7.62 x 39 "Barrel Proof"

I recently received 3 7.62 x 39’s that were old to me as “Barrel Proof” rounds.
They are as follows

04 84 Lacquered steel case, flat brass primer with wine red PA. The bullet is a pointed magnetic FMJ with 3 prick marks about 3/8 inch above the case mouth. Overall length is 2.392 (60.77mm).

bxn 83 Parkerized steel case, flat all black primer. The bullet is a 2-diameter semi-pointed magnetic FMJ with 3 prick marks about 1/2 inch above the case mouth. Overall length is 2.384 (60.57mm)

323 88 Same as the bxn except the case is lacquered steel and the primer is all wine red and overall length is 2.391 (60.72mm).

Can anyone give me the proper designations for these rounds and any other information.

I just got off the phone with Jack Wells concerning these cartridges. I have the terminology wrong. They are NOT “Barrel Proof” but are “Barrel Test” rounds used for ACCURACY tests, not proofing.

So, with this change, does any one have more information on them?

Ron, they are definately “Barrel Proofs”!
That story about “accuracy tests” is a dangerous rumour that seems to be hard to kill.
Never use these cartridges in a gun!!!

I think we had this issue here once already.

I acquired two of the rounds Ron was discussing back in the late 1980’s,and one at the Last IAA shows in Chicago in either 1997 or 1998,and was told both times by the German dealer I got them from ,that they were barrel test rounds,and this is what I passd on to Ron.Is there any docmentation that tells exactly what they are?
Jack Wells

Jack, here an excerpt from a Russian manual from 1965 on small arms ammunition and the box for your GDR cartridge:

Russia: The Russian designation is “VD” (in Cyrillic of course).
The drawing says: High Pressure Projectile (what means barrel proof since the regular HPT is different and has a lower gas pressure than this one and a regular bullet shape and it is colored almost all black).

The box says: High Pressure Cartridge


Here’s a picture of two of the rounds which I have and should be of help.

On the right is the Czech (bxn 87) round and the only designation I’ve been able to come up with for this is ‘7.62mm Proof’.

On the left is the DDR round ( 04 87 ) and it’s designation is ‘7.62mm Uberdruck M-43’. ‘Uberdruck’ I think, means overpressure?


I’ve just had a look through Gordon Conway’s collectors lists and he refers to your Romanian cartridge as ‘Cartus 7.62x39mm de Suprapresiune’.

Information is greatly appreciated,many thanks
As Always
Jack Wells


you may have noticed, photobucket mirrored your photo!? I see on the

  • left a DDR HochDruckPatrone, while there is on the

Thanks Hans, I hadn’t noticed the error - perhaps an Administrator is able to reverse the image to prevent confusion?

What is the meaning of Tormentacni? Would this be the correct designation for this cartridge?

Hans & Jim–I can’t reverse the image but I did edit the text so it now refers to the correct cartridges,

Thanks to all of you for the great information, especially EOD. That drawing of the cross section of the bullet explains the purpose of the 2-diameter bullet and the 3 stab pricks to hold the pointed core in place. What does “VD” stand for?

Now, the next question is what purpose did that pointed core serve in barrel testing?

Are U.S.S.R. (Unknown headstamp), DDR (04), Czechoslovakia (bxn) and Romania (323) the only countries that made this load? What years for each one?

[quote=“Ron Merchant”] What does “VD” stand for?

Now, the next question is what purpose did that pointed core serve in barrel testing?

Are U.S.S.R. (Unknown headstamp), DDR (04), Czechoslovakia (bxn) and Romania (323) the only countries that made this load? What years for each one?[/quote]

VD stands for “Vysokoe Davlene” - “High Pressure”.

That what looks like a pointed core is just empty space, the whole projectile base is hollow. You almost confused me.

Today it is hard to say why this design exists. I assume that it was just the high projectile weight and probably the longer projectile so it could not be chambered into a gun in the regular way since a gun then might be blown to pieces.
The “Barrel Proof” cartridge was used to proove unfinished barrels which just had the rifling and the chamber. In case the barrel failed the final machining was not done yet and saved a lot of work which would be lost on a finished barrel. Not to mention that the generated pressure is definately not meant for breeches and recoil mechanisms etc. of automatic weapons.
This of course is only my assumption.

The same projectile design was used in 7.62x39 by Hungary (few being all yellow since this was the official the color code for this cartridge type), Bulgaria and by Poland, there were certainly more countries using these projectiles. The GDR was an exception since they used components on hand for economic reasons.
Not to forget that there exists a similar projectile for the 7.62x54R (Russia, Poland, Romania and China at least). Further for a strange reason there are such projectiles in 5.45x39 by Poland and Romania but NO Russian ones (they used regular 7N6 projectiles with the all yellow marking since shape was no indicator anymore, Same did the GDR).

EOD–Thanks for the additional information. So, since the “Pointed Core” is actually just an empty hole. what purpose do the 3 stab pricks serve?

Jim, you asked what the meaning of tormentačni: proof.

Ron, you asked for makers and years. In my files - and partly in my collection - I find:

04: 81, 84, 85, all pointed style
10: 90, 91, Soviet style
21: 73 (Poland with inverted year), Soviet style
323: 88, Soviet style
23: 66, 73, Soviet style
539: K
711: 73
bxn: 60, 65, 71, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78, 82, 83, 86, 87, 93, Soviet style
7,62x39: 34, MESKO for Brandenburg Police, Soviet style

About the last I don’t really believe this information makes sense in the light of what EOD writes about the purpose of this load. Time will tell.

They simply hold the lead core.

So what would be the diffrence in a 7.62x39 ‘Barrel proof’ and ‘Action Proof’, and which is for example the Yugoslavian proof loadings designated M67 type II? From the above to i correctly gather that the barrel proof is hotter and meant to have an industrial type signle shot testbed action fitted to the barrel? -Thanks

Right, the barrel proof is the hotter of both and it is used in unfinished barrels only.