Military Review

Guerrilla ammunition. 1 part

In domestic stories small weapons and live ammunition has a page that is interesting for its originality and is not very well known to fans of the topic. It's about the "partisan patrons." More precisely, about how, during the Great Patriotic War, our cartridge manufacturers developed an original method of reworking captured German ammunition for firing from domestic weapons.

Figure 1. Established domestic and German patrons of the Great Patriotic War

Trophy German cartridges, namely - rifle 7,92x57-mm "Mauser" and pistol 9x19-mm "Parabellum" - adapted to rework for shooting from domestic small arms: the first - for Mosin and SVT, as well as machine gun DP; the second is for 7,62-mm PPSh and PPD submachine guns, TT pistol. The figure (above) shows the “heroes” of this amazing story in pairs. More precisely, regular domestic and German cartridges with indication of their main sizes. Domestic left, German right.

Even the first, inexperienced look at these cartridges says that the task of converting some cartridges into others, to put it mildly, looks more like an adventure than a real technical project. Let's try to figure it out.

The information that was available until recently on this issue was fragmented, incomplete and did not give clear answers to all questions.

The Journal “Weapon”, No. 6 for 2001 the year was published an interesting article by Pavel Stolyarov “Partisan Press. Crazy hands: alteration of cartridges in the field. "

In November 2012 of the year user Christopher Reed (kris_reid) posted on his blog in livejournal note, presenting for the first time to the public the materials on this topic found in the archives - Act on test results in April 1943 of the converted German pistol and rifle cartridges, as well as a later Report on the tests of the same cartridges in May 1943 on the Scientific Research Field of Red Armament Army (NPSVO KA) in Moscow, Shurovo.

Guerrilla ammunition. 1 part

The last, missing “brick” today was a separate chapter devoted to this topic in the first book of a four-volume monograph "Small arms ammunition"published in 2015 year.

The author of the monograph, Vladislav Nikolaevich Dvoryaninov, from the end of 1982, worked as head of the leading cartridge department at TsNIITOCHMASH in the USSR and in Russia, replacing Boris Vladimirovich Semin, who was a direct participant in those events.

A curious document was discovered in his personal archive - "Manual to rifle manual press for alteration of captured cartridges for domestic weapons", issued by the printing house of the publishing house “Sovetskaya Belarus” in the number of 500 copies, the content of which became the basis of the material for the chapter in the book.

So, 1942-43 year. There is a war. In the occupied territories there are numerous guerrilla groups. At first, spontaneously and separately, but by this time it was already much more organized and coordinated. For the operational and clear leadership of the partisan formations, providing them with all kinds of assistance and supplies, in May 1942, the Central Headquarters of the partisan movement (TSPHD) was created. He was headed by the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Belarus Panteleimon Kondratievich Ponomarenko.

Among other things, one of the main tasks of the headquarters was to provide the partisans with everything necessary for conducting combat operations. First of all - weapons and ammunition. It is well known from history that the partisans experienced real and objective difficulties in this. Only today, from afar, arguing "sensibly" and theoretically, you can easily send fighters "to get yourself weapons and ammunition from the enemy." Of course, the guerrillas always and at all times extracted trophies and successfully used them. But before judging the best supply routes, you need to be aware of the real need for cartridges and the real possibilities to get serviceable weapon for them in the required amount.

Weapons always and in all armies were supposed to be assembled on the battlefield, the loss of military weapons was the most serious offense for which they were severely punished. For example, in the German army, even for the loss of a spare barrel to the machine gun relied shooting. Therefore, they were worn in special cases with shoulder straps, over the shoulder. On the other hand, due to the huge consumption of cartridges, they were supplied in colossal quantities. For example, only for the 50 days of the Battle of Kursk our troops spent half a billion rifle and machine guns (more precisely - pistol) cartridges! Expenses of the German army were appropriate. Therefore, to obtain captured ammunition was much more real than weapons. Both mined and reported about it in the center ...

As follows from the archival documents, personally head TSSHPD Ponomarenko "Put forward the idea of ​​reworking captured ammunition for firing from domestic small arms, using all the elements of captured ammunition: sleeves, bullets, gunpowder and capsule by pereobzhatiya bullets and sleeves", “The work on the realization of the proposed idea was led by the guard lieutenant colonel comrade. Garbuz V.I. and lieutenant colonel comrade. Trusov S.K. ”.

