Are you familiar with 7.62x39mm and 7.62x51mm cartridges? Though they are not the same, they are the same caliber, and they are both military cartridges that come from opposite sides of the world, one from Russia and one from the United States.
They are also both also very commonly found loaded with FMJ bullets. Though there are some hollow points out there, you’re more likely to come across 7.62 full metal jacket ammo than you are to find it loaded with specialty bullets.
But why is this?
It mostly has to do with the fact that these cartridges were designed for military use, and a little more to do with a little-known convention that occurred over 120 years ago.
About the Hague Convention, FMJ, and HP Ammo
The Hague Convention of 1899 (there were two, one also took place in 1907) was a multinational peace conference that established a wide range of standards for disarmament, the laws of war, and war crimes.
It served as an international arbitration court where delegates could raise concerns. Among those raised concerns regarding the use of projectiles fired for the purposes of distributing asphyxiating gases and the use of balloons to discharge explosives or other projectiles.
Another, and one of the three main declarations of the Hague Convention, regarded the “Prohibition of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body.”
Rendered from the legalese, this declaration basically forbade militaries from using soft-point or hollow-point ammunition on the battlefield, which was believed (rightly) to cause much more destructive damage to soft targets than bullets that do not disrupt (expand) on impact.
Interestingly, it was the Germans that raised this concern before the convention, and the declaration was agreed to by most of the countries that were present (with the notable exception of the United States).
Even so, it set a standard that most countries follow today when producing military ammunition, and that brings us back to 7.62 full-metal jacket ammo.
7.62x39mm Ammo as a Military Caliber
The Hague Convention didn’t establish any standards that could be forced upon any members – clearly not, as World War I, which broke out only 15 years later, demonstrated.
But it did set a framework that many nations followed voluntarily, which is evinced by the prevalence of 7.62 full metal jacket ammo.
The 7.62x39mm cartridge was developed in Soviet Russia in 1943 and the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge was developed by the United States in the 1950s.
Both of these cartridges were developed for military and training applications and consequently, the vast majority of those you will find – especially if you buy surplus ammo – will be jacketed bullets. This is likely a nod to the Hague Convention.
Of course, there is also the fact that full metal jacket bullets are very economical to produce. This keeps it popular as well.
The Clear Choice for High-Volume Target Practice and Competition Shooting
Origins aside, another thing to keep in mind about 7.62 full metal jacket ammo is that it’s best reserved for competition shooting or target practice.
There is hollow point 7.62 centerfire rifle ammunition available, and this should be reserved for defensive applications or sporting applications like hunting.
Can You Get 7.62 Full Metal Jacket Ammo Online?
You can get 7.62 full metal jacket ammo online. Check out Bucking Horse Outpost. They carry 7.62 ammo (as well as 5.56 ammo) from a wide range of manufacturers and brands.
They also run a bunch of weekly deals and often have police trade-in specials, too, so you never know what you might find. Check out what’s in stock and bookmark their store.