7.62×39 Chinese API Armor Piercing Incendiary

7.62x39 Armor Piercing Incendiary API Specifications Chinese

I tested this round in numerous videos over time. It has been tested against mild steel, AR500 plate, concrete, and timber. This round puts on an impressive smoke and fire show upon impacting a hard target. Detonation occurs reliably against thick steel but doesn’t seem to be triggered upon impacting concrete, wood, or thin metal. This tells us that the incendiary compound is not overly sensitive.

The bullet has a 2 part jacket. Black over red painted tips were indicators of rounds manufactured prior to 1966, then black only tips thereafter. The penetrating core is not mild steel but a true hardened penetrator. I have not yet conducted hardness tests but my assumption is that it is a molybdenum based core and probably has a brinell hardness of about 700 HB.

This round reliably penetrates 3/4″ thick mild steel when fired from a WASR-10 AK. An interesting observation is that plant life immediately exposed to the smoke seems to shrivel and die within days.

Origin China, 1959 Propellant Unknown Extruded Stick Type
Headstamp 71/59 Pressure Unknown
Length (OAL) 2.377 in. Velocity 2,455 fps (WASR-10 AK)
Case Material Copper Washed Steel (magnetic) Primer Berdan, Corrosive
Projectile Weight 117.4 gr., Length 1.074 in. Jacket 2-part Black/Red Tip (Black only post 66)
Core Material Molybdenum? Core Size 60.6 gr, (l) 0.878 in x (w) 0.239 in.
Core Hardness Untested. Best guess… 700 HB
Firearm WASR-10 AK (Semi Auto)


Penetration Results:


Material Penetration Depth (non pass through) Completely Penetrated (pass through)
AR500 Plate 0.059 in. None: AR500
Mild Steel 0.783 in. 3/4″ Mild Steel
Concrete 2.726 in. None: Concrete
Timber 13.378 in. 13″ Solid Dense Log (assumed, not tested)

Photos and Packaging:

These came packaged in a wooden crate containing 1440 rounds in two solder sealed tins. Each “spam can” contained 720 rounds in paper wrapped packages. A can opener is not necessary, the cans peel open with a tab. The tins had a black rectangle painted on them which indicated the color of the bullet tips. Note, the packaging shown below is of the post 1966 chinese API which has a black tip instead of black over red.

7.62x39 API Black Tip 7.62x39 API Crate Markings 7.62x39 API Open Crate with Tins Cans 7.62x39 API Spam CanTin Markings 7.62x39 API Paper Packages 7.62x39 API Unwrapped Paper Packages