WWII Soviet 7.62x54r repack?


What do we have here?

It appears to be WWII (1944) vintage Soviet 7.62x54r Type “D” heavy ball, but what is all the info on the top of the can? I suspect it indicates inspection or repack by Tula (539) in 1948…

My checklist only shows 1946 production of “L” ball by factory “543”, but admittedly the list is somewhat out of date.

Also, the powder manufacturer code is “LMK” (apparently not Cyrillic letters here) and not a number code like usually seen on Soviet and Com-bloc cans. Could this indicate the use of a powder supplied by an ally such as the US or England?

Anyone care to suggest if this is a rare or interesting item? The owner does not wish to open the can and shoot the ammunition if it has collector value…



AKMS, the cartridges/projectiles are “L” not “D”.

As you say it seems to be a repack by “539” Tula. As for the “LMK” I have no clue but doubt they would have used Latin letters at that time. Maybe an incomplete letter or so? (but then which one?)

The unusual here is certainly the can less the cartridges.


So the can itself may be worth while independent of the ammunition and opening from the bottom to save the can top is fine? Or is the complete intact can better? I really hate to open it or shoot it if it has value to others intact.

If it is fine as a can sans ammo, what is the best procedure to open it with in order to preserve the value for collectors?


That’s a difficult question.
You may get as many different answers as there are collectors.
Guess in the end you do what you think is right as long as you preserve the can.


Well, I suppose that depends on the value full versus empty.

If its full un-touched, is it worth more than say $90 to a collector? If so, and willing to pay shipping, I’m game to leave it sealed.

If not, I’ll extract the ammo and sell the can for its value.


The top line on the box states exactly “repacking by factory 539”


The cyrrilic abbreviation is “ЛГЖ= пуля Легкая, Гильза-Железная”, which means light bullet, cartridge brass made of iron. They are really repacked by factory 539 -Tula.


Thanx for the input. Looking at the box up close though… the Ж appears to be a M… I have other ammunition cases with Light ball marked “ЛГЖ” and this does not look like a “Ж”.


Excuse me, I thought about the bullet and brass. The powder looks to me like “СМК”, not “LMK”. С, М, К all appear in cyrillic aphabet.
Wish you all the best


Well, I don’t think that is “M”, look at the metal of the brass! I saw Ж=Железо (iron), С=сталь (steel), Л=латунь (brass) and no other metals (what is the probabillity the M=Медь (pure copper)?). There is no other metal with “M”, suitable for case making.
It looks to me that it may be a misprint.


It is is a “Ж” - have close look. Do not forget that font styles were changing form manufacturer to manufacturer and there even from year to year.


I agree, CMK (in latin SMK) would make sense.


I’m looking closely… the left side looks like the below with the question marks showing the bliterated section.

but the right shows a straight column. And both tops look connected. I accept the ГЖ assessment because it makes the most sense.

The powder text on close examination is CMK… there is faded paint completing the top of the “C”.

I am not sure if this is the appropriate place inquire but what is the can worth to collectors empty? And what would be the best route to extract the ammo (assuming the collector doesn’t what it full and sealed)?


I’d like to concentrate on the very first word which looks to me like “Переукупорка”. That means to tighten or seal something even more than before. A regular way to say “re-packing” is “Переупаковка”. So maybe they just re-sealed the edges without going inside? Any corrections of my rusty Russian are gladly accepted.


Vlad, the “Укупорка” is a somewhat obsolete way to say “Упаковка” (Packing).
so, in this case, “Переукупорка” stands exactly for “Переупаковка”, that is, "re-packing"
just my 2 cents of Russian language currency ;)


A friend from high school I have reconnected with has confirmed the word means “repackaged”.


Yes, that is the exact meaning of the word “Переукупорка”.


SO how should I open this thing while not ruining the can for the collectors?


I open my “spam cans” from the back using a 1" wood chisel. Put the can face down on a thick towel or something else soft and cushioned to protect the markings on the front. Make sure the chisel is very sharp. Using a corner of the cutting edge and a mallet to tap the chisel with, cut into the metal at a very shallow angle. Cut a 5" three sided square door in the metal and then pry the “door” open to get the ammunition packets out. There will be enough room between the ammunition packets and the metal that if you go slow and shallow, you won’t even scratch the paper packets. You can tap the can to settle the contents to help make more room. Be careful, the cut edges are very sharp. I wear leather work gloves doing this.



Upon extraction of the ammunition, should I fold the “door” back closed or fold it flat?