From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The 7.62x54mmR rifle cartridge is a Russian design dating back to 1891. Originally designed for the Mosin-Nagant rifle, it was used during the late Tsarist era and throughout the Soviet period, in machine guns and rifles such as the SVT-40. The Winchester Model 1895 was also chambered for this cartridge per a contract with the Russian government. It is still in use by the Russian military in the Dragunov and other sniper rifles and some modern machine guns such as the PKM. The round is colloquially known as the "7.62 Russian". The name is sometimes confused with the "7.62 Soviet" round, which refers to the 7.62x39mm cartridge used in the SKS and AK-47 rifles.
The 7.62x54mmR is the oldest cartridge still in regular combat service with several major armed forces in the world. This round is mainly used in the Dragunov sniper rifle and PK machine gun. In general performance, it is in the same class as the .30-06 Springfield. Because of its ballistic closeness with the iconic American cartridge, a similarly rich military and historic heritage and amazing longevity, is often nicknamed "The Russian 30-06". It is also one of the few (along with the .22 Hornet, .30-30 and .303 British) bottlenecked, rimmed centerfire rifle cartridges still in common use today. Most of the bottleneck rimmed cartridges of the late 1880s and 1890s fell into disuse by the end of the First World War.
The 7.62x54mmR originally had a 13.7 g (210 grain) round-nosed full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. Due to experiences in the Russo-Japanese War, it was replaced in 1908 with a 9.7 g (148-grain) spitzer FMJ bullet, which has remained standard to the present. To increase accuracy, the Dragunov SVD uses the 7N1 variant of the cartridge, which uses extruded instead of ball propellant and has a 9.7 g (152-grain) boat-tailed FMJ bullet. The 7N14 is a new load developed for the SVD. It consists of a 9.7 g (151 grain) projectile which travels at the same 850 m/s (2723 ft/s), but it has a lead core and is supposed to be the more accurate of the two.
The cartridge case presents a pronounced tapering to facilitate case extraction. In addition to being one of the first military rounds to use smokeless powder, the 7.62x54mmR was ahead of its time for another aspect, despite being a rimmed cartridge. The case is significantly wide in relation to its length and it features a rather sharp shoulder angle compared to other contemporary rounds. This characteristic and the case tapering allow for efficient and very rapid powder combustion, a design concept reintroduced again with the Short Magnum rifle cartridges more than 100 years later.
Large quantities of 7.62x54mmR military ammunition were made with steel cartridge cases. These perform well, but do not lend themselves nearly as easily as brass cases to the re-sizing necessary for good handloading. It should be noted that the vast majority of 7.62x54mmR ammunition encountered will be Berdan primed, which is generally not considered reloadable.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of the Mosin-Nagant rifles, commercial versions of this cartridge with non corrosive primers are nowadays very easy to find in sporting goods stores all across the United States at reasonable prices, usually lower, compared to the popular 30-06 Springfield. A good assortment of bullet weight, ranging from 9.6 g to 13.2 g (148-203 gr), and bullet construction (FMJ, soft-point, Spitzer, Round Nose) is available. Some of the popular brands for the 7.62x54R are: Norma, Sellier & Bellot, Winchester, RWS, Wolf Ammunition, Hotstot, Prvi Partizan, Igman and Barnaul.
Wolf Ammunition offers a 13.2 g (203 gr) FMJ boat tail Match version of this round, as well as a 150-gr version intended for the Dragunov and PSL semi-automatic rifles."
7.62x54mmR. (2009, March 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:56, March 20, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=7.62x54mmR&oldid=278245379