.257 Hyperexpress


#1

What is the relationship, if any, between the French .257 Hyperexpress and the German 6.5x61. Which one came first?


#2

This topic is of great interest to me also.
I had not heard of the 257 HyperExpress until I saw that Grasset catalog of 1931.

How do you know that the 257 has a 61mm long case ?
Was it based on the 6.5x55 SE like the 6.5x61 ?
Does anyone have dimensions of the 257 Hyper Express ?

As some background: The 6.5x61 was produced post WW1 by 1925 as it exists with the earlier “DWM K 431L K” hs which ceased to be used in 1925. It is known with at least six date codes , the last being 1939. However, it was not shown in DWM catalogs until 1928. It also exists without hs similar to the drawing in that Grasset catalog which I had assumed was DWM production, but maybe not ?


#3

I don’t have more information than what it published in the Grasset catalog but I’m not sure if this round is the same as the 6.5 x 61 Mauser. There are some companies offering dies for this “.257 Hyperexpress” but they also include almost every single cartridge mentioned in Cartridges of the World. The catalog illustration scale could be wrong but the total lenght of this cartridge is quite short for a normal 6.5 x 61. Actual rifles in this caliber looks exactly the same as the illustration.

The Grasset catalogs mentions a MV of 1000 m/s (3280.83 fps) and ME 400 kgm (881.84 ft·lb) but the closest ballistic performance for the 6.5 x 61 Mauser published by DWM in 1930 is MV 945 m/s (3100.39 fps) and ME 351 kgm (773.82 ft·lb) with 3,5 g (54 grs) of R. 2 powder and 7.7 g (118.82 grs) bullet. Ballistic data published by DWM in 1934 for cartridges like the 6.5 x 55 (431C), 6.5 x 57 (404A) and 6.5 x 58 (457) can reach 1030 m/s (3379.26 fps) but ME is just 324 kgm (714.29 ft·lb).


#4

The DWM case log shows the 431 case numbers assigned through the 461R. the basic 431 is the Norwegian 6.5mm K-J, and the 431A and 431B are listed as the Swedish 6.5mm “P.F. Rottweil”, again with no information listed. These were probably discontinued well before the log was copied from the original sometime between 1906 and probably 1910.

The 431C is the M/96 Mauser wutg thge 55mm case length. Through 431G all were 6.5x55mm. Number 431H was a Swedish 7.2x53mm experimental and 431J was a 7.6x59mm Swedish experimental. 431K was a 6.5x58mm and beginning with 431L (L, M, P and R) are the only ones listed and M, P & R were added subsequent to the log being initially copies. All four have 61mm cases. L & M are 6.5mm and P & R are 5.6mm. Note that all are rimless except for 431M and R which are rimmed.

Cheers,

Lew


#5

There is a wildcat named “6.5 x 58 Grasset” made from M88 or .30-06 cases but I’m not sure if it could be the same cartridge.


#6

An owner of one of these carbines confirms it was chambered for the 6.5 x 61 Mauser. Here are some pictures of the weapon and cartridges used (DWM K 431L K):


A picture of another carbine in which markings “257 Hyperexpress” and “Grasset” can be partially seen on the chamber:


#7

That’s fairly conclusive information Fede , thanks a lot !


#8

The headstamp on these cartridges appear’s to have the Serif letters which were generally dropped by DWM by the late 1920. The fact that the 431L case was part of the original log (identical entries on the two copies of the log that I have access to) indicates that it was likely in production by 1910 or perhaps earlier. We are confident the list was done by 1913 at the latest.

Lew


#9

The serif style lettering was dropped by DWM during 1926 (on sporting rifle cartridges) - I have several examples of this occuring. So this info is irrelevant for case #431L as the earlier “DWM K 431L K” style hs was already ceased to be used from 1925.

