7.63mm Mauser box by Artilleria Pirotecnia Militar

I assume this box was made by Pirotecnia Militar de Sevilla.

Does the marking in the lower right corner mean the cartridges were made in 1938? I don’t recall seeing this style box before?

What headstamp would appear on the cartridges?

Any other information would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Lew

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The marking at the lower right of the label basically says “Loaded in April 1938.” I thnk that is self-explanatory.

The box is from the Consorcio de Industrias Militares, Artelleria - Pirotecnia Militar de Sevilla. My box, identical to the one shown, contained mostly cartridges with the headstamp C I M PS (“C” at 12 o’clock, “I” at 9 o’clock, “M” at 3 o’clock and “PS” at 6 o’clock). One of the cartridges had no headstamp, but the same characteristics. I think the lack of a headstamp in this instance was purposeful, and the cartridge may not be original to that box, although it is definitely Spanish. I have a full clip of these same, unheadstamp cartridges; the clip is from Pirotecnia Sevilla.

The cartridges are brass case, brass primer cup, and CN (non-magnetic) FMJ RN bullet.

The box held two ten-shot stripper clips (the depth of the box will accommodate them), but they were missing from the box when I obtained it. Only about 6 or 7 rounds were left. The clips were likely marked “PS” enclosed in an oval, not to be confused with those stamped “P.S.”, with serif letters and periods after the letters, inside a much more elongated oval than that on the Spanish clips, and which are from Patronenfabrik Solothurn, Switzerland.

Below is a second box of similar, but not identical, label to the one shown by Lew. It originally contained two 10-shot clips with cartridges marked C I M PS, but in this instance, a change, for whatever reason unknown to me, in the order of the letters on the headstamp, in this case with the “C” at the 9 o’clock position and the “I” at the 12 o’clock position on the head. I have samples of both cartridge headstamps in my collection. The clip was as described above, marked “PS” in an oval.

Edited heavily to add and correct information due to finding a second box, as well as cartridges with no headstamp, and both forms of “CIM” headstamped cartridges, in my collection, research I should have done before I started on this. Sorry about that.

John Moss

Is there any known domestic production of other handgun calibers on behalf of the Nationalist government during Spain’s civil war? Jack

Lew, John is 100% correct, I show you a box only a month after that, the cartridges come mixed with and without headstamp. I hope you are all well and that this damn virus will let us meet again soon.
Greetings from Spain
José María

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Josemaria, muchismas gracias for the very nice photos that offer a much clearer form of identification that my explanations for these items. It also means that my major editing of my first answer need not have changed my opinion about the unheadstamped round that was with my April 1938 box. Evidently, it was completely original to that box. The only thing is that I was likely originally wrong about the lack of a headstamp being a “bunter error.”

Jack - yes, there were other pistol calibers made in Spain during this time. The 9 mm Corto, 7.65 mm Browning and 9 mm Largo for example. I have a 9 mm Para from Sevilla dated “39” but that may or may not have been made during the civil war in Spain. No time right now to research the ending date of hostilities during that tragic event.

John Moss

Many thanks! I bid on this box, but somebody was much more interested, and I forgot to follow the final few minutes of bidding. My mistake, probably caused by two glasses of wine and a good movie on Netflix! Wish I had won this auction.

Cheers,
Lew

Jack, John is right again, they manufactured the calibers that were the usual ones in Spain at that time, in addition to the 6.35 Browning, a couple of examples. There is a production of Parabellum PS 39, surely for German weapons.
José María

John and Jose Maria: Thank you for your comments and very helpful images. Jack

It is good to be able to date the ICM PS and unheadstamped rounds. I have a PS 40 headstamp to close out the top end, but any idea as to the date for the CIM PS rounds?

