7.62x39 FMJ Ball Variations

I have revised my list of Load Types to break down the different FMJ ball types.

I have the following. If you know of any other FMJ Ball types, please let me know.:


Lots of military lead core ball ammo.

Jon–OK, so maybe I should differentiate military lead core ball from civilian by saying Military Headstamp or Commercial Headstamp. Would that work?

Ron, I would add lead core ball with GM and GMCS jackets to the military category. In the military section, these are all basicly flat based, but in commercial/sporting, you will find both flat based and boattail in GM and GMCS. The one military exception I know of would be a GM jacketed, lead core, boattail FMJ made by NWM for military or police export.

Realisticly though, I don’t see any real difference between a military lead core FMJ and a “sporting” one. They are both lead core FMJ… plus, some “sporting” ammunition has a “military” headstamp and vice-versa.


AKMS–I guess my main reason to split them between Military and Sporting is to pick up those made with a lead core primarily for export to the U.S. I guess the best I can do is assume if it has a Military Headstamp it is Military (regardless if it is packaged for commercial sale). Once out of the box and without pulling it down I don’t see how you tell if it was Military or Sporting. I will also assume if it has a commercial style headstamp that it is a sporting round.

OK, I see your point. The “Wolf” brand FMJ made by Tula is a good example of a lead core FMJ made specificly for the civilian market, that is obviously a commercial round by it’s headstamp. A notable exception that confuses the issue is the Russian “711 93” headstamped lead core FMJ. It has a LS case, no case mouth or primer seals and comes in a plain, un-marked military type 20 round box. The lead core projectile uses the normal M-43 type jacket, giving it a weight of approx 150 gr. as opposed to the normal 123-125 gr. weight of the average ball projectile. Outward appearance is that of a military ball round, but in fact it appears to be a cartridge made specificly for the commercial market.

Another oddity is the Chinese “31 90” lead core FMJ. This round is identified by a green case mouth seal, apparently used by factory “31” to identify lead core production. Dates after 1990 are flat-based lead core and packaged in commercial boxes. The 1990 dated rounds are in military wrappers or on SKS clips in wrappers. The projectile is unique in that it uses the M-43 jacket with a lead core in the rear and a hollow space in the tip. This tip space is filled with tiny, white plastic balls. So, these rounds would be classified as military lead core boat-tail FMJ, but sold commercially as surplus.

The Bulgarians also made lead core FMJ for the commercial market, with the typical military type headstamp, identified by a green case mouth seal (coincidence?). I’ve also seen green sealed Bulgarian FMJ that came out of Afghanistan. So it appears to be a case here where the same type of cartridge has been exported for both military and commercial use!

AKMS–Ok, here is my revised list of FMJ Ball type loads:


At the risk of beating a dead horse over the CWS vs GMCS issue, I personally think that all are GMCS. I do not think one can tell the difference unless you had actual factory production specifications for the cartridge in question.

As for the SE projectiles, they appear to be a solid projectile, no jacket, but I have not sectioned one to confirm.

Just thought about another variation. The Czechs loaded a M-43 type ball projectile with a bonderized and/or lacquered steel jacket. No copper/GM at all.

Sporting ball, lead core can be found with both GM and GMCS jackets.


AKMS–OK, so now we have the following types of ball bullets


It is a solid bullet with a shallow cavity in the base.

@Old Cartridge-Sawmill: if you ever run across one of those please have mercy and keep in mind there are more gentle ways to investigate and only very few of those around!


Ron, yes, as far as we know.

Their reason is told by a few former CSSR sources as: productions lines were kept ready for operation during times of armed conflict, prepared to mass-produce this type of ammo at short notice. Those lines were set up and operated only sometimes in order to guarantee they were prepared for when they were needed. After the limited machine runs the packed ammunition was issued and treated like GMCS ammo. I think it was the aym 66 which I saw coming from a flat style (opposed to the brick style) boxes which just like a GMCS at that time had no markings on it.

Known years are
aym 66 through 69
bxn 60, 71, 88, 89 (someone spoke of a 90 too)