7.62×39 M43 Soviet
Development of this round was initiated in late 1943, when Red Army requested development of new, intermediate power weapons to fill the gap between pistol-caliber submachine guns and full-power rifles. This requirement came from studying two then-new weapon systems – German MKb.42 assault rifle and its 7.92×33 cartridge and US M1 carbine and its .30 M1 cartridge. First cartridges were developed in 1944, featuring steel bottlenecked case 41mm long, loaded with pointed, flat-based jacketed bullet with lead core. First weapons for this cartridge were developed in late 1944, and included bolt-action and semi-automatic carbines, light machine guns and automatic (assult) rifles. In 1947 the cartridge case was shortened to 39mm, with introduction of the slightly longer, boat-tailed bullet with mild steel core, and in this form it was adopted for service in Soviet Army. While officially replaced in front-line service in Soviet army by 4.45×39 ammunition in 1974, it was never officially declared obsolete and plenty of 7.62×39 weapons are still in service with Russian army and law enforcement forces. This cartridge also gained widespread acceptance along with appropriately chambered weapons produced in USSR, its former allies and China.
Today this is one of the most widely used military cartridges in the world, with weapons and ammunition produced in many countries and many versions. Huntig versions of the 7.62×39 ammunition are also manufactured in several countries; those usually feature lead-core expanding or non-expanding bullets.
Designation Bullet weight, g Muzzle velocity, m/s Muzzle energy, J Comments
7.62×39 57-N-231 8 710 2010 Standard military ball bullet with mild steel core
7.62×39 7N23 8 730 2130 Armor-piercing bullet
7.62×39 US 12.5 300 562 Subsonic, for use with silenced AKM rifles