Military Review

Intermediate, which became the main. The history of the creation of the cartridge 7,62 × 39 mm

Until recently, some foreign experts expressed bewilderment about the contradictions in stories the creation of the Soviet cartridge sample 1943 year. It is not surprising, because this story was previously unknown to our compatriots, although there was no secret in it.
Meeting on the consideration of new foreign designs weapons under the chuck of reduced power held in the Technical Council of the People's Commissariat of Weapons (TS NKV) 15 July 1943. Gunsmith designers, heads of the OKB-44 cartridge bureau from Kuntsevo, situated near Moscow, and military experts were invited to it.

Intermediate, which became the main. The history of the creation of the cartridge 7,62 × 39 mm

Compared with pistol cartridges (from left to right: 9x19 Parabellum and 9x25 Mauser Export), intermediate cartridges (7,92x33 Kurtz and 7,62X39 sample 1943 r.) Have increased the effective firing range for a more effective range, received a piece of the vey, a kind of the vey of the black line and the vek of the black line and the vek of the black line of the vect to put a piece of the vest to the the fugging of the faction of the fighter, to put the head of the black line and the vest to the head of the head of the black line, the kind of the vect and the black line of the vek of the fighter, as in a black line of the vect, the kind of the vect of the fighters, and the futuristic, in a kind of the black and the vows to the one of the 22

The representative of Artkom GAU demonstrated a captured German automatic carbine for a 7,92-mm rifle-type, but reduced-power cartridge and an American 7,62-mm self-loading carbine for increased-capacity pistol cartridge. However, the greatest interest of experts was caused not by a weapon, but by a German cartridge. It had the same sleeve as the 7,92 × 57 mm rifle cartridge, but shorter length, weight 16,8 g and total length 48 mm. The bullet weighed 8,2 g, the charge - 1,57 g. The initial velocity is about 700 m / s. The carabiner had a target range 800 m.
The meeting’s protocol recorded: “The modern war showed that the aimed fire on the enemy is fought at a distance of up to 400 m (referring to shooting with rifles and carbines, the main individual weapon of an infantryman at that time. - Note by author). In this case, there is no need to have an uneconomical (rifle) cartridge. It is necessary to switch to a cartridge of a smaller size and, therefore, to have a weapon of smaller mass. The most suitable caliber may be a cartridge caliber 6,5 mm, which is able to provide ballistics with a range of direct shot 400 m, like a rifle mod. 1891 / 30

Decided: To instruct OKB-44 to carry out calculations on the choice of the optimal speed of a bullet and its most advantageous mass for 5,6 calibers; 6,5 and 7,62 mm, as encountered in practice. Barrel length - 520 mm, average pressure - 3000 kg / cm2. The bullet must have sufficient destructive power to put a person out of action at a distance of 1000 m. Submit calculation tables on the killing rate of bullets in 10 days ”.
The task was urgent and not quite clear. The OKB-44 certificate from 1947 says: “By the time of designing the new cartridge, we had nothing. Consultations in the State Agrarian University, the Academy and the People's Commissariat did not lead to anything. NO ONE KNEW THAT ARE REQUIRED FROM A NEW CARTRIDGE. ” By the determination with which the cartridge of the caliber 6,5 mm was recommended, and based on subsequent events, it can be assumed that VG Fedorov was present at the meeting.


Professor, Lieutenant-General, author of 6,5-mm rifle cartridge and 6,5-mm automatic rifle (automatic) revision. 1916. V. G. Fedorov wrote back in 1939: “The evolution of individual models of small arms can move towards the convergence of two types - machine gun and submachine gun based on the design of a new cartridge. Creating a single cartridge (instead of TT and rifle) with reduced for rifles and increased sighting range for submachine guns would solve the problem of creating future weapons - powerful thanks to the adoption of automatism with a translator for single and continuous firing, light and compact thanks to the adoption of a cartridge ... having a smaller clearance , with a smaller caliber (6 - 6,25 mm) and with a sleeve without edge. " Bullets for such a cartridge were recommended light - with a lateral load A = 18 – 20 g / cm2. The length of the barrel - about 520 mm. In addition, Fedorov offered to develop a light machine gun for the proposed cartridge. Much of Fedorov's pre-war proposals were used to create the patron of the 1943 model.