Here is part of my analysis of the DWM 431 series:


A DWM factory drawing of the case #431K is known dated 30 August 1913 helps to establish the introduction dates of these cartridges. The full list is as follows:

case# exists Date Calibre and Notes
431 1896 6.5x55 Krag-Jorgensen M94
431A 1896 6.5x55 Rottweil - probably loaded with Rottweil powder
431B 1896 6.5x55
431C yes 1896 6.5x55 Mauser M96 - common commercial 6.5x55 cartridge
431D yes 6.5x55 Luxembourg - Military loading for Luxembourg
431E yes 6.5x55 Swedish
431F yes 1905 6.5x55 Swedish M05
431G 6.5x55 for SFM - loading for the French Company SFM.
431H yes c1912 7.2x59 Swedish (W47)
431I No case is known to have been designated to this DWM number
431J yes c1912 7.5x59 Swedish (W48)
431K yes 1913 6.5x58 Swedish (W44)
431L yes c1924 6.5x61 Swedish-commercial use listed till at least 1939 (W45)
431M yes 1933 6.5x61R Swedish - rimmed 431L (W46) - ‘N N’ codes= 1933
431N No case is known to have been designated to this number
Maybe the 6x61 Hof-Mann Express (W71) based on the 6.5x55
431O No case is known to have been designated to this number
Maybe the 6x61R Hof-Mann Express (W72) based on the 6.5x55
431P yes 1934 5.6X61 Vom Hofe (W27) - known with ‘M M’ codes = 1934
431Q No case is known to have been designated to this number.
May have been allocated to a Vom Hofe prototype.
431R yes 1934 5.6X61R Vom Hofe (W28) - known with ‘M M’ codes = 1934


Lew, it looks to me that case #431L was done after the DWM Case book was produced in 1913 as the various copies have different entries for this case.

Also as I have stated However, it was not shown in DWM catalogs until 1928. I still believe that 431L is later than you state - probably closer to c1924.


#10

There is a different method which can be used with DWM case numbers if we follow the drawing numbers assigned to cases:

431H: Drawing 251X (c. 1912)
431J: Drawing 251Y (c. 1912)
431K: Drawing 251Z (1913)
431L: Drawing 251Z2 - Date???
576: Drawing 456 (9 x 34 Echolot - c. 1931-32)
578: Drawing 457 (.22 Hornet - c. 1932-33)
431M: Drawing 458 (known with “N N” codes = 1933)
580: Drawing 460 (8.15 mm Mauser - c. 1933-34)
584: Drawing 486 (11.15 x 31 R - 1934)
431P: Drawing 511 (known with “M M” codes = 1934)
585: Drawing 512 (7 x 64 Lübeck - 1934)
431R: Drawing 522 (known with “M M” codes = 1934)
586: Drawing 527 (15 x 96 MG 151 - c. 1934-36)

In this particular case this method has the same problem as case numbers; if the drawing number is followed by a letter or letter and a number (i.e. 251Z2) it’s not possible to establish a precise date with the information available. Also, the continuity of drawing numbers is not a reliable method in some cases because some numbers were assigned years after case numbers were assigned.


#11

Thats an interesting interpretation Fed but as you say, the sub-letters make the whole chronology difficult.

I have copies of the actual case drawings 251Z (1913) and 251X (= case #431H) which is undated. A pity more of these haven’t been dicovered ( or made available ?)

Regarding the case book, it is my interpretation that 431J, 431K and 431L etc were all added after the original 1913 creation date as the numbers are drawn differently in the left column. I am certainly open to alternative explanations however !


#12

WBD, I should have looked harder. In the DWJ log book with the 1913 dated cover the 431J, K & L look like they are in the same hand as the earlier numbers, but the letters may be slightly larger in comparison to the earlier numbers. In the copy that Datig obtained the 431J, K & L are a distinctly different style from the earlier numbers, as you point out. This raises a possibility that I had not thought of before.

I had questioned the 1913 date as being too late based on the drawings of the US 45 cartridge where the M1906 (DWM 513) is clearly copied in identical hand, but the shorter case M1908 (DWM 513A) case were copied very different hand. Further the 513B is added to the “Datig” log but missing from the DWJ log. By 1909 or 1910, DWM and Luger had given up on the US 45 trials and past practice is that they would not have included the 513 and 513A had they copied the book in 1913.

I thought (or it has been speculated) that the books were all copied at the same time, and that may be so, but it is possible that the DWJ book was maintained in the hand of the original draftsman, while the Datig log was maintained by others. I think that the differences in the letter styling of the letters for 431J, K & L are a clear indication that the basic books were done well before 1913 and updated seperately from at least 1912. The Datig book apparently did not have a dated cover when Fred saw it. He told me that himself.

If others have some of these DWM drawings from about 1902-1913, we may be able to better date these logs.

