Military Review

Guerrilla ammunition. 2 part


So, in this article we are talking about the alteration by partisans of captured German rifle and pistol cartridges for firing from the local rifle weapons. On the picture already familiar to the readers (from the first part) the "heroes" of this stories. In our narrative, we dwelt on the extremely unsuccessful results of tests of converted cartridges at the Shchurovsky test site in early May 1943. The contents of the archival documents referred to in this article can be found at the following links:

* Test Commission Act of April 1943;
* Report NITSVO K about tests from 18 May 1943 of the year.

Let's continue.

First, let's figure it out - what is the reason for such unsuccessful results?

If you carefully read the previous Test Act, and also proceed from the logic of the cartridge-weapon system, you get the following:

- During the first tests, the pressure and initial velocities of the bullets of pistol cartridges were much closer to the requirements of domestic technical specifications. When firing from the TT "Reliability is fully provided". But the commission indicated that "It is desirable to reduce the rate of fire [of the PPSh and PPD] by reducing the charge". That is, by “correcting” one remark, we received a bunch of other, more serious problems.

- The data on the initial velocities and the pressure of the powder gases given in the Report of the landfill for converted rifle cartridges also differ significantly from the data of the previous Act, and for the worse. It seems that here the developers also “insured” both from the tight and “problematic” extraction of the sleeves after the shot (especially for CW and PD). As can be seen from the results, this path turned out to be wrong.

- The problems with the tight closing of the bolt on the Mosin rifle, obviously, are related to the size and tolerance for the size of the over-pressed German cartridge in the skate area. Fearing excessive sagging of the cartridge deeper into the chamber, which is fraught with misfires when the capsule is broken, they again insured and overdid it.

- The unacceptable manufacturing quality of the converted cartridges and ejectors, as well as weak bullet attachment is unacceptable and is most likely the result of haste and insufficient process performance - NIPSWO tests took place in early May, 1943, and the previous Act was dated 18 of April of that year.

- The main cause of delays when firing a SVT rifle arr. 1940 G. and the machine gun DP became improper operation of the extractors. Which were developed by OKB-44 and were intended to replace the staff. Obviously, their design, or rather the size of the main "functional places" was unsuccessful. Why we didn’t check it ourselves by shooting before delivery to the landfill is not completely clear. Again because of the rush?

- All other aspects and results of alterations were normal, it was necessary to be careful and not to miss the achievements.

We cannot provide further developments with the involvement of the final test report on converted cartridges after the improvement and refinement of the rework method, due to the lack of archival finds on this subject (at the moment).

Therefore, we can evaluate the “measures taken by the developers” only on the basis of the analysis of the content of the “Manual to the rifle press ...” published in the Book-1 “From the invention of gunpowder to the middle of the twentieth century” of the monograph “Small arms fighting cartridges” by V.N. Nobleman; evidence from Pavel Stolyarov’s article “Partisan Press ...” published in the magazine “Arms”, No. 6 for 2001 a year, as well as the content of archival documents first published in November 2012 of the year in his Livejournal blog by user Christopher Reed (kris_reid ) above.

Using this approach, the following are the improvements and changes themselves, as well as the key points of the refined reworking method for captured German 9x19-mm pistol Parabellum and 7,92x57-mm rifle cartridges for firing from domestic small arms.

The first thing that attracts attention is the weight of the hand press. The Act of April 1943 gives a fairly detailed description of it, in which it is called a “typewriter”. Indicated that the machine weighs 10 kg. But the “Screw Hand Press VP-1”, presented in the exposition of the Central Museum of the Armed Forces, is slightly different "With a three-way worm, developing force 300-350 kg, weighing only 23 kg".

Guerrilla ammunition. 2 part

"Screw manual press VP-1", presented in the exposition of the Central Museum of the Armed Forces.

That is, in the process of refinement, this device has undergone serious changes, most likely associated with an increase in pressing force and an increase in the way (stroke) of pressing to ensure a softer re-compression of bullets and cartridge cases. Because the detected cracks on them are unacceptable in any case.

