7.62 x 54R - two interesting examples


Here are a couple of unusual (to me at least) variations of the 7.62 x 54R, received today courtesy of my Moscow connection. The first is a blank with an odd spiral wound paper bullet, and the other I believe is a gallery load (the headstamp on this one is X 06 - sorry about the reflection).


I have been advised that the cartridge in the second picture has a self-lubricating bullet. There are four holes on the bullet just above the case mouth - two are visible in the picture. They pass all the way through the bullet.

The blanks were described as having been found in a bog. I would expect this to have involved contact with moist dirt, yet the cartridge cases show little damage, although they are blackened somewhat beneath the thin layer of crud, and the paper bullets have even survived in pretty good condition. One of the headstamps has me stumped. I have attached pictures of two examples - it is the character at 9 o’clock that I am interested in. I believe these characters on both cartridges are the same, but with the rounded surface of the head, one just does not appear to have been stamped completely. It appears to be an ‘8’ on its side with a vertical line passing through its center. The headstamps are 92 P III ??


This is a Russian letter “F” at 9 o’clock. According to MUNICION.ORG, F probably stand for France and indicates cartridge metal manufacturer.

OK, the last round which you correctly indentified as gallery, is called Tarasov cartridge. It has a 4.77 gm bullet with a hollow cavity filled with a mixture of lubricant fat and поташ which is a basic (like in acid-base) compound to counteract acidic gun powder leftovers sedimenting on the barrel so there is no rust. There are 4 holes leading from that cavity to the side surface of the projectile, so the mixture inside is squeezed out as the bullet travels towards the muzzle. This design prevented lead deposits in the rifling grooves. This Tarasov round was pretty accurate at 150 feet. It was accepted by Russian army in 1906 and was used until mid-1920’s.


I suppose “поташ” is “potash”, or potassium carbonate, the potassium equivalent of sodium carbonate which was widely used domestically as “washing soda” before the advent of detergents. Potash would certainly counteract any acid action of combustion residues.

John E


I thought the metal manufacturer was identified at 3 o’clock, with the place of manufacture at 9.


You may be right, municion.org is sometimes wrong, they have a similar headstamp, and it says
Fábrica de San Petersburgo. F = Proveedor del metal, probablemente Francia. I=1º Cuatrimestre. FOTO: DMITRY
It is image number EC0120 if you want to look at it in the website.


The problem with the Spanish site’s description is that they’ve assumed the F is in the Cyrillic alphabet (and it is, of course, since there’s no Latin letter that resembles the Greek and Cyrillic F) and the P is Latin if, as they say, it represents St. Petersburg. The Cyrillic letter resembling the Latin P is the R. White and Munhall do show headstamps with what is clearly by context a Cyrillic R in the 3 o’clock position. Something’s a little odd here. Jack


Neat stuff! Thanks for posting those. I lucked into a partial box of the coiled paper blanks a handful of years ago on ebay, but I’ve never seen one of the inside lubed bullets other than in books.


Do you have a picture of the box you could post? What date(s) are your blanks?


Dates from 1899 to 1905.


Great box. Thanks.


Could someone explicate the box label? I thought maybe the X on the left represents 10 and that the blob on the right might be a badly executed Cyrillic SH and indicate “Rounds.” Any thoughts? I also thought I could see stab crimps in a couple of the necks that suggested these were reloads from cases once loaded with bullets. Is that reasonable? Jack


X may also be “Kh” like in Spanish “Joven” or Russian “Холостой” which mean “Blank” like in “blank round”.


X means “Хиртенберг”.This cartridge was manufactured on Hirtenberger Cartridge Factory ( Hirtenberger Patronen, Zundhütchen und Metallwarenfabrik, Hirtenberg.Austria) under a contract with Russia at 1906. Also there are other headstaps with “X” .( X 05 and X 09)
I have only this


Thanks, and what is “Ш” on the right?


The idea that the two marks on the label at the left and right represent KH and SH and indicate “Blank Rounds” seems plausible to me. I do understand that X in a Russian headstamp at the time of the Russo-Japanese War indicates the Hirtenberger firm of Austria, but, as I noted earlier, it seems these blank cartridges were made by reloading used cartridge cases. Therefore it seems to me the X on the label and the X on a headstamp probably have different meanings. Thanks to everyone for your interest and ideas. Jack


Jack, I don’t think these are blanks, they would hurt you at short distance.


The paper bulleted cartridges being discussed are definately blanks. Any blank could hurt you at a short distance.


The indentification of the paper bullets as blanks was given earlier in this thread & I have accepted that identification. I will point out, however, that many blanks, especially those using paper or wood “bullets” are capable of inflicting severe injuries within several feet of the muzzle. With a fast burning powder like pistol powder a blank with no more “bullet” than a cardboard disc or a small piece of toilet paper can inflict dangerous wounds when fired close to a human target. Jack


The cartridge cases that came in this box definitely look to be reloads. There is a mix of headstamps and the crimps that you point out look like they were smoothed out during resizing. There were none of the “X” headstamps in this box.