The development of technology and practical implementation was carried out at the Moscow Plant No. 44 in Maryina Roshcha (a branch of the Plant No. 46 in Kuntsevo). More precisely, in the newly separated from it in 1943, an independent cartridge OKB-44. The workshop also involved the gross production of cartridges directly from plant number XXUMX and plant number XXUMX.

The idea of ​​our patrons, at its core, was simple and original.

German rifle cartridge pereobzhat so that it is fixed in the chamber of domestic weapons with the slope of the sleeve, and not with a hat-edge, like our regular cartridge 7,62х54 R. Cut off the excess sleeve. Bullet pereobzhat under our caliber, use trophy powder.

Figure 2.

In the 2, the blue lines show the fixing points for the cartridges of both cartridges in the Mosin rifle chamber. On the left - our regular rifle cartridge. It is fixed by a protrusion at the bottom of the sleeve - called a cap or rim. In the center - how would a regular German rifle cartridge be located. In this sketch, an error was made - the diameter of the German bullet is larger than the diameter of the bullet entrance in the Mosin rifle chamber. But some experts say that shooting German 7,92x57-mm cartridges out of it was “possible and so” without reworking ... It is clear that even if you “hammer the cartridge all the way”, it will rest on the side of the cartridge and will be much longer than ours, protruding outside and not letting the shutter close. On the right is a converted trophy cartridge and, also with blue lines, a method of its fixation.

Figure 3.

The German pistol cartridge and cartridge case are also pereobzhat, but "with a twist": on the converted bullet to organize a leading belt that will imitate the slope of the cartridge case of our cartridge and fix it in the chamber of the national weapon, as shown in figure 3. Also use a slightly overplashed original sleeve with a primer and trophy powder.

To implement these ideas, use an elementary manual press with enough effort, a set of dies and punches. Plus adapt for raspratirovaniya and the subsequent assembly of converted cartridges. In principle - everything is realistic to implement, including in a partisan detachment.

Invented, done, tested.

In April, 1943, apparently, took place the first real tests of the proposed method and shot out the 1000 converted cartridges with it. The act of the commission, signed by all the “main” leaders and executives, was very positive. It noted the reliability of the weapon, the normal initial velocity of the bullets, good accuracy and penetrability, the correct pressure of powder gases. For pistol cartridges it was noted that “It is desirable to reduce the rate of fire by reducing the charge, because with a high rate of fire detected on 500 shots 15 cases of jamming of the sleeves between the gate and the breech ”.

And the findings of the commission: “Based on the test results, the commission considers: it is quite possible for partisans to rework on the ground of captured pistol and rifle cartridges for firing from automatic PCA, TT and 1891 / 30 model rifles. To solve the problem of the possibility of firing a machine gun DP and SVT rifle, conduct additional tests ".

Developers, judging by the dates of archival documents, very quickly made improvements and improvements in these areas, produced and submitted for testing 4200 rifle pieces and 2000 pistol converted cartridges. The tests were carried out at the Spacecraft Research Institute, in Shchurovo, Moscow Region, in the beginning of May 1943.

Following the test, 18 May 1943, the report was released test site "On the issue of testing the German rifle and pistol cartridges, converted to domestic weapons. Based on the task of Artkom No. 1204 from April 23 of 1943 of the Year, KA Scientific Research Firing Range. ” Which read without tears is impossible. Apparently, few people expected such a failure and the number of problems identified during testing ... If only this report were available to us today, then it would be difficult to call such an alteration as drama and adventure.

What turned out during these tests?

At first, external inspection of the converted cartridges revealed that they were made poorly - an unacceptably large number of pistol cartridges with cracks on the bullets and sleeves, poorly fixed bullets and removed by hand force; rifle cartridges are poorly crimped in Dultz, slope sleeves of irregular shape; in size, those and others sharply diverge from the drawings.

Secondly, the initial velocity of the bullets and the pressure of the powder gases in both converted pistol and rifle cartridges are significantly lower than our standard cartridges and the requirements of domestic technical specifications.

