I have copied the text from a 2004 article I wrote on the German “D” vs “E” case types which may help explain some of the subject, as it is still not fully understood. I can attach some pictures if there is any interest but this will have to wait until I return home.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE 9.3MM (360) EXPRESS CARTRIDGE IN GERMANY :
THE ENGLISH .360 EXPRESS
The introduction of the ‘straight’ 360 case in England is believed to be sometime in the early 1870’s, the early cases were boxer primed using either cardboard or coiled brass cases. The popular drawn case 360 2¼in Express evidently existed prior to 1878 (Fleming) and the approximate evolution in England of this case type is shown in the following table:
Cartridge Date Case Length Rim thickness Rim Ø Base Ø
360 1½ in Coiled 1870’s 37.97-38.1 1.27mm 12.12-12.27 10.74-11.05
360 1¾ in Coiled 1870’s 44.25-44.70 1.27-1.37 12.19-12.27 10.74-10.97
360 2¾ in Boxer 1870’s 69.77-69.85 1.52mm 12.11-12.14 10.92-10.95
360 2¼ in Coiled Pre-1873 55.63-57.13 1.52mm 11.99-12.34 10.82-11.02
360 2¼ in Drawn Pre-1878 55.63-57.13 1.14-1.52mm 12.01-12.32 10.82-10.95
360 2 7/16 in Drawn Pre 1892 61.9-61.98 1.14 12.12-12.24 10.85-10.87
Details and dimensions from “British Sporting Rifle Cartridges” by Bill Fleming.
On first appearances the 360 2¼ in Express looks like a straight taper from the base to the mouth but this is not the case when the cases are accurately measured. This case is parallel for an appreciable distance from the mouth until they begin to taper uniformly outwards to the base (ie they have a neck and body but no shoulder !). This would be necessitated by the crimping required to fasten the bullet in the case but in this case the neck is longer than required for such purposes. Measuring a variety of Hollands, Eley and Kynoch headstamped 360 examples showed that this ‘neck’ length varied from as short as 9mm up to at least 16mm on different examples. This however is unlikely to be critical for chambering the cartridge due to tolerances of the period.
GERMAN USE OF THE ENGLISH 360 EXPRESS CASE
In the late 1870’s there was clearly a need in Germany for a smaller diameter cartridge case for sporting purposes. Up till then, German companies mainly used modifications of existing military cases such as the 11mm Mauser (ie the “MB” cartridges) for such purposes but these cases were very large in diameter. It is likely that the German companies looked at the growing success of the 360 Express in England and decided to utilise this case, just as they did with the English 400, 450 and 500 Express cartridges around the same time.
The likely earliest German production of the 360 EXPRESS case type appears to the introduction of a ‘360 Kurz’ (ie. 360 Short) by the company DEUTSCHE METALLPATRONENFABRIK LORENZ (generally known as ‘LORENZ’ and which later became DWM). This is shown in catalogs as a 9.3x45R, given Lorenz case #73 which is around 1878 or even earlier and appears to be a drawn case equivalent of the 360 1¾in coiled case used by Purdey. Interestingly, no drawn cases of English manufacture are known for this case length.
The other major German ammunition company at this time was H.UTENDOERFFER, owned by Heinrich Utendoerffer, which also produced a 9.3x45R, probably around the same time as Lorenz.
Left two: 9.3x45R “D” by Utendoerffer. Is this the cartridge that started the “D” series of cartridges ?
Third: The DWM 1904 catalog Drawing of the 9.3x45R 1.2mm rim ? Right: Egestorff drawing
The exact dimensions of the Lorenz cartridge can not be confirmed as surprisingly, DWM examples are not known to exist ? please prove me wrong! The DWM case book does not show a case drawing but examples should have been produced however, as this cartridge was listed in all known Lorenz-DM/K-DWM catalogs from c1885 to 1904. The 1904 DWM catalog drawings of case #73 shows the standard 11.0mm/12.5mm base/rim dimensions consistent with the case drawings of later 360 Express types (ie the case #77 series) which show a 1.2mm rim thickness. This conforms to most English production of the 360 English Express drawn case types and it is reasonable to assume that the 9.3x45R DWM case #73 did use a 1.2mm rim thickness.
The only 9.3x45R examples that are known to exist are by Utendoerffer with the “H.UTENDOERFFER NÜRNBERG” hs. Interestingly, these examples have a smaller c1.0mm rim thickness which is considerably smaller than the normal c1.2mm of the English 360 types, although according to Fleming, some English production did have such a small rim thickness (see table above). The Georg Egestoff company of Linden also later (c1895-1900) listed a 9.3x45R which appears to be the Lorenz version and catalogs show a 12.75mm rim diameter but this cannot be confirmed as Egestorff examples are not known to exist either.
