14.5x114 Unknown Loading

This cartridge loading is not listed in C.Koll “Soviet Cannon”. It has the usual Russian headstamp with Lac. steel case but the projectile is a flat nose purple lacquer, magnetic and is 38mm long seated in the case. It is still loaded.
The primer has no coloured annulus.
The ID was told as an ODL (New Zealand) whale killing cartridge. I doubt this as NZ protects whales and why use or load a Russian cartridge. Any help appreciated.


What is the projectile made of?

Many loads are not listed in Koll’s book.

EOD. As stated it is magnetic so I guess it is steel. Looks solid.

Ron, I wondered if it could have been made partially of some other material as the section engaging the rifling would be stressed hardly then.

At least it does not appear like a regular Soviet factory load as the PA was not applied.

EOD. At the case mouth you will see a wider part to take the rifling. It is sealed so I do not wish to scratch any lacquer off. Possibly just a narrow strip of steel but could be some softer material? I cannot tell with a magnet and will not damage the item.
Your guess is as good as mine. To pepper- maybe it is proof?

Hi Ron,

The identification given to you is correct; this is the round developed and loaded by ODL to be used with the SWED rifle (Sperm Whale Euthanasia Device). Projectile weighs 950 gr.



Thank you everyone for your input. I had my doubts but I can cross another unknown off my list. This forum is great for answers.

Fede, is there more info on this rifle and maybe images? The web is not very helpfull here.

Its a 14.5mm BAM(Big Aquatic Mammal),also after the name of developer of the round in NZ,and loaded by ODL NZ.
Used by the local conservation department(yes,really!) to humanely euthanize beached/stranded whales, by shooting into the brain.
Fired from a tripod mounted modified PTRD-41 rifle.
The projectile is a steel or brass/bronze slug(bolt?) as the pointed ones were found to be less effective.

Is the development of the device/cartridge originally Russian which New Zealand has simply adopted and purchased?

No, the BAM is a NZ development,based on the Soviet 14.5mm.
Not sure on the rationale for the Soviet case ,though it was looked at for other developments as well.
I think, ‘bigger than .50cal,smaller than 20mm’…I think it gave the required amount of energy to achieve the goal without splattering blubber about!.

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Takapu, what “other developments”? Could you shed some light on this?

Found some info on the issue:

Here is the photo from the link, showing DOC ranger Jim Campbell holding what looks like a receiver / barrel of a PTRD which must mount on the tripod they use:


The story mentions that the “SWED” was developed by ballistics experts Craig Bamber and Norm Marsh in the 1990s. Back when getting a PTRD into NZ was an easier task I suppose.

ODL originally tried using .50 BMG as components were more readily available and a NW USA Indian tribe used .50 to legally kill small whales that were their livelihood and that action was legally protected. The whales NZ were contending with were significantly bigger and they found the .50 wasn’t enough, even when they went to a 20mm case with a .50 bullet. 14.5 was the smallest caliber that would do the trick, even though components were more of a problem. I don’t know the current status of this. My info dates from a contact in ODL and is from the mid-1990’s.

The flat nose will have enhanced penetration in water if it was ever used in that capacity.

Tests I conducted in 2005 prior to an African elephant hunt demonstrated that the 458 caliber FN solids had substantialy more penetration (39 vs 60 inches) than a FMJ RN and they did not turn over 180 degrees base first like the RN bullets. this was nearly identical to results in the field. Increased rotational velocity was also beneficial. Penetration in water was nearly doubled.

Fede, PM sent.

Soviet whalers. Anti-tank rifle PTRS.