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

Promo: Firearms News September 2019 – Issue #18! THE BIG MSR HUNTING ISSUE!

Promo: Firearms News September 2019 – Issue #18! THE BIG MSR HUNTING ISSUE!

Pick up a copy at your local magazine stand, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or major book retailer!

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

Hornady Kestrel 5700 Ballistics Weather Meter with Hornady 4DOF

The Hornady Kestrel 5700 combines complete onsite environmental measurements with Hornady 4DOF trajectory solutions.

Firearms News Takes a Look at the Aero Precision 7.5-Inch AR Pistol Upper In 5.56

Firearms News Takes a Look at the Aero Precision 7.5-Inch AR Pistol Upper In 5.56

Vincent DeNiro, editor of Firearms News, does some shooting with the Aero Precision Atlas S-One 7.5-Inch AR pistol upper in 5.56.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

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.

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...

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

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...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

Blazer Ammunition has expanded its wide selection of range ammunition with a bulk pack that's perfect for high-volume shooting or training. Ammo

New Blazer 22 LR Bulk Packs Are Perfect for Practice

Vista Outdoor Pressroom - November 12, 2019

Blazer Ammunition has expanded its wide selection of range ammunition with a bulk pack that's...

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider the classic 7.62x39mm over the newer 5.45x39mm. Ammo

5 Reasons Why 7.62x39mm Beats 5.45x39mm

David M. Fortier - June 05, 2020

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider the classic 7.62x39mm over the newer 5.45x39mm.

CCI has introduced the Stanger, a special edition of Stinger 22 LR ammo, named for popular Youtuber's signature southern drawl. Ammo

CCI 'Stangers' Special Edition 22 LR Ammo - First Look

Firearms News Digital Staff - February 13, 2020

CCI has introduced the Stanger, a special edition of Stinger 22 LR ammo, named for popular...

Originally developed for US Special Operations, we examine the development of SIG Sauer's 300 BLK Tipped Hunting load. Ammo

SIG Sauer Expanding 300 BLK V-Crown - How Good Is It?

Tom Beckstrand - July 02, 2020

Originally developed for US Special Operations, we examine the development of SIG Sauer's 300...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now