- Ammunition history
- The main advantages
- Available disadvantages
- Penetration ability
- Army use
- Application on the hunt
- In which countries is used
Probably every person, at least a little interested in weapons and his history, heard about 7.62 54 mm R ammunition. This is not surprising - for half a century he was the main patron of the Russian army. And now he has not lost his popularity - he is actively used both in the army and in hunting. That is why to talk about it in more detail is not at all superfluous.
Let's start with the fact that for the first time the cartridge was developed in the Russian Empire in 1890. The developer was Colonel N. Rogovtsev. Of course, that cartridge was significantly different from the usual to us. But it was he who became the progenitor who survived many changes. Initially produced at the Tula Ammunition Plant.
Within a few months, in 1891, the legendary Mosin rifle, also known as the three-line, was developed without exaggeration for this cartridge.
At first, the 7.62x54 cartridge had a blunt, rounded bullet, weighing 13.6 grams. A significant mass provided serious wounds when hit, but reduced the flight range, and also complicated the trajectory calculation. Therefore, a few years later - in 1908 - the munition was modernized and got the pointed head that was familiar to its contemporaries. Weight at the same time decreased to 9.6 grams.
The development of new modifications was very slow - the conservative monarch confidently refused any innovations. Only in 1916 another modification was adopted - a cartridge with an armor-piercing Kutovogo bullet.
But after the revolution, the end of the Civil War and the restoration of industry, everything changed. For several years, several successful modifications have been developed. For example, Kutovoy's armor-piercing bullet was replaced by a more advanced analogue of Boyno-Rodzevich. Also there was a cartridge with a weighted bullet used when firing a machine gun and the first Russian tracer ammunition, incendiary and combined. It was still produced at the Tula Cartridge Plant, which was significantly modernized and improved.
Subsequently, many other modifications were developed - we will tell about them a bit later. Also changed ammunition in other directions. For example, instead of a copper sleeve began to use stainless, and then bimetallic. Of course, this also had an effect on weapons using 7.62 54 mm ammunition R. A complex evolution, a chain of improvements led to the fact that today you can see one of the most popular cartridges in the world, created almost a century and a half ago.
Now we will study the main characteristics of the cartridge 7, 62х54. Since the different modifications are very different, for example, we take only the standard cartridge. We will consider it here and further.
The total length of the cartridge is 77.16 millimeters. At the same time the bullet weighs 9.2 grams. A hinge of powder of 3.25 grams provides a huge muzzle energy - 3840 joules. Thanks to this, an experienced shooter can confidently hit a target at a huge distance - about a kilometer and even more. The weight of the 7.62 x54 cartridge is 23 grams.
The initial speed of the bullet is about 860 meters per second - a very good indicator, due to which the shooter can take relatively small corrections when shooting at moving targets.
In short, it is not surprising that this combat cartridge immediately gained immense popularity and became the main one in the Russian army. And today, almost 130 years after development, it remains popular.
The main advantages
Of course, one of the main advantages of this cartridge is high power. Indeed, it can be called one of the most powerful cartridges used for small arms, not related to the category of large-caliber. Because of this, most of the injuries are either severe or fatal.
The penetrating ability is quite high - it is provided not only with considerable power, but also with a pointed bullet.
The distance of the battle is simply huge, and the corrections when shooting can be taken are relatively small - the high speed of the bullet in the amount of low weight provides excellent ballistic characteristics.
With all this, the cartridge is simple, and therefore unpretentious and reliable.
Of course, any cartridge with advantages will have certain disadvantages. And 7.62x54 is not an exception.
The main one and, in fact, the only significant, is a very strong return. Well, this is a high power charge. Of course, modern models of weapons due to the significant and properly distributed weight, or due to the complex mechanism of repayment returns reduce this unpleasant figure. Still, the accuracy of small arms is reduced. In addition, in order to aim at the target, even an experienced shooter takes longer than when using weapons with a weaker cartridge.
However, a good shooter with a decent nastrel is always ready for this. And I am ready to put up with such a disadvantage, more than compensated for by numerous advantages.
One of the most important indicators of any ammunition is its penetration ability. And here, 7.62x54 can boast of quite impressive indicators. Of course, in some cases, for hitting the target, you have to use special ammunition with a steel core - they are most often used by snipers. But the indicators speak for themselves.
For example, when firing at a distance of up to 200 meters, any ammunition of this caliber confidently pierces the brickwork to a depth of 12 centimeters. That is, from the fire of a machine gun or a sniper rifle, using 7.62x54 cartridges, it is clearly not worth hiding behind an ordinary brick wall.
Even more impressive results can be obtained when shooting at a tree. A dry pine timber section of 20x20 centimeters can be pierced through a bullet fired at a distance of up to 1200 meters.
The parapet, erected by their carefully rammed snow, at a distance of 1000 meters, makes its way to a depth of 80 centimeters - and this is when using ordinary cartridges.
Slightly better protects from the fire of this weapon earthen barrier from sandy soil, poured freely, without tamping. In it, the bullet just gets stuck, but still it will break the barrier by 30 centimeters even from a distance of about 1 kilometer.
A standard steel helmet used in the army can be pierced with a 7.62x54 caliber bullet equipped with a steel core, just at a great distance - up to 1700 meters.
Finally, if we consider the effectiveness of body armor of the fourth class of protection, then it can be said with confidence that a special cartridge, charged with a bullet having a steel core, pierces it at a distance of about 200 meters.
As mentioned above, the cartridge has been significantly modified in order to successfully perform various combat missions. Of course, there were many different modifications - their total number is close to fifty. They differ very much - the shape, weight, type of bullet, a portion of gunpowder, even the material of a bullet and a cartridge case. To describe them all, I would have to write a full book. But not everyone is actively used today. For example, some of them, developed before the war, were replaced by more successful modifications. Therefore, we analyze a few of the most popular ones and briefly describe them.
- Easy It is usual - it is used in most cases when firing machine guns. Provides a good range of combat and allows you to take minimal corrections when shooting. But it has a relatively small penetrating power. Marking has not.
- Heavy Has a marking - a yellow spout. Solid, without additional inserts. It is distinguished from light weight by a large weight, which has the worst ballistic characteristics. But it provides better penetrability of obstacles.
- With the steel core - it is designated by a gray paint by a mark in the head part. Perfectly suited for defeating enemy personnel protected by body armor and helmets. Also effectively penetrates car bodies and other obstacles.
- Tracing - is used in the adjustment of weapons and target designation. The back of the bullet is filled with a special combustible composition, thanks to which it leaves a well-marked mark in flight. Marking - the green bullet nose.
- Armor-piercing incendiary. In front of the cartridge is a steel core, which provides excellent penetration properties. In the back is a small glass containing an incendiary mixture. Due to this, the bullet effectively breaks through serious obstacles and easily ignites combustible mixtures. It is used to disable enemy vehicles - from cars to air technology. Marking - red stripe on the bullet with a black spout.
This is a very general classification. If only because only armor-piercing incendiary cartridges there are five pieces. They differ not only in the shape and composition of the bullet, but also in the sleeve itself. The latter can be made of brass, steel or alloys. However, you shouldn’t go so deep into the wilds - for most people who are interested in weapons, it will be enough to know the basic purpose, features and marking of 7.62 54 cartridges - cartridges for machine guns and sniper rifles.
Separately, it should be said about the blank cartridges 7.62x54. Separately, because they are never used in combat. But they are often used during solemn and mourning ceremonies - saluted by them. In addition, blank cartridges are often used in training. Many soldiers who have no experience of shooting, first give a weapon loaded with safe ammunition, so that he is accustomed to recoil without harming anyone around.
Now it is worth telling for which weapon the cartridge 7.62x54 is used. The list is quite extensive, so for the beginning we will tell about military weapons.
Of course, the most famous weapon produced under this cartridge is the Mosin rifle, which was already mentioned earlier. Many modifications were created on its base. For example, a rifled carbine, distinguished by a smaller length. Special sniper rifles were also created, with which our snipers confidently mowed down the ranks of enemies during the Great Patriotic War. To date, it is not produced, since it was replaced by much more successful samples.
The SVD or Dragunov sniper rifle is the most common weapon used in Russia by snipers. Developed in the late 50s of the last century, still has not lost relevance. Several more rifles were developed at its base: the VCA (shortened, with the bullpup system) and the SVDS - with a folding butt used by the landing force.
Other sniper rifles were also developed: VS-121, MS-74, SV-98, SVK. They were not even put into service and, accordingly, were not put into mass production. Others are the latest developments and are tested in the field.
If we talk about machine guns, then it is worth mentioning PKM (modernized Kalashnikov machine gun) which is the main machine gun in the army of Russia and many other states of the post-Soviet space. High penetration power, reliability, unpretentiousness - all this makes it a really scary weapon.
It is worth noting that this particular cartridge was also used by the Maxim machine gun, which was once a real legend.
This also includes AEK-99, MT, DP, RP-46, PKP (aka Pecheneg). SG-43, GSHG, ShKAS can be distinguished from machine guns and aircraft machine guns.
Were developed and rifled carbines and rifles, using different levels of popularity: SVT, AKT-40, ABC-36.
Application on the hunt
Having studied the characteristics of the ammunition, it is difficult to be surprised that the hunting cartridge 7.62x54 is in great demand today for the production of medium and large animals - from wild boar and roe deer to elk and bear.
The most famous model is the "Tiger" - a sniper rifle, developed on the basis of the SVD. Accordingly, it has retained almost all the advantages of a military counterpart. There are a large number of modifications, differing mainly in the material of the forearm, butt type.
Hammer KO-91 is a terrible weapon in capable hands, when creating it, the usual three-lane was taken as the basis.
Quite successful can be called rifled carbines VPO. Their design strongly resembles a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Accordingly, reliability and ease of use are very good.
It is difficult to imagine, but even such weapons as the Degtyarev machine gun and maxims can now be purchased as hunting weapons. They are slightly modified (deprived of the opportunity to fire in bursts) and are freely sold in many specialized stores.
In which countries is used
After the collapse of the USSR, a huge number of weapons designed for the 7.62x54 cartridge remained in the entire post-Soviet space. It is not surprising that in most cases these countries use it. The exception is the Baltic states - here they are actively trying to switch to NATO designs, but because of the extremely meager budget for a quarter of a century, they haven’t managed to cope with this task.
This cartridge is used in many Warsaw Pact countries. Some of these states even developed their own weapons. A striking example is the Romanian PSL. In China, a Type 80 machine gun was also created using this cartridge.
In general, as a hunting (and not only), this ammunition is used in almost all countries of the world. It is no coincidence that over the years it has remained one of the most popular, second only to the NATO counterpart 762x51 mm.
This is where our article ends. In it, we tried to tell in more detail about the legendary cartridge 7.62x54. Affected his history, modifications and weapons created for him.