Lived up to

The bullet shape of the cartridge obr.1943 g. Also improved gradually. The lead core bullet was designed without a back cone and with a short head. In October, 1944 of the Year OKB-44 presented to GAU a draft of variants of cartridges with surrogate bullets and an improved shape due to the formation of a rear cone in them. GAU rejected these projects, believing that the cone begins to work only at subsonic speeds, that is, at distances greater than 650 m. It proposed to rework the bullet designs, achieving an improvement in their shape by increasing the length of the head part without introducing a rear cone. It was recommended to keep the length of the cartridge equal to 56 mm and ensure the length of the leading part of the bullet is the same as that of the rifle bullet. 1908 r.

After completing the task, the OKB-44 reported to GAU: “The design of the lively (head) part consisted in selecting the largest radius that came to life in order to maintain the total mass of the bullet. It turned out to be equal to 40 mm, and the length came to life - by 2,94 mm longer. This makes it necessary to shorten the length of the sleeve by 2 mm and increase the depth of the bullet into the sleeve. "

GAU approved the projects of these cartridges for testing. Subsequently, the bullet turned 1943. It also acquired a rear cone due to the development of a powder charge.

July 29 held a second meeting. Chief Designer of OKB-44 N.M. Elizarov reported on the calculations of reduced-power cartridges. The main criteria were taken as the direct shot range (CAP) as a characteristic of the flatness of the bullet trajectory and the bullet energy at a distance of 1000 m. kgm, transverse load of the bullet A = 300 g / cm0,4.

Calculations for calibers 5,6; 6,5 and 7,62 mm were produced at A = 16 – 20 g / cm2. They showed that in caliber 7,62 mm in order to get a gain in weight and dimensions, it is necessary to reduce the ABS to be compared to rifle cartridge to 20%. OKB-44 has set DPV = 325 m at A = 17 g / cm2, Vo = 750 m / s, Ex = 24 kgm. The 6,5 mm caliber requires the initial speed of 1000 m / s to provide the same energy on the 850 m, and the 5,6 m / s for the 900 mm caliber, but "their slaughter is in doubt."

The meeting decided: “1. Consider it necessary for a cartridge with a reduced power to accept the caliber 7,62 mm with A = 17 g / cm2. Instruct OKB-44 for 02.08.43 to submit complete design data to the cartridge and 2 – 3 variants of the overall dimensions and shape of the cartridge, in order to install a single cartridge for gunsmiths. 2. The design of the carbine start in parallel with the development of the cartridge. 3. OKB-44 conduct R & D on 5,6 and 6,5 gauges in a month:

- make calculations of several options with initial speeds up to 1200 m / s and gas pressure up to 3500-4000 kg / cm2;
- to carry out experimental work on the selection of ballistics in these calibers and identifying the effectiveness of the stopping effect. "

A few days later, based on the results of additional calculations of the TC NKV, the following decisions were made:

“Calibers of the order of 6,5 mm are not tested for the destructive power of bullets, and foreign armies have examples of failures from this caliber (Japan, Italy, etc.) and the transition to a larger caliber - 7,7 and 7,3 mm. For a new patron dwell on the caliber 7,62 mm, proven by many years of practice. For its design, take: bullet weight 8 g, Vo = 750 m / s with a barrel length 520 mm and an average maximum pressure of the powder gases not more than 3000 kg / cm2. The weight of the cartridge 17 g, sleeve of clad steel. For the first types of weapons, establish the steepness and profile of cutting the barrel according to the drawing of an 7,62-mm rifle mod. 1891 / 30 G. "

Already 3 September 1943 of the year in the TC of the NKV were considered technical designs of two versions of the cartridge, which differ in the taper of the sleeve and the shape of the bullet. The meeting decided to develop that version of the cartridge, which is known under the name 7,62-mm cartridge mod. 1943, Mr. Elizarov and Fedorov, were instructed, together with Tokarev, Simonov and Shpagin, to develop drawings of the chamber and the chamber chamber for receiving cartridges within two days. The final revision of the reduced-power cartridge was entrusted to produce OKB-44, and the production of an experimental batch of cartridges - to plant No. 543, with its submission to the ground tests of November 15 1943.