In the "Manual" there is a requirement: “Bullets for all calibrations must be lubricated with soapy water (emulsion) or oil. Calibration of non-lubricated bullets or clogged with sand and mud can immediately spoil the tool. ”. Perhaps the first version of the device was a lever rather than a screw press, in order to reduce its size and weight. The lever, of course, needed to be picked up and fitted already in place. Therefore, the original version was more like a “typewriter” and received just such a name.

The second and most significant change is the list of tools and devices attached to the press, which already included 20 names and differed from the list given in the April Act. The reason for this was both the introduction of new, additional operations, and some changes in the technology of calibrating bullets.

In the final process technology for both types of cartridges was introduced "Calming calibration"Manufactured cartridges, which are described in the Manual as “... control operation. The cartridges are alternately inserted into the chamber and the bolt of the chamber is turned with a finger. If the bolt turns - the cartridge fits, if it does not turn - the cartridge is long ... It is forbidden to use cartridges that have not been checked by the barrel or the barrel, since there may be cases of delay in the operation of the weapon’s automatics ”. The reason for the emergence of such an operation is obvious - to eliminate the tight shut-off of the shutter.

To guarantee a more accurate attachment of gunpowder, measurements were made for each type of cartridges and funnels to fill it in the liner. Mixing powders from pistol and rifle cartridges (sticks and plates) was prohibited. Including because "With mixed powder will be poor accuracy of the fight".

Reloading pistol cartridges now consisted of 10 basic process operations.

A significant change was the increase in bullet calibration operations from three to four, not counting the clearance of the belt on the pool. What was necessary to eliminate the appearance of cracks in the pool during the calibration process.

The ninth was the modified operation “Crimping the cartridge", which “It is necessary for reliable fixing of a bullet in a sleeve (to prevent cases of possible loss). It is produced on a special device (crimp head), the latter is fixed to the wall or table with nails. The left hand cartridge is inserted into the device with a bullet forward, the right hand turns the handle to the right side so that the sleeve of the cartridge cuts into the bullet (pressed into the bullet). Crimping is done at the very end of the barrel, for which the fixture has a regulating screw. ”. That is, the process is similar to the well-known crimping of tin lids on cans with the help of a machine for home canning.

7,62-mm submachine gun Shpagina PPSh (USSR) and 9-mm submachine gun MP-40 (Germany).

The final operations were storing and controlling external inspection of manufactured cartridges. Was required “To reject outwardly, curves, crumpled sleeves, horny bullets, spoiled bullets, etc., should be discarded. Well-tested cartridges on the camor or the trunk and the external appearance, work in a weapon without a failure. ”.

Reloading rifle cartridges consisted of 7 core process operations.

The same matrix was no longer used for the final calibration of pistol and rifle bullets, which was previously explicitly stated in the Act. Each of them was given its own matrix for obtaining different calibers: for a rifle bullet - "MKVP-7,78", for a pistol bullet - "MKPP-7,60".

Also in the Instruction was separately stated: “In captured rifle bullets, bullets with steel and ceramic (pobedit) cores are often caught, which are not recommended to be calibrated, you can quickly spoil the tool. It is strictly forbidden to calibrate explosive bullets - pyrotechnic. Such a bullet can explode (explode) and cause injury. It is easy to distinguish pyrotechnic from ordinary ones by external coloring of the nose of a bullet or a cap of a sleeve..

7,62-mm rifle, top to bottom: Tokarev (SVT) arr. 1938, Mosina arr. 1891 / 1910 (both USSR), Mauser 98-k (Germany).

The sixth, obligatory operation for rifle cartridges was to check the cartridge length, for which the control bracket of the rifle cartridge length “SDP-77,16 - 75,91” appeared in the tool. After stinking (the seventh operation), the cartridges were prescribed “Inspect outwardly and discard wrinkled sleeves, horned dults, curves, etc. To discard cartridges that have wrinkles (metal influx) around the slope when crimping dults, do not, as this does not have any effect when fired”.

