7,62x39 A.P.incendairy


I like to show a nice box with the API cartridge
made by El Shoubra, Caïro, Egypte.


Nice box. Am I correct in assuming that nobody produces API loads in 7.62x39 anymore, or 5.45x39 at all? Was it deemed to be unneeded or just did not perform well?


Matt, in 5.45 they never existed I guess (at best only experimental ones).

The 7.62x39 API “BZ” (“57-BZ-231”) was for the RPK and RPD machine guns together with the spotter “PZ” (“57-Z-231”, which is an I-T in reality). Both weapons are not in use anymore what makes the cartridges superfluous.
Today in Russia the API is used only for training purposes since all cartridges in stock are expired.

Here again a question to our hs masters; what is the last known year on Russian API cartridges?


In my files the latest is a Romanian 324 94.



Hans, thanks a lot but I meant Russian ones.



if RPK’s and RPD’s obsoletion made them obsolete they must have had enormous stocks of the API - or nothing made later leaked into collector hands. In my files the latest API are 539 ★ 58 ★ and 711 60.



I tested some against mild steel plate and found the AP performance to be minimal. Perhaps the Soviets decided that the cost vs. performance of this cartridge made it not worth producing any longer. But on the other hand, the Chinese made it at least into the late 1980’s, so they must have been happy with it.

“711 60” is the latest Soviet headstamp I know of as well.