THE ORIGIN OF THE “D” TYPE CASE ?
The production of the 9.3x45R with narrower 1.0mm rim thickness by H.Utendoerffer eventually led to a whole new series of 9.3mm Express cartridges to be created, all with the c1mm rim thickness and slightly different case profile. These were referred to as the “D” or “Deutsche” (meaning ‘German’) form, while the larger rim thickness cases (as per the original English type cases) were referred to as the “Englische” or “E” type.
BulletØ MouthØ NeckL TaperL CaseL HeadØ RimØ RimThick Code
9.3x45R D Uten 9.3 9.9 c5.0 c40 44.95 10.9 12.3 1.0 Exp2
9.3x45R Lorenz 9.3 c9.8 ? ? 45.4 11.0 12.5 1.2 ? Exp2 ?
So why was the “D” type case invented ? The exact reason why Utendoerffer apparently choose a 1mm rim thickness and different case profile for its first 9.3mm (360) case can not be known for sure. Either it was deliberate or just a plain mistake.
If it was a mistake, then this may well have occurred when the German ammunition companies decided to copy this cartridge. Clearly, they would obtain and measure samples from England. With the variation in case dimensions, due to early manufacturing techniques, the dimensions obtained depend on what samples they used. DWM and Utendoerffer may well have used different specimens and therefore produced different incompatible types. This is why there is so much variation between the various German “D” and “E” types produced by DWM, Utendoerffer, Stahl and Egestorff
Heinz Held (a German cartridge collector of some authority) also appears unsure of the reason why the “D” case was produced. In his RWS-Patronen-Sammelsurium he states (translated) : "For no known reason, beside this form a further more progressively conical type was offered on the German market as ‘D’ for ‘Deutsche (German) form’. Later he states : “Inevitably the question arises why two forms were produced. The sometimes called “gewöhnliche geschweifte Deutsche Form” (‘usual curved German form’) might have been the most common. This can only be explained in the way that a competition with nationalistic background existed: English cartridges could not be used in cartridge chambers in weapons manufactured for the D form, while both types of cartridges fit in weapons designed for the English E form. (A kind of protectionism)”.
As will be seen later, this isn’t exactly true, as in pragmatic use, neither “D” or “E” type cartridges appear to be interchangeable. However, if the creation of the “D” type was deliberate, it must have been for one of the following reasons:
- A gunmakers requirement, or if you have a more sinister mind;
- Deliberate ‘proprietary’ behaviour with Germany in competition with the English.
- Deliberate ‘proprietary’ behaviour with Utendoerffer in competition with Lorenz.
Whatever the reason, the consequences of the rim thickness difference, is that two incompatible families of 9.3mm Express cartridges evolved. Over the years this situation must have caused considerable frustration amongst firearm manufacturers and hunters (not to mention cartridge collectors!).
Using standard tolerances, weapons chambered specifically for the Utendoerffer cartridge (ie. a rim thickness of c1.0-mm) were likely not to chamber the standard English form of this cartridge with 1.2+mm rim thickness. Most authoratative sources consider that a headspace of 0.2mm is excessive. The D and E are not interchangeable. Over the next two decades, the case length was progressively lengthened to improve performance. To use such longer cases in existing weapons, it was likely that chambers needed to be modified. This was a relatively simple task but modification of the headspace was not so easy. Consequently, cases with both 1.0mm and 1.2mm rim thickness were required to enable hunters to make use of the new powerful, longer cased cartridges.
9.3X57R EXPRESS TYPES vs 360 2¼in EXPRESS
Shortly after the 9.3x45R (still c1878), Lorenz introduced case #77 which was listed as a 9.35x57R being the German equivalent of the popular 360 2¼in Express, generally referred to in continental Europe as the “9.3x57 E Express”. DWM examples of this case exist and reportedly have a 12.5mm rim diameter (as shown in both DWM catalogs and the DWM casebook). This is considerably larger than the English 12.0-12.3mm diameter although unlikely to be critical for chambering purposes. The rim thickness of this case was the typical “E” type being 1.2mm. Utendoerffer also produced this case length probably around the same time, probably originally in “D” form and later in “E” form.
