Finnish 7,62x39 blank

At the small (but perfectly formed) ECRA meeting at Bisley last weekend I bought this Finnish 7,62x39 blue wooden bulleted blank. So far, so normal but when I had a look at the base a question sprang into my mind.

When the case is orientated in one direction it reads ‘VPT 44’ but if you turn it round it reads ‘VPT 72’. Now, even a muggins like me knows that it’s unlikely for one of these cases to have been made in 1944. What’s going on?

It doesn’t show up very well on the scan but it’s definitely ‘44’

Happy collecting, Peter

I have the same round in my collection and have always assumed that the blank was made by VPT in 1972 from an earlier round they made in 1944, and overstamped accordingly. They are known to have reworked a number of cartridges in this way, and the most likely one from a dimensional point of view would be a 7.63 Carcano.

But this one clearly wasn’t made from an Italian round, of which they imported a number, so my question would be did the Finns manufacture any of their own 7.63 Carcano ammunition, and if not, what is the most likely source of this case?

John E

This was discussed a while ago and the answer is that these 7.62x39mm cases were reformed from .303 British. It does not seem possible at first, but I and someone else here (I think) did it to prove it could be done.


AKSm, yes it is correct. They also used some other cases like 8x57 and another caliber I do not remember.

What is more economical (cheaper): to make a case de novo or to re-work an existing case of a different calibre?

I think they had not to have drawing machinery when reworking existing cases. The Finns are also known not to throw away anything and make the best possible use. Not to forget that these cases are supposedly the first which got made in this caliber (in Finland).

and we must not forget the time frame when it all happened! Finnland was far from being as wealthy then as it is today and raw material prices were way higher. Markets were much more closed and even though it might have been in today’s light an expensive venture, there was no competitor with a cheaper solution.

One must also recall that Finland used up a lot of Italian Wartime-Supplied 7,35x51 M38 ammo to make 7,62x39 Long Blanks, and even some Ball cases. This was during the early period of the acceptance of the Valmet M72? Assault Rifle (Finn upgrade of the Kalashnikov).
It was also the time Finland was retiring its older Fighter Planes, fitted with .303 MGs, and so, despite the big sales of Milsurp .303 to Interarms, they still had sufficient of it (VPT marked) to “break it down” and re-use the cases, by Turning and full sizing to make wood bullet blanks.
WE at AV Blankfire use a similar method to make various full length blanks from existing, other calibre ball cartridge cases
( eg, 6,5 Japanese from 30/06 or .270; 7,62x39 from .220 Swift,(or .303) for long blanks; 9,3x74R for 7,7x58SR Japanese long (for Type 89 Pan magazine.) The one which most closely mirrors the 303/7,62 conversion, is making .30 Carbine long blanks from 5,56x45 Cases, by re-drawing the case, trimming, sizing, and recutting the extractor groove.

We also have other fabrication methods for making successful “Long” Blanks, but they are not pertinent to this discussion.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics Film Ordnance Services
AV Blankfire P/L

Very interesting – I must have missed the earlier thread on the old Forum. As DocAv says, Finland was making .303 before WW2 for aircraft use and I have a ball round hstp “VPT 38”. This has the same small primer as the converted 1972 case, and the headstamps are of the same size and radius. It seems that reworking to 7.62x39 would have slightly reduced the thickness of the case wall just above the base, but I guess this would have been acceptable in a blank round.

John E

In my example, the case wall thickness is not affected in any way. The only thing removed is the rim and where the extractor groove is cut is well below the head area.


JJE, the case was not turned down on a lathe but “necked down” in a die and then an extractor groove got machined. So it was basically a rather simple process. (just my assumption)

First Finnish 7,62x39 ammos are loaded 1957.

I have this 40 round box


Your box contains 50 rounds is it the same kind of box ?


Hammer–Can you provide the Finnish words that “RKIV PAP PPU” stand for and a translation of them into English?

RKIV PAP PUU = Rynnäkkökivääri paukkupatruuna puuluoti = Assault Rifle blank wooden bullet

Hammer–Thank you. Is the headstamp VPT 72 ?

Gyrojet–Is the headstamp in your box VPT 74 ?

This box contain those VPT 44/VPT 71 overstamped ammos.

Here is 3 latest blank box versions: