6.5 X 53R rim thickness

  • On pages 16, 17 and 18 of the last IAA Journal (issue #481, September/October 2011) there is the article named “6.5mm Mannlicher Ammunition and Clips”, article based on some topic posted on the IAA forum. I was not aware of that topic which had been posted here a while ago.
    Since I don’t have any 6.5 X 53R cartridge made in Holland or Romania, I had no idea that the Dutch round has a rim thickness of only 1.6 mm (+ or - 0.1mm) and the Romanian round has a rim thickness of 1.9 mm (+ or - 0.1mm).
    I only have a few 6.5 X 53R rounds with green lacquered steel cartridge cases headstamped like this (clockwise from 12 o’clock): “am” (maker’s WW2 code for Otto Eberhardt, Patronenfabrik, Hirtenberg, Austria), “St” (steel cartridge case), “20” (lot number) and “43” (two digit date of the year of manufacture 1943). These WW2 made 6.5 X 53R cartridges have a rim thickness of 1.6 mm and were manufactured for Dutch machine guns which had been captured by the Germans after the fall of Holland in 1940.
    In the article printed in the last IAA Journal, there are mentioned some DWM drawings that show the 0.3mm clear diference between the rim of the Dutch and Romanian 6.5 X 53R cartridges. Where can I see these DWM drawings ??? Can somebody post them here ???
    I have 3 Mannlicher clips with a large cut-out on each wall and these clips are marked like this: one is marked with “05” and two of them are marked with “22 AI”. These markings are not listed in the article printed in the last IAA Journal. Anyone who knows the factories which manufactured my Mannlicher clips ???
    I’ve tried with no result to find somebody in Romania to measure the rim thickness of an old Romanian made 6.5 X 53R round. There are no cartridge collectors today in Romania and even if somebody has a few old fired shell cases, the person may be afraid of the local police. Today a person in Romania may have the right to own a rifle with a legal permit and only 10 (ten) live cartridges for that weapon. The police has the right to come in your house (24 hours a day) to make sure you don’t have more than 10 live cartridges for the rifle you own. In order to go to the range to fire those 10 round with the rifle, the owner needs a special permit from the local police and that permit has to show the precise route from that person’s house to the range. This absurd policy is still the result of 45 years of communism in Romania (1945-1990). Liviu 09/19/11

Liviu: The clip marked 22 AI is of Dutch manufacture. Jack

A.I. = Artillerie Inrichtingen, Hembrug/Zaandam Netherlands.


  • @ Jack & dutch: Thank you both !!!
    If somebody has a 6.5 X 53R round with the rim thickness of 1.9 mm (+ or - 0.1mm), please post here the headstamp markings. Many thanks in advance, Liviu 09/21/11

[quote=“Liviu”]- @ Jack & dutch: Thank you both !!!
If somebody has a 6.5 X 53R round with the rim thickness of 1.9 mm (+ or - 0.1mm), please post here the headstamp markings. Many thanks in advance, Liviu 09/21/11[/quote]
I have 8 rounds marked AE star 1930 star,the rims are .074 inch and the dutch rims are .064 inch.

AE * 1930 6,5x53R M1896 Portuguese, Arsenal do Esercito.

Portugal bought, in 1896-97, a small number of M93 design ( Romanian) Steyr Mannlichers for Trials and then used these for Police and Border Guard use right into the 1930s. They initially bought ammo from Georg Roth (Vienna) and then made their own at AE, from about the early 1900s till WW II.

I suppose they would have followed the Romanian Contract ammo specifications.

Doc AV.
AV Ballistics.

I have done some measuring and the "DWM K 394 K " (Romanian) cases do have a 1.9mm rim thickness, “DWM K 395C K” (Dutch) are closer to 1.6-1.7mm.

Note, that it is easy to misread these rim thickness as the bases of both have a decent bevel and can give the impression it is thinner than actually is.

These dimensions do match the drawings from the DWM case book which I can post later if still required.

  • @ WBD: Yes, please post here (if you can) those DWM drawings showing the 1.6 mm rim thickness of the 6.5 X 53R Dutch round and the 1.9 mm rim thickness of the 6.5 X 53R Romanian round. THANKS, Liviu 09/22/11

Below is a montage of 4 drawings of the more well known members of the DWM 394 & 395 series (11 drawing altogether). This is a scan of a photocopy of a photocopy of a … so the quality is not great.

Case #394 has a 1.85mm rim thickness which is the same as a DWM/Mauser factory drawing of the Romanian, all later images of 394 cases show 1.9mm.

Case #394C appears to be 1.5mm
Case #395D and later cases appear to be 1.6mm

A 0.3mm differance in rim thickness is significant (ie headspace etc). What conclusions can be drawn from these differances is open to interpretation. They could be considered to be differant casetypes and it may well be that Romanian cases would not chamber in Dutch Mannlichers but this is speculation.

