Vietnam War NVA Chest Bandolier

This is an NVA cartridge bandolier from the Vietnam War. What is interesting about it is that

It still is loaded with the original cartridges. There are nine cartridge pockets, each has two ten-round-stripper clips. The tenth pocket is made slightly larger and holds the oiler for the SKS Rifle. All cartridges have headstamp with “31” at 12 o’clock and “66” at 6 o’clock. The stripper clips are also stamped with “31.”


Are the markings on the oiler Chinese?

George, interesting!
Can you check the cases please, are they brass washed steel?

sksvlad, as far as I know, they are Chinese characters. I wish I knew someone that can translate Chinese. What I wondered about was that the oiler is divided into two compartments. Could the character on one slide indicate “lubricant” and the other side “solvent?” Good question, thank you for the question.

No, they are brass. I have been cleaning them with steel wool. Under the corrosion they are brass. Some are badly corroded and some are just tarnished. I am cleaning them to stabilize the corrosion. However, the stripper clips are steel and have rust on them, but I have been able to get this rust off. Thank you for your interest and comment.

interessing to know brass cased chinese 7.62x39 rounds

stick a magnet to these brass case 7.62x39mms and see if it sticks to them.

George - you are correct. One side of the oil bottle is for solvent and the other is for lubricating oil. The bottles are basically a copy of a Russian Standard Oil Bottle. Later Chinese ones were often plastic, and came in a variety of colors and styles of bottle, many of them only for one liquid, probably lubricant, as a lot of the Chinese weapons had chromed bores after a certain time (I don’t know the year they started it).

John Moss

Wait, wait. I am wrong. I did just try a magnet. Yes, the magnet sticks to them. But, this brass is not a thin wash like WWII cartridges. I am glad you pointed that out. Thank you, I learned something.

Despite those above being none Chinese brass cases do exist.

They are NOT Chinese? Are they from USSR?

Head stamp picture.

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Try to use brass wool. Steel wool leaves scratches. Also, take any really badly corroded round and wrap it in a paper towel soaked in vinegar. Leave it for about 30 min. Open and see what has happened, it will remove a lot of corrosion. Try it on ammo you would throw away.

Your cartridges ARE Chinese. No question about it. Made at Factory using “31” as an identification number and cases made in 1966.

John Moss

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Vlad, the “none” was related to the one shown not being brass - not to not being Chinese.

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I have in my head that factory 31 was located in Peking, can anyone confirm if this is correct?

Thank you all; Vlad, EOD, ammogun, russx39, John and Muskey. I appreciate you comments. I wonder where this bandolier was for the past 54 years? George

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Nope…321 is in Shenyang

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Thanks for that Sheng, I’m currently trying to ID where I read that initially so I can amend my notes. Do you know where Factory 31 is located?

Shenyang,Liaoning province