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 What does 7.62 X 39 mean?
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beantole
Senior Member

1392 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  4:48:41 PM  Show Profile
OK, I know I should have asked this a long, long time ago but better late than never. When a cartridge or bullet says 7.62 X 39 or 7.62 X 51 or .223 caliber or .556 0r .243 does it mean the bullet length, width or what?? Or maybe one of those numbers is the casing size? And why does a .22 and other calibers like .243 only have one number? Thanks for any replies.

Bruce

ajb101
New Member

58 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  5:05:32 PM  Show Profile
the calibers with only one number as in .22 and .243, that is the diameter of the projectile. a .22 cal bullet, is .22 of an inch wide,or in diameter, a .243, is 243-thousandths of an inch in diameter. think of it this way, a .50 cal is a half inch wide, a .50 cal, will put a half inch hole in the paper..

as for the 7.62x39.. I dont know, but I think the 7.62 part is also diameter of the projectile- only in millimeters, 7.62 nato rounds are the same as .308 rounds, so the bullet itself is the same.

7.62x39, is a much smaller cartridge, yet the projectile is the same size in diameter (308 thousandths of an inch) but the 39 i think is the length of ........ HELP !! Im drowning!!!!!
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rldowns3
Advanced Member

USA
6718 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  5:13:36 PM  Show Profile
7.62x39mm denotes a projectile that is 7.62mm in diameter with a shell casing that is 39mm in length. 7.62mm diameter is the same as .308 in inches. The .308 nato round is 7.62x51mm which is obviously 7.62mm in diameter on the bullet and the shell casing is 51mm in length.
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ajb101
New Member

58 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  5:39:52 PM  Show Profile
yep, thats what i meant...
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queeksdraw
Junior Member

USA
242 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  6:01:48 PM  Show Profile
OK Then is a 38 cal. .38 of an inch? is a 7.62x54 the same as 7.62x54R and is a 44/40 .44 of in inch dia. x 44mm long case? and what about the 30-06 a .30 inch dia X .06 mm long case?

You'v gota kill it to grill it
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Mobuck
Advanced Member

7364 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  7:02:09 PM  Show Profile
The best way to find this info is get a copy of cartridges of the world. There is no standard of naming cartridges.

Mobuck
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Xracer
Advanced Member

2551 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  7:02:59 PM  Show Profile
queeksdraw......you're opening up a can of worms here.

The European metric system of cartridge measurement is a reasonably sane one. 7.62x54mm would be a bullet of 7.62mm in diameter and a case length of 54mm. 7.62x54Rmm is the same cartridge but with a rimmed case. 7.62x39mm would have the same diameter bullet, but a shorter case length...39mm.

Now on to the English/American system (or non-system). Generally, a cartridge with a hyphen (.44-40, .32-20, .45-70) harks back to the old blackpowder days. The first number is the caliber, the second number is the number of grains of blackpowder that was the normal factory load.

There are, however, many confusing exceptions. .38-40 is not 38 caliber with 40 grains of blackpowder, but 40 caliber with 38 grains of blackpowder. .30-06 is 30 caliber (actually .308) that was adopted by the U.S. Government in 1906. .250-3000 is 25 caliber (actually .257) with a muzzle velocity of around 3,000 feet-per-second. And there are many, many, more.

38 caliber is actually .357 in diameter, 44 caliber is actually .429 in diameter, .303 British is actually .312....etc., etc., etc.

So......if you're NOT confused, you obviously don't understand the situation!


Edited by - Xracer on 01/04/2003 7:10:38 PM
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queeksdraw
Junior Member

USA
242 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  7:22:22 PM  Show Profile
Xracer yes I know, you will note my devil and clown smilies. My thinking was to give the original question a good going over I was afraid 10 post would not cover all of the question, I may have helped, I sure hope so. Even if beantole knows most of it, there are a lot of folks that might not ask for one reason or another and it is info that can be used by a lot of folks. So why don,t they call it a .429 Magnum Good day.
PS. I belive the R at the end of 7.62X54R stands for Russian, they are the same cartridge.
You'v gota kill it to grill it

Edited by - queeksdraw on 01/04/2003 7:27:49 PM
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rldowns3
Advanced Member

USA
6718 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  7:56:49 PM  Show Profile
The 7.62x54R the "R" denotes a "Russian" cartridge.

If you want to get into definitions of the letters used on ammo then

ACP = Origionally was used to define "automatic colt pistol" cartridges, however now-a-days it commonly refers to cartridges where the rim of the cartridge is recessed and is not wider than the diameter of the case.