I don’t know whether a Romanian/Portuguese cartridge would chamber in a Dutch rifle but the thick rim will not fit the Dutch clips. This was covered in recent posts.


When an earlier thread on this topic suggested the Portuguese-produced ammunition for their version of the Romanian rifle had a thicker rim than the Dutch ammunition I was, frankly, inclined to attribute it to quality control issues and/or an attempt to tailor ammunition to worn rifles. The information presented here indicates that, in fact, the Portuguese ammunition is consistent with Romanian dimensions. Hmmm.

This brings a question to mind: clearly the Dutch and Romanian ammunition has significant headspace differences, so then what cartridge was the Mannlicher 1892 rifle, the precursor to both these rifles (but mechanically like the Dutch rather than the Romanian) adapted to? Since the Dutch rim thickness seems closer to most similar cartridges (.303, .30-40, .30-30) I wonder if perhaps the trials 1892 rifle ammunition was like the Dutch and it’s the Romanian that is the odd one. Are there any clues in surviving documentation? Jack (p.s. I’ve seen Gravelbelly’s post and I did in fact determine that my single Portuguese cartridge will not fit a Dutch clip or only with considerable difficulty)

Here is the drawing of DWM number 395D. Rim thickness is indicated as 1,6+0,1 mm.


The only one specimen of Romanian Mannlicher that I was able to measure is - 12 o’clock 1912, 3 o’clock 93, 6 o’clock W, 9 o’clock M; rim tickness - 1,9 mm (.075 in). I suppose this mean manufactured in 1912 by Mannferd Weiss for Romanian Mannlicher M93. Correct me if I’m wrong.


  • @ Iv40: I’m sure you’re 100% right. Back in Romania in 1960s and 1970s I could find out old 6.5 X 53R brass cartridge cases which had been fired by the Romanian soldiers in 1916-17. All those empty rounds had the same style of segmented headstamp with the same basic markings: the year of manufacture at 12 o’clock (example: “1912”, “1913”, etc.), “93” at 3 o’clock, various markings at 6 o’clock (mostly the letters “PA” followed by a third different letter) and the letter “M” at 9 o’clock. Unfortunately at that time I didn’t think to measure the rim thickness of those old Romanian 6.5 X 53R shell cases.
  • @ Fede: Thanks for posting that drawing.
    I also want to thank to anyone who posted at this topic. Liviu 09/27/11 P.S. For those interested to read about the Romanian Army fighting during the WW1 (in fact in 1916-17), I recommend the excellent book named “Infantry Attacks” written by Erwin Rommel (1891-1944) who had served twice (in 1916 and 1917) as army Lieutenant on the Romanian front where he was actually badly wounded in the arm in August 1917.

Hello, I’m resurrecting this topic to add rim thickness of next cartridges:
rim thickness=1,78mm

rim thickness=1,43mm

rim thickness=1,76mm

Just reviewing this thread during my convalescence from heart surgery back in December.

I have a Pape of Newcastle sporting 6,5x53R rifle built on a
Md 1892 Steyr Romanian barrelled action ( Phoenix acceptance proof), and have been using Dutch made 6,5x53R Scherpe N.1 cartridges with no problems.

I manufacture 6,5x53R reloadable brass from modern .303 cases, for Dutch rifles: I will have to check the. 303 Rim Thickness vis-a-vis Dutch specs, Romanian specs,
Kynoch “256 Flanged Mannlicher”
And if possible Keller & Cie Romanian contract.

I know of the disparity between Du tch and Romanian chargers but there is also the fact that Indonesia converted their Dutch M95s to .303, using the Dutch 6,5 clips without problems… l
Using both British Commonwealth
.303 and WRA 1950s contract .303

Another interesting Rim Thickness
/ Headspace tolerances question.

Entering 4th month of convalescence from open heart surgery and antibiotic therapy for
Strep. Endocarditis on Aortic valve
(Replaced 2008, 2nd Replacement
This Forum and Gunboards.com keep me sane whilst my body recovers.
Thanks all, especially those who call out my misinformation/mistakes.

Here is a DWM drawing of number 394, which is te Rumanian M/93 6.5 mm. As you can see, the rim thickness is 1.85+/- 0.05. The date on the drawing is difficult to read but appears to be the 25th of September, 1907. I also have a drawing showing the Dutch version, DWM 395E, which is shown with a

pointed bullet, has a rim thickness of 1.6+0.1. On both drawings the Mannlicher clip No. 3A is listed.


Hi, DocAV, please read your personal mailbox on the forum, Bsrg, Dan.