Monday, June 15, 2015

Romanian - Czech VZ24 Mauser / Mosin Nagant 91/30 Ammo Pouches

Today I'll be showing a pair of WW2 vintage ammo pouches that I picked up to go with my WW2 Romanian - Czech VZ24 Mauser rifle.  These are tough to find, so hopefully this posting will help you identify any potential Romanian pouches..........

There are a lot of the square style, leather ammo pouches out on the surplus market these days, but most of them are for the Yugoslavian Mausers.  They are very close to the Romanian pouches, but not quite right.

I am not certain of the exact dates of manufacture for the Romanian pouches, but I would guess that they were produced during WW2 when the Romanian Army received their shipment of Czech VZ24 Mausers.  The Romanian VZ24's were manufactured from 1938 to 1942.  I would assume that the bulk of these ammo pouches would have been manufactured at the same time.  There is always the chance that the Romanians manufactured another batch or two after the war to replace the battle worn pouches, but I can find no information about that.  
Romania started issuing the Mosin Nagant M44 Carbine and 91/30 Rifle in 1950, so these older ammo pouches found continued use with the Mosin Nagants of the early Cold War.

The most unique, distinguishing features of the leather Romanian ammo pouches are the flap straps and their attachment stitching.
On the Romanian pouches, the strap attaches under the flap and is sewn on with circular stitching.  The Yugoslavian pouches have the strap on the outside of the flap and they are sewn on with square stitching.  Another distinctive feature is the very square cube shape.  You will often see older Mannlicher Rifle ammo pouches that have the same type of strap and stitching as the Romanian pouches, but the ammo compartment is not cubed, it is slanted like the Cold War, Soviet Mosin Nagant pouches.

There are normally no markings to found on the Romanian pouches, with the exception of a random number or two, here or there, on some pouches.  I have no idea what these numbers might have meant, but I suspect that they had something to do with inspectors marks.   The leather has an embossed "line" set just in from edges of the leather.  You will see this in the photos.

Another thing that you will notice about these pouches is that they are BIG and BULKY!  Each pouch is designed to hold four, 5-round stripper clips of 8mm Mauser ammo.  Each soldier was issued two of these pouches, for a field load of 40 rounds on the belt and another 5 in the rifle!

Romanian 1941

An now, here are some detailed photos of the two pouches in my collection:

Side-By-Side Pouch Photos

Some close up details:

Faint number stamp under the edge of the back belt loop.

Pouches next to an original VZ24 for size comparison.

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