Odd 7.62x54R


To me have offered cartridge 7.62x54R with h/s “F N 32”. I never saw such headstamp, but I assume that this cartridge from the order for the Baltic States as it has been found together with cartridge “К32 7.62”. I know that “К32” and “К40” was made for the Baltic States before WWII, but I have no acknowledgement that Belgium participated in this contract. Who has the information on this cartridge?


By "Baltic States, I assume we are talking about Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. FN, beginning about 1931, was a primary supplier of 7.92 x 57 ammunition to Lithuania, and even produced one lot with the Lithuanian National Crest, a simple stick-figure representation of the “Gates of Gediminas” in 1932, so they were a substantial participant in these contracts. I add this information simply to show that fact - I don’t know anything about the FN 7.62 x 54R round.

John Moss


You are right, I spoke about these countries. I have discussed this question with the friend and the version with “finnish” origin of this cartridge seems to the most probable. This cartridge is found together with others 7.62х54R cartridges not Russian manufacture. And this complete set of cartridges has very big range of dates of manufacture. From WWI to WWII. In the USSR there was an order to assemble all trophy cartridges in rear warehouses and to use them for training of recruits or for home guard arms in a critical situation.


Re "Baltic “Trophy” (Booty) cartridges…

These were utilised in the darkest days of 1941, with the German army at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad. The Worker’s Militia in Moscow were issued with One Baltic Rifle (Usually a P14 or Lee Enfield, Occasionally a Mosin M91, and ONE Clip of ammunition, and sent to the Tank traps on the Western side of Moscow ( towards the outer suburb of Khimki, which was the maximum German advance.

Newsreel evidence of this “issue” of rifles and ammo exists, and it is clear the rifles are P14s and the ammo .303 in clips.

Other newsreels exist of the Lake Ladoga Ice Road ( re-supply to Leningrad during seige,) with the guards along the road armed with P14 ( again, the characteristic front sight guards are plainly visible.).

Last indication: photos from a Ukrainian collector ( 1990s-2000s) shown on several webs, of “Baltic” Rifles, incl. P14s with “Mosin style” stocks, being still held in Ukrainian Depots, awaiting suitable Buyers from the West…and also large quantities of 1920s and 1930s .303 ammo sold off in that time period ( WWI dates as well, 1919-1920 supply by Britain to Baltic States.)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


You’re right - one soldier, one rifle, one clip, one fight…
But these single-use soldiers have won the enemy.


Most to the expense of their lifes.

  • QUESTION: Was the Russian made 7.62X54R rimmed ammo issued in 1941-42 to the front line Soviet troops (firing the bolt-action 7.62mm Mosin-Nagant M1891/30 rifle) actually loaded on 5-rds. clips or the cartridges were loose ??? Was at that time in the war (1941-42) the 5-rds. clip available in large and suficient quantities for the Russian made 7.62X54R ammo or the 5-rds. clip was still a luxury for the ordinary front line Soviet soldier ??? Liviu 08/01/10


Liviui: Do you have any particular reason to think that ammunition intended to be used in Mosin and Tokarev rifles in WW.2 wasn’t available in strippers? Even in 1942 most 7.62m/m rimmed ammunition was probably fired in MGs and thus not packed on stripper clips if intended for MG use. For this reason I can imagine situations–given the chaos that prevailed in the Russian armed forces at the time–in which soldiers armed with rifles did have only boxes or packets of ammunition packed for MG use at hand but it’s hard to imagine this was intentional. Jack

  • @ Jack: I asked my question (from above) because it’s well known that in 1941-42 the Red Army suffered of various shortages, ammunition included. Back in Romania I liked to speak with the WW2 veterans who had served on the Eastern front between 1941-44. I remember that a few of them mentioned the lack of 5-rds. stripper clips for the 7.62X54R ammo used by the Soviet soldiers armed with bolt-action rifles in 1941-42. The situation changed in 1944-45 when the Russian ammo was plenty available for the Soviet soldier (according with some other Romanian WW2 veterans) and for the artillery. Liviu 08/02/10


Liviu: Thats an interesting report, and I guess surprises me a little. But when men who were there make such a report it must have a basis in fact. I recall seeing a picture of a new Ford Model AA truck made in Russia in 1942 leaving the factory with only one headlight. Thanks, Jack


My friends search for soldiers of missing persons in WWII. They have found many remains of soldiers. But all soldiers had in enough cartridges and clips for them. Known myth about that that Russian soldiers had not enough cartridges is not true. It could be only in single instances when a home guard (not the soldier!) armed with the old or trophy weapon. For such weapon cartridges could not suffice.

  • @ 2moutrage: Sorry, but I cannot believe you! In 1941-42 the Red Army suffered of a chronic shortage of small arms and small arms ammunition and the 20mm and 23mm ammo for the aircraft guns and 25mm and 37mm ammo for the artillery was simply not enough for the front line demand. In fact in 1941-42 the Red Army didn’t even have enough experienced officers and high rank commanders. In his paranoia Joseph Stalin had considered as saboteurs most upper echelons of the Red Army commanders in 1937 and those people were purged. Liviu 08/03/10


Your words to last letter repeat a myth. This myth was thought up by the Soviet propagation for the justification of defeat in 1941-1942. A defeat principal cause - mass desertion and delivery in a captivity of Ukrainians and natives of the Baltic States. One person investigated the reasons of defeat in the war beginning. He had access to confidential archives in which German documents on Russian captured and Russian documents of “SMERSH” were stored. I hope you know the organisation “SMERSH”. If to reduce contents of documents to several figures and words the country was protected by 15-20 percent of soldiers. The others surrendered in a captivity. Look please at those countries about which I wrote above. In these countries today national legions SS are declared by patriots.

  • @ 2moutrage: Evgeny Huzhalsky served as an artilleryman in the Red Army during the 1939-40 Winter War in Finland. Please read his interview (published in the “Military History” magazine, USA, issue April 2003, pages 50-56) and see the true image of the Red Army at that time with its propaganda machine, food shortages, terror, misery, etc. The Red Army remained the same in 1941-42 with many shortages caused by the German offensive which finally was stopped to the gates of Moscow in December 1941. In fact the in the year 1942 the Russians were trying to buy time, to wait for the American technical assistance to arrive and the Red Army had to be reorganized and re-equipped. Most of the Russian indistrial base had to be moved from the German advance far away, east of the Ural Mountains, and because of this situation about 75% of the heavy industrial production was down and this is the main reason why the weapons and ammo manufacture could not reach the high demand in 1941-42. —> NOTE: To stop and prevent any Russian retreat, Joseph Stalin issued his Order No.227 on July 28, 1942. The order called for a complete end to retreat and each square foot of the Soviet soil had to be defended by the Russian soldiers. The penalty for failure to comply was death by firing squad or forced service in a penal unuit. By the end of the war in May 1945, about 250,000 Russian soldiers were executed and more than 400,000 were sentenced to penal battalions for failure to obey Stalin’s Order No.227. The heroism of the Soviet soldier was motivated by fear and terror. Liviu 08/04/10


You likely have joked?

  • @ 2moutrage: The IAA forum is not for jokes. All I posted above is based on real facts, not cheap communist propaganda. Liviu 08/04/10


Today I have received a parcel with a cartridge. The cartridge has appeared in the best condition than I assumed. I ask owners of identical cartridges to inform me if you wish them to exchange. I want to have some cartridges 7.62x54R with headstamp “F N 32”.