Thirdly, the number of delays in the test shooting automatic rifle Tokarev arr. The 1940 of the year was 100% for a sample of medium depreciation and 39,7% for unworn. Degtyaryov DP machine gun "Absolutely did not give automatic fire". When firing a pistol TT revealed up to 14,3% delays.

Fourthlywhen tested by Mosin rifle shooting arr. 1891 / 30: very tight shutter closure was detected, from 20 to 50% of cases; tight extraction of spent cartridges and the need to use a cleaning rod to knock them out of the chamber (in 3% of cases); misfires when shooting from a worn rifle to 20%; "The sticking of the cartridge and the non-reflection of the spent cartridges, which has come down in one medium-sized rifle to 34,4% in total".

Fifthly, provided for the replacement of staff, extractors for CBT and DP “Made carelessly, do not meet the requirements of the drawings ... two rifle extractors (out of three) and one extractor for a DP machine gun (out of two) broke down during firing”.

However, the report also noted positive test results:

- the strength of the bullet shells and the penetrating ability of the bullets of pistol cartridges is satisfactory. The breaking of 3-series 25 mm boards is provided. Accuracy is satisfactory;

- shooting at the reliability of the PPSh and PPD submachine guns was satisfactory;

- pistol bullets were caught in the tow, their belt disappeared, the bullets were of the correct shape, except for the tailgate, where they were smaller in diameter than the leading part and the tailgate was somewhat deformed.

But these “advantages” were clearly not enough to recognize the test results as positive, therefore the conclusions and conclusion in the report were devastating.

"Findings [polygon]:

1. German pistol cartridges converted by OKB-44 for domestic weapons are unsuitable for firing pistols from TTs, but can be used for firing pistols and machine guns, while improving the method of reworking, as indicated in the 2-m paragraph. Accuracy and penetration are satisfactory.

3. German rifle cartridges, converted by OKB-44 under our weapons, as they were sent to the NLAET KA are not suitable for firing either a 1891 / 30 and a 1940 model rifle (especially the last), nor for firing a DP manual machine gun. . At the same time, it was established that the more worn out the weapon (while remaining within the military tolerances), the more delays when firing are given by converted cartridges. ”

“Conclusion [polygon].

1. The method of reworking the German pistol cartridges developed by OKB-44 is basically correct and after revision in the direction indicated in this report, we can recommend it to the partisan detachments.

2. The method of reworking German rifle cartridges, developed by OKB-44, is unsuitable, since the converted cartridges are not suitable for firing from domestic weapons.

3. It should be proposed to OKB-44 to develop a new method of reworking captured rifle cartridges, taking into account all the shortcomings revealed by the test on the NLTPL of the SC and the wishes of the latter and a new batch of such cartridges to be sent to NIPSVO for secondary testing.

4. NPSVA KA generally believes that a similar, albeit improved, alteration of pistol and rifle cartridges is justified only in the absence of a corresponding captured weapon "

That's it - no one needs such alteration ...

It should be noted here that the “Scientific Research Field of the Red Army Rifle Armament” - the NPSVLA spacecraft in Shchurovo was in those years one of the most authoritative centers of the USSR in terms of research, development and testing of small arms and ammunition systems. Experienced and technically competent military engineers of the landfill knew a lot about their business and enjoyed well-deserved authority. And OKB-44 at the cartridge factory No.44 was just created and by that time did not recommend itself. So it was possible to “pass the test” from the first time only with ideal results. Although the objectivity of the conclusion and the validity of the findings of the landfill on the test results are absolutely obvious.

What's next? Since no one canceled the task of developing such a method, the idea belonged personally to the chief of the Central Headquarters of the partisan movement, and the need for such alteration was obvious, the work had to continue. And they continued.

Продолжение следует ...

