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7.62x54mmR: Wikis


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Examples of 7.62 x 54mm ammunition. The photo shows, reading from left to right:- Sellier & Bellot hollow point boat tail; "Czech silver tip", mild steel core, light ball; Hungarian silver/yellow-tip, mild steel core, heavy ball; Wolf Ammunition Gold soft-point; USSR 1986 steel core light ball, Factory 60. [1]; Yugoslav surplus (1953); USSR 1940s lead core light ball [2]
Type Rifle
Place of origin  Russian Empire
 Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1891–present
Used by Russian Empire, Soviet Union, Finland[1] former Warsaw Pact
Wars Russo-Japanese war, World War I, Russian civil war, World War II, Korean war, Vietnam war, Soviet-Afghan war, Yugoslav wars, Gulf War, Iraq War
Production history
Designed 1891
Produced 1891–present
Case type Rimmed, necked
Bullet diameter 7.92 mm (0.312 in)
Neck diameter 8.53 mm (0.336 in)
Shoulder diameter 11.61 mm (0.457 in)
Base diameter 12.37 mm (0.487 in)
Rim diameter 14.40 mm (0.567 in)
Rim thickness 1.6 mm (0.063 in)
Case length 53.72 mm (2.115 in)
Overall length 77.16 mm (3.038 in)
Case capacity 4.16 cm³ (64 gr H2O)
Rifling twist 240 mm (1 in 9.45 in)
Primer type Berdan or Boxer Large Rifle
Maximum pressure 390 MPa (57,000 psi)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
11.3 g (174 gr) HPBT 797 m/s (2,610 ft/s) 3,593 J (2,650 ft·lbf)
11.7 g (181 gr) FMJ 786 m/s (2,580 ft/s) 3,614 J (2,666 ft·lbf)
11.7 g (181 gr) SP 800 m/s (2,600 ft/s) 3,744 J (2,761 ft·lbf)
9.7 g (150 gr) FMJ 865 m/s (2,840 ft/s) 3,629 J (2,677 ft·lbf)
11.7 g (181 gr) SP 805 m/s (2,640 ft/s) 3,779 J (2,787 ft·lbf)
Source: Sellier & Bellot rifle ammunition, Wolf Gold ammunition in a reloadable brass case
Chinese copper-washed, steel-cased, corrosive-primer 7.62x54mmR cartridge.
From left to right: Wolf Gold 150 grain FMJ 7.62x54mmR; Monarch 9x18mm Makarov FMJ; Remington Golden Bullet .22LR HP.

The 7.62x54mmR is a Russian rifle cartridge dating back to 1891. Originally designed for the bolt-action Mosin-Nagant rifle, it was used during the late Tsarist era and throughout the Soviet period to the present day, in machine guns and rifles such as the SVT-40. This cartridges remains one of the few standard issue rimmed cartridges still in military use.[2]

The American Winchester Model 1895 was also chambered for this cartridge per a contract with the Russian government. The 7.62x54mmR is still in use by the Russian military in the Dragunov and other sniper rifles and some modern machine guns such as the PKM. Historically, the round was known as the "7.62mm Russian" (and is still often referred to as such colloquially), but the "R" in the modern designation (7.62x54R) stands for Rimmed, in line with standard C.I.P. designations. The name is sometimes confused with the "7.62 Soviet" round, which refers to the 7.62x39mm cartridge used in the SKS and AK-47 rifles.



The 7.62x54mmR is the oldest cartridge still in regular combat service with several major armed forces in the world. This round is mainly used in the Dragunov sniper rifle and PK machine gun. In general performance, it is in the same class as the .30-06 Springfield[3]. Because of its ballistic closeness with the iconic American cartridge, a similarly rich military and historic heritage and amazing longevity, is often nicknamed "The Russian 30-06". It is also one of the few (along with the .22 Hornet, .30-30 Winchester and .303 British) bottlenecked, rimmed centerfire rifle cartridges still in common use today. Most of the bottleneck rimmed cartridges of the late 1880s and 1890s fell into disuse by the end of the First World War.