It seems to be from 1938 from labels on the box. I simply do not know the span of years that the Consorcio de Industrias Militares existed, or perhaps more important to those of us dealing with headstamps, how long the “CIM” headstamps were used. In the case of the 7.63 mm Mauser, boxes shown here that contained versions of the CIM headstamp definitely include the year 1938, and may span the years of the Spanish Civil War.

Disappointingly, I could find nothing other than the meaning of the initials in the very large book on Spanish ammunition, and while I may have missed it, it doesn’t seem the 7.63 mm Mauser cartridge is even discussed in the book, other than a list of the documents pertaining to Spanish ammunition is shown.

I will try to research it further, but at the moment, it is a bit of a dead end.

John Moss

Here is a little more concerning the C.I.M. In the book “Spain’s First Democracy: The Second Republic, 1931 to 1936,” by Stanley C. Payne, on page 94, the following was found:

"The six small-arms factories administered by the Artillery Corps were transferred by law in February 1932 to a new “Consorcio de Industrias Militares under the Ministry of War…”

Also, the Spanish Civil War’s generally-accepted span was from July 17, 1936 until April 1, 1939. I do not know if the Consorcio de Industrias Militares survived the end of the Civil War there, or not. At any rate, the 1938 date on the boxes fits well into the dates shown here.

John Moss

John, Pirotecnia Militar de Sevilla was integrated into the Consorcio de Industrias Militares on February 6, 1932. It was dissolved on March 1, 1935, when the military industry became part of the Dirección de Material e Industrias Militares.

Box label changes can be observed on a later date; for example, in 9 mm Bergmann-Bayard (Largo) the latest “Artillería Pirotecnia Militar” box is dated July 1932 and the first CIM label is dated August 1932.

To my knowledge, the designation change from 1935 was never reflected on box labels, as they simply went back to “Artillería Pirotecnia Militar”.

The factory was in possession by the Nationalists right after the uprising on July 17, 1936.

Regards,

Fede

Fede - thanks for the additional information. However, I don’t understand the closing date on the C.I.M. being at 1935, when ammunition in boxes dated three years later, from Pirotecnia de Sevilla, have the “C I M PS” headstamp???

John Moss

John, since the “Consorcio” was dissolved, we can assume they used any cases available at hand. Another importat point to consider is that a CIM cartridge from 1938 was loaded by the Nationalists and not the Republicans.

Regards,

Fede

Fede - normally, that would have been my own explanation, but both sides of the Spanish Civil War were generally short of supplies, despite supply intervention by many of the countries of Europe. I would not have thought that there would not be much left at Sevilla from the “Consorcio” days some three years after their dissolution. My own assumption would be that most of the components from 1935 would have been consumed before 1938.

I am also not sure what difference it would make which side was controlling the factory at the time (1938) we are discussing. I know the war was very bitter, but I would think that many of the people actually working in the factory in production, regardless of which side was using the factory, would have been retained if at all possible. I don’t think either side would be in a big hurry to destroy the technical prowess available when it changed sides. Management, of course, is a different story.

The one thought I had on the possible reason for finding C.I.M. headstamps in 1938 boxes, full or sometimes with a small mixture of unheadstamped rounds which of themselves may offer a clue, that they were just continuing to use bunters until they simply wore out beyond usefulness, and were not replaced, hence no headstamp.

Just my thoughts on this. I could be all wet. Not an unusual condition for me.

John

I’m not sure if my post/question was understood or answered. To put it more accurately; is there any difference in time-period or meaning between ICM PS and CIM PS headstamps?

Regarding the headstamp, there is no difference in the meaning. Both say CIM if read properly. It is simply a matter of how the letters were oriented, which determines how they should be read. Why they made the change is something no one could know unless there is some documentation - factory information - about changing the format.

Regarding the order of appearance, I doubt we could ever come up with a specific date or even close to it. It could differ depending on what caliber of ammunition the headstamp is on. Perhaps a Spanish collector with a large collection of box labels and cartridges with the C.I.M. marking on them could figure it out.

John Moss

John Moss