Cartridge 7,92x33 Kurtz. who became the ancestor of automaton cartridges

After the September meeting, all the weapons-bearing design offices and the Shchurovsky range near Kolomna began to design samples of weapons for a new cartridge - a self-loading carbine, an assault rifle and a light machine gun.

In December, the first batch of 7,62-mm ammunition rounds. 1943 (with lead core bullet) was tested at Shurovo. At the conclusion of the test site, the experienced cartridges had satisfactory ballistics, the correct flight of bullets to 800 m, but somewhat inferior in accuracy of fire rifle cartridge with a light bullet. According to the results of these tests, Artkom GAU approved drawings for the cartridge and chamber for the pilot production batch, and since March 1944 began the mass production of 7,62-mm cartridges mod. 1943

The installation batch of ammunition ground tests passed, with the exception of ballistics. In August, 1944, the cartridges were tested in the process of state tests designed for this cartridge of the Degtyarev light machine gun and the Sudayev automatic machine gun. The cartridge was only approved by the landfill, which drew attention to the need to refine the powder.

Further events developed in two directions: the first is the completion of the development of a new, 7,62-mm armament complex, the second is the search for a more optimal solution for the cartridge.

In the first direction, the cartridge and the weapon were refined, manufactured in series and presented for military trials. At the very end of the war, on the 1 of the Belorussian front and on the “Shot” courses, the SKS carbine was tested. Troops testing machine gun RPD and automatic Sudaev chambered mod. 1943 was held in the summer of 1945 in the Moscow, Leningrad, Central Asian and Transcaucasian Districts, as well as in the group of Soviet occupying forces in Germany and on the courses “Shot”. In the Transcaucasian District, in particular, tests were conducted on slaughter of cattle. According to the doctors, the slaughter of bullets at different distances was quite sufficient.

These machine gun cartridges are most prevalent in the world.

As a result of the test cartridge arr. 1943 was unanimously approved by the troops and recommended for use by the army. Further, right up to the introduction into service, there was a sort of “routine” finishing of cartridges, including special ones — with tracer, incendiary, armor-piercing incendiary, and other bullets. From the work carried out on the cartridge with an ordinary bullet, we can distinguish the creation of a bullet with a steel core, improving the aerodynamic shape of the bullet and testing the accuracy of firing cartridges.

In 1949, the cartridge arr. 1943 with a bullet with a steel core was adopted. Its main developers were the chief designer N.M. Elizarov, the leading designer P.V. Ryazanov, the leading technologist B.V. Semin from OKB-44. The powder was tested under the direction of A.Ye. Ryabov, who sat in the sharashka and was released from it after being awarded to him and the other developers of the patron of the Stalin Prize.


The ancestors of 7,92x33 cartridges Kurtz (Germany), .30 Carbine (7,62x33) (USA), 7,62x39 mod. 43 (USSR)

Based on the results of testing the 7,62-mm “surrogated” bullet to the TT cartridge, in December 1944, TTT is issued for the development of the cartridge mod. 1943 with a similar bullet (with a steel core). The main requirements were: saving at least 50% lead, equivalent accuracy of the fight with lead core bullets, preservation of external outlines in accordance with the current drawing on the cartridge mod. 1943 and simple bullet technology.

For a bullet obr. 1943, the diameter of the steel core and its manufacturing technology were borrowed from the TT cartridge. By this time, the bullets to the TT cartridge were worked out to a sufficient degree, although quite recently the situation was very tense, as elucidated by the letter from the Deputy Chairman of the Art Committee of GAU Sergienko from July 23 of the year 1944:

“After reviewing the experimental work of OKB-44 on surrogate bullets of caliber 7,62 mm, I would like to draw your attention to the importance of developing technology for stamping iron cores that provides mass production. This is not given due importance, because prototypes of bullets are made by turning cores. Without the proven technology of iron cores forging, the surrogated bullets developed by OKB-44 cannot be mastered in gross production. Even with good results when testing experienced bullets, the OKB-44 operation may be unused, as was the case with previous samples of surrogated 1938 bullets. ”

Looking ahead, we note that the design and manufacturing technology of a bullet with a steel core was worked out quite quickly and in 1948 it was adopted as the main one for the cartridge model 1943. Moreover, in 1946, when testing 8 options for cartridges (see text articles), surprisingly to everyone, cartridges with bullets with steel cores showed the best accuracy - at the level of a rifle cartridge with a light bullet (R50 <3,5 cm per 100 m). Gross cartridges Model 1943 had an acceptance standard for the same range R50 <6 cm.

