7.62x54r ZP (Sectioned)

My favorite sectioned cartridge.

I love being able to post pics here now!


Excellent pic, nicely cropped and well lit. I am jealous!

Ha Ha, I did that “pic” with my $99 HP scanner!


I really gotta get techie!

What’s the flip side look like ?

Very nicely done :-)

The correct designation today will be “PZ” (Pristrelni-Zazhegatelnyi) Spotter-Incendiary). “ZP” the cartridge was designated till 1941 by the army whilst the air force designated it “PZ”. In 1941 a common designation was agreed and from then on it was the “PZ”.

EOD–Philippe Regenstreif in his book “Munitions Sovietiques et des Pays de L’est” calls this a Type ZR (Zajigatelnaia-Razrivnaia). He says the ZP designation is a miss-readsing of the Cyrillic letters. He does mention the name change to PZ but does not say what year it changed. Glad to have that piece of information.

Ron, Philippe’s book reflects the knowledge of it’s time (1983). Since then (24 years) many things came to light even in the west and all those reading Russian can find almost daily new info in books, manuals and the internet. Not to mention Russian’s which are allowed today to be interested in this matter and have a great amount of knowledge (some are here in the forum). So far I was lucky to deal with all of these sources. (there is no week without stunning new details - I love it)

The predecessors of the “multi purpose” PZ (ZP) were the “Z” incendiary and the “P” observation projectiles. They had the same physical design and just their fillers varied. The “Z” had a red tip and was loaded with incendiary composition only. The “P” had a white tip and was loaded with white phosphorous. In 1935 when technology (well, chemistry) allowed a combination of both the PZ (ZP) was made.
As said the designation was then unified in 1941 to “PZ”.

“ZR” as an official designation I never came across in Russian documents. Likely it is a double miss-transcription since the Russian (cyrillic) “R” looks like our “P”. Miss-transcriptions are far more spread than one would think.
The no1 is the : “it looks like on of our letters so it does not need transcription”.
Another problem is the different transcription between many languages. Means Russian transcripts into English different than into German or French (or other languages). Then people use a designation they got for example from an English book and use it in German or an other language and wether start distributing “wrong info” or just cause confusion or in the worst case “invent” new designations. In the past I have observed terrible cases.

EOD–So, rounds with a red bullet tip dated up to 1934 should be designated Type “Z”, Those with white tip are Type “P”. those with red tip dated 1935-1940 should be called Type “ZP” and dates starting with 1941 should be identified as Type 'PZ". Is all this correct? You said the Air Services used Type 'PZ" starting with 1935. How do you tell Ground Service Ammo from Air Service?

Ron, 1935-1940/41 are PZ (air force) and ZP (army). I did not say that the air force started using the PZ in 1935 - check above. The rest is correct.

How to tell apart “PZ” and “ZP” I can’t say by claiming a source in this particular case but the ammo considered to be for the air force was likely for the ShKAS machine guns - I do not think right now that non-ShKAS was ever air force ammo (indeed, would be interesting to know). For the air force the regular markings apply (letter “Sh” in hs and ring crimped primer and sometimes double crimped projectile). The boxes then had also the “ShKAS” markings and when synchronized a red propeller on the box.
Here an image of a box with non synchronized ShKAS ammo - the “PZ” is visible:


This particular Soviet cartridge is of post-WWII manufacture, has a red tip and the filler is not WP. Is it still a “PZ”?


Correct! It is THE “PZ”.

With WP it should be a pre war “Z” with white tip. As said above.

Great post! I love the sectioned cartridge and the info here is much appreciated.

Thanks for the great information EOD. None of my reference materials even mention a white tipped 7.62x54r besides the much later produced “reference” loads.


AKMS, there is a lot of information which never made it to the light in the west. This is just one very little thing of it.