Odd API Projo

I got this GMCS projectile in a bunch of loaded 7.62x39 API rounds. It has a black tip/red band and two knurls at mid-case. Diameter is 7.87mm/.310in. Length is 28.57mm/1.125in. Weight is 114.1grains/7.39grams. There is no tip separation like a standard 7.62x39 API round. Any ideas on what it is?

Pics added.

I have not seen this projectile before. That base sure looks like a tracer with copper foil seal. Weight is about right for a T-45 type tracer too. That’s all I’ve got…


Seems too light for a standard rifle tracer, and the tip is definitely black/red. Construction does look like a tracer, however.

I think this is a fake:

  • The base looks like - AKMS already said - that of a tracer with copper foil seal.
  • There are .30 tracers with 2 knurls (Norway for example), one for the crimp and a second for mark outside the case.
  • East of the Iron Curtain there were never such knurls on bullets.


110-115gr. is about right for a 7.62x39mm T-45 type tracer if I recall correctly. The odd thing to me is the sharply beveled base, which looks as if done on a lathe after the fact, exposing bare steel. Also, the depth of which the copper foil cup is seated seems excessive. I won’t call it a fake because I just don’t know…

Edit to add: All of the com-bloc 7.62x39mm tracers and incendiary-tracers I have sectioned or examined do not have the foil seal. My Yugo tracer does though. White tip Finn does not and none of the “Gunshow reloads” have one either. Putting the foil cup in there was a purposeful act, and to my mind, points away from com-bloc origins at least.


The paint looks original and worn, and the route it took to get to me, lead me away from the idea it’s a “fake”, at least one for profit.
I guess for now I’ll put it aside as a mystery.
Thanks for the info.

What was the hs of this cartridge?

It’s just the projectile, not a loaded cartridge.

Jon, might there be any relation to a so called “guns show load”?

I don’t think so. Gunshow color tips never look that old and bad. Take a good look at the tip colors and tell me what you think.

I just took another good look at it. The “foil seal” at the back actually looks like a copper cup, and it is sealed with a honey-colored sealant. In addition, there is very little, if any, scratch evidence of the bullet ever being loaded or pulled.

would you please share diameter and length, 1st and 2nd knurl from the tip, etc.? Thank you and enjoy the rest of the weekend!


The “foil seal” in many cases is in fact a copper cup, just “foil thin”. The projectile does not look to have ever been seated in a case. Like you mention, no telltale scratches. But this makes the tip color that much more odd. Correct me if I am wrong, but in most every case is’nt the tip color applied to the loaded cartridge? Good mystery. I am dying to see it sectioned!


No plan for that at this time.

Here are a few more measurements:

Tip to first knurl - 15.2mm
Tip to second knurl - 16.6mm
Diam above first knurl - 7.84mm
Diam at first knurl - 7.82mm
Diam between knurls - 7.85mm
Diam at second knurl - 7.82mm
Diam below second knurl - 7.83mm

Hope this helps more.

if it really helps, I don’t know for now. But one thing we can taken for granted: it is not thick enough for an Eastern 7,62. 7,85 mm is a .30(8) diameter.

Hans - Jon shows a measurement of 7.87m/m, and he is correct that it equals 0.310 inch. Years ago, when I started loading the 7.62 x 39, before hardly any ammunition was available, I found that 7.62 x 39 projectiles rang from about .310 to .314" and I ended up using the only bullet that gave good accuracy, a .303 Sierra bullet that as I recall, was .311 and weighed 150 grains. It had a trajectory like a rainbow, at modest gun-working loads (Valmet 62/S) - I approached it with great caution as there was no loading data.

My attempts at measuring the bore of the rifle were pretty much a failure, by the way, so selected the bullet by trial and error and based on what was available from the measurement spread I got measuring original bullets.

The point is, I think a 7.78mm/0.310 bullet inch could be for the 7.62 x 39
although I have no country or type identity for Jon’s bullet. My opinion is based solely on the bullets I measured when attempting to make ammunition for my rifle some 30 years ago or so.

The first time I measured the diameter I got 7.87mm, but I forgot exactly where on the bullet I measured. For the sake of clarity I’ll do it again today. However, I would go with the largest diameter I get.
The tip colors are really what grab and interest me.

Jon & John,
this time I’m well rested nor do I need to wipe my glasses. The max. diameter I see in Jon’s thread is 7,85 mm and European Excel2003 converts that into .309. Going for the largest diameter is as unfair as for the smallest. When we don’t know about what it was designed for we must go for the average.

My thinnest 7,62x39 randomly grabbed sample is an Albanian ball which has 7,89 mm (.310) while all others (about 10), Soviet, DDR and Egytian, are in the area of 7,90 to 7,91 mm (.311).

I don’t mean to say the bullet has recently received its tip colours. Unfortunately I can only remember that a Norwegian 7,62x51 T-62 (from my memory) had those 2 knurls not having that documented. Cannot anybody else help out, please?

Hans - ok. I see the part of the thread you are talking about. When Jon opened the thread, his very first entry above the photograph, he showed the bullet diameter as 7.87mm/.310" which is the correct conversion from metric to inch in that figure. I did not realize that when he posted the measurements later on, that the largest diameter had become 7.85mm.

Sorry about that. I had verified my conversion with my electronic digital caliper, the website converter from HDMetric, and the table in the White and Munhall book"Center Fire Metric Pistol and Revolver Cartridges. I didn’t realize that the measurement had changed below.