Separately, it is necessary to dwell on those “narrow” points on which there were major and serious complaints following the results of the May tests in Shurovo.

In addition to problems with the length of cartridges and the caliber of the re-bullet, which were corrected and “stabilized” by the dimensions of the matrix and the introduction of additional control operations in the technology of reworking rifle cartridges, the question remained of the extraction of spent cartridges. The following figure conventionally shows the location of the sleeves of the domestic staff and trophy cartridges (after rework) in the Mosin rifle shutter larvae, as well as the revision of the rifle ejector proposed by OKB-44. The ejector is shown in red.

The Manual says on this occasion:

Ҥ 6. Due to the fact that the combat larvae and extractors in domestic weapons (rifles of the 1891 / 30 model, rifles "SVT" and machine guns "DP") are designed for a sleeve with a rim (cap), and trophy sleeves have no caps, the existing extractor (ejector) does not extract the spent cartridge from the chamber, so the extractors (ejectors) in rifles mod. 1891 / 30 g., "SVT", machine gun "DP" must be replaced with new ones with the inscription "DTP" (for captured ammunition), made according to a special drawing and delivered as spare parts.

Note: In some machine guns “DP”, after rearranging the ejector (extractor), in order to ensure trouble-free removal of the sleeves after the shot, it is necessary to gash the barrel of the barrel a little, so that the new extractor does not rest against the neck of the barrel and freely hook the sleeve (you can only fit disassembled) .

In rifles arr. 1891 / 30 of the year can be used and the existing extractor, for which the latter must be removed with a hammer and screwdriver from a combat larva and bend to 15 - 20 ° in the direction of the working tooth "z", cut the file "H" with a file (see the figure on the left ), and cut the “S” angle, making it somewhat dumber (fig. on the right), so that it does not rest on the stump of the trunk.

The extractor (ejector) thus converted completely ensures trouble-free removal of a spent cartridge case and is reliable in operation. In the “SVT” rifles and the “DP” machine gun, the extractors (ejectors) are not amenable to correction, but are replaced by the new “DTP-43”. ”

Also in the admonition was indicated

Ҥ 10. When firing a pistol "TT", a submachine gun "PPSH" and "PPD" in the weapon no changes are required. Single and automatic firing of correctly reloaded cartridges, according to this instruction, works smoothly, as well as firing domestic gross cartridges. Ballistic data verified by official firing and fully comply with the requirements for pistol cartridges: a) Starting speed; b) Barrel pressure; c) the accuracy of the fight; d) Destructive power; e) Flight range - Fully meet the technical conditions, as well as in some indicators, the accuracy of the fight and the destructive power are better than gross cartridges.

§ 11. ... Rifle cartridges correctly reloaded according to this manual, reliable in operation. Ballistic data meets the technical requirements for these cartridges. ”

We have no reason to distrust the data set out in the Manual for the manual press today. Since the level of responsibility of the performers and the whole system of “work” in those years practically excluded the possibility of fraud or artificial improvement, fitting the results. And also considering that the developed method of alteration implied its practical use in partisan detachments and verification in real combat conditions.

Summarizing brief results and evaluating this interesting story, one can say:

- The work was carried out in an extremely short time. The first Act is dated April 1943 of the year, and the article by Pavel Stolyarov in the magazine "Weapon" states (based on a copy of the memorandum of the deputy chief of the Central Headquarters of the partisan movement Colonel Naumov): “After a comprehensive test of the specified device, a batch of 175 devices was sent to the rear of the enemy in partisan detachments and according to information received from the commanders of partisan detachments, the Central Headquarters knows that these devices have found their practical application ... Of the detachments com. KOZLOVA has a telegram from which it is clear that his units in the June-August months of 1943 reworked German 9 mm. ammunition TT under the caliber 7,62 mm. PPSh submachine gun - 300.000 pcs., rifle 7,92 mm. under the caliber 7,62 mm. rifle arr. 1891 / 30 - 120.000 Pieces. ".