These were popular cartridges and both were also later produced by Stahl/Gecado and Egestorff, whilst the “E” was also produced by G.Roth, Hirtenberger and the Czech companies J.Roth, M, Z, PS and SBP. A later DWM case #77E (>1891) was also listed as 9.3x57R and may well be the “D” type but is not believed to have been produced as it was listed in the casebook as “Ungültig” meaning: “no longer valid/cancelled/not current” and no such case is known to exist.
THE DIFFERENCE IN THE 9.3X57R “D” AND “E” EXPRESS CASES
Measuring examples of 9.3x57R D & E types from different manufacturer’s gives enough variation to be quite confusing. Differances taken from the dimensions of RWS drawings (see above) are clearer and are within 0.07mm of each other except for two main differences, which are as follows:
Dimension : ‘E’ case ‘D’ case : Compatability, notes etc
Rim Thickness 1.2mm 1.05mm E type would not chamber in D headspace.
Equally if a ‘D’ type case was inserted in a
‘E’ type chamber then the excessive
headspace would make it unuseable.
Case Profile Tapered to 50mm from base
Concave curve to 40mm , basically straight to mouth
The D case curves more quickly from the base so that by 20mm from base the D type is 0.25mm narrower. The E would not likely chamber in a D chamber
As Heinz Held in his RWS-Patronen-Sammelsurium states (translated) : “As a comparison, the 360 2¼ in and equivalent 9,3x57R 360E possessed a case diameter 20mm above the base of 10.35mm while the 9,3x57R 360D had one of 10.10mm.”
BulletØ MouthØ NeckL TaperL CaseL HeadØ RimØ RimThick Code
9.3x57R D 9.3 9.87 17.0 40.0 57.0 10.86 12.35 1.05 Exp4
9.3x57R E 9.3 9.80 7.0 50.0 57.0 10.91 12.35 1.2 Exp10
THE RANGE OF 9.3mm EXPRESS CASE LENGTHS INCREASES
The English did produce the 360 calibre in longer than 2¼ in (c57mm) case lengths: The 360 2¾ in (c70mm) coiled case type produced sometime in the 1870’s did not progress to the drawn case type. Also the 360 2 7/16 in (c62mm) drawn case which according to Fleming would be pre-1892. However, only the 360 2¼ in Express achieved any long term production.
Right : Egestroff, Utendoerffer/RWS and DWM drawings of <35-36mm and 48mm ‘.360’ Express case types.
The main German companies progressively introduced different cases lengths, initially shorter lengths of 35-48mm (see above) and then from c1890, longer case lengths of: 70, 72, 80, 82 and 85. The exact introduction dates of these cartridges is hard to determine. Heinz Held in his RWS-Patronen-Sammelsurium states (translated) : “Starting from about 1890 the cartridges 9,3x70/72/82,5/85R 360D as well as the 9,3x70/72R 360E were gradually developed. In the 1904 RWS catalog the 9,3x85R 360D was already no longer mentioned, however the 9,3x80R 360D was.
The following table lists all the 9.3mm Express cartridges in the approximate order of introduction with the companies that manufactured them.
Cartridge Date Uten DWM Egest Stahl Roth HP Other Code
9.3x45R D c1878 ? 73 9345 EXP2
9.3x57R E c1878 ? 77 9457 ? 561 360 * EXP10
9.3x57R D c1880 ? 77E? 9357 ? GECADO EXP4
9.3x36R D c1882 x35R 178 9335 EXP1
9.3x48R D c1883 ? 246 EXP3
9.3x70R D c1890 ? 77F 9370D ? GECADO EXP5
9.3x70R E c1890 ? 9370E ? MWS ? EXP11
9.3x72R D c1892 ? 77A 9372D ? ? #? ? #? ** EXP6
9.3x72R E c1892 ? 77D? 9372E ? 635 ? #?GECADO,
9.3x82.5R D c1895 ? ? #? GECADO ? EXP8
9.3x85R D c1895 ? HAMACHER EXP9
9.3x65R Stahl c1895 ? GECADO EXP24
9.3x72R Nimrod c1898 ? GECADO ? EXP14
9.3x82R Nimrod c1899 ? 506 ? #? ? 709N GECADO,GECO EXP16
9.3x80R D c1902 ? 77B? ? #? ? EXP7
9.3x82R E Austrian c1905 ? 77C? 709 JR, M, Z, PS EXP13
9.3x75R Nimrod c1905 ? EXP15
9.3x72R NORM c1912 ? 77D,646 *** EXP16
- MWS, JR, M, Z, PS, SBP, KELLER
** GECADO, GECO, NORMA, M+FA, MWS, M, PS
*** GECADO, GECO, JR, L, SU, DWA, M+FA, MWS?, NORMA, Z, PS