Current Russian/Rosoboroexport 7.62x39 configuration


I was wondering, does Russia still produce the M43 style projectile in its currently manufactured 7.62x39 ball offering?

I saw a quantity of Vympel headstamped 7.62x39 that was being issued to the ANA in Afghanistan, that was laqured steel cased, lead core with the big air gap in the nose. And was wondering why that was what the big ‘DoD contract by proxie’ ammo used in Iraq and Afghanistan was using as projectiles. Has this FMJ-BT lead core round with the significant airspace in the tip replaced the old M43 type ball as the export round of choice, potentially due to its increased wounding capibilitys? Or did the proxie DoD contract possibly stipuluate that this was the desired loading? Or could it possibly actually be that this is the new production for export ball loading of choice?

Has anyone had any experience ever finding M43 projectiles loaded into 2006/7/8/9 production ammunition? These rounds i have been exposed to were packed in generic white battlepack type packaging in cardboard boxes with wolf similar lot numbers 1000 rounds at a time. I know that the Russians are not producing this round for current use by themselves due to large unused military stocks of M43 ammunition for the cold war that never happened.

I have a few examples of the rounds, and they appear to be exactly the same as what is being commercially packaged and sold in the US as the ‘Golden Tiger’ line.


Do these rounds have the commercial Vympel headstamp?

I suspect that the US is simply taking ammunition made on the commercial line with no specific regard to the projectile type.

This could also explain why Golden Tiger supply here in the US has been sporadic. Sounds like they have been filling government orders over commercial ones…



me262, your observation is interesting.
According to Russian sources 7.62x39 with special loads are still made for their MIA (like OMON troops and police) and likely for their FSB too.
Hard to say what has been bought from Russia since they will deliver anything ordered in reasonable qty. or just “ball” off the shelf when the customer wanted it to be quick.
Have you got images of these rounds and boxes?


The headstamp reads 7,62x39 over a symbol that looks like a B that i have seen in German script. I have a few rounds, but no pictures of the packaging. I came into contact with them some time ago before i was into the collecting game as i am now. They were packed in thin plastic ‘battlepacks’ with white generic boxes of 20 rounds, similar to what the newer Klimovosk and Ulyanovosk commercial stuff used to come in before Wolf and Bear. All inside a 1000 round cardboard box marked with date/lot information.

My main question was if the Russians are still producing M43 type ball for contract, of if this is what is their new default projectile. Also, what is the correct designation for this type of projectile?


That script “B” is a Cyrillic “V” for Vympel. I can’t answer your question directly, but the M-43 seems to be listed in fairly recent Russian manufacturer’s websites. Either it is still in production, or is available at a customer’s request.

Edit to add the nomenclature “PRL” (EOD beat me to it!).

Without a sectioned view of the PRL and the GT rounds here in the US and those in A-stan, it’s not possible to say if they all use the same bullet type.

My sectioned “Vympel” (means “banner” or flag in Russian) FMJ round has the same style boat-tailed lead core projectile with large airspace as that made by Tula in their Wolf line.


me262, the Vympel logo is a “B” (V in latin) with a small flag inside (which has two pointed ends inside the 2 bows of the B).
Here it is:

I’d guess that if someone is ordering “ball” he will get it but not to forget that there are recent Russian developments like the “PRS” (anti ricochet) which by the way is known to be made by Vympel. So unless we have a definitive ID on the cartridges in question it is hard to say more and even if we knew almost noone besides Vympel or ANA procurement folks could tell us.

And as often said, please add images to ID requests or detailed technical questions like here (cutaway of projectile would be helpfull).


I don’t have a cutaway, but as i said i retained a few loose rounds, one of which i pulled down and cut with bolt cutters (the projectile) and found the lead core and gap in the tip. The headstamp is (as far as i can tell) identical to the above picture.

It is my rather loose understanding that this particular lot was funded by the US DoD and procured by the ANA under a US DoD directive for new production ball, after the mishaps with the bad press that came from a large number of corroded/dud rounds that was sold to the DoD for use in Afganistan by a company in Florida, which was buying old scrap chinese ammunition from depot’s in Albania, and selling it to the DoD as new.

Anyway, so has anyone actually encountered a late (post 1995 or so) Russian M43 loading?


Anyway, so has anyone actually encountered a late (post 1995 or so) Russian M43 loading?[/quote]

Just show dummies.