Smoothbore Saiga-366 with .366 TKM shotgun ammunition

We all know how strange gun laws can be. In Russia there’s a 5 year wait of owning a shotgun before you can obtain a rifle. Yes, that includes .22LR.

And in other countries we would love to get our hands on Saiga or Molot shotguns, but can’t due to availability or other gun related laws.

The .366 TKM is a redesigned 7,62×39 cartridge. It’s been necked up to accommodate a 9,55 mm “slug” and cut to 37 mm.  (9.55x37mm)

I wonder if anyone makes any tools for it? Dillon?

TFB reported about the 366 TKM in 2015 in this article. According to the information, the “rifle” is accurate up to around 100-150 meters.

Pictured below is the .366TKM cartridge in two different versions.


Available projectiles:
11 gram FMJ slug at 700 m/s (170 grain @ 2295 fps)
13.5 gram polymer-coated lead slug at 640 m/s (208 grain @ 2100 fps )
15 gram FMJ and JSP slugs at 620 m/s (231 grain @ 2030 fps)
20 gram birdshot (0.7 oz)

As you can see, one advantage is that this Saiga shotgun can be used as a…shotgun!

The Saiga on the picture below doesn’t have a fully rifled barrel. Apparently only about 10 cm of the barrel is going to be grooved.

This Saiga “Shotgun” was shown at the Russian Army 2016 Expo. Got to love the way the safety scratches the rifle, sorry shotgun, by default.


Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


  • Ken

    Is the rifling at the front 10cm of the barrel like a Paradox gun?

    • Poresz Poreszovics Poreszov

      I think yes.

    • int19h

      It’s basically as long as they could make it without having it classified as a shotgun.

      • Ken

        The goal is to have it defined as a shotgun, as well as make it be able to shoot all sorts of ammo.

  • Mud

    Dillon is just about the last company that is going to put out reloading gear for an obscure cartridge.

    • And when they do, it will cost the price of a car. He misspelled Lee which will do custom dies for under a hundred dollars to specified tolerances, WITH carbide.

  • PK

    None of the US-based wildcat die makers I looked into make the 9x37mm/.366TKM, but attached is a specsheet on the cartridge from Techcrim themselves.

  • PK

    None of the US-based wildcat die makers I looked into make the 9x37mm / .366 ТКМ. Looks like a good hunting round, for such an odd legal situation.

    • Anonymoose

      There is the .358 Gremlin (American version of 9×39), but that’s only a wildcat tested in CZ527s and ARs as far as I know.

    • By my understanding (as a Moscow armchair gun enthusiast with a pump shotgun waiting for 2020 to come around to buy a rifle) the .366 TKM was developed precisely to exploit the Paradox loophole and make some convincing, relatively affordable “shotgun replicas” from surplus SKSs and AKs. That’s the entire reason it exists. Any amateur gun enthusiast in Russia instantly gets it: you can buy a pseudo-rifle with a little paperwork without any wait, and the cartridges do not cost like a bridge. Earlier I followed the forum thread where the factory declared its ambitions to develop the thing, and my impression is unchanged.

  • PK

    There really is a good variety of rounds available, too.

    • Gus Butts

      I mean, looking at the rounds on the left…

    • Ken

      It needs a discarding sabot dart. That would be a good use of a smoothbore.

  • Tassiebush

    I’d love to know how those shot loads pattern and the velocity. Obviously this round is about giving rifle like performance while fitting around Russian laws so slug performance is the emphasis but the shot loads would be the main factor in whether it could have applications outside of Russia because gee it would be cool to have a gun that could do a satisfactory of both! I’d love it in a bolt action if it did.

    • gusto

      just get a combination gun

      baikal makes perfectly acceptable duruability/accuarcy wise combis in 12/308, 12/223 etc pretty cheap and could serve great as truck gun

      • Tassiebush

        Very true! A practical affordable industry supported solution already exists.
        I’m just quite impressed by the slugs/bullets of this compared to what a .410 can do in it’s size. so it seems like this is quite a leap forward so long as patterns are okay. Shotshells as we know them are probably way bulkier than they need to be owing to their 19th century blackpowder origins. I’d really be interested in what could be done along these lines with a larger rifle parent case like 3006. I’m probably overlooking a heap of issues around wads, shot column length, steel shot and economical bulk shotshells though.

        • Goody

          I wonder, maybe you need that extra room to keep pressure down? I can imagine that if you gave the shot column too hard of a slap it might want to ‘mushroom’ inside the barrel.

          Shotguns, certainly not my area of expertise…

          • Tassiebush

            That’s an interesting point! I’d love to know the practical velocity limit of pellets? Lead would have a lower limit than steel. I read somewhere that lead noses on soft point spitzers melt back to the jacket although I only read that once so could be an urban myth. Shot could deform and pattern erratically well before fusing issues too. Extra potential velocity would help with steel energy downrange but as for patterns who knows. It’s like someone needs to ruin a savage 110 barrel experimenting with this.

  • gunsandrockets

    Uh, 9.55mm = .376 inches not .366 inches. Bad math at fault?

    • Tassiebush

      I’d say that the names of cartridges in general don’t precisely match their actual measurements.

      • Paul Epstein

        I’ve always found that interesting, especially because the actual measurements are essentially arbitrary too- changing things by a couple hundredths of an inch has some effect but it’s just a slightly different trade off that might also be perfectly acceptable. Also, the existence of things like polygonal rifling and squeezebores suggests that land to groove might be more trouble than it’s worth, if not now then in the future.