- The rework method developed by OKB-44 is surprising in its originality, especially considering such a large difference in the size of the cartridges and the design of the weapon for them. There are no analogs in world practice. It is the ingenuity of our software engineers who have shown them in this work that causes our greatest admiration today.

- There is no doubt that any artisanal manufacture of cartridges cannot reach the level of standard ammunition manufactured in industrial conditions. Moreover, much depends on the skill, accuracy and strict observance of the technology of remaking by the partisan craftsmen. There might have been some problems or delays when shooting with converted cartridges. But the important thing is that the developers have reduced such possible troubles to an acceptable minimum.

- Today, assessing the practical need for such a method, any “expert” will immediately say that “there is no faith in amateur labor, I will not go into battle with such cartridges” or “you give a captured weapon”. And, in principle, will be right. But it is today, theoretically. And what was the partisans to do then, in 1943-44, when there really was no other way out? Therefore, even such an “exotic” way out was very helpful.

- Considering, for example, that the city of Minsk was liberated only on July 3 of the year 1944, and all the occupied territories in which guerrilla formations fought - even later, it is safe to say that the developed method of remaking trophy cartridges was not in vain and contributed to the overall Victory .

By the Decree of the State Defense Committee (GKO) of 16.01.1946 of 11, XNUMX developers, among them - A.I. Zabegin, N.M. Elizarov, B.V. Semin, were awarded medals to "Partisan of the Patriotic War."

The OKB-1943 created in 44 was later transferred to Klimovsk, a town near Moscow, in 1946, and transformed into a research institute-44, the first head of which was appointed to A.I. Zabegin, and the head of the cartridge department - B.V. Semin. It is worth noting that, having completed the work on the alteration of captured cartridges, from July 1943, OKB-44 began to create an intermediate-power cartridge. The very same - the legendary and known today as the 7,62x39-mm cartridge for AK, AKM. But that's another story.

With the passage of time, OKB-44 turned into a scientific research institute-61, and then into the Order of the October Revolution, the Central Research Institute of Precision Engineering (TsNIITOCHMASH), known today worldwide and leading in the USSR and in modern Russia, the center for developing small arms ammunition . Within the walls of which practically all modern state-owned domestic small arms cartridges were developed, fundamentally new approaches and design schemes of small arms were developed, and in-depth research and studies were conducted.

The history of these developments, achieved and not achieved by our engineers, the results are described in detail in the four-volume monograph "Small arms combat cartridges" V.N. Noblemanova. Which, from 1982 onwards, for the years 29 has headed the “cartridge” department at TsNIITOCHMASH. Many data on the history of domestic developments are unique and published in this monograph for the first time.

In preparing this article the following materials were used:
* V.N. Noblemen. Book-1 "From the invention of gunpowder to the middle of the twentieth century" (ISBN 978-5-9906267-1-3) of the monograph "Small arms combat cartridges" (ISBN 978-5-9906267-0-6). D'Solo Publishing House, Klimovsk, 2015;
* The magazine "Weapon", №6, 2001 year;
* Archival materials provided by kris_reid;
* Own photographs and drawings of the authors;
* Materials free encyclopedia "Wikipedia";
* N.G. Menshikov. Album designs of small-bore and large-caliber automatic weapons. Publisher Artillery Academy. F.E. Dzerzhinsky, M., 1946.
Photos used:
drawings of authors
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  1. gla172
    gla172 16 December 2015 07: 25
    Interesting, informative. +
    Not one hundred of these "raised" ...
    1. Malkor
      Malkor 16 December 2015 15: 59
      The appearance of the cartridges suggests the idea that alteration is impossible. But engineering works wonders. Cool!
      Thanks to the authors of the article
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 16 December 2015 08: 01
    I learned a lot of interesting things, thanks to the authors ..
  3. V.ic
    V.ic 16 December 2015 08: 10
    It is the ingenuity of our software engineers who have shown them in this work that causes our greatest admiration today.

