New Info on Form 6s

If you are bring cartridges into the US, you need a Form 6 issued by the ATF. They have been very responsive since moving to WV from DC, but there are some new requirements that could slow down your applications approval. It did mine.

There is a new Form 6 that must be used this year. Go to the IAA website and download the new form or they will send it back without approval.

There is a new database established into which they record all the cartridges which were imported. If you have a long list, this could take a long time and this appears to be the long pole in the tent of approval.

They seem more organized and providing a better scrub of the lists. I had listed 7.63mm Mauser Pistol from a Russian manufacturer. They knew this was the same as the 7.62x25mm cartridge and informed me that import of Russian cartridges in this caliber had been banned by Congress in 1997!!! Must be an interesting story there.

Bottom line, the ATF is doing an increasingly better job of complying with the directions of Congress on importation, and I expect the requirements to get a Form 6 approved will continue to change over the next few years.

The bottom line is to get your application in early. I’d recommend a minimum of 4 months, and 6 months before you need it would be even better. I submitted mine two and a half months before I needed it and would have gotten it 2 weeks after I needed it had I not spent a lot of time on the phone.


I have yet to go to any of the European shows, but hopefully (if all the planets align) I will next year. Obviously I will need a Form 6 to get stuff back in. Here’s my question: how on earth can you fill out a Form 6 if you don’t know what you might be bringing back in???

And why is Congress banning certain calibers from certain countries from being imported? Grrr…having just read Unintended Consequences it doesn’t take much to wind me up about the ATF and gun laws…

If I recall correctly, EVERYTHING from Russia is banned. Then under a treaty agreement, the name of it escapes me at the moment, each and every weapon or caliber is negotiated to be permitted for impartation. At least that’s how things were working about 3 years ago. I think it’s actually State that controls this. If anyone has the Federal Fiearms Regs guide book, the solid answer should be in there.

Google to the rescue…
Importation of Russian firearms and ammunition is restricted because of the Russian Voluntary Restraint Agreement aka the VRA. This web site’s 1st posting seems to be accurate as I recall things. How ever this posting is 3.5 years old and it is an internet posting… reader beware.

Chris, I listed a batch of Russian ammunition from lots of calibers, and only the 7.62x25mm caused any question. I also just bought a couple of thousand rounds of 7.62x39mm ammo for shooting and it looks like brand new stuff. In fact, the price was so low, as was the 9x19mm Russian in bulk that I can’t believe there is a ban!!!

I believe that the 7.62 x 25mm Tokarev ban has nothing to do with being “Russian” but rather with having, generally speaking, a steel jacket (GMCS) and sometimes a steel core. If the Russians produced a lead-core, GM-jacketed Tokarev for export to the U.S., as “Wolf” has done in many calibers, it could probably be “negotiated” into the U.S. Yugoslavian (Serbian) Tokarev ammo has come in recently (last few years). I think steel-core and steel-jacketed 7.62 x 25mm, or steel-core anything else, is now banned from importation regardless of the country it is from. Russia is probably specifically listed because some of their 7.62 x 25 is steel-core and all of it is steel-jacketed. This caliber with a steel core will punch Kevlar, and I believe that is the crux of the matter. I could be wrong.

Note, though, that other calibers of commercially-made Russian ammunition come in under the LVE, Barnaul, and Wolf brands without problem. Some recent importations of Wolf 9x18 Makarov ammo have had steel jackets, but I wonder if it didn’t come in unchallenged simply because all past importations of this ammo made at Tula did not, or because it still won’t penetrate a Kevlar vest.

Again, I am not sure of this, but I think the Tok is really looked at closely because of its penetrative qualities.

Unfortunately for me, Clinton specifically banned Soviet/Russian Tokarev ammo, which is why we still get both commercial and surplus 7.62x25 from all over the world, except the Former-USSR.

Lew, I bet they stopped a juicy one that I need!

As I recall, the 7.62x25mm manufactured in Russia/Soviet Union was specificly banned,by name, because of it’s penetrative properties with no regard to it’s core material… If you look at all of the surplus 7.62x25mm currently or recently imported into the US, it is all lead cored. Any steel cored (Soviet PS type) pistol or 7.62x39mm ammunition (because it can be fired in a handgun) is prohibited from importation because it is classified as “Armor Piercing”. Strangely enough, PS type 5.45x39mm is not prohibited from importation, even though there are 5.45x39mm handguns out there now. Some say this is because this caliber is under .22", but it is not. These 5.45 projectiles measure .221". Go figure…


AKMS and Jon C are both correct. The ban is restricted to 7.62x25mm (and 7.63x25mm) made in Russia/Soviet Union. It has nothing to do with bullet construction or anything else. I wish I knew the rational for the ban (since there is no logic). My form 6 still includes 7.62T/7.63M from a number of eastern European countries and other calibers from Russia. This ban was caliber and country specific with no other restrictions. There are other restrictions which ban “AP” ammunition, including cartridges where the jacket is more than a set % of bullet weight. There are no restrictions on jacket material. All of the restrictions are set out in the approval stamp on the face of the approved Form 6.

Well, thanks all for setting me straight on this. Shows you should never ask any Federal something if you want a correct answer. This question came up at our store years ago, and the answer I got was that 7.62 Tok was banned because of penetration of vests and that each country’s rounds were taken on a case by case basis. Russian was banned, according to them, because they did not make any commercial ammunition that made import specs and that none of their military ammo would.

I wonder why so much of the ammo from foreign countries that normally use GMCS jackets have been produced for export to the US with GM jackets?

Sure is hard to keep up with this stuff, with the Government changing the rules every ten minutes and the laws made and enforced by people without a clue about the subject matter they are ruling on.

[quote=“Cyberwombat”]I have yet to go to any of the European shows, but hopefully (if all the planets align) I will next year. Obviously I will need a Form 6 to get stuff back in. Here’s my question: how on earth can you fill out a Form 6 if you don’t know what you might be bringing back in???


Yes, how can you fill out a Form 6 if you don’t know what you might be bringing back in ?