        • Tassiebush

          Yeah so many same caliber rounds are different and so many different are the same. 6.5manlicher is .268 whilst 6.5×55 is .264 then .38special and .357mag are the same. Good point about rifling types and squeeze bore having different implications. Is it projectile or bore? Which way is the bore measured and if the bore is tapered which end?

      • int19h

        On top of that, even when they do, the measurements differ depending on whether you measure the cartridge or the bore, and if it’s the bore, whether it’s between lands or grooves. E.g. 5.45x39mm is an accurate designation, even though the bullet is actually 5.6mm wide, because Russian calibers are traditionally measured between lands.

    • Kivaari

      Perhaps it is land to land diameter. Like a 7×57 is a .276.

    • HSR47

      It all comes down to how you measure the bore to define “caliber.”

      You can either measure grove to groove, which gives you the approximate size bullet you need, or you can measure land to land, which is what most Europeans seem to do.

      That’s why the metric designation for .45 ACP is 11.25mm (~.443″) and not 11.43mm.

      • AMX

        Pretty sure the answer lies in muzzle loaders – measuring land to land gives you the biggest Minié bullet that’ll fit down the bore…

  • Jeff NME

    What a strange round.
    The Russians already have a 9x39mm cartridge, for their VSS Vintorez (a suppressed sniper rifle) used by Spetsnaz units.

    I wonder if this is really the same round, measured from the front of the extractor groove for case length and across the groove diameter for calibre of the bullet?
    I’m prepared to be wrong and I most likely am.

    • Just a civilian market round to make lifelike AK and SKS conversions possible. For people who can’t wait to scratch the rifle itch.

  • Bill

    Maybe I’m dumb, well, of course I’m dumb, but don’t they have shotgun slugs in the Glorious People’s Republic of Motherland Russia? And wasn’t there a .410 Saiga, which would be relatively close to this caliber, or gauge, or bore?

    • Tassiebush

      You’re right, I’m pretty sure I read about some pretty awesome saiga .410 and Barnaul slugs matched up for this same niche. I say awesome because the groups were ak like without any rifling. I think this round is all about reboring existing rifles with minimal modifications otherwise.

      • int19h

        It is also designed to make use of those last few inches of the barrel that are rifled.

        • Tassiebush

          Yeah very true!

    • They do. These are also very popular in Turkey, and nearby Baltic states.

    • It’s to make affordable pseudo-rifles from military surplus. Most of us want SKSs and AKs, and TKM allows to have them without having to wait. Just like rubber-spitting 9-feet accurate “handguns” on the Russian market are to satisfy the urge to have a handgun. I keep trying to force myself from buying this weird thing.

      • iksnilol

        Give in, comrade… GIVE IN!

  • Goody

    Goody gets weird volume #1194:

    This might be a good candidate for a revolver carbine.

    • Tassiebush

      I like the idea of a bolt action pack gun with switchable feed tandem magazines. Load small game projectiles or shot in one mag and the big jacketed soft point in the other. Give it a barrel rib and a folding rear sight.

  • SpartacusKhan

    Why doesn’t anyone make rimless shotgun shells (of any size) in the US – or anywhere else, really? Seems like the ideal feeding solution for everything except break-actions, and we’d finally have reliable semi-auto magazine-fed shotguns. I could be forgetting or ignorant of something completely obvious here, shotguns and their ammo are not my most informed area of firearms by a long shot, even though I definitely have vastly more experience shooting them than I do anything else. I don’t think I’ve ever actually worked on one, and still don’t own a semi-auto yet – 3-pumps and 2 break-actions over my whole life, and I still have them all.

    • Alex Agius

      People have tried but no one wanted to give up their 12 gauge; the “Intrepid RAS 12” did this using a rimless shotgun shell but no one wanted it.

      • SpartacusKhan

        Maybe the timing wasn’t right. With 3-Gun gaining in popularity, maybe it’s time for someone to try again.

        • Alex Agius

          Perhaps, I doubt it however. The issue is (and always will be) that until ammo production is very large the rounds will be expensive (as they were for the RAS 12), in a semi auto platform (especially in 3 gun where you shoot alot) that is going to make it very unpopular from the word go. Couple that with the lack of variety in ammo which will occur (relative to normal 12 gauge rounds) and you have an expensive gun, with expensive ammo that isn’t good for as much as a cheaper gun, with cheap ammo (like a vepr 12).

          It would be nice but I fear any company would have to give people the means to reload ammo from the start or else few will take the plunge (why buy a gun which I may be unable to find ammo for in a year or two?).

          • SpartacusKhan

            big names behind them, maybe Benelli or CZ join forces with hornady – guns that use then, Hornady can make off-she-shelf cases and well as reloading supplies – presses, primers, powder and shot, Field a team on 3gun circuit for at least a season – if they do well, all new industry, all new revenue. Everyone will want one.A guaranteed supply of reloadable rimless shell could change the game.

  • Alex Agius

    A fully smooth bore version may be welcome on the UK market (what with centrefire semi autos being effectively banned) especially as some police departments have (apparently) allowed rifled chokes on shotguns.

    Now is it good for long range shooting? Of course not. But for 3 gun like shooting it would be good as its close range anyway, and if nothing else it would give some of the feel of a semi auto rifle (though it would need a 24 inch barrel in the UK).

  • Scott P

    “And in other countries we would love to get our hands on Saiga or Molot shotguns, but can’t due to availability or other gun related laws.”

    Molot was not affected by the import ban. They are a 100% private company with no ties to the government which is why Saiga’s are banned.

    Online vendors are selling just-imported VEPR 7.62×39 and 5.45×39 rifles as I type this at regular market prices.