Russian 9x18 designations


In the pic below I show a 9x18mm 7N25 and a 7N16, but what are the two others called? The FMJ load with the stepped ogive seems to have a steel core (H.S. = 539 92), while the other with an exposed steel core tip is just what it appears to be (H.S. = 38 83). The photo was taken at Woodin Lab, but if I remember right the data cards did not yield Russian index numbers or any great detail about them:



No 3 is experimental and has no index as far as I know. No 4 looks like a fake. (I intend no lengthy discussion on what is fake and what is just the product of bordom or the like)


The stepped-bullet round should be made at Tula, and part of the experiments leading up to the PMM (Modernized Makarov Cartridge) high-velocity version of the PM cartridge. I agree with EOD that there is not, at least known, any index number for this round.

I have seen the other round with the small tip protruding from the jacket, and will withhold judgment about it being a fake. It is quite well done, and could be an early try at an improved metal and kevlar penetrating round that rsulted in rounds like the 7N25. Without documentation, there is little ground for knowing whether the cartridge is real or not. This type of round always has to be viewed with caution, but the truth is, much stranger bullet forms are know in cartridges documented to be factory experiments of various calibers.


The 3 from the left is early version of 7N16. With different steel core.


This in not an answer for no. 4 but illustrates a soft point bullet with a steel nail insert (no. 2):

Illustrated under the title “Bullets with armor piercing core”. From left to right:

  1. Handmade with inserted roller bearing (no caliber and origin specified);
  2. Handmade with inserted concrete nail made of sintered tungsten carbide (no caliber and origin specified);
  3. Under jacket insert of another jacket made of rigid tempered steel (no caliber and origin specified);
  4. Steel core with mushroom shape (9 mm Makarov);
  5. Special steel core with truncated mushroom shape (Czech made 7,62 mm Tokarev and 7,65 mm Browning).

a = acciaio = steel
p = piombo = lead
m = maillechort = gilding metal

Source: “L’Esperto Ballistico”, Volume Primo, by Antonio Ugolini, 1984.


Not that this means anything, but some years back I made up by hand a few home-made 9X19 AP bullets virtually identical to the #2 design, also using concrete nails. I fired them at 11 gauge (about 1/8") mild steel plates. Nothing much happened, just slight marking on the plate surface from the “penetrator.”