Unmarked 7.62 x 39mm

Can anybody help with identifying these three unmarked, and presumably clandestine, 7.62 x 39mm ball rounds? They have no markings other than those shown in the scan.

(left) Brass case with no primer colour. FN possibly?

(centre) Brass case with a nickel primer and a distinctive pale blue paint primer annulus. I seem to recall that this might be Frankford Arsenal?

(right) Grey-green lacquered steel case with no primer annulus.



the one on the right was made in DDR’s plant 05 (VEB Spreewald, L

I believe the middle one was made by Jim Bell’s company, B.E.L.L. Inc. (Brass Extrusion Labs Limited). I have had a couple of specimens of it go through my hands and it doesn’t seem to be expecially rare in the U.S. I don’t know why or for whom it was made.

Other cartridges 7.62 unmarked

1- Brass case with no primer colour = Belgium - FN
2- Brass case with green primer annulus = Iran
3- Brass case with green primer annulus = Iran
4- Brass case with pink/red primer annulus = Yugoslavia
5- Brass case with no primer colour = Sudan
6- Grey-green lacquered steel case with red primer = Roumania (with date : 82, 83 or 86)
7- Grey-green lacquered steel case with no primer colour = France - Manurhin (test machine tool)
8- Brass case = USA
9- Brass case with red primer annulus = USA
10- Aluminum case with no primer colour = Czechoslovakia - Sellier & Bellot

Thank you gentlemen.
Hans, why would the DDR have produced unmarked ammunition?

A side-on pic would also help. #1 might be FN, but seeing the projectile could help better ID it. #2 is definately a BELL product. Made in the 1980s for a US government contract (supposedly) for aid to a Central American country or some such. Multiple lots over several years and some turned up as shooter ammo. The last one sure looks East German to me as well. Unheadstamped and without a primer seal might indicate some sort of experimental round?

I have the Manurhin round in my collection. Any information about it?


That suspected Manurhin round (No7) looks much like a GDR product as Hans indicated before.
There are other steel cased M43 with dark grass green color which are also associated with Manurhin on which I wished to know more.

A side on view!

There is an un marked .303 with primer crimps and annulus very similar to the 7.62x39 that JMG shows (round no. 2). Was this also made by Iran?


Jim and JMG,

This one is one of the kind we see on the right on Jim’s picture. I shows all distinctive signs of 05 components:

case lacquer used from the 1960s to the first 1980s
rim and grove shape
dull brass colour primer
bullet tip
case mouth crimp

I don’t want to deny this cartridge or its components were used in Manurhin for their purposes but one thing is for sure: 05 made the components.


From your new picture, #1 is definately FN, #2 is definately BELL and #3 is definately DDR from 05 factory.

The unheadstamped Manurhin and DDR rounds are distinctly different in case color and other details.


Excellent - thank you all.

JMG, thanks a lot for the great image.