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The Ammo Section Of Mosin-Nagant Dot Net

110 Years Of The 7.62X54R


From Gene Whitehead

The system of markings and colors used on military 7.62x54R ammunition may seem cryptic at first but by using the information below you will be able to identify almost any 7.62x54R military cartridge. We will even show you how to identify cartridges from the Arabic nations that produced 54R ammunition. Most countries followed the Soviet system of markings. Some used only parts of it and then there are countries such as Finland that used a completely different system.

To accurately identify the cartridge, you must look at both the bullet tip color and the headstamp codes. They must be taken together because a color from one country may not mean the same thing in another. The date is important as well. A copper colored bullet could be one of a couple different types depending upon when it was manufactured.

The cartridge headstamp will contain the date and a factory code. This is essential information to any country's military. If rifles and machine guns start blowing up it is important to track down where and when the ammunition was manufactured. Thus, the reason for separate codes for each member of the Warsaw Pact. As collectors, we'll take advantage of that information to identify our 7.62x54R cartridge.

Think of the headstamp as the face of a clock. The most common layout puts the factory code/number at 12 o'clock and the date code at 6 o'clock. There are always exceptions, but these will be covered.


Use the information below to identify your cartridge. Click on the country to view a more detailed report on that nation's 7.62x54R ammunition. There are pictures of cartridges, boxes and tins. The small pictures are linked to larger ones, click on them for greater detail. A picture of each headstamp is viewable by clicking on the factory code below. The information is divided by country, complete with pictures of cartridges from that specific country. Click on the title "Bullet Types and Tip Color Codes" for pictures and explanations of each type of bullet used in 7.62x54R ammunition. As these are large files the links will open a new window to view the information.  To return to this page just close the new window and you will return here by default.


The factory codes listed are those which produced 7.62x54R. Other factories/codes may exist for a particular country, but I have not included them here unless they actually produced 7.62x54R ammunition. The Russian code 270 is an example. The 270 code was used on 7.62x39 and 5.45 ammunition, but not on 7.62x54R.

Click on the country name, picture of cartridges or headstamp code to view more detail.

From Gene Whitehead USA Cartridge Collector

Thanks to:

Robert Sweet who sectioned the rounds you see pictured.

Tucovites who helped review these pages catching some omissions and errors:
A. Eichener, JW, Sauer38h
54R rounds purchased from or provided by the following collectors:
KB, L&D, TG, JM, PM, DS, VT and many others


Soviet and Eastern Powers Ammunition by Phillipe Regenstreif

Small Caliber Ammunition Identification Guide Volume 1 by the Defense Intelligence Agency

Small and Medium Caliber Military Cartridges by J. Lenselink and W.D. De Hek

Jane's Ammunition Handbook by Jane's Defense Weekly

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