Update: Russian 9.6x53mm LANCASTER Cartridge

Earlier we reported about the first leaked images of the new Russian 9.6x53mm Lancaster cartridge. Recently, Molot published a video explaining the features and showing the details concerning this new cartridge.

The 9.6x53mm Lancaster cartridge was developed by Russian Molot and Techcrim companies. It is based on the 7.62x54R case which was trimmed and necked up to accept 10.3mm diameter bullets. The shoulder of the parent case is also moved back. What makes this cartridge a bit different is that it is designed specifically to be used with oval bore (Lancaster rifling) firearms. The unusual designation of 9.6mm with a 10.3mm bullet diameter is because after leaving the oval bore, the bullet’s cross-section becomes oval too with the narrowest portion (width of oval) measuring 9.6mm.

The absence of traditional grooves and lands qualifies these firearms as shotguns according to Russian and some post-Soviet countries’ legislations. That allows owning such a firearm without the need of mandatory 5-year shotgun ownership experience required for acquiring a rifled firearm. Although the Lancaster rifling is probably not as precise as the normal rifling, it still provides performance pretty close to a rifled firearm.

The load with a 230 grain (15 gram) FMJ bullet has a muzzle velocity of 750 m/s (2,460 fps) and muzzle energy of more than 4,000 J (about 3,000 ft lbs). At 100 meters the muzzle velocity drops to about 585 m/s (2,000 fps).

The G1 projectile has a ballistic coefficient of .207. If zeroed at 100 meters (the barrel length is not specified) it will hit about an inch high up to 50 meters as shown in the above image. The 230 grain bullet will drop 4.8″ and 10″ at 150 and 175 meter distances respectively.

Molot has shown a comparison drawing of the two cartridges, however, there are no official CIP specs yet. As soon as the CIP specifications and drawings of this cartridge are published, I’ll add an update to this article.

If you understand Russian, you may like to watch the mentioned video which is embedded below.

More details on this cartridge and firearms chambered in this caliber will be released during the Arms&Hunting exhibition held in Moscow in October 2017.





Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Sean

    I said this on the last thread about this round but I’ll say it again: this is an amazing piece of loophole engineering. As Jeff Goldbloom famously said, “Uh…. Life will….. Uh…Uh….find a way.”

  • jonp

    More proof that governments can not pass laws peoples ingenuity cant overcome

  • Brett baker

    Any softpoints? Or does the bullet yaw enough for hunting?

    • DESTRO YAKISOBA
      • Brett baker

        Thanks! Only saw the fmj in pictures.

      • noob

        what is a LSWCPC?

        EDIT: oh it’s cast lead.

        • DESTRO YAKISOBA

          Lead Semi Wadcutter Powder Coated. But unfortunately that’s not really the bullet profile.

          • noob

            Thanks! I’ve heard lead powder coat promoted as an inexpensive alternative to copper jackets. Do they have many disadvantages compared to traditional bullets?

          • DESTRO YAKISOBA

            Sometimes yes. Depending on the bullet profile and the brinell hardness you can have a bullet that will expand very well and not lead the bore due to the coating. On the other hand a hardcast with a wide flat nose (meplat) bullet is a great penetrator that produces very large wound cavities. It can be driven sometimes significantly faster (true rifle velocities) with an appropriate coating. These are all significantly cheaper than traditional cup and core bullets from a manufacturers perspective.

          • noob

            thanks!

  • Wow, now even the Russians are making California Models.

  • Anonymoose

    Seems like a good cartridge for up-close use on bears and moose and stuff, I guess? Accuracy seems questionable, but I’ll believe it when I see it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cd4ccb56cb86ffe3331ec15bf1bdae0952e6fcf8bcffd6d70435cf1bd5aeef1c.png

    • Markius Fox

      Now…imagine a revolver chambered in it. Rimmed and strongly tapered case = ease of extraction.

    • Matt

      Actually it seems a lot like a modern inline muzzleloader. Or maybe not quite as good, other than cleaner burning and multishot capable.

      A 28″ .50 cal muzzleloader loaded with 300gr ballistic tipped .45 cal bullets and sabots with 110gr of blackhorn will do about 2000fps with a BC of around .24. Only 10% less energy at the muzzle than this round. At 100 yards basically identical energy. At 200 yards a little better energy than this round. Pretty similar bullet drops out at 200 yards as well.

      The wrinkle is the same muzzleloader, loaded up with 265gr .44cal Hornady FTX has a much better BC, about 2100FPS (so still a little less energy than this round) with 110gr of blackhorn and MUCH less drop at 200 yards, let alone 250 or 300 as well as much better retained energy. And most ML you could pack with 150gr of BH if you were a glutten for punishment (never done it. I think from what I’ve seen, 150gr would get you about 2300FPS with a .44 265gr FTX)

      I realize a breech loader designed to skirt ridiculous foreign gun control laws is an apples to oranges comparison, but at least for “what is it good for”, the same things a muzzleloader would be, but with multishot capability.

