Help with Unknown Russian Round


Please help to identify an unknown Russian round just below the 5.45 PSP UD underwater (wrong case) in picture.
Its 38mm long, 9mm at rim than tapers to 8mm, three stake for projectile and T/32 head stamp.
Thanks for any help. Kevin


This is a 7.62x39R Nagant revolver cartride with a steeper crimp for use in SMGs.
I forgot the designer’s name but this was done in the advent of the developments which finally lead to the typical Soviet series of SMGs in the early 1930s.
Finally it was decided to slightly alter the 7.63x25 Mauser cartridge and adopt it for pistols and SMGs.
The modified revolver cartridges were not needed then and issued for normal use in revolvers as only the crimp was different.
These cartridges do show up not too often but regularly.


Just checked back. The SMG for these cartridges was also by Tokarev. So it is entirly possible that Tokarev himself caused the switch to the 7.63mm Mauser which was then altered into the “7.62x25 Tokarev”.

Sure the rimmed case was not the best solution for an automatic handgun and the OAL of the altered revolver cartridge must have made any potential pistol grip a bulky thing (given the cartridge would have been used later for pistols too, maybe Tokarev had this in mind).


Here an image of the Tokarev SMG (from the web):


Does anyone have any documented material on the “alterations”
Russia did to the 7.63 x 25 mm Mauser to make it the 7.62 x 25 mm

All my collecting life, I have heard about them being two different
cartridges, but have never heard any cogent explanation
about the differences, other than the Tokarev is “hotter” than the Mauser.

Of course, different powder charge weights do not necessarily represent
any alteration to the design of a cartridge, since charge weights are dependent
on the type of powder used and its burning rate and pressure generated. Ten
cartridges of either caliber but different manufacturer could possibly
have ten different weights of powder charge, again, dependent on the powders used.

Just wondered.



IIRC initial changes from 7.63 Mauser to &.62Tok were primer and extraction groove sizes


Hi Max,

Hope all is well with you.

Regarding those two changes, different size and type primers and different
Extractor grooves and extractor-groove bevels exist within both the 7.63 Mauser
Cartridge and the 7.62 Tokarev. It makes sense that the manufacturing country
would make either to use their own norm in primer types and sizes. Regarding
extractor grooves, which I study quite intently on cartridges, sometimes they are
changed within the same caliber and manufacturer to correct feeding or extraction
and ejection difficulties with specific weapons.

I had more in mind about any specific, dramatic change of case dimensions, that aside
from National or Manufacturing Company pride, which I believe has caused many
nomenclature changes to cartridges (and many other things), would be sufficient to
justify a new cartridge name. Of course, in real life, no one has to justify a name change
unless the use of a name infringes on a copyright.

Just curiosity on my part.



In my opinion a plausible explanation for a separate, so-called “7.62 Tokarev " cartridge definition could be the change to using the same bore dimensions (min. groove 7.92 mm/ .312” accordig to CIP) as the Russian/Soviet 7.62 mm rifles have. The maximum bullet diameter is 7.90 mm. Also the leade is more than three times longer (9.80 mm) than that of the Mauser cartridge.
The 7.63 mm Mauser uses a “Western” 7.62 mm bore with a min. groove of 7.85 mm/ .309" and a maximum bullet diameter of 7.86 mm.

Apart from that the Tokarev shoulder -again according to CIP dimensions- is up to 0.44 mm forward from the Mauser shoulder, but I doubt this would have practical consequences, because the tolerance is -0.20 mm for both.

P.S. As far as I know the name “7.62 Tokarev” has not been used by the Soviet/Russian military, where it always has been the “7.62 mm Pistol Cartridge”.


John, in my relatively extensive study of the 7.62/7.63/.30x25 Mauser-Tokarev cartridge(s), I have become a firm believer that they are all the same round, and as you stated, any differences are attributable to different manufacturer/country of origin tolerances. At least I have never seen anything beyond “internet mythology” to the contrary.


Peelen - I was not aware of the actual “regulation” bullet diameters for
the 7.62 Tokarev. When I was studying this question for myself, I pulled a lot
of bullets from both calibers - I actually tried to avoid U.S.-made .30 Mauser,
since I was really looking at the question from a European designation view. I
found some overlaps in bullet diameters between the two calibers.

I did this years ago, and wish I had keep my rather crude notes on 3 x 5 cards. I
wasn’t quite so much into keeping everything in my library then, due to a much smaller
facility in my house for my library.