Photos used:
drawings of authors
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  1. inkass_98
    inkass_98 15 December 2015 07: 51
    Actually, the conclusion of the commission was obvious on its own - there is no need to fence a garden if there are captured weapons and ammunition for it. Making deliberately unreliable cartridges (despite the fact that handicrafts will be even more unreliable than factory ones) is not the best way to support fighters who are already in quite difficult conditions.
  2. Circuit breaker
    Circuit breaker 15 December 2015 08: 12
    Interesting!!! Offset to the author !!!!
  3. AX
    AX 15 December 2015 09: 27
    We are waiting for the continuation.
  4. Mad dok
    Mad dok 15 December 2015 09: 41
    And that ideology did not allow shooting from German weapons with German ammunition? There are plenty of examples of the use of captured weapons by both sides. In extreme cases, it would be possible to "melt" so to speak. Doubtful idea in my opinion. So I imagine how a partisan in a dugout or in the bushes with nothing to do over-press the cartridges.
    1. Black Colonel
      Black Colonel 15 December 2015 10: 23
      But what ideology did not allow to shoot German weapons with German ammunition?
      Have you read the article carefully? It was a situation when the captured weapons were absent. Absolutely.
      1. Lord of Wrath
        Lord of Wrath 15 December 2015 21: 12
        Quote: Black Colonel
        Have you read the article carefully? It was a situation when the captured weapons were absent. Absolutely.

        Yeah .. the weapon was missing, but there were heaps of ammunition. and where?
    2. psiho117
      psiho117 15 December 2015 19: 13
      Quote: Mad-dok
      But what ideology did not allow to shoot German weapons with German ammunition? After all, there are full examples of the use of captured weapons by both sides.

      The point here is most likely in the approach to the use of partisan units - the Soviet command did not consider them classical partisans, they were considered to be army formations - albeit though operating beyond the front line, but the Headquarters gives them goals, it also provides them with air weapons and ammunition , uniforms, commissars, etc. Therefore, they could not send the captured weapons of the Wehrmacht.

      This is not to say that this approach was unsuccessful - for example, Kovpak’s division was fully provided with weapons, ammunition, and even artillery. And in this form, they carried out long, several thousand kilometers raids, on the rear of the enemy.
  5. Partisan Kramaha
    Partisan Kramaha 15 December 2015 10: 36
    Quote: Mad-dok
    And that ideology did not allow shooting from German weapons with German ammunition? There are plenty of examples of the use of captured weapons by both sides. In extreme cases, it would be possible to "melt" so to speak. Doubtful idea in my opinion. So I imagine how a partisan in a dugout or in the bushes with nothing to do over-press the cartridges.

    You apparently read inattentively, the author clearly explains: trophy weapons are never in the right quantities. Let’s imagine a third of the detachment with captured weapons, two thirds are ours. Cartridges for the trophy are in excess, ours are five to ten pieces to the trunk (after all, behind enemy lines, the supply is difficult). Do you propose to send only a third of the detachment into battle? And do the rest sit on the ass smoothly and wait for a ride?
  6. Amurets
    Amurets 15 December 2015 11: 17
    In the books Zhuk.A.B. I read about the selection of ammunition for weapons, but I read about the alteration for the first time. An interesting article.
  7. moskowit
    moskowit 15 December 2015 11: 24
    We are waiting for the continuation. Very interesting. So, in the future, the methods of loading will be changed, or did they put one cartridge into the "mosinka"?
  8. The comment was deleted.
  9. tropic
    tropic 15 December 2015 12: 38
    This is nonsense. Especially for rifle cartridges. The principle of fixing the cartridge in the chamber is different. Therefore, the chamber chambers under the cartridge 7.62x54 mm R did not differ in particular accuracy. It was not necessary. And this is the advantage of sleeves with a hem (this was specially adopted for armament).
    In this case, it is proposed to fix the cartridge with a ramp. Those. a sufficiently high accuracy in the manufacture of the chamber is necessary. Which was not even in the idea.
    It will most likely be possible to shoot with such cartridges. But only if "there is no fish and cancer." It was easier not to send Soviet weapons to partisans, but captured ones.
    the number of delays when testing by shooting from a Tokarev automatic rifle arr. 1940 amounted to ... and 39,7% for the unworn.

    It's not that much. SVT-40 in general did not differ in some kind of excessive performance. The number of delays on the "native" cartridge was approximately 9,75%. And on such a creepy ersatz, only 4 times more. Not a bad result, in my opinion.
    1. Mrdnv
      15 December 2015 15: 19
      In principle, it is true that the domestic 7,62x54R cartridge was deliberately made with a hat because this design made it possible to significantly reduce the accuracy requirements.
      But: according to the accuracy of manufacturing the liner and the whole cartridge! Not rifles.
      The chamber of the Mosin rifle was manufactured with standard tolerances. The accuracy of its manufacture is quite decent. Therefore, the calculation for this method of fixing the sleeve in the chamber was justified.
      Another thing is the accuracy and dimensional stability of the crimped sleeves, especially in the artisanal way ...
      1. gross kaput
        gross kaput 16 December 2015 10: 56
        Quote: Mrdnv
        The chamber of the Mosin rifle was manufactured with standard tolerances. The accuracy of its manufacture is quite decent.

