A 7,62 x 54R gauge used in the Fábrica de Toledo, Spain


The Fábrica Nacional de Toledo manufactured 7,62 x 54R ball ammunition up to 1950, for the armament in that caliber brought to the civil war by the republicans. In 1940 there were 166,000 rifles, 6,405 light machine guns and 3,648 machine guns in that caliber in the spanish inventories. There were also 180 millions of cartridges of various types (in this caliber only - the total war booty was about 1,136 millions of rounds).

Guns in that caliber were finally not retained for service and were sold as surplus to the Interarms company in 1959-60 and 1965-66. Before that, many Mosin-Nagant rifles were sold to the Finnish government.

Some cartridges made at Toledo are from soviet cases with the original raised headstamp erased and re-stamped F.N.T., but the last lots were made with domestic components. The last known lot (to me) is headstamped F. N. T. 50 and the case is copper-washed although is made of brass.

Here’s a gauge used at the Toledo factory for checking the dimensions of finished cartridges. It is a cut-out machine gun barrel, from a soviet Maxim I believe.

Note that there’s a gap in the shoulder where the case does not meet the steel. The pictured cartridge is an old model one, headstamped (L 27) in cyrillic. I have tried some other cartridges from several countries and the gap is smaller but it’s still there.

I don’t know if this is a feature of the Maxim chamber or the chamber is worn out. I don’t think so becausee the rifling and the forcing cone seem to be in good condition.




Schneider: It is part of a Maxim barrel. The clearance of the shoulder of the case at the front is relatively insignificant in this caliber, since it is a rimmed case and headspaces on the rim rather than the shoulder. Interesting artifact, and I’ve never seen a Spanish-made 7.62 m/m rimmed cartridge, tho many ex-Soviet ones were imported to the U.S. from Spain, as you say, in the late 1950s. Jack


Schneider nice item and also great info on Spanish 7.62x54R cartridges.


I posted some info on spanish Mosin ammo some time ago, but cannot find the thread, so here are three headstamps again. This cartridge was also manufactured at Sevilla in 1950 (headstamp P S 1950).




Schneider: An interesting group. The one on the left shows the effect of removing the original Russian raised headstamp quite clearly. Thanks! Jack


The Gauge made from a Maxim Barrel is a sort of “Go-No Go” simple gauge.

If there is clearance between the case shoulder and the chamber shoulder, it is “Go”;
If there is NO clearance, and the rim is clear of the breech, then it is “No-Go” as the case head-to-shoulder length is too Long .

( Problem encountered in WW I with some British 1915-16 .303 ammo made by newly established factories, and caused Jams in Ross Rifles…necessitating the “Long Chamber” fix.).

I use a similar gauge for Headspace with rimless cases (made from near new rifle barrels in various (Military) Calibres. (Blank case manufacture.)

Doc AV
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