Czech 7.62 ZM43 subcaliber spotter

The ZM 43 spotter-tracer for RPG-7 subcaliber training is a known Czech collector cartridge and is the same idea as the ZM75 loaded into a .32 auto case.

Question is: Can these ZM43 loads in 7.62x39 cases be fired reliably in an AK or SKS, or is their pressure too low to cycle the action? Also, I presume they are typical corrosive-primed?

A 500rd lot of this stuff just sold on Gunbroker a few days ago for $813 + shipping, and I’m worried the poor chap who won (with a feedback of 3) will probably be disappointed to learn that these might not cycle an AK, or any semi-auto gun in that caliber. All of the bids above the $369 mark were just two guys with 6 feedback or less going back & forth against each other in a frenzy. The guy could have had 500rds of new non-corrosive tracers from UNammo for $325…

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Matt these are not explicit subcaliber cartridges but just regular practice loads for any M43 chambered small arm.

I’ve fired several hundred out of a WASR 10 with no problems cycling and 100% ignition on the tracers.

I’ve pulled out couple of thousands of these tracer bullets to be used in Tokarev rounds - I agree with noodles1 that the tracer compound is reliable in 100%.
Gained powder can be used in 223cal with 55grs bullet…last but not least…primed cases for blanks😃. It’s good source of components for reloaders.

Also nice to shoot from a vz-58. Nice muzzle flash and eazy to keep on target in full auto. Hardly any recoil at all.

But do not take for granted that tracer bullets intended for rifles will work when loaded into pistol cases.

Pistol tracer bullets usually have a different ignitioin compound to make up for the much lower ignition parameters while rifle tracer bullets may be hard to ignite in short barrels and at lower pressures.

Alex, be sure it works :-) - it’s the same bullet like in 7,62-zm-75 (7.65 BrC with the same tracer bullet)


Tomas, I did not doubt these to work and of course not doubting what you say. I just wanted people to be aware that pulled down rifle tracer bullets (other calibers and manufacturers) simply may not work in pistols.

is not about these 7.62/7.65 tracer but i heard that 9mm tracer israeli (1970/1980) doesn’t work on pistols ???

So just to clarify, these are just tracer and not spotter rounds?

These are low-weight projectiles with tracer cups. They’re meant for short range training. Made in 7,62x54R, 7,62x45, and 7,62x39 to my knowledge.
There is also a similar load without the tracer, which has only a white bullet tip marking.


KaptainsSurplus, no, not related to spotters at all.

Oh ok, thanks guys. Was hoping that they were the spotters and cycle through semi rifles.

What is the translation of “Zm” in regards to this cartridge?

Did this cartridge exist in 7.62x39mm before the RPG7 trainer device? Or was it created to be used solely in the RPG7 trainer? I have seen a page out of the Czech manual that specifies this cartridge (Zm-43) is the only one used in the trainer (VH-7A).

There appear to be two types of this trainer, VH-7 and VH-7A, one with a red rocket head and one with a yellow. Is it correct that one is for the 7.62x39mm T-45 type tracer and the other for the 7.62x39mm Zm43 tracer and that the modified rifling to replicate the rocket’s trajectory is different for the two different rounds?

Is there any documentation that this cartridge was intended to be used in any other arms?

“Zm” stand for “Zaměřovací” (singular) or “Zaměřovacího” (plural).

According to ammunition and rifle manuals from 1961-62, this cartridge was meant to be used in vz. 58, vz. 52/57 rifles and subcalibers.

According to a subcaliber manual from 1970, the only cartridge to be used in the 7A is the Zm-43.



Thank you for that information.

Do you know what cartridge is specified for the VH-7 subcaliber trainer?

What is the translation of “Zm” in English? I’ve seen the Czech word in your reply translated as “Aiming” or “Practice Ammunition”.

Why is this cartridge not referred to as “RdSv” - using the Czech abbreviations for “reduced range” and “tracer”? Is this cartridge not a reduced range tracer?

I have seen a US government presentation referring to this load as “Observation”.

Very confusing…

The mystery of how/why this sudden quantity of ZM43 and ZM75 ammo is showing up by the crate load in the U.S. is partially solved. I received my crate of ZM43 today, and the return address was from Dan’s Ammo in Apollo, PA, which is not far from where the seller on Gunbroker was located. The name of the person I dealt with was not Dan, but in any case it’s either them, or someone who deals with them. The Dan’s Ammo website does not show this ammo anywhere n the site, but it might be something they have had for a long time.

Dan’s is a great site for a few things, notably for having shipping containers full of 26.5mm Czech flares & smoke, and .410 Enfield musket crates, so it figures that they would have crates of this Czech ammo as well, maybe have for years. Their website is a delightful travel back in time to 1998 in style terms, but it works, and the inventory is current…

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The Gunbroker auction prices are dropping as more of this ammo is coming to market. One seller has sealed cases for $850 each.

“Nice” price for surplussed short range tracers…