        To begin with, the blueprints and rifles in general and the chamber were revised more than once, and released them in many places with their own changes therefore
        the chamber sizes are dancing very cool, plus far from the most stringent tolerances in length, in the end we have what we have - for the sake of interest, put a dozen other Mosin shells shot in the row - very surprised - something like this (photo honestly cropped on the net) as you can see the different re-stamping heights of the shoulders indicates a very loose chamber length in length.
        1. Pomeranian
          Pomeranian 22 December 2015 14: 07
          You are also lucky that you found the cartridges whole. At excavations dating from the year 42, a whole rifle case is a find, it is suspected that they were stamped from roofing iron. True, later normal cases went.
  10. revnagan
    revnagan 15 December 2015 12: 43
    In V. Pikul's novel "Out of the Dead End" it is written that the Germans supplied the Finns with their 7,92 cartridges, crimped under the Russian "three-line". I wonder how true this is. Did they really manage to do this in 1918?
    1. tropic
      tropic 15 December 2015 13: 28
      Quote: revnagan
      I wonder how true this is.

      Unlikely. Is it possible that the Germans theoretically probably could have made Russian cartridges from blanks cartridge cases 7x57 R Mauser, there the difference in geometry is not great. And to make bullets separately, it is not difficult. Although it is easier to do shells from scratch. The Germans are not partisans; they had other possibilities for this.
    2. 4thParasinok
      4thParasinok 15 December 2015 16: 10
      Quote: revnagan
      In V. Pikul's novel ...
      I found someone to believe, the storyteller Pikul hates everything that was in Russia before 1918.

      Personally, I have not picked up his scribbles for 20 years.
      1. gla172
        gla172 15 December 2015 20: 15
        And by the way, he wrote (unlike the same Dumas ...) exclusively from historical sources!
      2. revnagan
        revnagan 16 December 2015 15: 05
        Quote: 4-th Paradise
        the storyteller Pikul hates everything that was in Russia before 1918.

        Really? "Favorite", "Three ages of Okini-san", "Historical miniatures" about Suvorov, Kulnev were written with hatred? I somehow did not notice ...
  11. Dimon19661
    Dimon19661 15 December 2015 13: 30
  12. Sasha75
    Sasha75 15 December 2015 14: 33
    This press was made at the request of the partisan movement of Belarus, he even has a small device in the museum. When our troops left in 1941, there were a lot of weapons thrown, and the partisans were mainly armed with them, but there wasn’t enough ammunition, seizing garrisons, German ammunition appeared in abundance, but still there were most of our weapons, and this ersatz decision was fired mainly these rifle cartridges.
  13. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 15 December 2015 15: 29
    Interesting article! I had to read that in the partisan detachments there were machines for recalibrating cartridges. But then I "counted" that they were used to compress spent cartridges ... and then it turns out - "that's how it is" ...
  14. Vladimir
    Vladimir 15 December 2015 16: 30
    Thanks to the author, the article is correct. I think the issue of remaking cartridges in partisan detachments was raised not in vain and not because of idleness in the detachments. Making, or rather melting TNT, remaking cartridges, and repairing weapons was an urgent need. We are waiting for the continuation of the article.
  15. Performance
    Performance 15 December 2015 16: 54
    The author is well done, an intrigue in the history of cartridges, or the question of what else has been recalibrated. We have specialists in general to make all kinds of adapters and adapters, always our auger was screwed into the western one in a tricky way, both in railways, in aviation, in household appliances, now it turns out to be in small arms.
  16. Sasha75
    Sasha75 15 December 2015 17: 30
    And by the way, the design bureau was engaged in the development of this device for a year, but there were no results, and then one design puzzled one of them, that is, the scientists concluded that they completed exactly one week and a month took embodiment in metal and began to send presses to partisan units.
  17. oreh72
    oreh72 15 December 2015 17: 32
    Thanks to the author for the article! I read it with interest and look forward to continuing!
  18. gla172
    gla172 15 December 2015 17: 37
    Maybe not the topic, but it reminds me of the situation with mortar calibers (81-82mm). (WWII).
  19. Lord of Wrath
    Lord of Wrath 15 December 2015 21: 21
    Yes bullshit. Someone suggested stupidity, but I had to make equipment, assemble a commission, and test.
    Regarding the re-crimping of 9Para in 7,62, the immediate question is, the bottom of the sleeve how to re-compress?
    Regarding rifle, how will the extraction of the sleeve be carried out if there is no hem in German?
    1. gross kaput
      gross kaput 17 December 2015 11: 00
      Quote: Lord of Wrath
      Yes bullshit.

