7.62x54mmR has gained notoriety for its cheap cost, intense stopping power, harsh recoil and loud muzzle blast, but is popular with shooting enthusiasts who mostly use it in the Mosin-Nagant and also snipers, who use it in the SVD Dragunov, both of which were seen in Rambo III.
Originally designed for the bolt-action Mosin–Nagant rifle, it was used during the late Tsarist era and throughout the Soviet period to the present day. The cartridge remains one of the few standard issue rimmed cartridges still in military use and has the longest service life of all military issued cartridges in the world. The American Winchester Model 1895 was also chambered for this cartridge per a contract with the Russian government. The 7.62×54mmR is still in use by the Russian military in the Dragunov and other sniper rifles, as well as some modern machine guns like the PKM. Originally, the round was designated as "Трехлинейный патрон образца 1891 года" - (Three-line cartridge model of 1891). It then became widely known under the designation "7,62мм винтовочный патрон" (7,62mm rifle cartridge). The round has erroneously come to be known as the "7.62mm Russian" (and is still often referred to as such colloquially), but, according to new standards, the "R" in the modern official C.I.P. designation (7.62 × 54 R) stands for Rimmed, in line with standard C.I.P. designations. The name is sometimes confused with the "7.62 Soviet" round, which refers to the 7.62×39mm cartridge used in the SKS and AK-based (AK-47) rifles.
The 7.62×54mmR is the oldest cartridge still in regular combat service with several major armed forces in the world. In 2011 the cartridge reached 120 years in the service mark. The 7.62×54mmR is currently (December 2013) mainly used in sniper rifles like the Dragunov sniper rifle and machine guns like the PKM. The ballistic performance is slightly better than the .308 Winchester/7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. The .30-06 Springfield cartridge (7.62×63 mm) with its higher service pressure and case capacity can outperform the 7.62×54mmR, especially when same length test barrels are used in this comparison.
The 7.62×54mmR's case capacity prevents it from reaching the most powerful .30-06 loads, but even with this limit, it has been used to successfully kill large bears. Because of performance similar to the iconic American .30-06 cartridge, a similarly rich military and historic heritage and amazing longevity, the 7.62×54mmR is nicknamed "the Russian .30-06" by some. It is also one of the few (along with the .22 Hornet, .30-30 Winchester and .303 British) bottlenecked, rimmed centerfire rifle cartridges still in common use today. Most of the bottleneck rimmed cartridges of the late 1880s and 1890s fell into disuse by the end of the First World War. The 7.62×54mmR originally had a 13.7 g (210 grain) "Jager" round-nosed full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. Due to experiences in the Russo-Japanese War, the projectile was replaced in 1908 by the "L" 9.5 grams (147 gr) spitzer bullet, which basic design has remained standard to the present.