9×39mm Type Rifle Place of origin Soviet Union
Specifications Bullet diameter 9.3mm Case length 39mm
The 9x39 mm is a Soviet / Russian rifle cartridge. It is based on the Russian 7.62x39 mm round, but with an enlarged neck to accommodate a 9 mm bullet. The cartridge was designed 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 handgun cartridges. The 5.45x39 mm cartridge introduced in 1974 for AK-74 lacks bullet weight for acceptable energy at subsonic velocities. The bullet of the 9x39 mm is approximately 16 g (250 gr), double that of the 7.62x39 mm, and is subsonic. This low velocity does not produce a sonic boom, but does limit the effective range of a weapon when compared to non-suppressed assault rifles. The round has an effective lethal range of 300 to 400 meters and a maximum penetration of up to 10 mm of steel. Like the 5.45x39mm cartridge, 9x39mm SP-5 features an airpocket in the tip, which vastly improves its capability to yaw; with such a long projectile, yawing can be quite violent.
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 up to 16.8 grams about 16 grams up to 17.3 grams Muzzle velocity 280–320 m/s 280–320 m/s 280–320 m/s Muzzle Energy 658.5-860.1 J 678.1-885.7 J Maximum penetration up to 10 mm of steel up to 10 mm of steel
SP-5 (7N8) - The SP-5 (СП-5) was developed by Nikolai Zabelin. It is a conventional lead core FMJ bullet, but 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 neutralize a soft target behind it.
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), but it sacrificed too much performance to be usable. As of 2011[update], its usage is prohibited.
SPP - The SPP (СПП) is a sniper round with an increased penetration.
BP - The BP (БП) is an armor-piercing round.
- Jane's Infantry Weapons 1997-98 (23rd ed.). Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group. p. 458. ISBN 0-7106-1548-5.
- Modern Firearms - Special Purpose Cartridges of USSR and Russia
- left to right : SP-5, SP-6, PAB-9, BP, SPP
- left to right : SP-5, SP-6, PAB-9, SPP, BP
- left to right : SP-6, BP (2006), PAB-9, BP (2008)
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