Got a box of 30.06 M2 ball ammo the other day. The rear of the case had an N K marked above the primer. The N is backwards. Below the primer is marked 1957. Can anyone identify country of origin and whether it is corrosive?
Thanks RogueJSK, i was presuming Korean but that "N" was throwing me. The Cyrillic alphabet never came to mind. I guess my next question would be why would a Warsaw pact nation be producing M2 ball at the height of the cold war? Did the Yugoslavians receive Garands or 1903s during WW2?
Yugoslavia was never part of the Warsaw Pact. While they were a nominally Socialist/Communist nation from the end of WW2 through the breakup and civil war in the 1990s, they were in reality more center-left aligned. They broke ties with the Soviets in 1948. During the Cold War, they never allied with either the Eastern or Western Blocs, and specifically took a stance of neutrality.
Yugoslavia received a large amount of US military aid in the 1950s, including small arms, armored vehicles, and aircraft. While they didn't use Garands or M1903s, they did have a quantity of Browning M1919A4 MGs (chambered in .30-06), most of which were mounted in armored vehicles like the M4 Sherman tank. So at least some of the M2 Ball production went to supply their own military.
But most of the M2 Ball production was for foreign military contracts from the 1950s all the way through the 1980s. In fact, the (former Yugoslavian) Prvi Partizan factory still produced M2 Ball spec .30-06 for the commercial Garand market. See http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=AP3006CAN