This served as the basis for staging a special research and development work on the refinement of the accuracy of the battle of cartridges arr. 1943. Research carried out in 1947 showed that the main reason for the poor accuracy of cartridges arr. 1943 with a bullet with a lead core was the low quality of their manufacture - the rolling of the bullets, curved bending of the shell, bullet inflation along the leading part, etc. Gross miscalculations were quickly corrected, and fine-tuning to the modern standard (R50 <2,5 cm per 100 m) required painstaking development of technology, the design of ballistic barrels, shooting devices, etc. .P.

In conclusion, it should be noted: although the cartridge mod. 1943 g. Is called automatic, in fact it is a reduced-power rifle cartridge designed for firing from a shortened automatic rifle (“automatic rifle”), self-loading rifle and light machine gun. It was designed and optimized with constant comparison with rifle cartridge when firing from a rifle and a carbine mod. 1944

After 20 years when designing the 5,45-mm cartridge, the approach to its creation was already different. Take into account the recoil pulses of the cartridge and weapons, the amount of dispersion of shots when firing, not only a single, but automatic fire, the probability of hitting the target. Extensive studies have been conducted on the slaughter of bullets of reduced caliber, etc. However, even then the already established notion of the mandatory unification of the cartridge for the machine gun and light machine gun appeared, which imposed additional demands on the power of the cartridge, firing range, etc.


In parallel, events of a different kind were developing. It is unlikely that Fedorov was satisfied that the initially supported idea of ​​the optimality of the 6,5 mm caliber gradually faded away. And in September 1944 of the year in the NKV TS they convened a meeting with Blagonravov, Ventzel, Elizarov, and others. At the meeting, “due to the low power of the new cartridge and its poor accuracy, proceed with the design work to find the cartridge with the best combat characteristics”. The technical council was instructed by OKB-44 to carry out calculations of the variants of cartridges with AOD = 400 m with a barrel length 550 mm.

Exterior bullet shape: .30 Carbine, lead core bullet; 7,92x33 Kurtz. steel core bullet; 7,62x41 (an early version of the cartridge sample 43), lead core bullet; 7,62x39 arr. 43 g., Steel core bullet

Under these conditions, the 6,75 mm caliber turned out to be the most profitable. This position was confirmed by the calculations of the Academy. At the scientific and technical conference, A. Blagonravov proposed an intermediate ballistics version of 6,75 mm caliber with = 2400 kg / cm2 and DPV = 350 m. Fedorov also proposed two versions of 6,75 mm caliber cartridges.

Influenced by the authority of Fedorov and Blagonravov, Artkom GAU concluded an agreement with OKB-44 for conducting research "Research of small arms models of caliber 6 – 7 mm”, which lasted until the beginning of 1947. Her description deserves a separate discussion. But the results confirmed the earlier findings.

Having made the final decision on the choice of the caliber and design of the cartridge rev. 1943, the works on its refinement were accelerated. By the middle of 1947, all the flaws in the 1943 cartridge with a steel-core bullet (Var. VT) were resolved and the GAU decided to manufacture a series of cartridges and weapons for the final military tests.

However, in August 1947, the Ministry of Armaments (formerly the NKV) unexpectedly wrote to GAU that the cartridge of the XXUMX had a number of drawbacks, and recommended that a new cartridge be developed based on one of the options (a kind of cartridge of the CNCNUMX created by the OKB- 1943). He had an enlarged ABS, identical with a carbine rev. 1943. In terms of size, weight and ballistics, it was identical to the gross cartridge of rev.44, and differed from it only with an improved bullet with a steel core. The pressure is reduced to facilitate the functioning of the cartridges when firing and simplify their manufacture. Because of this, increased the size and weight of the cartridge.