RN = Rounded Nose

spl = Stands for Special as in the S&W .38 special cartridge.

parabellum or para = Parabellum is a semiautomatic pistol and cartridge introduced in 1900. The Parabellum was designed by George Luger, and based on the earlier Borchardt pistol. The official German military nomenclature was "Pistole '08" or "P 08." At first, the pistol was chambered for the 7.65mm Parabellum round. Soon, it was modified to use the 9mm Parabellum cartridge, which is what most people refer to today when talking about a "9 mm." Nine (9) millimeter Parabellum ammo is the common "standard" for 9 mm ammunition. It measures 9x19, and is also called 9mm NATO and just 9mm.

There is also the 9mm largo which is a slightly longer casing.

SXT = a type of hollowpoint commonly refered to as "black talons" although they usually are nothing more than a regular ole hollowpoint, depends on who you buy from, buyer beware.

+P = a cartridge that has extra powder added to the standard powder charge to give it a slight performance boost commonly called hot loads by hand loaders

+P+ = even more beef than a +P

Magnum = a term coined by Smith & Wesson when they invented the .357 magnum. It was nothing more than a supercharged .38 spl with a slightly longer cartridge (not much) and more gunpowder packed inside the casing. Magnum refers to the supercharged load of powder in the cartridge now-a-days.

BT = Boat tail, is a bullet with a tapered base to reduce drag and improve ballistics performance

REM = Remington (the manufacturer) so a .223rem refers to the standard .223 which was created by remington, hence their name on the cartridge, also refered to as 5.56mm

HP = hollowpoint (obviously)

auto = as in .45auto or .32auto, again just an ACP cartridge

FMJ = full metal jacket, a lead bullet encased in a hard usually copper jacket to facilitate better penetration of targets, sometimes this ammo has steel cores which are used for armor piercing, which leads to

AP = armor piercing

JHP = jacketed hollow point, lead hollowpoint bullet that is jacketed except for the tip of the bullet

LC = known as Long Colt however it's a misnomer, the 45 "LC" is actually origionally named just .45Colt

I could go on forever, there are lots more, these are probably the most common you'll see everyday.

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Tailgunner1954
Advanced Member

7200 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  8:41:24 PM  Show Profile
"R" is for RIMMED (or Flanged as the British would say) not Russian.
IE: the 8x50R and 8x56R are both rimmed Austrian rounds. There are also several europian rounds that come both ways also like the 8x57 & 8x57R

---------------------------------------------------------------
Some guys like a mag full of lead, I still prefer one round to the head.
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tccox
Advanced Member

4474 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  8:56:42 PM  Show Profile
The "R" denotes rimmed: Parabellum = "for war.


Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who dont.

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jonk
Advanced Member

9682 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  9:58:39 PM  Show Profile
Also worth note that there are some cartridges with small rims that are "semi rimmed" which may or may not take the "R" suffix. .410 ga. is not really a ga. but a caliber. 7.62X54R and 7.62X39 take a .309, .310, or .311" bullet (I've seen them for sale in all these diameters) but yet just one designation, and our 30-06 also takes a 7.62 bullet but .308". The only true .30 cal rifle you are apt to encounter is the 7.35 Italian carcano which takes a .298" bullet though most bores actually slug .300", ie. .30 cal. but our .308 guns are called .30 cal... and the confusion goes on. Not to mention many names for the same loading such as .32 ACP, .32 Browning, 7.65 Browning, .32 Auto are all the same.

"...hit your enemy in the belly, and kick him when he is down, and boil his prisoners in oil- if you take any- and torture his women and children. Then people will keep clear of you..." -Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher, speaking at the Hague Peace Conf
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beantole
Senior Member

1392 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  10:49:12 PM  Show Profile
Well, I read every post on this thread carefully. I don't have it all memorized (especially since there are exceptions) but when there are two numbers the first usually refers to the bullets diameter and the
second number refers to the lenght of the shell casing. Thank you all.
Now I have another question..........are all 7.62mm diameter bullets (as in 7.62 X 39 and 7.62 X 51) the same length or do the bullet lengths vary for a bullet even if they have the same diameter? I really am learning a lot from this thread.

Bruce
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Tailgunner1954
Advanced Member

7200 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2003 :  11:30:15 PM  Show Profile
Given the same diameter and style, the length varies with the weight, heavier is longer. The grain number you see on ammo is the bullet weight (I have a friend that, until a week ago, thought it ment the powder weight)
A round nose of the same weight will be shorter than a flat based pointed which will be shorter than a boat-tailed pointed (pointed is also known as "spitzer").
You might go to Nosler.com Sierra.com etc. to see what some of the types of bullet are.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Some guys like a mag full of lead, I still prefer one round to the head.
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