The 7.62×39mm (also known as 7.62 Soviet or .30 Russian Short) round is a Soviet round used originally for the RPD, and was later used for the SKS and AK-47.

Design details[edit | edit source]

The Russians simply took their old rifle round and shortened it. Coming up with this new intermediate rifle cartridge was to help lighten the load on a soldier carrying the new SKS carbine and reduce the recoil. Most, if not all, 7.62mm Soviet cartridges are Berdan primed.

Variants[edit | edit source]

Different variants of the 7.62×39mm round.

Military[edit | edit source]

M43[edit | edit source]

The M43 round, with its 124 grain full metal jacket bullet has a muzzle energy of 2010 J when traveling at 715 meters (about 2300 ft) per second. It has a mild steel insert on the inside of the bullet, with a layer of lead beneath the copper-plated steel jacket. However, it is one of the poorest performers in terms of terminal performance; its deep penetration, while working very well against cover, does little damage on flesh unless it hits a part of the central nervous system.

M67[edit | edit source]

The M67 round, produced by Yugoslavia in the 1960s, does not have the mild steel insert that M43 has. This causes the projectile to have a center of gravity that is not in the center of the projectile while in flight, increasing its chances of yawing upon impact and producing a larger wound than M43 would.

Commercial[edit | edit source]

Commercial manufacturers of 7.62×39mm generally have various FMJ rounds on the market. Most weigh around 122-124 grains, and are generally steel-cased and Berdan primed.

8M3[edit | edit source]

Modified M67 with a ballistic tip, increasing chance of fragmentation.

158-grain 7.62mm Soviet[edit | edit source]

These are usually jacketed hollow point rounds. Effectiveness of the hollow point design may vary, and are usually sold under the Herter's brand.

See also[edit | edit source]

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