12.7x108r ШВАК ShVAK


The “R” should have the projectiles with one crimp only.

What is the hs of the steel case?

@EOD I’m told the steel case is 1941… It could be anything of course.


Later headstamps


Jestertoo, what script are you trying to display with the “ShVAK”? Czech?
The UB is obviously Cyrillic but is no caliber designator by the way.


I fixed it to ШВАК

I was told the early 12.7x108 rimless were for the UB gun, but I understand what you are saying.

About the Berezin (UB) we need to look at Degtyarev who used the cartridge first (to my knowledge).

But as said, the 12.7x108 usually is not really connectable to a gun’s name (at least in my view).
Old Soviet crates sometimes have no “gun indicator” and sometimes “DShK” (still not being the cartridge designation) - so it leaves room for interpretation.
Otherwise one also could say “5.56mm M16”, “9mm P08” or “7.9mm G98” or “7.9mm PzB38” or, or, or…
But this whole subject was often discussed and many people have their own view on all this.

Dear forum members,

12,7 x 108 caliber cartridge was developed in 1930.
The first model weapons of caliber 12,7 x 108 was a large-caliber machine gun Degtyarev DK (Дягтерев Крупнокалиберный - ДК).

Universal machine gun Berezin UB (Универсальный Березина - УБ) of caliber 12,7 x 108 was developed in 1938.

12,7 x 108 R caliber cartridge was developed specifically for large-caliber aircraft machine gun Shpitalniy-Vladimirov ShVAK (Шпитальный-Владимиров Авиационный Крупнокалиберный - ШВАК) in 1932.

In 1936, a 20 mm caliber ShVAK machine gun was developed, after which the production of ShVAK machine guns of caliber 12,7 x 108 R and the production of 12,7 x 108 R caliber cartridges were quickly stopped.


Thank you!
What year did they start using the larger diameter primers?
What year did they introduce the 2 groove projectiles?

Did the ШВАК use projectiles other than B30? This says so:

I’m also using Jhonni’s reference, but I can’t read it very well.

Unfortunately, I do not know these details.

The small primer I observed on 1938 production. In 1940 the larger primer was used and I have not seen a 1939 to say what size was used there.

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Dear forum members,

It must be borne in mind that the designation of 12,7 x 108 R caliber cartridge is incorrect.

12,7 x 108 caliber cartridge is not 12,7 x 108 caliber cartridge with a flanged cartridge case; these are different cartridges, which are linked only by the same diameter of the mouth of the cartridge case and the possibility of using the same bullets.

It is necessary to keep in mind the sequence of historical events.

In 1930, the Shpitalny-Komaritsky 7,62 x 54 R caliber aircraft machine gun - ShKAS (Шпитальный-Комарицкий авиационный скоростельный - ШКАС) was developed.
It was an outstanding machine gun from the point of view of the technical solutions used. However, in the early 30s, its combat effectiveness was already insufficient. In this regard, in 1932, the Shpitalny-Vladimirov 12,7 x 108 caliber aircraft large-caliber machine gun ShVAK (Шпитальный-Владимиров авиационный крупнокалиберный - ШВАК) was developed.

Initially, the machine gun was intended for firing with 12,7 x 108 caliber cartridges. However, during tests, it turned out that the drum loading mechanism borrowed from the ShKAS machine gun could not operate with rimless cartridges.

In this regard, in a hurry, a flanged cartridge was developed, the caliber of which is usually designated as 12.7 x 108 R, although this cartridge differs from 12,7 x 108 caliber cartridge both in the dimensions of the cartridge case and in the type of the primer.

Then, in 1936, the Shpitalny-Vladimirov 20 mm caliber aircraft automatic cannon ShVAK was developed, which was very unsuccessful and probably would not have been used if Shpitalny was not Stalin’s favorite and his personal consultant on aircraft cannon armament.