880 rounds of Russian 147 gr LPS!
Anybody know what this stamp is for?
For the record, all of my info on this stuff is coming straight from the brilliant guys over at 7.62×54.net. And instead of typing what they have, I’m going to be efficient (smart kind of lazy) and just copy/paste an excerpt on the history of this awesome cartridge.
Along with the Mosin Nagant rifle a new “small caliber” cartridge was adopted by Russia known as the Three Line (7.62mm) Rifle Cartridge, Model of the Year 1891. Later known as the 7.62x54R, it utilized the relatively new smokeless powder ignited by a Berdan primer to fire a 13,73 gram (212 grain) round nosed bullet at approximately 615 meters/second (2020 feet/second). The rimmed case with cupro-nickel jacketed lead core bullets first went into production at the St. Petersburg cartridge factory in 1891. The cartridge factory at Tula, which was a private company at the time, received a contract shortly thereafter and likely began production in 1893. The Lugansk plant was constructed in 1894 and began full production in 1895. During the Russo-Japanese War contracts for ammunition were given to factories in Germany, Austria and Belgium to supplement domestic production. In 1908 the new pointed “spitzer” bullet known as the “L” for light was adopted which weighed 9,6 grams (147 grains) and had a muzzle velocity of 855 meters/second (2800 feet/second). The increased velocity required the addition of the recoil crossbolt and a new rear sight leaf for the original rifles. During WWI, contracts were given to Winchester, Remington, Western, and the U.S. Cartridge Co. in the United States and Kynoch, Eley Brothers, Greenwood & Batley, Birmingham Metal and Munitions, Royal Laboratory and Government Cartridge Factories in England. Germany again produced cartridges during this time, but for it’s own use in captured Mosin Nagant rifles.
With the adoption of the Mosin Nagant rifle, Finland began production of 7.62x54R ammunition in the 1920s using a light ball bullet similar to the Russian Type L, but designated the Type S. The Civil Guard cases have an SAT (Sako) headstamp while the Army cases are marked VPT (State Cartridge Factory). Just as they did with the rifles, the Finns improved upon the cartridge developing the D166 heavy ball in the late 1930s, which is currently available from Lapua. During the Winter and Continuation Wars Finland purchased cartridges from Winchester in both the Type S and D166 loads.
In 1930 the Soviet D heavy ball weighing 11,8 grams (182 grains) was adopted and produced along with the Type L. In the same year the B-30 armor piercing and T-30 tracer bullets were adopted and began production. The B-32 armor piercing incendiary followed shortly, but the B-30 continued production into the late 1930s. In 1930 the case head was changed from a rounded shape to a bevel and tombac jacketed bullets began to replace the cupro-nickel bullets in the early 1930s. Copper washed steel cases made an appearance in 1934 being first used with the special purpose ShKAS aircraft machine gun cartridges including the new PZ exploding bullet. However, brass cases were also used for ShKAS cartridges and still used at some factories for certain loads until the ’50s and even beyond for specialty ammunition.
During the Spanish Civil War Republican forces were armed in part with Mosin Nagant rifles from the Soviet Union and began domestic production of cartridges. These, along with cartridges from France and Mexico are some of the more uncommon variations.
When the Soviet Union began exporting it’s weapons technology to other countries in it’s sphere of influence after WWII the 7.62x54R cartridge was part of the package. Domestic production was undertaken by Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Iraq, and Albania. East Germany purchased components from other countries for it’s local production while Yugoslavia loaded it specifically for export. Sporting cartridges were loaded in the US post WWII also.
In the Soviet Union itself, Ulyanovsk (#3) ended military production of 7.62x54R in 1969 and Frunze (#60) in1991. Only Barnaul (#17, formerly Podolsk) and Novosibirsk (#188, formerly Klimov) remained open into the 21st century as military facilities. Current production is several types of specialty ammo such as armor piercing, tracer, sniper, and the ST-M2 steel core light ball which replaced the LPS in 1988. The BP armor piercing and SNB armor piercing sniper bullets both entered production in 1999 to take this venerable cartridge into it’s third century of continuous military use. Tula, Ulyanov, and Klimov continue to produce 7.62x54R cartridges for the commercial market as do Barnaul and Novosibirsk. The former Yugoslavian military export production now includes sporting loads marketed under the Privi Partizan and Wolf Gold labels. Igman sporting loads are produced in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former bxn has resumed using the Sellior and Bellot name to market it’s sporting cartridges which are sold under the Winchester brand in the US.
With such a long history and continued production this caliber should hold the interest of collectors for decades to come.