7.62x54r, also known as the “7.62 Russian,” comes with a cartridge that is powerful, reliable and extremely versatile. Able to offer excellent performance in the military field and in the hunting field. In the late 1880s, two icons of weapon design joined forces to give rise to a BB legend. Russian Sergei Mosin and the Belgian Léon Nagant were the authentic progenitors of the 7.62x54r, a cartridge originally created to feed the legendary Soviet rifle Mosin-Nagant.
Thus, the birth of the “7.62 Russian” is closely linked to Mosin-Nagant’s entry into military rifles in 1891. Since then and until today, 7.62x54r has been progressively consolidated its position of leadership within the weapons of Soviet origin. This cartridge is still officially feeding weapons of the Russian army. As well as a good part of the countries that were under Soviet influence during the Cold War.
History of the Red Army’s 7.62x54r
The prominence of this ammunition has just increased since the Red Army adopted it as its official gauge in 1891 . The cartridge designed for Mosin Nagant participated in both world wars. In 1959, after the arrival of the Warsaw Pact, became official ammunition of countries linked to the Communist bloc.
In terms of their behavior, the “7.62 Russian” has excellent ballistic properties, like the popular American cartridge.30-06. This has helped the 7.62x54r to become the main ammunition of military rifles and weapons sniper during a good set of years.
Today, in the 21st century and after that have passed more than 120 years since its first public appearance, 7.62x54r ammo still has a significant presence both in the military sphere and within the sector of sport shooting. In the first case, yet there are many military weapons that use this cartridge, as for example the rifle Dragunov SVD. Even the armed forces of some nations like China or Finland are still recognizing him as one of their official gauges.
Regarding his sportier side, it was mostly during the second half of the 20th century when the use of this caliber began to expand to other areas. Specifically, the first who enjoyed the virtues of this powerful weapon was the hunting sector. Therefore had to take hold of new projectiles, both soft tip (soft point) as fully shielded (full metal jacket), which offered an excellent result in the depletion of game pieces.
Within this more sporty aspect, 7.62x54r also has incorporated in recent years to aesthetic military weapons designed for precision shooting. A good example of this presence in this type of weapons comes from the hand of the civil versions of the Dragunov, which include the Tiger model.
As a historical curiosity, an American weapon, the lever Winchester M1895 rifle, furnishes this cartridge. Even though, it is linked to the Red Army and a symbol of the Communist bloc. Additionally, for a few years it was one of the official gauges of the Spanish Civil Guard. There was a large amount of this ammunition in Spain at the end of their Civil War.
The year 2011, met 120 years of the official birth of 7.62x54r. A figure which makes it one of the more ancient cartridges, though not so old-fashioned. Despite this the demand for this ammunition is on the rise in recent years. This is thanks to its use in heavy machine guns, sniper rifles and sporting guns and hunting.