The 9×39mm is a Soviet / Russian rifle cartridge based on the 7.62×39mm cartridge. It has been in development for nearly forty years, making it the longest developed modern cartridge. Examples of weapons that use this cartridge are the AS Val, the VSS Vintorez and the OTs-14-4A Groza-4.

History[edit | edit source]

The cartridge began its design in the 1940s by a team of twenty-seven unnamed members. It was later finished by Nikolai Zibeline and Yuri Frolov of TsNIITochMash in the 1980s. The 9×39mm was designed as a subsonic cartridge for suppressed firearms, whilst retaining superior stopping and penetrative power when compared to other rifles.

Design Details[edit | edit source]

The 9×39mm is based on the 7.62×39mm cartridge. Changes include an expanded neck to accommodate a 9mm bullet. The bullet itself is 16 grams (250 grain), more than double of the 7.62 Soviet's 123 grain. Its slow velocity does not produce a sonic boom, but when compared to conventional, lower caliber, unsuppressed rifles, it lacks in muzzle energy and effective range. The round can penetrate 1 centimeter of steel. Like the 5.45×39mm cartridge, an FMJ 9×39mm cartridge has an air pocket in the tip to increase yaw on impact in soft tissue.

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • SP-5 (СП-5) (7N8) - The SP-5 (SP: Spetsialnyj Patron; "Special Cartridge") is an accurised, lead core FMJ bullet developed by Nikolai Zabelin.
  • SP-5UZ (СП5-УЗ) - Variant of the SP-5 with an increased charge meant for factory stress-testing of 9×39mm firearms.
  • SP-6 (СП-6) (7N9) - Variant with a metal armor-piercing core developed by Yuri Frolov. Designed to retain its stopping power to neutralize a target even after striking armor.
  • SP-6UCh (СП-6Уч) - Training variant of the SP-6.
  • PAB-9 (ПАБ-9) (7N12) - Cost effective version of the SP-6 that used a stamped metal core instead of a machined one. However, this hindered its performance when compared to the original cartridge and became virtually unusable. Its usage was prohibited in 2011.
  • SPP (СПП) - The SPP (SPP: Snaiperskie Povishennaya Probivaemost; "Sniper - Increased Penetration") is a cartridge with increased penetrative power, intended for use with snipers.
  • BP (БП) - The BP (BP: Broneboin'ie Pulya; "Armor-Piercing Bullet") is a round intended for armor-piercing.
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