9x18: 7N25 AP and SP-7 JHP


two latest additions to my humble collection, relatively recent 7N25 (seel-core AP) and SP-7, old, Soviet-era JHP, developed for KGB use, with polyethlene filling of the expansion cavity

Unfortunately, both are fired specimens, but you have what you have…


Max - they are just as interesting fired as if not. Perhaps more, since you can see the unusual shape of the base of the bullet of the AP round. I had not seen that version before. I have an inerted specimen of an earlier type.

Any information about Russian military proof loads?


Max - Just saw the mention of the proof loads on another thread. Thanks for the reply. It seems this information is simply not available.


Max, did you measure the diameter of that 7N25? To me it looks maybe like a 9x19 7N31.


no, i haven’t measured it, but bullet shape with rounded base looks right for 7N25

right now most of mu stuff is put away due to repair in my room; but I eventually plan to measure and weight this bullet - the 7N31 bullet must be a bit heavier that 7N25: 4.1 vs 3.6 gram


The 7N31 has exactly the same base.


Max this is 100% 7N31’s bullet not 7N25. Here you can see the difference: ammo-collection.com/index.php?ti … 0%91%D0%9C
And here you can compare it with 7N31: ammo-collection.com/index.php?ti … 0%91%D0%9F


It looks to be the version of 7N31 shown on the far left of this lineup (Yuri’s photo):

Still a rare & desirable projectile, and it should be easy enough to find an appropriate matching empty case for it.


Max has the second from the left projectile. In fired projectiles penetrators a little move forward and bullet become longer wgat we can see on photo.


so, it appears that seller screwed me up a bit on the 7N25 deal… Not the first time, nor last, I’m afraid.
but, at least, i hope that the SP-7 is genuine…


That is good information to know. I had assumed that a core like that would, if anything, move further back into the projectile if it remained within it or just remain static, which led me to compare to the one on the left.

Thanks again Yuri


Max - I am not quite sure what your polyethlene-filled HP bullet is. I have the SP-8 cartridge, headstamped “38 87” and the eip is similar to your bullet. I note the case that came with your bullet is dated “83” however. But, I also have a pulled bullet, complete with red case-mouth seal, and my bullet is shorter and does not have the shallow boat-tail of your bullet. Mine is flat based. Measurements as follows:

Height (Length of bullet): 0.441" (11.2 mm)
Diameter: 0.3625" (9.2 mm)
Weight: 61.5 grains (3.98 grams)
Overall cartridge weight: 118.5 grains (7.69 grams)

My round seems to match very closely the SP-8 cartridge developed for tractical groups of the KGB by TSNIITOCHMASH. However, the SP-8 is usually described as having a purple-paint bullet tip, and mine does NOT.

The SP-7 has been described to me by Russian sources as “High Velocity Cartridge, with plastic core, flat bullet meplat, violet or black tip. No hollow point is included in that description, and the “flat meplat” sounds like a flat-nose FMJ bullet to me. I have a round in my collection, headstamped “38 70” that side from having no color tip, somewhat matches the description of the SP-7. I am loathe to ull the bullet, since this appears to be a very rare cartridge. Mine has the usual red primer seal from Yuryusan, but no case mouth seal. However, neither case nor bullet show any signs of tampering. The bullet must be very light, perhaps around 55 grains (3.57 grams) because the overall cartridge weight is only 11.4 grains (7.22 grams). The bullet is GM (non-magnetic) FMJ flat point, with the sides of the bullet having a rounded ogive. The bullet measures 9.15 mm (.0.3605”) measured at the case mouth. The flat tip is 5.70 mm (0.2245") in diameter. The projectile has almost an identical shap to the cartridge we believe is the SP-8, with exposed polyethlene core. The overall cartridge length is 24.11 mm (0.2245") as close as I can measure it.

As I mentioned, this second round matchs well with the description of the SP-7 that I received, with the exception of having no tip color. It is only fair to mention here that Yuri, when I wrote him about this cartridge, had no knowledge of it and felt it might not be a factory round. I tend to disagree with that assumption. It is hard for me NOT to blieve that this round is related to the round described above, that I believe to be a form of the SP-8 round. The belief that the SP-8 rounds were evidently developed and loaded by Klimovsk on Yuryusan cases makes the headstamp dates less significant.

I would welcome any other opinions on these rounds.

To sum up Max, I am not familiar at all with the polyethrene-core bullet you have, but again, it could also be part of the development of the SP-8.


7N25 & 7N31


SP7 & SP8


mpopenker, Just for info, I went back and measured the cases in your original photo. The case on the left seems to me to be a 9x19mm case and the one on the right a 9x18mm case.

The SP-7 bullet (Hooke’s post & mpopenker’s photo) looks pretty long to be for the 9x18mm. Is it possible that it is actually a bullet for the 9x19mm case?



Here is description of SP-7: ammo-collection.com/index.php?ti … %A1%D0%9F7

And SP-8: ammo-collection.com/index.php?ti … %A1%D0%9F8

And here is photo:

SP-7 on the left (black tip) and SP-8 on the left (deep purple tip).

The difference between bullets (except length and weight) is what SP-7 has brass jacket (bullet 100% is not magnetic) and SP-8 SCW jacket (bullet is magnetic).

Both of them are 100% PM loadings and no such special bullets for 9x19 are known.

I suppose SP-7 has brass jacket and is lighter than SP-8 and has speed more than 400 m/s to cause more expansive effect on hit.


Yuri - I see that the SP-7 is a hollow-point bullet style. I still wonder where that leaves my FMJ flat point version? The bullet shares the shape of the SP-7 and SP-8 bullets at the part of the bullet that protrudes from the case on a loaded round. It is so light weight it must have a core of some material other than lead or steel, but is certainly not just an empty bullet jacket, and like the SP-7, one of each I don’t have for direct comparison or I would gamble and pull the bullet on my round, the bullet is NOT magnetic.

The date is much earlier than the SP-8, and if the “83” date on Max’s round is correct, still much earlier than it, although I wonder if one can go by headstamp dates, if it is true that Klmovsk loaded these rounds simply using Ulyanovsk cases. Do you know if that is a fact - that is, the Klmovsk developed and loaded the SP-7 and SP-8 rounds???

If anyone else has any knowledge of the FMJ FP lightweight bullet round that I have, I sure could use some help on its identity, since it cannot be an SP-7.


Earlier than SP7 and SP8 appeared RG028. RG028 is similar SP7. Perhaps your bullet earlier analogue SP8. SP7, SP8 and RG028 developed TSNIITOCHMASH.


RG028 is different. It has steel core.


RG028 is different. It has steel core.[/quote]
similar in use and not by design :)