Even by specification, a difference in maximum bullet diameter for the two of 0.04 mm
is pretty small. The problem is, that to judge these measurements one would have to
have the manufacturing specifications not just for each producing country, but for each
producing factory, in the case of both caliber designations.

I tend to agree with JonnyC, but probably and endless argument with good points on both
sides of the question…

John Moss


John and jonnyc,
I share your view that, from an end user perspective, 7.63 Mauser and 7.62 Tokarev cartridges are practically the same.

But somehow, 7.62 Tokarev came into existence as a different caliber from 7.63 Mauser in the West. The obvious approach would be to ask CIP how and when the “7.62 Tokarev” was created. But CIP is an entity as responsive to individuals who show an interest in history of technology as FIFA, IOC or the late Josef Stalin. Apart from living in an ivory tower, the people at CIP most probably do not have the slightest idea how the 7.62 Tokarev came into their files and could not care less.

A fact is that CIP uses Russian 7.62/7.92 mm (identical to 7.62x54R and 7.62x39) bore dimensions for 7.62 Tokarev while “western” bore dimensions 7.62/7.85 (although 7.85 is a little larger than the typical 7.82 mm of a .308 Win or a .30-06) are used for 7.63 Mauser. A difference of 0.07 mm is a lot from a barrel making perspective.

I simply want to put the attention of the forum readers to the different bore dimensions as a possible or even likely expalantion why we today have 7.62 Tokarev and 7.63 Mauser in parallel. The mystery where and when 7.62 Tokarev dimensional tables came into being remains unsolved. And the practical interchangeability of the real world cartridges in both calibers is without doubt also.


Peelen - thank you. Your input is always welcome. I agree completely
with your assessment of CIP, by the way, and your suggestion on bullet
diameters and primers woke me up to a whole new line of thought for my
answer. My thoughts may have gone in a different direction, but it is
suggestions from members like you and some others that get most of us
to put on our thinking caps and “look beyond the shadows.” Sometimes
we are led to agreement, and sometimes not, but the whole process is probably
the most valuable aspect of this Forum.

Thank you! :-)



Not sure if anecdotal information really helps here, but here it is.
Czarist officers would buy their own pistols and many apparently liked the C96, the Mauser “Bolo” model supposedly made for Russian purchasers. The Russians imported 7.63 Mauser ammo for these pistols, and at some point in the 1920s the Bolsheviks initiated production of the round. During the late 1920s-early 1930s, Tokarev, and other designers, experimented with the round in a number of pistols and SMGs. I believe at this point the Soviets began to designate the cartridge as the 7.62 TT.
I wish I could include exact dates and documentation, but I don’t know of any definitive sources.


Not answering the question but the C-96 “Bolo” was later officially used by the NKVD and likely some other services.


I can add that in some pre-WW1 Russian manuals the caliber of the Mauser pistol is indicated as “3 lines”, “3 lines (7.63 mm)” or “7.63 mm (3 lines)”, which means that the caliber designation may have been reconverted after the adoption of the metric system in 1925, because 3 lines equals to 7.62 mm and not 7.63 mm (2.54 mm x 3).


Anybody willing to compare these Soviet drawings with a 7.63x25 Mauser?


The Oberndorf city archive and museum would be the place to go.
As a matter of fact, being a 7,9 mm rifle caliber afficionado, a short time ago I tried to do some research of relevant Mauser engineering drawings there, but was rebuffed, to put it mildly.
Hopefully, researchers from other nations will be more welcome.


Jochem, you say there is even no propper (historic) drawing with exact measurements around?


No, Alex, quite the opposite.
I am quite sure that 7.63 mm Mauser drawings comparable to your Albom Patronow extract exist.
But the powers that be at the Oberndorf museum are not willing to give access to them.

For example, when I referenced the 7.9 mm rifle barrel engineering drawing printed in Richard D. Laws books (where its details are unreadable due to poor reproduction), its existence was plainly denied. Law’s source is Walter Schmid, the previous curator of the Oberndorf museum. Its hard to believe this drawing vanished somehow.

I am under the impression that at Oberndorf (and at Suhl as well) we are dealing with museum curators that believe in denying history as a means of improvig humanity. We simply have to hope that one day they will be replaced by competent people who do not see blocking research into history of technology as their main curator task.


Not replacing them but bringing them to justice!!!