Wolf Performance Ammunition's New 9x39mm Wolf Cartridge

It was only a matter of time before a dark horse appeared from the East to challenge the 300 AAC Blackout. A few days ago, at the Big 3 East Media event in Florida, the challenger appeared when Wolf Performance Ammunition introduced their new 9x39mm Wolf cartridge. It's a cartridge many hardcore Combloc collectors and video game buffs have hoped for, but never actually expected to see reach US shores. Developed for Russian Spetsnaz units, the 9x39mm started life as a specialized military cartridge for use in suppressed weapons. It was designed as a replacement for the subsonic 200-grain FMJ 7.62x39mm load fielded with suppressed AKM rifles. Combat experience in various hot spots around the world, including Afghanistan, led the Russians to desire a cartridge with improved terminal performance and penetration. While the subsonic 7.62x39mm load worked, Spetsnaz units found its performance lacking. They wanted something better.

TsNIITochMash put a design team with N. Zabelin, L. Dvoryaninova and Y. Frolov to work developing a new subsonic cartridge in the 1980s. The end result of their work was the 9x39mm cartridge. Using the 7.62x39mm as a parent case, it features the same base diameter but the case has been blown out so the case walls are almost straight. Next they necked the case up to accept .362-inch projectiles. The standard military loads feature 250-grain AP bullets loaded to subsonic velocities. These provide the penetration and terminal performance Spetsnaz require.

A comparison, L to R, 9x19, 5.56x45, 7.62x39, 300 BLK super and subsonic and 9x39 Wolf.

Wolf Performance Ammunition has been working for some time now to offer a commercial version to American shooters and collectors. The new 9x39mm Wolf cartridge features a steel cartridge case with a non-corrosive Berdan primer. It is loaded with a mild powder charge and topped with a 278-grain FMJ-BT lead core projectile. Running at subsonic velocities, the 9x39mm Wolf cartridge is easily suppressed. Not only that, but it works very well even in extremely short barrels.


Along with the ammunition, Wolf will also be offering AR-15 upper receivers. Steve Dittner of Wolf Performance Ammunition has found the 9x39mm Wolf cartridge to work very well in the AR-15 platform. Through his testing he was able to optimize the barrel twist, gas port location and gas port size. His test mules also proved extremely quiet when run suppressed. Wolf plans on having AR-15 uppers, in a couple barrel lengths, on shelves by the beginning of 2018. They have also teamed with a company to bring AK rifles and pistols to market in 9x39mm Wolf. A number of other companies have expressed interest in producing rifles and pistols in 9x39mm Wolf including LaRue Tactical.


Russian Spetsnaz field a number of speicalized suppressed rifles in 9x39mm including the VSS Vintorez, top, and AS Val, bottom.

Collectors will love the 9x39mm Wolf. It is a historically significant cartridge. I expect American shooters will also appreciate its virtues once they have a chance to shoot it. It should make a fine short range pig and whitetail cartridge. It is an ideal cartridge to run suppressed. The 9x39mm Wolf has a lot of potential, including supersonic loads. While ammunition will not be inexpensive out of the gate, expect it to be priced similar to 300 BLK subsonic loads, Wolf expects prices will drop as demand builds. I look forward to seeing how the first cartridge to carry Wolf's name performs in the US market.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New for 2019 is the Max Long Range model featuring a composite Max stock with fully adjustable comb, spacers for adjusting length of pull, stainless fluted heavy sporter barrel, threaded muzzle brake and extended bolt handle.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

The Performance Center's M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features ported barrel, flat face trigger and tuned action.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the president himself. 2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea - July 09, 2019

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News. 2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to tactical folders, and many of their models are offered in several different styles. Accessories

Ruger CRKT Knives Review

James Tarr - July 08, 2019

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to...

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

Firearms News Editor Vincent DeNiro tests some great .30-06 ammunition from Sig Sauer in a way that truly defines Firearms News! Ammo

Firearms News Tests Sig Sauer's .30-06 Elite Match Grade Open Tip Ammunition (Unique Test Video)

Firearms News Staff Report - August 05, 2019

Firearms News Editor Vincent DeNiro tests some great .30-06 ammunition from Sig Sauer in a way...

SIG SAUER, Inc. introduced its newest 300BLK ammunition ' the 120gr supersonic 300BLK SBR Elite Copper Duty load, specifically designed for short barrel rifles. Ammo

SIG SAUER Introduces 120gr Supersonic 300BLK SBR Elite Copper Duty Ammunition

SIG SAUER Inc. - February 12, 2019

SIG SAUER, Inc. introduced its newest 300BLK ammunition ' the 120gr supersonic 300BLK SBR...

The NRA's Shooting Illustrated magazine recently honored Federal Premium Hydra-Shok Deep with its Golden Bullseye Award for 2019 Ammunition Product of the Year. Ammo

Hydra-Shok Deep Takes 2019 Golden Bullseye Award

Vista Outdoor Pressroom - May 01, 2019

The NRA's Shooting Illustrated magazine recently honored Federal Premium Hydra-Shok Deep with...

Berger Bullets is now shipping the new 6.5mm 156gr EOL Elite Hunter projectiles to exclusive retailers. Ammo

Berger 6.5mm 156gr EOL Elite Hunter Bullets Available Now

Berger Bullets - July 10, 2019

Berger Bullets is now shipping the new 6.5mm 156gr EOL Elite Hunter projectiles to exclusive...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.