Skip to main content

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 Hellcat OSP Review

Springfield Hellcat OSP Review

Patrick Sweeney takes the Springfield Hellcat OSP to the range to test it out!

DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine

DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine

Patrick Sweeney tests out the DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine, an AK47 has been refined and civilized by Dave Lauck and DL Sports.

3 Ring Silencers

3 Ring Silencers

Patrick Sweeney heads to the range to look at suppressors from 3 Ring Silencer Corporation.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class Competition and USPSA Production/Carry Optics Classifications.WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA Handguns

WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA

Firearms News Staff - August 14, 2020

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class...

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous Soros-backed St. Louis prosecutor, are slated to speak at next week's Republican National Convention.McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC 2nd Amendment

McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC

Mark Chesnut - August 21, 2020

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous...

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and manufactured!SIG Sauer Ammunition — How Good Is It? Ammo

SIG Sauer Ammunition — How Good Is It?

Tom Beckstrand - August 20, 2020

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and...

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and allow gunmakers to be sued if their lawfully made products are used for criminal purposes.New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals 2nd Amendment

New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals

Mark Chesnut - August 19, 2020

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

Adopted during the great arms race at the end of the 19th Century, the 6.5mm Arisaka would serve under many flags and outlived the Empire it was designed to defend.Japanese 6.5x50mm SR Arisaka — Before the Creedmoor Ammo

Japanese 6.5x50mm SR Arisaka — Before the Creedmoor

David M. Fortier - August 12, 2020

Adopted during the great arms race at the end of the 19th Century, the 6.5mm Arisaka would...

New from Winchester Ammunition is Wildcat Super Speed .22 LR ammunition featuring a copper plated Dynapoint 40-grain bullet optimized for semi-autos!Winchester Wildcat Super Speed .22 LR Ammo

Winchester Wildcat Super Speed .22 LR

Samantha Knight - July 14, 2020

New from Winchester Ammunition is Wildcat Super Speed .22 LR ammunition featuring a copper...

Originally developed for US Special Operations, we examine the development of SIG Sauer's 300 BLK Tipped Hunting load.SIG Sauer Expanding 300 BLK V-Crown - How Good Is It? 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...

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and manufactured!SIG Sauer Ammunition — How Good Is It? Ammo

SIG Sauer Ammunition — How Good Is It?

Tom Beckstrand - August 20, 2020

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and...

See More Ammo

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Phone Icon

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