7.62 mm caliber

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SSA 7.62mm 143gr AP rifle cartridge, bullet

The 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 equivalent in Imperial and United States Customary measures. It is most commonly used in hunting cartridges. The measurement equals 0.30 inches or three decimal lines, written .3″ and read as three-line.[1]

The 7.62 mm designation refers to the internal diameter of the barrel at the lands (the raised helical ridges in rifled gun barrels). The actual bullet caliber is often 7.82 mm (0.308 in), although Soviet weapons commonly use a 7.91 mm (0.311 in) bullet, as do older British (.303 British) and Japanese (7.7×58mm Arisaka) cartridges.

Pistol cartridges in 7.62 mm caliber[edit]

Many pistol cartridges are in this caliber; the most common are:

Revolver cartridges in 7.62 mm caliber[edit]

Some of the revolver cartridges in this caliber are:

  • 7.62×38mmR is used only in the Nagant M1895 revolver.
  • .32 Long Colt – originally chambered for small-frame Colt revolvers and the Marlin model 1892 rifle, this cartridge uses a heeled bullet with a case the same diameter as the major diameter of the bullet. It shares dimensions with the .32 rimfire cartridge of the same length. It is not to be confused with the .32 Colt's New Police cartridge.
  • .32 S&W Long is also known as .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 World War II. 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 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[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holt Bodinson: The old Three-Line: still a great value, Guns Magazine, Nov, 2006
  2. ^ 30TCArchived 2011-09-24 at the Wayback Machine