loadings were largely made up with copper-washed steel cases
and were identified by colored bullet tips. With
the exception of tracer, AP/incendiary and incendiary ranging,
all the other special loadings shown are now obsolete or
obsolescent, as are ball rounds other than the LPS. The 7.62
mm. x 54 cartridge is still in first line service in the USSR
and in other communist countries with the SVD Dragunov snipers
rifle and with various medium machine guns.
Details of 7.62 mm. x
54 special loadings are as follows:
Piercing Type B-30. This
was a boat-tailed bullet 36.2 mm. long and weighing 170 grains
with a hard steel core. The bullet was identified by a black
T.46. This title appears
to cover the two types of Russian-designed tracer that have
been in service since the war. Both types weigh 148 grains and
both are identified by green bullet tips. The earlier model
was flat based and 38 mm. long and contained a metal canister
holding the tracer composition. The second type was slightly
shorter at 35 mm. and was slightly boat-tailed. With the
second type of bullet the envelope forward of the case neck
had a distinct step and the tracer canister was open at the
front end as well as at the rear.
Piercing Tracer Type B T. This
was a flat based bullet weighing 157 grains. The forward part
of the envelope was filled with a steel core, the rear holding
a tracer canister. Identification was by means of a purple
Piercing Incendiary Type BS-40.
This type, now obsolete, was identified by having an all red
colored bullet with a black tip. This was a flat-based bullet
weighing 187 grains. The core was of tungsten carbide with
incendiary composition contained in the forward part of the
Piercing Incendiary Type B-32.
Two distinct forms of AP/1 exist under this title, both
identified by a black over red tip. The earlier pattern
weighed 154 grains and was 36.8 mm. long and boat tailed. The
forward portion of the envelope held incendiary composition
behind which was a steel core. In fact two alternative
incendiary compositions were used in this pattern, a
phosphorus/aluminum mixture or, later, Thermite. The second
distinct B-32 type was slightly longer and was stepped between
the cannelure and the start of the boat tail. Inside, the
steel core was placed further forward and incendiary
composition was placed not only in the forward portion of the
envelope but also in the very base of the bullet, under the
core, the rear of the envelope being closed with a small
Piercing Incendiary Tracer Type BZT.
This was a flat based bullet, 40.7 mm. long, identified by
purple over red bullet tip. Weight was 142 grains. Within the
envelope was a short steel core, forward of which was
incendiary composition and behind which was a tracer canister.
Ranging Type ZP. This
was a boat tailed bullet weighing 160 grains and identified by
a red bullet tip. In the forward portion of the envelope was
located incendiary composition, the center of the bullet being
taken up with a striker mechanism and an explosive capsule.
This bullet was sensitive and liable to premature explosion,
and was intended solely for machine gun use.
designed 7.62 mm. x 54 ammunition is either made by or used by
the other communist armed forces, but some alternative
patterns have been manufactured since 1945.
Czechoslovakia who has
long had a thriving arms industry appears to have a more
independent approach to design and has produced at least two
7.62 mm. x 54 cartridges of native design.
ball. Made in the early
1950s this was a boat tailed bullet weighing 181 grains and
38.5 mm. long. The bullet core was of steel and the bullet
bore no identification color code. At the same time the Czechs
were also manufacturing their copy of the Russian Type
"D" bullet, this having the same yellow-bullet tip
as the Soviet made bullet.
TzSz Tracer. Also dating
from the early 1950s the Czechs made a heavy tracer bullet.
This was a boat tailed design weighing 182 grains and being
37.7 mm. in length. Like the Soviet designed counterpart, the
Czech bullet was identified by a green bullet tip.
Soviet 7.62 mm x 54 LPS
ball (silver tip) has a muzzle velocity of 2,850 feet per
second and the ballistics of this bullet are those that the
special loadings are intended to match, at least at a certain
range. Soviet special loadings will generally be found with
propellant charges weighing between 48 and 50 grains.
Article from "Guns
Review" Volume 25 No. 9 September 1985.
Military Ammunition Color Codes
A post in rec.guns.
from Don Francis who added some clarification and
the Misc Info.
bullet tip color codes for the 7.62x54R
|Bullet Tip Color
|Black w/Red Band
|Red Bullet &
Black Casehead & Black Tip
||Type BZT, API-T
|Red w/Red Primer
||Type ZP, HEI
|Green Tip &
- Misc info:
M1891 Russian 7.62x54R was loaded with black powder. There is
a rifle grenade launching blank made as well as various dummy
& blank rounds. Russian 7.62x54R with the Cyrillic
character that looks rather like "III" with a comma
hanging off the lower right on the case head was intended for
the ShKAS machinegun only.