.577 Snider

Somebody found this cartridge in Malta.
It must be a .577 Snider. Are there any experts outside who could read this head stamp.

Thanks in advance


Looks like the Turkish “Moon-Star-Moon” at the top. The numbers at the bottom are 1321, date on the Moslem calendar, approximately 1921. There are a few different ways to calculate the conversion, can’t recall the Turkish system offhand.

The Turks had Sniders made up in Belgium, in the 1870s, whilst they were re-equipping with the M1874 Peabody-Martini.

The Turkish Snider case is different from the “normal” British Snider cartridge…the British case is slightly Bottlenecked, due to the Rolled case construction (“Boxer” patent rolled case) whilst the Turkish Snider is a straight tapered Drawn brass or copper case.
Due to chambering differences, the Turk will fit a British Snider but Not vice-versa…also a Turk Snider cartridge will Burst/Split if fired in a British Snider chamber.

Turkish DATE::: 1321 is approx. 1905 , (NOT 1920s…).

The Turkish dating system of Fiscal years ( April to March in Gregorian terms) used the Coming of Age of the Prophet ( 584 AD) as its “year One”, so, to avoid the differences in year length ( 364 days) and other Turkish Niceties, the simplest waty to “translate” Turkish year to Western (Gregorian )Years, +/-about six months, is to add 584 to the Turkish date.
This gives a close estimation of the Western year…in this case, 1321 + 584 == 1905.

This date conversion system is uniquely Turkish… other Artabic(Islamic) nations variously used the Hegira( 621 AD ) as the starting date ( actually June, 621, so add “622” to the Arabic date (Hegira) to get the equivalent Western date ( with a variation of about 6 months either way)…Iran used a conbination of Both systems at different times in its existence., and Saudi uses the Pure form of Hegira. All other Islamic countries use the western calendar for all things except religious matters, where the Hegira is used.

Getting back to the Turkish Snider cartridge…the ammo was made in Belgium ( and /or assembled at Istanbul, at the ancient Rifle factory there)
Right up to 1914.
Turkish Sniders were still on issue to Ottoman outposts such as the Yemen, Aqaba, the Persian Gulf, for Border guards, Police etc.

As to how it got to Malta, well the Island is the Cross roads of the Med., so by way of booty, trade, souvenir, etc…

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

The date looks like 1331 to me. Are my old eyes decieving me?

Phil - the date is clearly “1331” so that would be about 1915, according to Doc Av’s explanation of the Turkish system, which I’m sure is correct. I think he just made an initial typo and then followed it on. I have done that in answers since I am not looking at the original posting on a thread when I am typing an answer. I usually catch it and edit it out, but not always. Since the Forum is more or less a permanent record (we hope) I have edited my own postings for spelling erros, typos, etc. (always something that does effect content but that I am not happy with) sometime as much as three weeks after my answer was posted, when I have caught my own error reading some new answer on the thread.

Looking again, the date could even be 1336, as it almost looks like there is a horizontal line across the top of the last curved vertical entry.

Dutch, my dear friend. How about cleaning this a little so all entries are legible, and posting a new picture?

It would be nice to see this headstamp cleaned up a little. I am not at all sure about the entry at 12 O’Clock on the headstamp. While I certainly would not polish this nice old cartridge, I would clean it up some. I have used a brass-wire “toothbrush” with some success in doing this (by hand only, not on an electrically powered “wire wheel”). Doesn’t scratch or polish the brass, and it takes a lot of the “gunk” off of it, usually making headstamps much more legible!

Something to bear in mind in attempting to make sense of Ottoman Turkish dates is that the fiscal calendar didn’t supplant the lunar calendar but merely co-existed with it. The dates seen on certain Mauser rifles made for Turkey in the years 1887 to 1896 suggest they may be lunar rather than fiscal. Another thought is that the date 1331 on this cartridge, if lunar, falls just after the end of the Italo-Turkish War, which war was largely fought over Libya, just a hop, skip and jump from Malta. In this time period a given lunar Islamic date equates to about two years earlier in the Gregorian calendar than does the fiscal. But, again, caveat lector! JG

JM, Thanks for highlighting my error in reading the Date on the cartridge…my eyes are not that hot either, even with Spectacles.

Even so, a 1914-15 date would be feasible; even if the Italo-Turkish War in Libya was over by mid-1912 (1911-12), and covered not only Libya, but other Turkish possessions as well, in the Dodecanese Islands off the coast of Turkey itself.
As to the question of “lunar” and “Fiscal” years, the actual year is the same in length, only the starting point is different; the “first month” of the year in the old system (also used by Britain etc for many centuries, for Fiscal purposes, and as a result, for War Department Purposes as well, was April, the beginning (more or less) of Spring.), whilst the Lunar New year was normally sometime in January, and matched up with the “normal” festivities of the time ( even the Islamic world has a festive season , called “Eid el Fitr” at about the same time as Christmas/New-year and Hannukah.).

Interestring find anyway…

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Doc: The Ottoman Turkish calendar is not for the faint of heart and while the fiscal calendar is a true solar calendar beginning at a uniform point in the year the lunar calendar was of 354 days’ length and thus fell eleven and a fraction days short each solar year. I assume that when the fiscal calendar was created it and the lunar calendar were neck and neck, but by the end of the 19th cent. there was a more-or-less two year gap between them. This makes the problems of the Julian calendar child’s play by comparison. JG