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A 12.7×108mm cartridge
TypeHeavy machine gun
Anti-materiel rifle
Place of originUSSR
Service history
In service1935–present
Used bySoviet Union and successor states
WarsWinter War
World War II
Korean War
Portuguese Colonial War
Vietnam War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Six-Day War
War of Attrition
The Troubles
Yom Kippur War
Soviet–Afghan War
Iran–Iraq War
Gulf War
Chechen War
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Russo-Ukrainian War
Case typeRimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter12.98 mm (0.511 in)
Neck diameter13.95 mm (0.549 in)
Shoulder diameter18.90 mm (0.744 in)
Base diameter21.75 mm (0.856 in)
Rim diameter21.70 mm (0.854 in)
Rim thickness1.90 mm (0.075 in)
Case length108 mm (4.3 in)
Overall length147.50 mm (5.807 in)
Case capacity22.72 cm3 (350.6 gr H2O)
Primer typeBerdan
Maximum pressure360 MPa (52,000 psi)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
48.3 g (745 gr) API B32 57-BZ-542 820–860 m/s (2,700–2,800 ft/s) 16,240–17,861 J (11,978–13,174 ft⋅lbf)
55.4 g (855 gr) API-HC BS 820 m/s (2,700 ft/s) 18,625 J (13,737 ft⋅lbf)
56.6 g (873 gr) API-HC BS 7-BZ-1 820–825 m/s (2,690–2,710 ft/s) 19,029–19,621 J (14,035–14,472 ft⋅lbf)
59.2 g (914 gr) Sniper SN 7N34 770–785 m/s (2,530–2,580 ft/s) 17,549–18,240 J (12,943–13,453 ft⋅lbf)
44.1 g (681 gr) Tulammo 680 gr hunting cartridge 916–923 m/s (3,010–3,030 ft/s) 18,501–18,785 J (13,646–13,855 ft⋅lbf)
Test barrel length: 1000 mm

The 12.7×108mm cartridge is a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the former Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact countries, modern Russia, China and other countries. It was invented in 1934 to create a cartridge like the German 13.2mm TuF anti-tank rifle round and the American .50 Browning Machine Gun round (12.7×99mm NATO).

It is used in the same roles as the NATO .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) cartridge. The two differ in bullet shape and weight, and the casing of the 12.7×108mm is slightly longer, and its larger case capacity allows it to hold slightly more of a different type of powder. The 12.7×108mm can be used to engage a wide variety of targets on the battlefield, and will destroy unarmored vehicles, penetrate lightly armored vehicles and damage external ancillary equipment (i.e.: searchlights, radar, transmitters, vision blocks, engine compartment covers) on heavily armored vehicles such as tanks.[1] It will also ignite gasoline and—since 2019—diesel fuel (experimental "Avers" AP/I round).[2][3]

Cartridge dimensions[edit]

The 12.7×108mm has 22.72 ml (350 grains) H2O cartridge case capacity.

12,7 x 108.jpg

12.7×108 maximum cartridge dimensions.[citation needed] All sizes in millimeters (mm).

Americans define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 ≈ 18.16 degrees.

According to guidelines the 12.7×108mm case can handle up to 360 MPa (52,213 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle cartridge combo has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum CIP pressure to certify for sale to consumers.

Cartridge types[edit]

Soviet and Russian 12.7×108 types[edit]

Б-30 / B-30
First version of 1930. Armor-piercing (бронебойная) bullet weighing 49 g and 64 mm long with hardened steel core.[4] Replaced by B-32.
Pre-WW2 armor-piercing incendiary (зажигательно) tracer.[4] Replaced by BZT-44.
Б-32 / B-32 (GRAU# 57-BZ-542, 7-BZ-2)
Steel-cored API bullet. Main type in use.[4] Penetrates 20mm NATO medium-hard RHA from 500m at 0° when fired out of DShKM. Penetrates 20mm 2P steel from 100m at 0° when fired out of NSV-12.7. First produced 1936; named after the B-32 7.62×54mmR ammunition of 1932.
БС-41 / BS-41
API bullet weighing 55.4 g and 51 mm long with a cemented carbide (Re8 WC-Co) core. Produced in small quantities at the beginning of WWII for the 12.7 mm Sholokhov anti-tank rifles (PTRSh-41).
БЗТ-44 / BZT-44 (GRAU# 57-BZT-542)
APIT with brighter tracer, usually used with B-32. Complemented by BZT-44M (GRAU# 57-BZT-542M) of 2002 with subdued tracer.
БЗФ-46 / BZF-46
API bullet with (white) phosphorus (фосфорная). Aircraft MG round.
БС / BS (GRAU# 7-BZ-1)[5]
API bullet with cemented carbide (VK8 WC-Co, commonly called a "cermet" in Russian) core, developed in 1972. Ballistics also similar to B-32.
МДЗ / MDZ (GRAU# 7-3-2)
Immediate-action incendiary. Used in belt with B-32 and BZT-44(M).[6]
12,7 1СЛ / 12.71SL (GRAU# 9-A-4012)
12,7 1СЛТ / 12.7 1SLT (GRAU# 9-A-4427)
Tandem / duplex cartridge with two bullets inside, in normal and tracer versions. Developed 1985 for use by helicopter against soft targets.[7]
12,7СН / 12.7SN (GRAU# 7N34)
Sniper cartridge (FMJ; AP). Bullet weighs 59.2 g and travels at ~790-800 m/s. Bullet consists of hardened tool steel tip and lead body. Able to defeat lightly-armored vehicles at 1500 m and 10 mm RHA at 800 m.[8] Entered production in the 2000s.[9]
12.7 Blank (GRAU# 7H1)
12.7 UCH Dummy (GRAU# 7H2)

Note that some WW2 bullets share designations with ones for 14.5×114mm.


Anti-tank and anti-materiel rifles[edit]

Heavy machine guns[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Technical Intelligence Bulletins May - June 2003 Archived August 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / В России создали новые зажигательные патроны калибра 12,7 мм" [Russia has created new incendiary cartridges of 12.7 mm caliber]. armstrade.org (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-05-07.
  3. ^ RU patent 2655338C1, TsNIITochMash, "CARTRIDGE WITH ARMOR-PIERCING INCENDIARY BULLET", issued 2018-05-25 
  4. ^ a b c Гнатовский Н. И., Шорин П. А. История развития отечественного стрелкового оружия. — М.: Военное изд-во Министерства обороны СССР, 1959, с. 235
  5. ^ сайт ЗАО НПЗ
  6. ^ "12,7x107 крупнокалиберные патроны". 22 February 2018.
  7. ^ "12.7x107 large-caliber cartridges". gunrf.ru. 22 February 2018.
  8. ^ "12.7 mm 7N34 sniper cartridge 7N34". Catalog Rosoboronexport.
  9. ^ АСВК КОРД 12.7х108 и ОСВ-96 - YouTube

Further reading[edit]

  • Борцов А.Ю. "Пятилинейный", Мастер-ружье issue 110, May 2006, pp. 56–62

External links[edit]