      This is exactly nonsense -
      Quote: Lord of Wrath
      9Para in 7,62 immediately the question is, the bottom of the sleeve how to compress?

      And in any case, 7,62X25 and 9X19 have a nominal difference in the diameter of the butt of the sleeve of 0,02 - for the common ancestor is 7,65 borchard, which completely fits into the production tolerances.
  20. By001261
    By001261 15 December 2015 21: 58
    Great article, another unknown page of our history is revealed, thanks!
  21. Mrdnv
    18 December 2015 13: 27
    Dear Gross,
    The weapon is not produced anyhow and at its own discretion. Drawings and all documentation are "lit", the military representatives strictly follow. Any difference outside the requirements of the drawings - either "according to their own understanding", or from the place of production - is not allowed and is impossible. System. This has been the practice for a very long time and is still the case. The size of the chamber and, in general, the barrel is one of the most important and controlled. If we compare the drawings for the Mauser and Mosinskaya rifles in the chamber, then one can see the same order of accuracy and tolerance fields - both in diameter and in length.
    As for the appearance of spent cartridges, this is not the best method to judge the accuracy of the manufacture of weapons. Because in addition to the linear and radial dimensions of the chamber, the process involves a mirror gap between the bottom of the cartridge case and the mirror of the combat larva, as well as elastic deformation of the entire locking unit. Since the pressure of the powder gases differs from shot to shot, together with the natural spread of the dimensions of the entire system (from the wall thickness of the case and forever of the powder to specific gaps in a particular rifle), the sum of all factors leads to slightly different functioning of the case. As a result, you can find some difference in the "re-stamping" of spent cartridges. But it is not correct to draw on this basis the conclusion that "the chambers walk a lot in size".
  22. gross kaput
    gross kaput 18 December 2015 23: 06
    Quote: Mrdnv
    the process involves a mirror gap between the bottom of the sleeve and the mirror of the combat larva, as well as the elastic deformation of the entire locking unit.

    Well, if you are so good in the subject, it means you don’t have to explain that such a large mirror clearance providing such a difference in length will lead to ruptures and not to sleeve extensions, but what is seen in the photographs is re-stamping precisely because of the different chamber geometry, well, plus, therefore, or rather a minus to the theory of increased clearance - the unchanged overall length of the sleeve, and in the case of a gap, even in the absence of a gap, the sleeve should be extended by the amount of the gap minus the elastic deformation.
    Quote: Mrdnv
    Drawings and all documentation are "lit"
    Without a doubt, like all changes to the drawings, and when weapons and ammunition are produced not only by different enterprises but also in different countries, it can be like in the case with a mosquito.
    Quote: Mrdnv
    If you compare the drawings for the Mauser rifle and Mosinskaya

    And don’t need to compare it with the Mauser, you just need to compare the various official drawings of the chamber and mosquito cartridges of different years and manufacturers, and everything will immediately become clear - here’s a little bit of seed for France by order of the Republic of Ingushetia, the Republic of Ingushetia itself from different years, dates and the USSR of the last years of production of mosquito, let's say so feel the difference.
    1. gross kaput
      gross kaput 18 December 2015 23: 14
      the last did not fit smileWell, if you look at the drawings for the maximum, DP, SVT and ShKAS, you will find even more differences.
  23. Pomeranian
    Pomeranian 22 December 2015 14: 09
    Excellent article, the author plus definitely.