Russian and Soviet 7.62x54r cartridges

Here’s the project I mentioned in the 7N1 thread. I’m waiting on some more cartridges (courtesy of Hendere), especially an obr. 1891, to fill in some holes. Otherwise please feel free to pick it apart and let me know where I screwed up or can add information. You might also notice that there is a “return to index” link where other countries are listed. Those are under construction at the moment, but the headstamp and cartridge pictures are all up (awaiting a few more there also). I still need to take pictures of packaging and sort out what I can about labeling. There’s also a link from the index to a page with all the headstamp, cartridge, and bullet pictures (so far) in one place. Enjoy.

Very nice work. I have not had the time to look at it in depth, but there seems to be a lot of good info there. I did not see pics of the APT and APIT variants. Are those coming?


Thank you. I just checked the list of expected cartridges and don’t see APT or APIT on it. After looking at the notes on those two types I see that the APIT was relatively short lived in two versions, one just prior to WWII and one during. The early APT was in the '30s and the late APT has only been in production for 10 years. Neither of those eras sound like easy ones to find ammo from, but I guess there’s hope.

This brings up something I might as well throw out there. Obviously like a lot of you I’d like to add to my collection. If you have something in 7.62x54r that you don’t see on the page please let me know. Also, if you have something you’re not willing to part with, but are willing to loan for photographs, I’d love to work something out. I know shipping cartridges can be a pain, but I’m willing to do it if anyone else is. I’m very particular about the quality of my pictures and I’ve been working hard to upgrade the firearm pictures on my site. I’d like to set a high standard for the cartridge pictures from the very beginning and stick with it. I’m really not interested in every possible year right now, but more in representative examples of all variations of cases, bullets, packaging, and marking conventions. I can give plenty of references in the firearm collecting community lest anyone think I’m running some kind of scam to get free cartridges. Thanks again.

7.62x54r, today there is a BT-90 (7BT1) which got adopted (according to Russian sources) in 1998. It has a green tip.

The “old” BT was adopted in 1932 and the color code was a purple tip (I think on your website it was described as grey which I have never seen a s Russian color code).

Very impressive. Let me know if you need what I posted on the previously unknown cases.


Great work Ted! I’ve had a lot of fun watching you put this together and am looking forward to the rest of it. Anyone with any interest in Russian ammo should really check this site out and also the rest of his site for info on Mosin Nagants. Lots of cool items in your store also!

EOD, the BT-90 is what I referred to above as the “late APT”. I did have the year wrong at 1999 rather than 1998. I was going by the timeline in the back of Chumak’s book and didn’t line up on it exactly right.

As for the color tips, you’re correct again. I was looking at the pictures in Chumak’s book and they looked gray. Looking at them again I see that they are purple (more lavender in the pictures) and recall reading that elsewhere now. Funny thing is that I recall supposed pictures of actual cartridges elsewhere and they were almost impossible to distinguish from the API red over black to my eye.

Thanks again for pointing out the errors, I’ve corrected them.

slick rick, thanks for the offer. I know I have a case (or more) of the yellow/silver steel core heavy ball and if I don’t have a case I’m sure I have tins and cartridges of the earlier one. I still need to pull out all my post-war surplus and photograph the packaging.

Hendere, you’re too modest, without your cartridges and encouragement this wouldn’t have happened. Thanks!