15.8 x 50R straight

A friend of mine who doesn’t have internet access asked me if I could find out a few facts about this round.

  1. What is correct original bullet diameter? (He got the number 0.623 in. from a paperback book with blue cover but he believes that to be in error.)

  2. What kind of powder and what weight of charge was in the common loading of this round?

My meager library doesn’t show anything with this name. What is it?

Thanks. It is a ca. 1900 big-game cartridge as far as I know. I’ve only seen one gun chambered for it, which was an outside-hammer double gun, this caliber rifle on one side and 16 ga. shotgun on the other. It was made by Husquvarna of Sweden. The fore end was one of those large sideways-operating levers for opening the breech. The barrels of the gun were steel which leads me to believe it was made for smokeless powder.

I did find this cartridge listed wit no picture or information in “Patronen” by Lenselink, Wantung and Hek.

Thanks. I should have noted the name of the book he found a picture and some data in, all I remember is a fairly thin, recent paperback with a blueish cover, It had a photo of an old round, stating as I recall that the case was 2 -inch length, and giving what friend knows is incorrect bullet diameter. It also termed the bullet shape as “Katzenkopf” which is German for “cat’s head.”

This cartridge is discribed in the book "Cartridges for Collectors"vol 1, by Fred A. Datig, Page 94.
Bullet dia .623
Case dia- neck .642
case dia - head .650
case dia rim .717
case lenght 1.972

This cartridge appears to be a shortened 24-gauge brass shotgun shell loaded so as to fire a huge lead bullet or slug.
The 15.8 x 50 R is assumed a longer version than the 15.8 x 40R holding more powder and intended for firing a slug from a shotgun.


Thanks Richard, how positive are you that the 0.623 dia. is correct? My friend disputed that because a bullet that diameter barely touches the lands on the side-by-side gun I described above.

IOW, did Datig measure an existing original round himself, or did he get the info from some other publication?

The bullet diameter is correct and match the one listed in the Utendoerffer bullet catalog (the one for brass cases only). However, the Utendoerffer case catalog list only 40 mm “Kugelpatrone” cases. I’m not aware of any other catalog listing a 50 mm “Kugelpatrone” case; Datig 1 p

Thanks, I guess we are at the end of the road, or close to it anyway, I will let the friend know what we have so far.

I had a question about a cartridge in one of my auctions and the bit I wrote about it was questioned by another collector who specialised in that field. He questioned my source of information and I quoted Fred Datig’s books.
At a later time I had the chance to ask Fred about this round, and he stated the things in his books were all “in hand”.

Hope this helps.