but Veszprém, as far as i know Hungary never produced this caliber. The lacquer finish also doesn’t look Hungarian.
Examining the details of the fonts it uses a quite unique “2” that lower part is half the width of the font itself. I found the same “2” on Polish 7,62x39 cartridges. See picture below from the same site. So i would identify this as Zaktady Matalowe MESKO SA of Poland.

My question is: Is the year not inversed by error, or is it a covert production lot for export?


Vince - I would think it is an error. It IS obvious from the size of the two circles that constitute the numeral 8 that the date on the 88 cartridge is read in the same plane as the “21” arsenal number, and not by rotation of the cartridge. I think the “88” which essentially can be read either way, confused the bunter maker. Likely no way to prove it. Perhaps our Polish friends have a more scholarly take on this than do I.


This is Poland 100%)


Hi All

It’s 100% Polish production-Mesko. Probably a human error during matrix production.




can there be conscious simplification?)

The man responsible for making the matrix did not ensure that the 88 digits were positioned correctly.
Human error or carelessness of an employee.


Thank you gentlemen!