    Neither subtract nor add. "And the gloomy German genius" was tamed.
  4. nivander
    nivander 16 December 2015 10: 39
    the Germans also remade our cartridges for German weapons. After the Germans left the Volkhov bridgehead in Gruzino, a whole workshop was found which gave out hundreds of rounds of ammunition of very high quality to the mountain, moreover, they were centralized with remodeled cartridges and these alterations were factory (industrial). The same situation developed in 1941-42 on the Leningrad Front where there were many English and French rifles left after the Civil War and converted ammunition they were supplied centrally from Leningrad enterprises
    1. Vega
      Vega 16 December 2015 11: 04
      And the answer to all questions is that the alteration was at industrial enterprises.
  5. hghg
    hghg 16 December 2015 11: 27
    Nice article.
  6. oreh72
    oreh72 16 December 2015 13: 02
    Thank you for the article! Very informative! I was interested in the monograph "Fighting cartridges of small arms" by V.N. Dvoryaninov - like a movie: "Let's search!"
  7. tropic
    tropic 16 December 2015 13: 14
    Bent old larvae (see pictures in the article) will not work reliably. In case of difficult extraction of the sleeve, they will simply disperse to the sides. New larvae (which are "road accidents", they are not in the picture) at the ends most likely had special thickenings to prevent this from happening.
    1. pimen
      pimen 16 December 2015 18: 19
      not a fact, initially, the hook will be more reliable and with a further release, the extension should not play a critical role (unless, of course, the shutter closes normally)
      1. tropic
        tropic 16 December 2015 19: 42
        While new, yes. But the edges will wear out quickly. And quickly enough, the mechanism will work to expand the larvae. As a temporary measure, such a mechanism can be left. But not for long.
        1. pimen
          pimen 16 December 2015 20: 28
          Well, probably, your thickenings are better, like bending in the opposite direction by 15 degrees, or some lengthening of the tooth, but the idea itself, in principle, is hemorrhoidal. Easier to dissolve the partisan detachment
  8. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 16 December 2015 19: 18
    Guys, article +
    But honestly I did not understand what was at stake. )
  9. uzer 13
    uzer 13 16 December 2015 19: 26
    [quote] [/ "with mixed gunpowder there will be poor accuracy of the battle."]

    Such a mixture will lead to a large overpressure in the chamber area and damage to the weapon.
  10. Kvazar
    Kvazar 16 December 2015 21: 12
    Honestly not very clear sense in this. Partisans and saboteurs operate in the rear of the antikyk, and it is these formovarias to replenish the BC that go to the enemy’s weapons as difficult to replenish your BC. Capturing the weapon itself is not the biggest problem. Plus, for sabotage and guerrilla warfare, trophy weapons are better suited due to the different sound of the shot.

    Here, it’s not strange, rather, the cartridge hunger of the cropped parts and large stocks of trophies. It is known that our fighters often preferred assault rifles-44 (prototype AK) because getting ammunition on the offensive is much easier than getting from the rear for the supply.
    1. GRAY
      GRAY 17 December 2015 10: 17
      Quote: Kvazar
      It is known that our fighters often preferred assault rifles-44 (prototype AK) because getting ammunition on the offensive is much easier than getting from the rear for the supply.

      What is easier to get?
      Not even funny. Firstly, the German infantry was overwhelmingly armed with Mauser rifles - there were a lot of cartridges for them, but no one "preferred" them.
      A StG-44 only Have begun produce in the fall of 1944 (as you can easily guess by name). In addition, they used an intermediate cartridge of 7,92 × 33 mm - is that it, did you, at your every step, come across?
      You should not underestimate Soviet logistics in vain, because without it successful offensives could not have been in principle.
      1. tropic
        tropic 17 December 2015 10: 38
        Quote: GRAY
        And the StG-44 just started producing in the fall of 1944

        Maybe Kvazar had in mind MP 43/1? This is about the same StG-44, but they began to be released in the summer of 1943. And the MP 43 has been mass-produced since the fall of 1943. And if there is a weapon, then there are cartridges for it. Those. you can get them.
        1. GRAY
          GRAY 17 December 2015 11: 44
          Quote: tropic
          Maybe Kvazar had in mind MP 43/1? This is about the same StG-44,