It was justified by the fact that the high average pressure in the cartridge rev. 1943 g. (2800 kg cm2) complicates the operation of the liner when fired. Its limited volume makes it difficult to select the charge for special bullets, does not allow to design a bullet of a more perfect form and does not create reserves for the cartridge's ballistics. Increasing the dimensions, you can reduce the pressure to 2500 kg / cm2. This level of pressure excludes cases of tight extraction, cracks and breaks in the sleeves when fired, loss and penetration of the caps. With deviations in the quality of the powder there is a reserve for the density of loading. In addition, if necessary, you can significantly increase the power of the cartridge, without increasing its dimensions, by increasing the pressure.

The GAU rejected this proposal: “... the experience of testing cartridges of the 1943 with a pressure of the order of 2900 kg / cm2 showed that the liner proved to be quite satisfactory in terms of strength and reliability of operation and did not cause any misunderstandings in production. Due to the working off of powder, the pressure of the cartridges of the last lots was reduced to 2600-2700 kg / cm2:

- increase in power of the boss Var.V4 without change of a design is possible only due to increase in pressure. However, with a spent cartridge and low-pressure weapons, its increase is impossible, since this will disrupt the normal operation of the weapon. For this reason, the possibility of an increase in power and rejection from the cartridge Var.4 is excluded;

- the weight and dimensions of the weapon, the force on the bolt, etc. will increase. We advise you to focus on further improving the cartridge of the XXUMX g. And the weapon under it both in terms of combat properties and in terms of more thorough working out of the production technology. ”

The Ministry of Arms did not agree with the opinion of the State Agrarian University, and for about a year, in parallel with the manufacture of serial batches, it was working out its version of the cartridge and weapons for it. In September, 1948 of the year, the ministry requested the State Agrarian University to conduct tests of the modified rifle complex, which were carried out on the basis of SRI-44 (former OKB-44).

And it turned out embarrassment. In power cartridges are not so different, respectively, with the same bullets. And the pressure of gases was almost equal thanks to the working out of gunpowder ( = 2508 and 2548 kg / cm2). In addition, as if on purpose, the accuracy of shooting new rounds was worse than gross. This was, of course, an accident, but the customer explained the deterioration of accuracy with low loading density and increased muzzle pressure on the new cartridges. The length increased by 7 mm and almost by 2 g the large mass of the cartridge finally decided the dispute not in his favor.
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  1. makarov
    makarov 15 November 2013 08: 55
    The material is objective and sensible. The author is well done. Not in vain worked. For some readers, it will be interesting and informative. It’s a pity, of course, that some moments were left overs, but there are probably good reasons for this.
  2. bunta
    bunta 15 November 2013 09: 31
    The article is "excellent" in almost all respects. But I want to make a little clarification.

    Cartridge 7,92x33 Kurtz. who became the ancestor of automaton cartridges

    In the 30s, the Germans tested a whole series of different cartridges. Among them was the remarkable cartridge 7,75x39,5 "Genshov". Close in parameters to ours. Under this patron, Heinrich Vollmer created his own automatic M-35 carbine (evil tongues blame the fact that he "licked" it from the Fedorov assault rifle). Nevertheless, the Wehrmacht abandoned this weapon, and a few years later Schmeisser suddenly jumped out of the snuffbox with his MKb-42 in which Kurz from Pelte was used.
    1. Akim
      Akim 15 November 2013 11: 27
      Quote: bunta
      and after a few years, Schmeisser suddenly jumped out of the snuffbox with his MKb-42

      Well, it is logical and economically feasible to use a single caliber.
  3. Sergey Medvedev
    Sergey Medvedev 15 November 2013 11: 17
    Thanks for the military article on Military Review.
  4. Leader
    Leader 15 November 2013 11: 56
    Article - "plus"; photographs - "minus".
  5. avt
    avt 15 November 2013 12: 15
    It is a pity that the brilliant Fedorov could not push through 6,5. The best option.
    1. Akim
      Akim 15 November 2013 12: 20
      Quote: avt
      could not push through 6,5. The best option.

      Caliber - yes. Cartridge no.
      1. Hudo
        Hudo 15 November 2013 12: 48
        Quote: Akim
        Quote: avt
        could not push through 6,5. The best option.

        Caliber - yes. Cartridge no.

