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)

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

History and design

It is based on the Soviet 7.62×39 mm round, but with the neck expanded to fit a 9.3mm bullet. Initial design of the cartridge began in the 1940s by a team of 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 commercial wolf ammunition bullet weighs 276 grain, or 18 grams, a little more than 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, and also limits 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 optimistic 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, and also the armor-piercing SP6 cartridge are more effective against light armored, vehicle, or light barrier targets, although neither of those are imported into the USA.


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 also


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


  1. Николаев, Андриан. "Патроны для стрелкового оружия - Военный паритет" [Ammunition for firearms]. Militaryparitet.com (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.]. artillerist.ru (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.]. artillerist.ru (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.




This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.