5.45x40 SN-P


Can anyone confirm if the 5.45x40 SN-P designation is correct for both the hollow point and soft point loadings of the 5.45x39 cartridge made for the survival pistols? It seems that these loadings receive exactly the same name despite using a different bullet. Also, can anyone provide a checklist of headstamps found in both variations? Thanks, Fede.


Fede, as per the box the SN-P is a SP load. I also have never head of a HP.


Alex, the soft point loading appears to have replaced the hollow point version at one given time. One example is mounted in a display board adquired by our club in the early 1990’s, but I don’t remember the headstamp. I’ll take pictures of it as soon as possible and also of the rest of the cartridges (there is a 5.45x39 ball loading from the late 1960’s).

The hollow point version is shown in this early picture and also in a few display boards.




Fede, you got very lucky! Could the HP be from the early project stage?


Alex, I believe that the change may have ocurred in the early 90’s, because there are HP rounds headstamped 539 89 and the SP is shown in the display board that was adquired no later than 1993.


Fede, the SP must have been out before Dec 1991 then.


Alex, well, I took some pictures of the cartridges mounted in the board and now I believe that the change in the bullet design was actually in reverse, which means that the soft point came first and it was replaced by the hollow point. The SN-P is headstamped 539 83 and is the latest cartridge in the whole display, and also later than any cartridge mounted in two related boards that display brass shotshells and 12.7x108 rounds. Furthermore, there are many cartridges with cases made in 1982, which tend to give the idea that this display predates the adoption of the TP-82 pistol, that is reported to have happened in 1986.

5.45x39 SN-P:

Another interesting feature of this display is the early headstamp found in both ball and tracer unsectioned loadings of the 5.45x39, which is 539 69.

And here is a picture of the 7.62x51 and its headstamp:




Fede, the 1969 date on the 5.45x39 makes me believe this board is not from a common source and could be holding stuff that never became standard - including the SN-P design(s). As testing went on just any cases were used. Means a 1982 case could have easily been used a few years later and the HP bullet could be from the later stages of hunting bullet developments.
Also we shall not ignore that there is no original Russian markings on the board which are explaining the mounted cartridges what matters in particular in regard to the SN-P.

The 7.62x51 hs is not uncommon with the early hunting loads they made.


Is the 7.62x54r observation cartridge authentic? I’ve not seen one in a lacquered steel case or from as late as the 1980s.



AKMS, all the rounds displayed are authentic (no replacements), but shouldn’t be considered anything but “board dummies”. It is not unusual to find unreported variations because many cartridges were created for this purpose from any available component. If you are interested, I can take detailed pictures of this 7.62x54R or any other cartridge in the board. Regards, Fede.


There was a thread on page 117 titled .115 RWS hstp’d 5.45X39. I have 5.45X40 with a 5.6mm fmj bullet HS 3 96, and a 5.45X40 HS 60 85. Not my field of collecting but older cartridge price lists listed them individually. Please excuse me if this doesn’t pertain to this thread.