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Ammunition types and identification

Small arms ammunition colour codes

The tips of the bullets are coded according to their type:

Green tip : tracer

Red tip : spotting or incendiary

Magenta tip with red band : armor piercing incendiary tracer

Black tip/red band : Armor piercing incendiary

Black tip: Armor piercing

Yellow tip: heavy ball

Silver tip: light ball steel cored

Case identification

As with all things there are exceptions this information is a guide only:

Stampings on the case head show what factory the ammunition came from at the 12 0’clock position,

with the year of manufacture at the 6 o’clock position. This is true for the Soviet states and most of the Warsaw pact. Czech ammunition uses letters for factory identification and the others all use numbers.  Confusingly there are some duplicates, both Romania and Poland have used 21 (when this is used by Poland the date at the bottom is upside down so that the two countries can be told apart).

Chinese factory numbers   11, 31, 41, 51, ... 121, 321,324,325, 661, 671,

710,791 and 21215  

Eastern Germany factory numbers begin with 0, ie. 04, 05, 06

Bulgaria factory numbers 10 and 33 (in a double-circle), 4397

Cuba 10 and 13

North Korea uses 93

Poland uses 21, 54, 234 and 343.

Romania numbers: 15, 21, 22,23, 321, 322, 323, 324,325

Hungary numbers ;21,23

Russian state factories numbers: 3, 10,012, 17, 188, 606,710

Yugoslavia numbers 11

Bulgaria numbers 10

Czech letters :avm, aym, bnt,  bxn,  czo,  dtp,  evr,  fut,  gts,  ZVS, hsu,  irv,

 now,  jpw,  ndn,  nma,  oma,  uxa.