East Germany

East German Plastic Dummy, "D" Ball (Czech), 300 Meter Extra (Russian), Short Range Practice (Hungarian), Short Range Practice (Bulgarian)

 

Headstamp Codes: None Exist

The East German Paradox

East Germany was a member of the Warsaw Pact and manufactured many different types of ammunition. It is the opinion of most experts that they did not manufacture their own 7.62x54R. The Standard East German arsenal headstamp codes seen on other calibers are 04 and 05. These codes have not appeared on any 7.62x54R casings. The 54R ammunition used by East Germany in PK machine guns, Mosin-Nagants, SVDs and 91-30 sniper rifles appears to have been manufactured elsewhere then sold or traded to East Germany.

Three types of 54R ammunition have surfaced that have been associated with East Germany:

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M39 Ub Reduced Range Practice ammunition

These 123 grain Training rounds MAY have been assembled in East Germany from components made ELSEWHERE. The packaging, peach colored boxes which hold 20 rounds, is of German specification. The casings are found with three different headstamps, 10 for Bulgaria, 21 for Hungary and 22 for Romania. The blackened bullets denote "Practice ball". As you can see from the sectioned round above, the bullet has a mild steel jacket and steel core. It is of different design than the bullet used in 7.62x39 ammunition. A completely green bullet is "Practice tracer". In the above picture, the practice tracer has a 22 factory code, the gray laquer case practice ball has a 21 headstamp and the copper washed practice ball has a 10 factory code. Practice ammunition used lightweight bullets so smaller and shorter target ranges could be constructed. A sighting conversion table was included in each bag of ammunition. A wooden case of 1140 rounds contained one 160 round and three 320 round plastic bags.

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Plastic inner bag of 320 rounds Ub39 Practice ammunition

 

ZV Headstamped standard ball with German Language Labels

The ZV headstamped standard ball is completely Czech made, not German. Casings have a Czech ZV headstamp and each light blue 20 round box has affixed to it a German language version of the standard 1950's Czech ammunition label showing manufacturing date, bullet type and date of assembly. The blue boxes and 800 round tin and wood case are the same type used by Czechoslovakia.

Extra brand 200 grain target ammunition

The Extra brand Target ammunition is completely Russian made. The brass cases have a Russian 188 headstamp code and they are contained in a colorful yellow and blue 20 round box. The label is a German language version of the Russian Extra logo. This ammunition, loaded with a 200 grain match bullet, was used for 300 meter target competition. As you can see from the sectioned round above, the 200gr bullet is lead cored and copper jacketed. 12 boxes were packed in a 240 round tin, 2 tins per case. There were very few markings on the tins.

240 Round Tin 200 grain Extra Target Ammunition