Yugoslavian 7.62x39mm M-67


Does anyone know why the Yugoslavians switched from the steel cored M-43 type bullet to the lead cored M-67 in 7.62x39mm? Was it to simplify manufacture or to create a more lethal bullet?




Although the new cartridge represented a great leap forward from previous designs, the initial bullet design was flawed. The complete solidity of the M43 projectile causes its only drawback—it is very stable, even while traversing tissue. It begins to yaw only after traversing nearly 26 cm (10 in) of tissue.[9] This greatly reduces the wounding effectiveness of the projectile against humans. These wounds were comparable to that of a small handgun round using non-expanding bullets. Unless the round struck something vital, the wound was usually non-fatal, small and quick to heal.
[edit] M67

In the 1960s Yugoslavia experimented with new bullet designs to produce a round with a superior wounding profile, speed, and accuracy to the M43. The M67 projectile is shorter and flatter-based than the M43. This is mainly due to the deletion of the mild steel insert. This has the side effect of shifting the center of gravity rearward in comparison to the M43. This allows the projectile to destabilize nearly 17 cm (6.7 in)[9] earlier in tissue. This causes a pair of large stretch cavities at a depth likely to cause effective wound trauma. When the temporary stretch cavity intersects with the skin at the exit area, a larger exit wound will result, which takes longer to heal. Additionally, when the stretch cavity intersects a stiff organ like the liver, it will cause damage to that organ.

Even when fragmentation occurs as the bullet yaws, the wounding potential of M67 is mostly limited to the small permanent wound channel the bullet itself makes.[9] The real damage of the M67 is when it yaws. Meanwhile a fragmenting round (like the 5.56x45mm NATO) might cause massive tissue trauma and blood loss (and thus rapid incapacitation) on a lung or abdominal hit, the M67 has a greater chance of merely wounding the target. However, the 5.56x45 will only reliably fragment in close ranges below 125 metres (410 feet).[citation needed]

Many contemporary Russian-made 7.62×39 cartridges, such as those sold under the brand names Wolf Ammunition and Golden Tiger, feature a modified M67 bullet with an airspace cast into the nose or similar ballistic-enhancing tip design (e.g. 8m3) which improve fragmentation and/or tumbling tendencies.


I’ve seen these comments before, but Egypt, Syria and Finland were already making M-67 type bullets long before the Yugos adopted it. Can’t really say they “invented” the flat based, lead core 7.62x39mm bullet…



The initial Soviet M43 bullets already were flat based and had pure lead(alloy) cores.



Yes, good point. But did the Yugoslavians have this information when they created the M-67? Is there any proof that the Yugoslavians were intentionally looking to create a more lethal bullet in the M-67? All I have read is simply conjecture. That the M-67 is more lethal than the M-43 must have been done on purpose, rather that it is simply easier to maufacture and it’s lethality is just a byproduct.



AKMS, I have my thoughts - but cannot help with facts.

Another question without answer about the Yugoslavian 7,62x39 is, why did that country adopt the Soviet style bullet as Model of 1959, apparently long before the first service cartridge was released in the mid 1960s? For this I don’t even have thoughts …



Hans, I have always wondered that myself!