          Not approximately, but it is, current with minor modifications. In 1943, an experimental batch of military tests passed, according to the results - sent for finishing. They were only in motorized units and SS units in service.
          They did not become mass weapons precisely because of a lack of ammunition.
      2. gross kaput
        gross kaput 18 December 2015 00: 34
        Quote: GRAY
        And the StG-44 just started producing in the fall of 1944

        Yeah, they just started to produce it only in the fall of 44 because before that it was called MP-44 before that MP43 / 1 and even earlier MP43.
        Quote: GRAY
        In 1943, an experimental batch of military tests passed, according to the results - sent for finishing

        An experimental batch of Mkb 42 was tested near St. Petersburg in early 1942, so they were sent for finishing in the MP-43, and the MP-43 is already a serial device, small and non-critical design changes were introduced during mass production. Just riveted almost half a million MP43 / STG44.
        Quote: GRAY
        They did not become mass weapons precisely because of a lack of ammunition.

        Who told you this heresy? The 7,92X33 cartridge was developed by Polte in 1939, and the task itself appeared on the Mkb in 1940. and from that moment on, the production of cartridges began, so by the time the mass production of the MP-43 began, there had long been a line for the production of "kurts" and there were no problems with their production, especially since in many elements it was unified with the rest of the Wehrmacht cartridges ...
      3. Aqela
        Aqela 19 December 2015 07: 55
        Regarding the beginning of mass deliveries of "assault grenades" to the Wehrmacht, I think you are not entirely accurate, but in relation to the overwhelming mass use of the K96 rifles, it is quite a sensible remark.
        I think the remark addressed to you about the timing of the development of the German intermediate cartridge is not correct, because it is quite obvious that the development of a cartridge and its mass use are far from the same thing. I don’t think, for example, that in the USSR in 1946 it was easy to get a cartridge of the 1943 model. Despite the fact (I quote from "everyone's favorite" Wikipedia):
        Simonov’s 7,62-mm self-loading carbine (SKS, GRAU Index - 56-A-231, also known abroad as SKS-45) - the Soviet self-loading carbine designed by Sergei Simonov, was put into service in 1949.
        A small batch of new carbines passed tests in the active units of the 1st Belorussian Front in early 1945, and was also supplied to the Shot courses. The weapon received positive reviews, but the refinement of the carbine and the newest cartridge continued until 1949, when the SKS entered service with the Soviet Army.

        and, in addition:
        7,62 mm Degtyarev light machine gun (RPD, GRAU Index - 56-P-327) is a Soviet light machine gun developed in 1944 with a cartridge of 7,62 × 39 mm.
        In 1944, on competitive tests, a design sample of Degtyarev, known as RD-44, came forward. Until the end of the war, RD-44 machine guns were made in a small series and were tested in the troops. Shortly after the war, a modernized version of this machine gun, adapted to become the standard 7,62 × 39 mm cartridge, was adopted by the Soviet Army as the “Degtyarev system machine gun (RPD)”

        The new weapons were mass-produced already during World War II, but began to be supplied in large numbers by the military only in 1953.
    2. Aqela
      Aqela 19 December 2015 07: 48
      I think that the mosquito was nevertheless more reliable and unpretentious than a Mauser, especially in the conditions of the impossibility of careful leaving (i.e., an advanced or, especially, a partisan detachment).
  11. cdznjckfd
    cdznjckfd 24 February 2016 12: 36
    "It is difficult to replenish BC. Capturing the enemy's own weapon is not the biggest problem here." This is not entirely true, in the occupied territories it was difficult to seize trophy weapons, since they were in the hands of enemy soldiers, and the partisans had to fight mainly with fascist henchmen, armed mainly with our weapons, but trophy cartridges were easier to get, since bp warehouses were located in the rear, according to the stories of the grandfather of German weapons, they had a handful of numbers in the detachment, the main weapon in the detachment was either from the mainland, or taken from the police.