Japanese and Spanish reduced-recoil 7.62x51 military


When Japan adopted the 7.62x51 NATO round, they decided that the recoil was too heavy in a rifle, so while they kept the full-power round for use in MGs, they developed a low-recoil variant for their Howa Type 64 rifles. I believe that this fired the standard (9.5 gram / 147 grain) bullet with a reduced propellant load giving a muzzle velocity of about 700 m/s (2,300 fps).

I understand that Spain did the same initially in its CETME rifle, but I don’t know any details of their ammo.

Can anyone confirm the Japanese information and provide any details of the Spanish low-recoil ammo?

Thanks for any assistance.


Tony: At least some of the early Spanish loadings of the 7.62 m/m cartridge employed a bullet having a short lead core with a plastic nose filler, the total bullet weight being on the order of 110 gr. It’s my understanding that the CETME rifle employing this loading had its delayed blowback system tailored for the pressure curve this round generated. Maybe someone else on this forum will have more detailed information. Jack


I have a lilac-tipped Japanese M80 (Low Charge) round and will gladly photograph it for you if this is of any help, however I don’t know any of it’s specifications.


Spanish low recoil ball (top) and tracer (bottom)

Neither cartridge has a headstamp

Low recoil ball: 146gr bullet at about 2450 fps
Low recoil tracer: 138gr bullet at about 2460 fps
Regular NATO ball: 147gr bullet at about 2750 fps

Japanese low recoil (-) A) W 63 headstamp
139gr bullet with pale purple tip
40.2gr powder - mixture of ball and small flakes

I don’t have any further details on this cartridge.



Tony: I’ve had a chance to consult my notes and find that the composite bullet loading I mentioned earlier featured a 113 gr. boat-tail bullet of .313 in. diameter and a length of 30.8 m/m. The powder charge was 28.6 gr. of pretty typical looking flake propellant. The headstamp on this round was T 7.6 61; I have a similar round dated 59. I don’t have the exact wording on the box label, but it merely said (in Spanish) that it was the 7.62 m/m cartridge for the CETME rifle. Another label referred to the CETME automatic rifle; neither label mentioned the light bullet. Note that the bullet described above has a finer ogive that the usual M80 bullet and a long boat-tail–it’s just a touch shorter than the bullet once used in the U.S. M1 ball .30-06 cartridge. As stated earlier the core was lead and plastic, the jacket of gilding metal. Jack


Many thanks, gentlemen, most interesting.


Can anyone confirm the Japanese information and provide any details of the Spanish low-recoil ammo? .[/quote]

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