Here’s an interesting cartridge that pretty much fell into my lap. It was purchased with a group of mixed cartridges and described as “.50 Cal military 1918”. While these large military cartridges are generally outside of my areas of interest, the description caught my attention, as development of the .50 Browning cartridge started in 1918. It turned out to be a 13 x 92mm TankGewehr cartridge, which I understand was the first production anti-tank cartridge. It was developed by the Germans, for use in a scaled up single shot Mauser rifle. As it turns out, it does have a link to the development of the .50 Browning (or .50 Ball, Model of 1919); according to HWS Vol 1, it was used as the basis for the that cartridge.
Is that the same cartridge as the Panzerbuchse for the Tuff anti-tank rifle? I have one with a 8 18 P T67 headstamp. Do I have mine cataloged correctly?
The TuF (“Tank und Flieger”) was the heavy machine gun that was chambered for this round.
So what would be the best way to catalog the cartridge?
13 x 92R mm Panzerbuchse for Mauser AT Rifle and TuF HMG.
I think it’s likely that those were the only two firearms ever factory chambered for that round, so that would cover it; OTOH, you could just call it the 13x92R Mauser (?).
I have two of these rounds in my collection head stamped 9 P 18 T67. One is live, the other inert with a bullet that can be removed. On the lead base of the bullet is a stamp that looks some what Like a fancy P. Polite? maybe???
In my internet search for information on this cartridge, I found a German site that indicated these were only made for three months, 7 (Jul), 8 (Aug), and 9 (Sept). The photo of the headstamp they included appeared to have a ‘6’, if read the way my ‘7’ is oriented. So, is it a ‘9’ or a ‘6’.
It was used as the basis for one of the prototype .50 cal cartridges, but this was rejected in favour of the scaled-up .30-06 round which remains in service to this day.
My round has a 4 (April) date on it.
These cartridges, with this kind of headstamp, were made from april (4) till november (11), with exception of october (10).
Krt, actually a “12” is also known to exist.
Although the first rifles were not ready until July 1918, the ammunition was made in large quantities from April 1918 onwards. Known dates are from April to November with the exception of October, i.e headstamped 4 to 9 and 11.
Stevef - It is quite common for the exposed steel core of the normal AP round to be stamped with a P for Polte, but there was no lead at the base. If the base of your round is indeed lead and not steel then it may be a PmK incendiary rather than a normal AP round. It is worth checking this as the Pmks are much rarer.
My case has a single flash hole and a copper primer. Is that standard?? That seems to be an awfully small primer to be used to light 100 +/- grains of powder.
Those RNZA officers in the photo are smiling because they didn’t have to shoot that rifle. There was a photo in The American Rifleman about 20 or 25 years ago that showed two German soldiers in actual combat with one of the Mauser rifles and they definitely were NOT smiling.
For those really interested in the Tankgewehr and its ammunition, I whole-heartedly recommend the book “Das Tankgewehr Mauser M 1918,” by Wolfgang Kern. It is a German-language book, but it is so profusely illustrated with photos, drawings, copies of documents and easily read tables that one can enjoy it with a very limited knowledge of the German language. There is a great section on the ammunition covering German and foreign manufacture of the cartridge (this section does make me wish I read more German, even though well illustrated, just so I’d know which cartridges being discussed, for sure, were the T-Gewehr case type).
The book was published in Germany in 2002, and the cover indicates it is “Band I” (Volume I), so we may be seeing a second book one of these days.
There is also a good article on the T-Gewehr 13mm anti-tank rifle in the November 1977 issue of the British magazine “Guns Review”. I wouldn’t be smiling if I had to fire it, no muzzle brake, and no rubber buttpad = pain.
[quote=“TonyE”]Known dates are from April to November with the exception of October, i.e headstamped 4 to 9 and 11.
As said there is also a 12.
For those interested in such things, here’s the base of a bullet. My wife says I usually don’t know which way is up and she is correct most of the time. Do I have it right side up??
Bullet weighs 808.7 grains and is CWS, I think.
My inert round has a bedran prime with two flash holes.