Russian companies Techcrim and Molot Oruzhie have released another new cartridge called .366 Magnum. This new round belongs to the family of cartridges that are designed to be certified as smoothbore slug ammunition. Other cartridges in this line include the .366 TKM, .345 TK and the 9.6x53mm Lancaster.
All of these cartridges were designed to make it easier for the Russian citizens to acquire firearms with a rifle-like performance that are legally considered shotguns. Russian citizens can own rifles, but to be eligible to buy a rifle they need to have owned a shotgun for no less than five years. So it is much easier to obtain a shotgun.
The “shotguns” chambered in these calibers utilize smooth bore barrels with about 6″ rifled section from the muzzle end (legally considered a smooth bore with a built-in rifled choke) or barrels with oval-bore (a.k.a. Lancaster) rifling which don’t have distinct lands and grooves thus qualify as smoothbore.
The .366 Magnum is based on the 8mm Mauser case. This straight walled cartridge is loaded with 9.58mm (.377) bullets just like the .366 TKM. According to Oleg Kuzmenko, chief engineer of Techcrim, in terms of the muzzle energy, the .366 Magnum (with ME of 3,500 Joules (2,580 ft-lb)) lies right inbetween the .366 TKM cartridge (2,500 Joules (1,845 ft-lb)) and the 9.6x53mm Lancaster (4,500 Joules (3,320 ft-lb)). The .366 Magnum pushes 15 gram (230 grain) or 18 gram (277 grain) projectiles to muzzle velocities of 700 m/s (about 2,300 fps) and 620 m/s (2,035 fps) respectively. For comparison, the .366 TKM launches the 15 gram (230-grain) bullets at 600 m/s (1,970 fps) – 330 fps of muzzle velocity difference.
Most likely, Molot will soon introduce firearms chambered in this new caliber. Because the new cartridge basically has the same case head and rim cut dimensions as the .308 Winchester and an overall length no more than the .308 Win, it should be relatively easy for Molot to rebarrel their .308 Win firearms such as the Tayozhnik bolt action rifle or one of the RPK-based semi-auto hunting rifles.
Images from www.molot.biz, www.techcrim.ru