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The M43 was first developed in 1943 and during the Second World War, only two different weapons fired it; the RPD & the SKS-45. However, only the SKS-45 was known to see any service during the war. It later replaced the more powerful, though heavier 7.62x54mmR Cartridge chambered for the Mosin Nagant M1891/30. Development was started after Red Army encounters with very early StG 44s on the Eastern Front.
It saw extensive use after the Second World War and is still in wide service today. It is perhaps the most common cartridge in service today. It was used during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and all the way up to the Afghanistan War. In the late 1970s, it was largely replaced in Soviet service by the lighter 5.45x39mm round chambered for the AK-74M, although it is still in limited service within all branches of the Russian Armed Forces, as well as various other nations like Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan