WWII Steel Cased .22LR

I work as a firearms instructor at the local range and while working as a line officer I found one miss fire and a couple of empty cases made out of steel. The headstamp had “V” for victory. Can anyone of the forum give me some insight into .22LR steel cased ammunition? I have some .45ACP EC 43 ammuntion in my collection which is steel cased.

Frank Jr.

These are made in Russia by the Klimovsk Stamping Plant (KSPZ) under the brand name “Vostok” (what translates to “east”).

here is a picture from WW2 German .22 ammo.

Hülsen aus Stahl = Steel cases.


Yours are Russian of current manufacture. I don’t know if they are imported as much as they used to be, but I don’t see them nearly as much at gun shows as formerly. I chronographed several brands a few years back, and out of a rifle, I was surprised to find the MVs are quite low - barely 1000 f/s. That’s really subsonic. Also, from a pistol, the MV was determined to be only a little less than that.

I have one bolt-action rifle that has always given extraction problems using conventional brass-cased .22 rounds. The Russian ammo extracts perfectly, so I restrict that rifle to shooting only the Russian steel-cased product.

If you want to know more about your steel .45 ammunition, there are many postings here about it, and I think one even provides a website link to read “Bullets by the Billion,” which is a book describing the history of the WWII Evansville plant that made them.

Steel cased Russian .22s were quite common over here about a decade back or more. Maybe longer than that thinking about it.

Probably more like two decades. It would have been before the pistol ban. the trouble is that a decade isn’t what it used to be when you get to my age. It was however, from memory, top grade stuff, used by the Match pistol boys. Certainly not budget.

I remember the name Vostok, I regret I never kept any boxes but it didn’t seem important at the time. So many regrets about boxes I have binned over the years.

Steel cased 22 were discussed in a thread awhile back. It pictured the “V” head stamped round and box. I’m not sure how to post the link so I hope this works!



Thanks Paul

I could not find it.


I don’t know about the Russian ammunition not being economy grade. I bought 4 or 5 bricks of it at a gun show back in the mid-90’s and still have some. About 2-3 years ago, I brought another brick at a gun show. I don’t think I paid any more than $10/brick for any of them.

Regarding performance, I have never fired any in a target rifle so I do not know about grouping performance. Although I was not an active shooter, there was a German Schuetzen group in a nearby town having a heavily Teutonic heritage, and I know some of the guys liked to use the Russian .22 ammunition. They all used Winchester 52s, and butchered them up horribly, at least in my opinion. They would cut down the stocks and affix steel prongs to the forend (they shot by forcing the prongs into a wooden fence for support). It used to hurt me to see these mutilated rifles, so I didn’t participate very long, as I refused to mess up my mint condition Model 52B just for that.

Thanks guys. I know I’d find out what they were on this forum. Certainly would form a good gun show pitch if they were out of the box. Cheers

Frank Jr.