Cheers,

Lew


#13

I am interested very much about these two DWM books.
Lew has tried to explain me but unfortunately I didn’t understand very much all the tricks.

A) I would like to know what is SURE about these books.

  1. Minimum year when they were written.
    About me I found “after 1904” because some ctges from the 1904 catalogue were listed but there dimensions were not given, meaning they were not manufactured anymore.
    Is that correct ?
  2. Last year when they were updated for each of them.

B) About what you think now.
Could you explain simply the story of separately updates, last year of separatley update, years of common updates and so on.
About me I found some dimensions are not the same in the two books (error on the original document, error when Lew restored his copy ??)

C) There is something i don’t understand :
If one catalogue is dated from 1913 it means the dimensions in it are the ones from 1913 and eventually the ones which were modified after.
In any case they don’t show for example dimensions from 1906 which were later modified in 1910.
If it is that it means the 1913 cover is totaly false.
Correct ??

Thanks for your explanations.
jp


#14

I’ve checked some handwritten tables made by IWK in 1973 and these state that case number 431L was made between 1924 and 1936 (wurde gefertigt von 1924 bis 1936). These are not 100% accurate (as usual) and, for example, given date for 431P case is 1935-1973 and for 431R is 1938-1973. Nothing conclusive but it adds another piece to the puzzle.


#15

JP - the description in the Introduction vol2 of GIG Pubs on DWM cartridges explains most of the history of the two books, Have you read this ?

Fede - that is interesting, so you are referring to the IWKA AG company which lasted till about 1979 after IWK (formally DWM - the munitions part) went out of business in oct 1972. This info from 1973 doesn’t appear very accurate, especially when DWM production was supposed to cease in 1972:

431L was made between 1924 and 1936 : The 1924 agrees with my estimate but there are definetly “JJ” and “GG” codes which should be 1937 and 1939 respectively. So this is wrong

431P case is 1935-1973 : Earliest production known is “M M” = 1934, Most recent known DWM production that I know of = “K U” = 1970. So this is wrong
431R is 1938-1973 : Earliest production known is “M M” = 1934, Most recent known DWM production that I know = “K T” = 1971. So this is wrong

Maybe their interpretation of the date codes is different ? But even so 431R should have started in the same year as 431P (ie “M M” codes) so 1938 must be wrong in any interpretation.


#16

Brad, yes, these tables were made by Industrie-Werke Karlsruhe Augsburg Aktiengesekllschaft (IWKA) in late 1973. I’m aware that these mention a lot of contradictory and wrong information but some data is intriguing. A few cartridges are listed as being made until 1973 while others just until 1972. For example:

557: 7 x 64 Brenneke = 1924-1973 - This DWM number is usually listed as c. 1925
557A: 7 x 65 R Brenneke = 1932-1972 - This DWM number is usually listed as c. 1926

I’ll need some time to compare these “official” tables with other information to see how useful they are.


#17

[quote=“WBD”]JP - the description in the Introduction vol2 of GIG Pubs on DWM cartridges explains most of the history of the two books, Have you read this ?
.[/quote]

WBD,
Yes i have read it.
Furthermore Lew gave me explanations.
And as I said, I don’t understand very much.

I just want to know for each of them the minimum year and the year of the last update deducted from ctges you are 100% sure

If for example we take the example of Lew about 513 number (45 acp), he said DWM submit ctges for trial in 1906, therefore we can say the minimum year for sure is 1906 (till we find a later date).
I am not taking into consideration modifications because I just want the minimum year.

On the same way if you see a ctge introduced in 1950 for example you know the updates were good till 1950

Do you understand what I mean ?

JP


#18

JP, we have to start somewhere so here is my interpretation of the two books. Lew will correct me where I am wrong and he has done a lot more work on this than I have.

  • I believe that in 1913 two identical copies were made of an original hand made ledger that was becoming worn out. Hence they are dated 1913.
  • Since then both the two copies were amended separately (but similarly) as new cases, loadings etc were added.
  • From the differances in the two copies you can tell which case# was the first one entered after the 1913 originals were made. It appears to be from case #538 onwards for the simple case numbers (ie without letters). This date appears correct (just prior to WW1) from my studies of the DWM case series.
  • because sub letters in the DWM case numbers were added chronologically (ie case #431G was introduced before #431H) but out of sequence with the number series, then it has always been difficult to work out exactly when a DWM case # with letters was introduced (eg case #431L).
  • however, because the two copies differ after 1913 you can generally tell if a sub letter case# was introduced after 1913. eg case #431J, K, L etc all appear to be after 1913 while 431- 431H are before 1913.

