9x39 I.D. please

Do I have a AP cartridge here ?

Yes, but a 9x39.

Thanks Alex

And it is a SP-6 like TCW is making them. Do not get confused by the PAB-9.

This Tula variant is not designated SP-6 but 7N12.



Fede, agreed, though it is often referred to as such or to be correct it is the “BP”.

Both the SP-6 and 7N12 are referred as “BP” by Tula, but the cartridge shown above should not be referred as the SP-6.

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That’s right, 7N12 - BP, but SP6 does not have a “BP” (“БП”) designation (only “SP6”), but really AP.
And SP6 has no bottom marks (no headstamps)

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Don’t confuse the GRAU (7Nxx) index with the cartridge designation!
7N9 is “9mm special cartridge SP6 gs” with armor piercing bullet and steel case
7N12 is “9mm assault rifle cartridge BP gs” with “BP” armor piercing bullet and steel case

I think that the BP anomaly comes from that AP bullets generally referred as BP (бронебойной пулей)

7N9 is not SP6. SP6 don’t have GRAU index.
7N9 is “9x39 SPP sniper” (СПП) - sniper AP

Sometimes there are more items under the same index

The history of 7N8 / 7N9 indices has some questions. Perhaps they at some experimental stage, these indices could belong to cartridges SP5 / SP6, but there is no evidence for this yet. Information about this is found only in one source in the book (magazine) without specifying sources. When adopting SP5 / SP6 cartridges, GRAU indices were not assigned.

corrected myself and deleting the text.

From ammunition handbook 2003 (7N23 for example)


It is worth to note that SP* are not GRAU indexes; those were assigned by KGB / FSB, starting with SP-1 and now running beyond SP-16…

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So Maxim, you say that the GRAU indexes are assigned to the military ammunition, while "SP"s designations are, as you mentioned above, assigned to other armed forces? Or SPs are just some experimentals which haven’t yet got a GRAU index?
Then the designations like BP, PS, T-45 etc. are about the bullet capability similarly to the English usage of AP, API, T etc.?

First, KGB and its successors like FSB and FSO are not “armed forces”. Those are state security / law enforcement forces, but it’s a side note.
As separate services, they can issue their own designations for weapons, ammunition and equipment which are developed specifically for them, and not taken out of the military pipeline.
Good examples are 9x21 SP-10 / 11 / 12 ammunition and weapons to fire them, the SR-1M pistol and SR-2M submachine gun.

BP, PS, T-45 mean type of projectile
For example, there are numerous cartridges with BP (Armor Piercing) or PS (Standard ball, with steel core) type bullets, in different calibers, each having its own GAU / GRAU index.
Normally, end users do not need to know the GRAU index to choose proper ammo, only the caliber (cartridge type) and bullet type. I.e. 7.62x39 PS or 5.45x39 BP or 7.62x54R BT, which are marked on the packaging
As an example, packages below contain 5.45mm BP (Armor Piercing) ammo, GRAU index 7N22

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Great answer! But there is still something unclear to me… The indexes like SP5 and SP6 act as the 7Nxx indexes from the same GRAU system? Are SPxx indexes from the GRAU system?

It is still not clear why, after military adoption of 9x39 system (VSS sniper rifle and AS assault rifle) GRAU has assigned its indexes to weapons (6P29 for VSS and 6P30 for AS) but failed to assigns its indexes to ammunition initially. Only during early 2000s 7N* indexes were assigned to slightly improved versions of the original SP-5 and SP-6 ammunition.
Other examples of FSB/GRAU indexin are 9x21 ammo; Originally used only by FSB, it had SP-10/11/12 designations. When, much later, adopted by military, it received GRAU indexes such as 7N28 and 7N29 (note that military has not adopted the expanding bullet version of this load, for obvious reasons)

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Now I understand. Thank you for the answer, Maxim.