        Which cartridge do you mean? Is the article directly talking about Fedorov’s 6,5x57 arr. 1913? The article explicitly states
        Fedorov also proposed two variants of cartridges of 6,75 mm caliber.
        Above, the development of a number of cartridges including and in caliber 6,5mm. Why is this categorical?
  6. avt
    avt 15 November 2013 12: 15
    It is a pity that the brilliant Fedorov could not push through 6,5. The best option.
    1. Michael HORNET
      Michael HORNET 11 November 2017 22: 12
      Yes, exactly 6,5 would be the optimum, and as you can see the team of developers has sabotaged the introduction of 6,5 mm caliber, telling all sorts of tales and not a lot of generals), and then conducting "tests" in order to discredit the idea of ​​6,5 mm
  7. air wolf
    air wolf 15 November 2013 13: 13
    Thanks to the aftor, for a long time I wanted to learn more about our cartridge in detail!
  8. Ivan Tarasov
    Ivan Tarasov 15 November 2013 16: 57
    He had the same sleeve as the rifle cartridge 7,92 × 57 mm, but shorter length, weight 16,8 g and a total length of 48 mm. The bullet weighed 8,2 g, the charge was 1,57 g. The initial velocity was about 700 m / s. The carbine had an aiming range of 800 m.

    However, there are other parameters of the German RP43 cartridge (Lidshur R., Vollert G. Small arms yesterday):
    Cartridge weight 16,7g, bullet weight 6,95g, charge 1,40g.
    So who to believe?
  9. bunta
    bunta 15 November 2013 21: 16
    Quote: Ivan Tarasov
    However, there are other parameters of the German RP43 cartridge (Lidshur R., Vollert G. Small arms yesterday):
    Cartridge weight 16,7g, bullet weight 6,95g, charge 1,40g.
    So who to believe?

    Translation of the book is terrible to impossibility.

    But here is what I dig.
    There were three options for bullets:
    1938 g. - 6,23 g.
    1940 g. - 6,95 + -0,12 g.
    1941 g. - 7,5 + -0,1 g.

    in addition, it seems that different powders were used (rifle and pistol), therefore, deviations in the initial speed. Source: NG Menshchikov "Album of designs of cartridges of small arms and large-caliber automatic weapons" Moscow 1946.
    1. Ivan Tarasov
      Ivan Tarasov 16 November 2013 06: 31
      Thanks for the additional information.
      It seems that the data on the mass of the bullet 8,2g. Given by the author of the article does not correspond to reality.
  10. uzer 13
    uzer 13 15 November 2013 22: 47
    Fedorov used a 6.5mm Japanese arisak cartridge for his submachine gun. Such cartridges were available since some parts of the Russian army were armed with these rifles. They had less power than the three-line cartridges and were better suited for automatic weapons. The production of cartridges of this caliber in Russia and the USSR were not planned for economic reasons, which subsequently influenced the design features of small arms adopted for service.
    1. Alex
      Alex 16 November 2013 14: 38
      Fedorov developed both a weapon and a cartridge for him. But, since it was impossible to establish the production of a new cartridge in war conditions, he converted the submachine gun (automatic) under the Japanese cartridge of Arisaka. Due to the lack of small arms, it was purchased from other countries, including Japan, along with cartridges, of course.
  11. AX
    AX 16 November 2013 05: 50
    I read somewhere that after the Russo-Japanese War, they tried to establish the production of 6,5 mm Arisaka cartridges. But they refused ...
  12. Alex
    Alex 16 November 2013 14: 53
    It is a pity they did not mention that before the war in the USSR since 1939, work was underway on a cartridge for automatic weapons of 5,45 mm caliber.
    The creation of a cartridge of 1943 can be found in Bolotin (History of Soviet rifle weapons and cartridges) and Monetchikov (History of a Russian machine gun)
  13. egeny patykov
    egeny patykov 21 June 2018 07: 16
    I think that a lot has been written but! cartridge 7,62 x 39. missing on the cartridge company Geco / al as it is so called. patches the same
  14. egeny patykov
    egeny patykov 21 June 2018 07: 17
    but if you squeeze then the cartridges are intermediate. here they meant those boats were adopted. I do not exclude that hunting cartridges were already obsessive