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SSA 7.62mm 143gr AP rifle cartridge, bullet

7.62 mm caliber is a nominal caliber used for a number of different cartridges. Historically, this class of cartridge was commonly known as .30 caliber, the Imperial unit equivalent, and was most commonly used for indicating a class of full power military main battle rifle (MBR) cartridges. The measurement equals 0.30 inches or 3 decimal lines, written .3" and read as Three-Line.[1]

7.62 mm refers to the internal diameter of the barrel at the lands (the raised helical ridges in rifled gun barrels). The actual bullet caliber is normally .308 in (7.82 mm), although Soviet weapons commonly use a .311 in (7.91 mm) bullet, as do older British (.303 British) and Japanese cartridges.

Pistol cartridges in 7.62 mm caliber

There are many pistol cartridges in this caliber, but most common are:

Revolver cartridges in 7.62 mm caliber

Some of the revolver cartridges in this caliber are:

  • 7.62×38mmR used only in the Nagant M1895 revolver
  • .32 Long Colt Originally chambered in small frame Colt revolvers and the Marlin model 1892 rifle, this cartridge used a heeled bullet with a case the same diameter as the major diameter of the bullet. It shared dimensions with the .32 rimfire cartridge of the same length. Not to be confused with the .32 Colt's New Police cartridge.
  • .32 S&W Long Also known as the .32 "Colt's New Police" when chambered in Colt revolvers. The original loading for this cartridge used a round nose, or flattened round nose (in the case of the .32 Colt's N.P.) and was chambered widely in revolvers made in the US and Europe through WWII. This cartridge is used in several modern target pistols (not revolvers) with flush seated wadcutters. The short version of this cartridge (.32 S&W) was chambered in many break-top revolvers at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries in the US and Europe.
  • .32 H&R Magnum Is the only revolver cartridge in this caliber which is in wide use today, mostly in small-frame revolvers. This is an extended version of the much earlier .32 S&W long, which is an extended version of the .32 S&W.
  • .327 Federal Magnum Is a new cartridge developed jointly by Ruger and Federal. This cartridge is an extended version of the .32 H&R Magnum.

Rifle cartridges in 7.62 mm caliber

The most common & historical rifle cartridges in this caliber are:

See also


  1. Holt Bodinson: The old Three-Line: still a great value, Guns Magazine, Nov, 2006
  2. 30TC

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