ID Request: Red tip incendiary

Hi, this round came from was I now realize was an unreliable source. 7.62x39 but it could have been resized and/or reloaded. I am interested in trying to find an identification on the projectile. I only had one round, and when I fired against a steel target it last year it gave quite an impressive explosion. Fireball, smoke, loud boom, sucked a nearby pine board that was under the target off the ground and splintered it. It did crater the steel target but nothing impressive so I don’t feel that it has any sort of penetrating core in it. Large black marks on the target.

It fired at just under 2000 fps from an AK. 152 grain, very long bullet at 1.5" which makes me think it was a reload. So, I am hoping that given this info the experts here can unravel the mystery of what the heck this was? Thank you.


Possibly. I am hoping someone can identify the exact projectile shown here.

I should note that the very tip of the projectile is kind of bulbous and uneven, almost like it was formed or cured from a mixture. You can see this best in the two lower right photo inlays above.


I have no idea what the heck the bullet was. To my un-educated eye it does look too big to have been original to the 39mm case.

But, that comment is only a lead-in to the real reason I’m posting. How did you manage to catch the results in the series of photos??? Were you expecting something to happen?? Were you using a digital camera?? At what distance from the target?? Did you also chronograph it??

I’m somewhat of a camera buff and things like that always intrigue me.


This is an PZ observation-incediary bullet used in 7.62x54R cartridges. Here is a Soviet drawing published in 1940 with desigantion ZP:

Soviet equivalent of German B-Patrone. The design is Austrian as far as I know. B-Patrone had a a white phosphorous filling, the explosive effect coming from the explosive primer (Sprengzündhütchen) behind it. I do not know what filling the Soviets used.

When you read about Soviet snipers using explosive bullets, this is it. (Personally I ask myself what the grouping capability of a bullet with so many moving/liquid internal parts must have been.)

Hi Ray, I am intrigued by the effects of different types of ammo so as a hobby I do a lot of target shooting. When I have an interesting round I typically take video too. When something interesting enough happens I will research it then put together a youtube video to share the info. Looking back my early vids were pretty lame but I am getting better and I try to make them interesting and educational. This is why I am always here asking for information, to ensure accurate information in my videos. I don’t claim to be an expert, far from it… but i do enjoy it and I enjoy learning as I go.

Here is a recent video, a bit longer than most others but hopefully accurate and interesting enough to keep viewers attention. It features ordinary old 30 cal M2 AP.

Shortly thereafter I did a data gathering video which is I have not made public yet but I’ll put a private link to it here briefly so you can see what I’m trying to do.

Please keep in mind that I am an amateur and not claiming to be an expert. I’m just doing something that interests me and enjoying it very much. Unfortunately being a novice last year I acquired some ammo from a place that I now realize was selling non authentic, inaccurately described, resized, and reloaded ammo. But I’m making the best of it and still working my way through the video footage that resulted.

The photos shown above are low resolution frames from the video I am working on, and yes, I did chrono it. This is why I am trying to ID this projectile so I can tell viewers exactly what it was. Unfortunately I shot before I acquired a high speed video camera, it was shot with an ordinary Canon Rebel T1i with a telephoto lense.

I wish I could find a few of these in 7.62x54r.

This is very interesting, thank you. I have googled what you mentioned and stumbled across the ZR or ZaRa as well which seems similar and the dimensions bring it to 1.52" in length. What do you think about that, PZ vs ZR? Thank you sir.


Thanks for those links. I don’t ordinarily visit YouTube sites but yours are an exception. It’s obvious that you are a dedicated researcher and not just some bubba shooting at a steel plate to see if an AP makes a hole.



P.S. - I like to guess where people live, by their accent. In listening to your YouTube I was going to say somewhere in the far Northeast. In another thread you gave it away with the comment about finding cartridges in Maine, so I was right again??


Ray, thanks for your kind comments. Also, as far as the accent guessing game goes I must admit the odds are stacked against you on this one as my wife imported me from the west. However since you guessed northeast that means that I’ve been here long enough that it’s rubbing off on me. :) You sir get a gold star!