Last month, I featured a couple of photos from British gun author Anthony Williams, which showcased some of the major developments in PDW ammunition in the last century. While his collection certainly beats mine for completeness, I still figured it would be worthwhile to share a photo of some of the PDW rounds I’ve accumulated over the past few years since I began collecting:



From left to right:

  • 32 ACP, used in the vz. 61
  • 7.65x22mm Parabellum, used in the 1902 Luger Carbine
  • 9x19mm Parabellum, used in many SMGs and PDWs
  • .45 ACP, included here chiefly for the M3 Grease Gun’s use as a PDW
  • 4.7x33mm, although the G11 was not a PDW, there was a design called the H&K G11 PDW that used a shortened, reduced-power 25mm long version of the 4.7×33, and because so far as I know no examples of this ammunition exist, I am including it
  • 7.63x25mm Mauser, used inĀ the Mauser 712 “Schnellfeuer” and other fully automatic Mauser derivatives. Dimensionally identical to the more common 7.62×25 Tokarev, itself used in PDWs
  • .22 SCAMP, used in the Colt SCAMP SCHV machine pistol PDW
  • 4.6x30mm HK, used in the MP7
  • 5.7x28mm SS190 AP, used in the FN P90
  • .30 Carbine, used in the M1 Carbine
  • 5.7x33mm Spitfire (high velocity test nylon-cored projectile), developed by Melvin Johnson to improve the performance of the M1 Carbine
  • .22 APG Carbine, the first modern small caliber high velocity round, developed by G. A. Gustafson for use in retrofitted M2 Carbines
  • .22 High Velocity, a test round loaded with an aluminum-cored projectile based on the .221 Fireball and very similar to ammunition loaded for the Colt IMP which laterĀ inspired the Bushmaster Arm Pistol
  • 5.56x30mm Colt MARS (tracer), developed by Colt for a shortened AR-15 derived PDW similar in concept to the later KAC PDW
  • 7.62x39mm, used in several PDWs both production an ad-hoc, notably the Serbian Zastava M92
  • .300 AAC Blackout, used in several AR-15-derived PDWs, most notably the AAC Honey Badger
  • 5.45x39mm, used in the AKS-74U subcarbine/PDW, and other compact assault rifles
  • 6.8x43mm Remington SPC, not traditionally thought of as a PDW cartridge, the only formal adoption of this round was by the Jordanian Royal Guard, who purchased LWRC PSDs
  • 5.56x45mm SS109, used in many PDWs including the Bushmaster Arm Pistol and the experimental Magpul PDR

Below are some higher detail photos of these rounds, in four groups:


Pistol rounds: .32 ACP/7.65 Browning, 7.65x22mm Parabellum, 9x19mm Parabellum, .45 ACP, 7.63x25mm Mauser



Small caliber machine pistol rounds: 4.7x33mm HK (standing in for 4.7x25mm HK), .22 SCAMP, 4.6x30mm HK, 5.7x28mm FN



Subcarbine rounds: .30 Carbine, 5.7x33mm Johnson Spitfire, .22 APG Carbine, .221 High Velocity, 5.56x30mm MARS



Assault rifle rounds used in subcarbines: 7.62x39mm, .300 AAC Blackout, 5.45x39mm Soviet, 6.8x43mm Remington SPC, 5.56x45mm NATO


To take these photos, I made a photographer’s light box out of foam core and fabric, materials that cost me about $35. If you want to make your own light box so you can take evenly lit, diffused photos of your own, I’ve embedded a tutorial below by the channel DIY Trying:

A 20″x20″ light box like the one I made is the perfect size for taking photos of cartridges, handguns, and other small objects. Even if you just regularly have to take photos of guns you’re selling on GunBroker, a light box can really make the object look great.



  • Great collection! I’m a big fan of the PDW calibers. The only two that are missing are the the Chinese 5.8X21 DAP and the 6.5 CBJ.

    • Jared Vynn

      And 22tcm.

    • I’m missing plenty. Besides those already mentioned, I would add a proper .221 IMP (.221 Fireball with a tracer bullet), .17/.221 IMP, 6×35 KAC, .17 Libra, .224 Boz, the JAWS series, .224 VA, .223 Timbs, the Russian AP 9mms (9×19 7N21, 7N31, and 9×21 7N29), 4x27mm CETME, 7.92 VBR (Short and Long), .22 Oresky, 5.56×22 GIAT, 5.56×30 GIAT, 5.56×33 Swedish, 5.56×30 MINSAS, all the FN prototype PDW rounds (there are a zillion of those, all super rare), 6.35x21R CETME, 6.7×33 Spalek, .30-222 Gevelot, and the 7.65×32 Mannlicher.

      • Darren Hruska

        Don’t forget 7.62x28mm, also made for the Colt IMP. Also, 5.45x18mm (OTs-23 Drotik).

        • Yeah, that one would be worth adding, too. I only think there are a handful in existence.

          • Actually, there were three different case variations of the 7.62x28mm IMP.

      • BillC

        6x35mm KAC

      • GearHeadTony

        Has anyone said 7N9 (9×39) yet?

        • I didn’t mention it, but yes that would also be a good (and unique) addition.

  • n0truscotsman

    Man nice couple of posts on this site. Interesting stuff.

  • Lance

    YAWN!!!!!!!!!!! Seen this pic before…. What! NO 9x18mm BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    • You haven’t seen this picture before because I took it this morning.

      I didn’t have any 9×18 on hand, or else I would have included it.

  • oldman

    Try looking at either grow lights or Ott lights the grow lights fit standard florescent fixtures and can be fund at home Improvement stores, the Ott lights are a bit more costly but you can get them at most hobby / sewing shops. Not sure if that will help but worth looking into good luck.

  • Shmoe

    Nice work! Where did you get the G11 round?! +1 for “German space magic”!

  • Seburo

    So many bullets and just as many vaporware firearms meant to chamber them. Excluding the SBR rounds only like four PDWs have ever been adopted.

  • Shmoe

    Also, how hard would it be to get your hands on 9×39 Soviet?

    • It would be very difficult. I’ve never seen one for sale.

  • Iggy

    good pic, though I’d suggest in future putting a number under each catridge like was the case in the previous article, otherwise it’s a nightmare trying to identifying rounds to the caption, even if you can recognize most of them by sight.
    The splitting the collection into groups pictures did help in that area though.

  • I didn’t realize they’d made a subcarbine in that caliber, thanks.

  • Thanks for the advice!

  • roguetechie

    And 7mm penna

  • Darren Hruska

    Oh, and I forgot about the 9x30mm GROM! This was made for the modular Gepard PDW/SMG, and it’s meant to launch bullets made for the 9x19mm Parabellum and 9x21mm Gyurza cartridges with about 40% more muzzle velocity (twice the muzzle energy).

  • anomad101

    In Texas there are only three PDW rounds, small, large, and extra large. Anything after that is artillery.