The 7.62x54mmR originally had a 13.7 g (210 grain) round-nosed full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. Due to experiences in the Russo-Japanese War, it was replaced in 1908 with a 9.7 g (148-grain) spitzer FMJ bullet, which has remained standard to the present. To increase accuracy, the Dragunov SVD uses the 7N1 variant of the cartridge, which uses extruded instead of ball propellant and has a 9.7 g (152-grain) boat-tailed FMJ bullet. The 7N14 is a new load developed for the SVD. It consists of a 9.7 g (151 grain) projectile which travels at the same 830 m/s (2723 ft/s), but it has a lead core and is supposed to be the more accurate of the two.[4]

The cartridge case presents a pronounced tapering to facilitate case extraction. In addition to being one of the first military rounds to use smokeless powder, the 7.62x54mmR was ahead of its time for another aspect, despite being a rimmed cartridge. The case is significantly wide in relation to its length and it features a rather sharp shoulder angle compared to other contemporary rounds. This characteristic and the case tapering allow for efficient and very rapid powder combustion, a design concept reintroduced again with the Short Magnum rifle cartridges more than 100 years later.

Cartridge dimensions

The 7.62x54mmR has 4.16 ml (64 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity. The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine guns alike, under extreme conditions.

7.62 x 54 R cartridge.svg


7.62x54mmR maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters (mm).

Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 ≈ 18.5 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 240 mm (1 in 9.45 in), 4 grooves, Ø lands = 7.62 mm, Ø grooves = 7.92 mm, land width = 3.81 mm and the primer type is Berdan or very rarely large rifle.

According to the official C.I.P. (Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives) guidelines the 7.62x54mmR case can handle up to 390 MPa (56,564 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle cartridge combo has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers.


The 7.62x54mmR is a very potent cartridge, in the same power class as the .30-06 Springfield.[3] The spitzer bullets used in the military variants have a particularly elongated shape which results in a relatively high ballistic coefficient contributing to good long range performance and high retained energy. Data for a 12.0 g (185 gr) FMJ Match bullet boattail fired from a Dragunov sniper rifle at 823 m/s (2,700 ft/s) muzzle velocity, shows a retained energy of 1,012 J (746 ft·lbf) at 914 m (1,000 yd) with the bullet still traveling at supersonic speed under ICAO Standard Atmosphere conditions at sea level (air density ρ = 1.225 kg/m3).[5]

When used with modern hunting bullets, it is capable of easily taking large game. In Russia the 7.62x54mmR is commonly used for hunting purposes mostly in sporterized Mosin-Nagant rifles and civil Dragunov variants (Tigers). Widespread use of modern magnum cartridges in Russia is not common among hunters (in contrast to North America where such chamberings are commonly used) with the 7.62x54mmR, even being considered a bit too powerful for moose. Large bears including polar bears are frequently hunted with it.


7.62x54mmR is widely available both as military surplus and new production. Most surplus ammunition is steel-cased and berdan primed, which effectively hinders its use for handloading.

Cartridge Derivatives

The 6.5x54mmR cartridge used in many Vostok brand target rifles in the 1960's and 1970's is a necked down version of the 7.6x54mmR.

List of 7.62x54mmR Firearms


Machine Guns

Also known as

  • 7.62 Russian
  • 7.62 Mosin-Nagant
  • 7.62 Dragunov
  • 7.62x54R

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Barnes, Frank (2006). Skinner, Stan. ed. Cartridges of the World. 11th Edition.. Cartridges of the World. Gun Digest Books. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-89689-297-2. 
  3. ^ a b William C. Davis Jr. Handloading. 1986. p191. ISBN 0-935998-34-9
  4. ^ Russia's new 7.62x54mmR Sniper Load by David M. Fortier at
  5. ^ 7.62x54mmR ballistic data at

External links

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