A Finnish 7,62x54R AP Box with French bullets

Here is a neat Finnish box I recently found. The rounds are brass cased VPT 40 with French AP bullets.

Can anyone translate the over-stamp on the label?



If the projectiles are the black ones with the small groove then these are extremely rare. Congratulations!

Hi EOD, yes, they are the black ones with groove just above the case mouth.

I hadn’t seen them before finding this box.


May we see a visual of the bullet? Also, why did Finns use French bullets in 1940?

Vlad, back in 1940 Finland was basically short of anything as they were struggling in war with Russia. Finland bought literally every gun and cartridge they could find on the internatinal market and even wealthy people donated material they purchased elswhere for the defense of Finland.

This is the reason why there are several imported 7.62mm projectiles (also .303 were used to load 7.62x54R cartridges) are to be found on Finnish cases.
Also when you look at the armament Finland was using those days you will see a wide range of arms from half the world in a variety of calibers, that includes lots of “surplus” which was available back then already.

Hi Vlad,

Here is a picture.

7.62x54R Finnish AP 1_zpsopit2w5v.jpg~original

Headstamp is VPT 40


So are these repurposed 7.5 m/m bullets or what? Jack

Supposedly yes.

I’m a bit confused on this since recently published books on Finnish ammunition do not mention 7.5mm AP bullets being used in 7.62x54mmR cartridges. In the book Legacy of the Three Line Cartridge, 7.62mm x 54R Cartridges in Finland 1918 to 1945 (Pitkanen & Simpanen, 2014), I could find no mention of French 7.5mm AP bullets loaded into 7.62x54mmR cartridges. But on page 79 the authors state the following: “… during the Winter War VPT was forced to load 7.62 mm armor-piercing cartridges using .303 armor-piercing and armor-piercing-tracer bullets obtained from disassembled WW1 vintage ammunition”.
Could a possible source for the .303 AP bullets be the .303 AP cartridges mentioned in the book Cartridges from All Over the World, Military Rifle and Machine Gun Ammunition in Finland Prior to 1945 Other than 7.62mm x 54R, (Pitkanen & Simpanen, 2015)? On page 41 the authors state the following :”…1917–1918 vintage American U.S. Cartridge Co. loaded cartridges with French armor-piercing and armor-piercing-tracer bullets were used by the Air Force”.


The AP bullet loaded in this cartridge was pulled from French WWI vintage .303 cartridges (Puteaux design).

One aspect I did not realize until looking it up is the actual diameter of the French 7.5mm bullet is 7.8mm and the actual diameter of the .303 is 7.8mm.


These cartridges were indeed loaded using French AP bullets pulled from WW I vintage American .303 aircraft ammunition.

The over-stamp means just “Armor-piercing bullet”. This is really an interesting box and we have never seen it before!

Mika, the cartridges from which these AP bullets came from are actually not American but French loads that used French, US and British cases.

Also, here is a nice color drawing from the 1947 instruction sheet:



Well, that’s an interesting story; thanks to all. Jack

Yes, you are probably right with this. The .303 cartridges with WW I era French AP and AP-T bullets found in Finland have ALL been with U.S. Cartridge Co headstamps from 1917 and 1918.