7.62x39mm black-tip AP?

A quick search didn’t get me any results; mods please delete if this is old hat or duplicitous.

A body armor company showed a YouTube vid where their AR500 plates are placed in a carrier on a dummy and shot 3x with a VZ 7.62x39 rifle. The ad claims the rounds are ‘armor-piercing’, the bullets do have a black tip, and they do attract to a magnet.

My question is are their any commonly available 7.62x39mm loads with a black tip and/or true AP? If it’s a standard MSC/M43 pill then it’s no more ‘AP’ than tons of the ComBlock stuff I’ve shot during demos. I don’t recall any black-tip-only stuff, just API with a few different color combos over the years.

They don’t show a box, case stamp, etc. Thanks for any info gents

South Africa advertised a black-tip AP loading in 7.62x39, but I have only ever seen sales samples; probably just dipped ball rounds. PRC did make black-tip API rounds. Perhaps that is what was shown on the vid.

I have a 7,62 x 39 mm round I thought was AP, but now I’m unsure…
Stepped bullet, very magnetic, black tip. No lacquer around case mouth. Black lacquer around primer. Deep green lacquer on steel case.
HS: 71 69.

As far as I know “71” is some Chinese factory.

  • Ole

Absolutely nothing to do with the question but . . .

Usually, you can tell an AP from a steel jacket with a magnet and a trained touch. If a bullet is both AP and steel jacketed you’d have to slice it open to see.

BTW, the 7.62x39 AP/steel jacketed bullet was the first rifle cartridge that was banned from import and sales under the 86 GCA.


Here’s the cartridge I was talking about.

Not the greatest pictures but I was in a hurry.

  • Ole

Looks lika a chinese API.

Yes, definitely a Chinese API round.

Finland did make a true AP load with a black tip in 7.62x39mm. I would not call them commonly available, as in for the general public, but I don’t think those in cartridge collector circles would have much trouble finding a few. I’ve seen and/or had at one time or another several different variations with and without an exposed core, but all with a black tip and a brass case. I can not think off the top of my head of any other genuine “AP” (not API) in this caliber with a black tip. Excepting for the Chinese API as was mentioned above of course.

If the demonstrators were using black tipped Chinese API, the flash and puff of white smoke at impact would be plenty obvious.

Since the BATFE has classified M43 steel core ball as “AP” it is not “technically” incorrect to call it as such, although it is a little disingenuous… if that is in fact what they were using…


The Russian “BP” 7N23 AP also has a black tip but I guess noone has access to these in the US (and almost all other places).