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The 9×39mm is a Soviet / Russian rifle cartridge.[1]

SR-3 (539-14).jpg
9×39mm SP-6 (7N9) cartridges with blue-tip armor-piercing bullets
TypeRifle, subsonic
Place of originSoviet Union
Production history
DesignedBegan in 1940s, finished in 1980s
Parent case7.62×39mm
Case typeRimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter9,25 (SP-5)
9,26 (SP-6)
Neck diameter9.98 mm (0.393 in)
Shoulder diameter10.36 mm (0.408 in)
Base diameter11.35 mm (0.447 in)
Rim diameter11.35 mm (0.447 in)
Rim thickness1.50 mm (0.059 in)
Case length38,76 (SP-5)
38,78 (SP-6)
Overall length56 mm (2.2 in)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
16.8 g (259 gr) SP5 280 m/s (920 ft/s) 658–723 J (485–533 ft⋅lbf)


History and designEdit

It is based on the Russian 7.62×39 mm round, but with the neck expanded to fit a 9 mm (.357 caliber) bullet. Initial design of the cartridge began in the 1940s by a team of a supposed 27 unknown members. Final design was completed by N. Zabelin, L. Dvoryaninova and Y. Frolov of the TsNIITochMash in the 1980s. The intent was to create a subsonic cartridge for suppressed firearms for special forces units that had more power, range and penetration than pistol cartridges usually used in such weapons. The 9mm bullet is approximately 16 g (250 gr), double that of the normal 123 gr 7.62×39 mm round, and has only subsonic muzzle velocity. This reduced velocity does not produce a sonic boom, but does limit the muzzle energy and effective range of a weapon when compared to high velocity rounds normally used in (non-suppressed) rifles. The round has an effective lethal range of 400 to 530 meters and a maximum penetration of up to 10 mm of steel. Like the 5.45×39mm cartridge, 9×39mm SP-5 features an airpocket in the tip, which increases its tendency to yaw or "keyhole" upon impact, thus increasing soft tissue damage in (human) targets.


Cartridge SP-5 SP-5UZ SP-6 SP-6UCh PAB-9 SPP BP
Type sniper test (increased charge) armor-piercing training armor-piercing sniper (increased penetration) armor-piercing
Bullet weight [g] up to 16.8 about 16 up to 17.3
Muzzle velocity [m/s] 280–320 280–320 280–320
Muzzle energy [J] 658-860 678-886
Maximum penetration up to 8 mm of steel up to 10 mm of steel

SP-5 (7N8) - The SP-5 (СП-5) (SP: Spetsialnyj Patron; "special cartridge") was developed by Nikolai Zabelin. It is a conventional lead core FMJ bullet, developed for accuracy.

SP-5UZ - The SP-5UZ (СП5-УЗ) is an SP-5 variant with an increased charge intended for a factory-specific strength testing of the weapons.

SP-6 (7N9) - The SP-6 (СП-6) was developed by Yuri Frolov. It has a hardened metal armor-piercing core. It can penetrate 2 mm (0.079 in) of steel at 500 meters or 6 mm (0.24 in) of steel, 2.8 mm (0.11 in) of titanium or 30 layers of Kevlar at 200 meters. At 100 meters it penetrates 8 mm (0.31 in) of steel, while retaining enough power to inflict damage to a soft target behind it.[2]

SP-6UCh - The SP-6Uch (СП-6Уч) is an SP-6 variant intended for training.

PAB-9 (7N12) - The SP-6's bullet is expensive, so an attempt was made to make a lower-cost version of the cartridge. The PAB-9 (ПАБ-9) used a stamped rather than machined steel core. It sacrificed too much performance to be usable. As of 2011, its usage is prohibited.[3]

SPP - The SPP (СПП) (SPP: Snaiperskie Povishennaya Probivaemost; "sniper - increased penetration") is a sniper round with increased penetration.

BP - The BP (БП) (BP: Broneboin'ie Pulya; "armor-piercing bullet") is an armor-piercing round.


See alsoEdit


  • Jane's Infantry Weapons 1997-98[6]


  1. ^ Николаев, Андриан. "Патроны для стрелкового оружия - Военный паритет" [Ammunition for firearms]. (in Russian). Retrieved 2013-12-08.
  2. ^ "Специальные патроны СП-5, СП-6 и ПАБ-9" [Special bullets SP-5, SP-6 and PAB-9.]. (in Russian). 2008-04-02. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
  3. ^ "Специальные патроны СП-5, СП-6 и ПАБ-9" [Special bullets SP-5, SP-6 and PAB-9.]. (in Russian). 2008-04-02. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
  4. ^ "Piedmont". piedmont. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  5. ^ "Piedmont". piedmont. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  6. ^ Jane's Infantry Weapons 1997-98 (23rd ed.). Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. p. 458. ISBN 0-7106-1548-5.

External linksEdit