7.63 Mauser from 5.56 NATO brass


I have had this case for a while, it is a 7.63x25 Mauser headstamped “FNB 91 5.56 (+)” when I first got it, it appeared to be a NATO headstamped 7.63 Mauser (Not likely). Of course I realised it was a 5.56 When I saw the “5.56” Marking. Is it a known practise of making 7.63 Mauser cases from 5.56 Brass? This has the carbon fouling inside of a fired case, but has been reloaded with a new Berdan primer. Surely it would be less effort to go to to buy new cases from GFL or similar, rather than cut down military 5.56 Brass, remove the spent Berdan Primer and size to 7.63 Mauser dimensions?


This is not an unknown practice. The 5.56 case will work for the basic 7.65 Para/7.63 Mauser/9mm Para base-sized cartridges, although it is a poor subsitute for the the real thing, in my opinion. However, 7.63 Mauser ammunition has not always been so readily available as it is now, and still probably isn’t in some countries. I have a .30 Mauser round from Argentina made from an Orbea .38 Special case, and with a JHP bullet probably made from a rifle bullet. I usually don’t keep these things, but it is such a good job I kept it in my collection. Also, FM in Argentina experimented with .30 Mauser - I have an unheadstamped one - although they probably would not have made up anything on an Orbea case. A friend of mine used to make Tokarev rounds from 5.56 cases years ago, when there was not quite so much Tokarev ammo around. They worked, although I often wondered why he went to the trouble, since if you looked hard enough, you could find suitable ammo. He siad he did it because it was so much cheaper - guess he didn’t count his time for anything.

I also have lots of 9mm Para blanks that have been made on 5.56 brass to get the overall length needed.

The 5.56 case, being intended for a high-presure rifle cartridge, has a much stronger web than most pistol cases need, and therefore is probably more forgiving of the fact that it is undersized for the uses mentioned in this topic.


John is right. This has been a common solution to the relative scarcity of 7.63 and 7.62 Tokarev ammo in a few locales. I have similar examples from the US, Rhodesia, and Israel, from 5.56 and (oddly enough) .38 SPL cases.


Cheers John. I also have a 9mm Luger blank made from a 5.56 Case. Hstp “RORG 90 (+)”


Very common practice, we, in the Movie Industry, utilise both Boxer and berdan 5,56. cases (Ball AND Blank) fror making a whole range of Blanks, from 9x17 (380ACP) right through to 9mm Mauser Export ( by way of 9x19m ,7,65 Para, 7,62 Tokarev, 7,63 Mauser, 9mm Steyr, 9mm Largo, etc.

Whilst the case in undersized (by about .010, it varies) the wall thickness allows a good strong case to be made, and a “shoulder” formed to headspace properly and make a “bullet profile” crimp necessary for good function, feeding and Powder combustion.

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish “Factory” made Blanks from “Home made” Movie Blanks, especially if the Packet/labels are not available.

Several “tricks” are employed to make these noise makers, but as this is a prohibited “reloading” point, I will not go into it.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics (Film Ordnance Services)


I take it these blanks cannot be reloaded once fired as blanks, as the fired 5.56 Case expands slightly. This is what has happened to the fired 9mm Blanks made from 5.56 Brass I have. The cases have also split a bit from the crimp downwards.

I am not even sure if the two fired blanks I have are actually 9mm Luger. The OAL after firing is about 28.5mm, and they are completely straight sided. I have the 9mmP / 7.62 Tokarev blank formed from a 9mm Win mag case, are you familiar with that design?


The have also don it with 7,62x63 cases to 7,62x51
This is a box from Austria (Hirtenberger)

          20 cartridge's 7,62mmx51
         projectile with Weichkern
                made out
         cartridge's 7,62mmx63
               ( garand )


Gyrojet - thanks for posting those pictures. That is the first such label I have ever seen in 45 years of collecting, and the first time I ever knew that a large, fully-equipped factroy ever made a run of military ball ammunition
loaded in cases made from those of another caliber of cartridge. I am NOT talking about or including runs in countries with primitive facilities, or runs of things like blanks and dummies, nor about small companies that make custom brass and ammunition in obsolete calibers. A very exciting picture to me, even though I don’t collect either of the calibers involved.

They must have had a lot of that brass to justify such an operation. Are all the cases of the same headstamp? If so, what is that headstamp?


The headstamps are al the same L C 54


Two replies in one: For Falcon:
Re. 9mm Win mag cases. Most commonly used basic case for making Movie 9mm Blank in the USA…all the big makers use it, as it is thinner walled than a 5,56/223/222 case, and the same dimensions as the 9mm para, and forms well without needing to trim it.

JM e& Gyrojet, re “reworked” 30/06 in Austria:
From 1955 onwards, Austria was again a free country (the Joint US/USSR/Britain/France occupation ended in 1955), and it adopted the M1 Garand as its first new Service rifle. The US supplied large quantities of ammo as well, fresh (hence Lake City 1954). Austria had some capacity of manufacture (OJP made .30/06 very early on, for limited procurement), but it seems that enough US ammo was left over by the early 1960s (Austria went “NATO” calibre in 1958, with the StG58 (aka FN FAL).

Allowing for the conversion timings, excess .30/06 ammo was re-cycled, probably by simply pulling the Bullets, collecting the Powder, sizing and trimming the cases, selecting a new load for the Powder, and re-seating the Bullet. For training Use, it was probably sufficient, and would carry over the country until a full production system of 7,62Nato ammo could be established. Austria, by its constitution, was a “non-aligned” nation, that whilst in the Western sphere of trade and influence, did not slavishly follow “US/British political trends”.

An interesting aspect of 1950s-60s Cold War History.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.