Like all such systems there will be anomalies; some may be missed (eg 513B in the Kellner version), one copy amended differently etc and I have not done a full analysis of every case number but I have looked at most of the sporting rifle cartridges.

Also note that the datig copy (GIG vol2) finishes with #603 (after Fred brought it back in 1956 ?), the Manfred Beutter copy I have matches the Kellner version but finishes with #611 and the Bernd Kellner copy (GIG vol1) is most complete and goes to #633 which is at least 1971.

JP, if you are asking for a minimum year for each case# you are expecting too much but I can provide a DWM list that has roughly each year and the case numbers (without letters) that were introduced around that time plus dates for some of the case numbers with letters but that is about as good as you are going to get. You will always have debate over these as well.

I am unsure exactly what the case #513 example is supposed to show but #513A looks to have been added after 1913 which is not out of the question for a 1911 US cartridge ? (but this is not my speciality).

I hope that this quick analysis hasn’t increased the amount of confusion ??


#19

Hello WBD,

It is nice to you to spend time to try to explain to me these books.
More i go and more I am lost !!

here above my questions

[quote=“WBD”]

  1. “I believe that in 1913 two identical copies were made of an original hand made ledger that was becoming worn out. Hence they are dated 1913.”
    [color=#4040FF]If they made the copies in 1913 I don’t understand why they copied ctges which were no more manufactured before 1913.
    This is my main non understanding.[/color]

  2. "Also note that the datig copy (GIG vol2) finishes with #603 (after Fred brought it back in 1956 ?), the Manfred Beutter copy I have matches the Kellner version but finishes with #611 and the Bernd Kellner copy (GIG vol1) is most complete and goes to #633 which is at least 1971. "

[color=#0000FF]We have three different copies now.
The Kellner copy wears date 1961 at the bottom of the pages.
How do you recognize Beutter copy ?[/color]

  1. [color=#0000FF]what is the year of introduction of numbers 603, 611 ?[/color]

I hope that this quick analysis hasn’t increased the amount of confusion ??[/quote]

thanks a lot
JP


#20

[quote] 1) "I believe that in 1913 two identical copies were made of an original hand made ledger that was becoming worn out. Hence they are dated 1913."
If they made the copies in 1913 I don’t understand why they copied ctges which were no more manufactured before 1913.
This is my main non understanding.[/quote]

This is speculation of course but probably as a total record of all of their production as the original was becoming no longer useable. They made two copies to avoid the problem of one being destroyed/damaged/lost. This way they could refer to the book for loading details, drawing numbers, case dimensions etc if they were requested to once again start production of a case. I don’t see why this is an issue ?

[quote]2) "Also note that the datig copy (GIG vol2) finishes with #603 (after Fred brought it back in 1956 ?), the Manfred Beutter copy I have matches the Kellner version but finishes with #611 and the Bernd Kellner copy (GIG vol1) is most complete and goes to #633 which is at least 1971. "

We have three different copies now.
The Kellner copy wears date 1961 at the bottom of the pages.
How do you recognize Beutter copy ?
[/quote]

The GIG reproduction of the Kellner catalog doesn’t show dates on the pages but the date 1966 is mentioned in the introduction JP.

The Beutter copy (which I got a copy of in the 1990’s from Manfred) has a date at the bottom right of the pages which is hard to read but appears to be 1966 (possibly 1955). This appears identical (but with less pages) so just consider the Kellner and Datig copies.

603 is the last entry in the Datig copy so is at least pre 1956 (Datig’s visit) and is probably 1941 as Gehmann evidently stated in a letter dated 7Jan1993 that the first drawing of the 7.6x66 was on 2 Dec 1941.

By the time of Datig’s visit, ammunition production had evidently only been going a short time (1-2 years) and it is likely that no new case types had been produced after WW2.

611 is likely to be 1955/1956 as 612 (7X66 VOM HOFE) is believed to have been finalised by then and of course it wasn’t produced in the USA until around this time.

The case book cannot be used to give exact dates of introduction. It can be used with other DWM documentation to make more accurate estimates of such dates.

[edited for spelling mistakes and improved clarity]