      It is basically a 200 yard hunting rifle. Inside 100, you could probably use it to hunt just about anything on 6 of the 7 continents (I would NOT want to use it to hunt anything big and horned/toothy in Africa). But whatever you are hunting is going to need to be pretty close to you. Ignoring the bullet drop issue for a second, the retained bullet energy is going to be kind of low at 200.

      I assume the target posted is accurate as to the drop and everything, but either the muzzle velocity is lower, or the G1 isn’t as good as claimed. 10 inches of drop at 175 meters is kind of excessive. Using Federal’s ballistic calculator with the numbers in the article, I get 6.8″ of drop at 200yds (about 175m) with a 100yd zero. Using metric with a 100m zero, I get 10.8″ of drop at 200m (yeah, converted the drop to real units from metric).

      At 250yds you get 14.4 inches of drop and at 300 you get 25.6 inches. At 400yds you get 5 feet of drop. Wind drift is equally as tragic.

      Energy wise, 3093ft-lbs at the muzzle, 2177 at 100yds, 1492 at 200yds, 1008 at 300yds and 703 at 400yds.

  • Mr._Exterminatus

    Interesting.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I love seeing engineering bypass purposeless laws.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    Well this is interesting. I don’t know if it’s a more recent thing or what but it sure seems like Russia is evolving a very American gun culture.

    I’m pretty curious to see a rifle here chambered in this round just for fun. The ammo would have to become available at the same time but if 7.62x54R is any indication I think this could be popular. Not even just as a brush or dangerous game caliber.

    • Rick O’Shay

      Surely someone could rebarrel an old Mosin that was otherwise basically scrap.

  • Gordon Pasha

    Interesting development. Love it when smart engineering trumps dumb lawmaking.

    Also, I noticed that the video has English subtitles. Just need to switch them on.

  • Саша Петров

    needed a way to get around the idiotic law that allows possession of a rifle only after 5 years of owning a smoothbore

  • Likvid

    So, this Lancaster rifling is basically just polygonal rifling with only two hills and more fancy name?

    • kyphe

      Polygonal rifling is also known as Whitworth rifling which is just as fancy lol. Both systems aimed to combat the problem of fouling in black powder days. I believe the brits were going to adopt an FAL with this type of rifling as it was generally found in their tests to be more accurate and gave far better velocity than the standard barrel, but they had an issue of very rare but extreme flyers that were so far off target the rifle could not be considered safe for use outside of a closed range, they closed the program before a solution could be found.

      • Likvid

        Btw Czechs used this kind of rifling in vz. 82 pistol (4 hills iirc), it’s really easy to clean indeed. Also primary ammunition was special vz. 82 ammo (light bullet, significantly faster than standard 9×18) made out of metal powder, which can wear out traditional rifling pretty quickly, but this bore had no problems with it.

        There were also trials with polygonal barrels in project Klec (RPK-like vz. 58), they wanted to find out, if barrels with such rifling got better lifetime. Which turned out to be false. Although indirectly, because of easier cleaning, it might be a thing I guess.

    • Rick O’Shay

      I used to have an AR10 with a Black Hole Weaponry barrel, that was essentially a grooveless barrel with 3 hills and lands. I was a skeptic about how accurate it could be, but after trying a friend’s I was sold. I only parted with that rifle due to financial issues. It was such an easy barrel to clean.

  • marathag

    So its almost a Winchester 38-55?

    • El Duderino

      If you can get a .38-55 to hit 2400fps with a 230gr bullet, bravo. I think you’d be about 25k psi over the pressure limit…the Russian cartridge is a lot more like a .375 Winchester.

      • marathag

        loading it likes its an 1880s winchester with soft lead slugs, nope, but to Ruger #1 levels with jacketed bullets, no prob

        • El Duderino

          Loading a Ruger #1 well beyond pressure specs is no great feat 😉

          • marathag

            Buffalo Bullet heavy 38-55 load is 1950 fps, 38000CUP and is nowhere close the what pressure the #1 can handle , 50000

          • El Duderino

            Not sure if you’re agreeing or disagreeing with me here. Yes, the Ruger #1 can handle way more pressure than standard with older chamberings like .45/70 and .38-55. That’s not up for debate. I was pointing out that the .38-55 at max SAAMI psi is nowhere close to the cartridge in the article. Like comparing .30 Carbine and .30-06.

          • marathag

            Oh, that’s true. But the 38-55 is more limited by the firearms its put in, than the Brass itself, that seems to hold up when loaded to Win 375 levels

            I used 38-55, as hardly anybody now know what a Win 375 looks like.

            Its more like 45 Colt to 454 Casull, though, as far as pressure goes 🙂

  • Pseudo

    Minor nitpick: the velocity at 100 m drops to x, not the muzzle velocity at 100 m. No more muzzle at 100m :p

  • LazyReader

    Why do these rounds look like they were made from the scrap metal my grandparents collected in the 40’s

  • [Spock eyebrow] Facinating.

  • Vsevolod Temirov

    Would love to see lever made for this cartridge someday. Though likely this won’t happen – the local market is rather small by e.g. Rossi’s standards.