7.62×54mmR is a full-power rifle cartridge, designed in 1891 by the Russian Empire. It was originally intended for use in the Mosin-Nagant rifle and today it is used for the SVD sniper rifles and the PK/PKM general purpose machine guns. The 7.62×54mmR is one of the oldest cartridges still in use by any military in the world, and one of the few rimmed bottleneck cartridges still in common use today.The Russian military uses it in the Dragunov SVD, as well as other sniper rifles and general purpose machine guns. The round is sometimes referred to as "7.62 Russian" or "Russian 30-06" to distinguish it from 7.62 mm NATO: this is sometimes claimed to be an error based around mistaking the "R" ("rimmed") for "Russian," but it is really just for differentiation purposes in most uses. The name is sometimes confused with the "7.62 Soviet", which refers to the 7.62×39mm cartridge. It was designed in 1891 along with the Mosin-Nagant. The 7.62×54mmR originally had a 210-grain round-nosed full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. Due to experiences in the Russo-Japanese War, it was replaced in 1908 with a 148-grain spitzer FMJ bullet, which has remained standard to the present.
The attainable muzzle velocities and muzzle energies of the 7.62×54mmR are comparable with (but slightly higher than) standard 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges. However, a rimmed case such as the one used in the 7.62×54mmR cartridge can complicate smooth feeding within box magazines, but they are by no means unreliable. The spitzer bullets used in the military variants have a particularly elongated shape which results in a favorable ballistic coefficient and sectional density, contributing to an adequate long-range performance and energy retention. When used with modern hunting bullets, the 7.62×54mmR is capable of taking game in the medium- to large-sized class (CXP2 and CXP3). The 7.62×54mmR can offer very good penetrating ability due to a fast twist rate that enables it to fire long, heavy bullets with a high sectional density. In Russia, the 7.62×54mmR is commonly used for hunting purposes, mostly in sporterized Mosin–Nagant rifles and civil Dragunov variants (Tigers).
The 7.62x54R was introduced in 1891 by Russia for use in the Mosin Nagant rifle. It is the second longest serving military cartridge in the world and still in service today. While the “R” designation in the nomenclature is often referred to as “Russian”, it actually stands for “Rimmed” and is one of the few rimmed, bottleneck centerfire cartridges still in use today.
The 7.62x54R is still used in sniper rifles and some general purpose machine guns. It is used by many nations and has served in several conflicts globally. Surplus rifles and cheap ammunition has also made it a sporting rifle for some in the US. It is a primary choice of Siberian wolf hunters.
In Russia, sporterized Mosin Nagants and civilian model Dragunov rifles chambered in 7.62x54R are used for hunting,and capable of taking medium to large game. While most surplus ammunition is steel cased, growing popularity of surplus Mosin Nagant rifles in the US, brass cased and Boxer primed ammunition is available.
The 7.62x54R is a rimmed, bottleneck cartridge with an overall length of 3.038” and a case capacity of 64.2 grains (H2O). It fires a .312” diameter bullet using Berdan, and rarely Boxer large rifle, primers with a maximum pressure of 56,565 PSI. Standard rifling twist is 1:9.45”.
Ammunition options for the 7.62x54R are available in full metal jacket, soft point, and hollow point in weights ranging from 145 grains to 180 grains depending on intended use.