7.63x25mm Mauser question

Are all these made by different bunters or they are just sloppy variations of the same bunter? I assume different bunters. They all came together in a bag of 120. Also, why is this calibre called “403”?

Vlad - I didn’t bother to study carefully your photo of the different headstamp letters on DWM cartridges, but I am sure that most of them are simply different bunters. Remember, this headstamp was made from about 1904 or so on thru about the end of the 1920s. Frankly, right now, I am too busy to delve into my notes for the year that DWM stopped using Serif letters, but it was c.1930. they made these rounds with this headstamp in very large quantities over a fairly long period of time. It is natural that different bunteres were made. Some factories seem to have had very strick standards for the size and shape of headstamp letters over the years, while others don’t seem to have. I would place DWM in the latter category.

The number “403” is the DWM case-register number for the basic 7.63m/m Mauser cartridge case. Many DWM bullets have their projectile-register number molded into the base of the core as well, and it is not the same number as the case number. It was their practice to use the case-register number to denote the caliber on many commercial headstamps. Why is a question only the early executives of DWM could have answered.

In the case of the .30 Mauser, that DWM number “430” was also applied by some other companies who made this caliber.

I would say that all of the headstamps you showed are genuine DWM headstamps. There were also spurious copies of this headstamp done, primarily in Asia. I have a couple of them. It is clear that they are not a product of German bunter technology. Other company’s headstamps have been copied as well. I have a .32 with a phony Sellier & Bellot headstamp. Both the cartridge and the headstamp are simply horrible.

By the way, it is not these spurious headstamps that I was referring to when I said other companies used the DWM case-register number to denote the caliber on .30 Mauser ammo. Cartoucherie Belge and SFM both did at one time or another, with the latter company using it both on a headstamp with their own initials, SFM, and on ne with the factory designator MSM, which I still have not been able to identify, other than it was made by SFM in France.
The DWM case number also appear on a Turkish headstamp, “F TC I 403” although it is possible that in that instance, the cartridge was actually made by DWM. I have NOT confirmed that, by the way.

The G. Roth firm also used catalog case numbers on headstamps to denote caliber, including on .30 Mauser. In that case, the number is “829”

By the way, I would not mistake simply differences in letter and number form on various headstamps to be “sloppy” headstamp bunters. There is nothing “sloppy” about any of the headstamps you show - they are simply differences probably resulting from different bunters used over a period of time.

Hope this is of some help and interest.

My no DWM head stamps with “403”

By chassepot


Chassepot - thanks for posting a picture. Thos are the four to which I alluded and have in my own collection. I have not heard of any others.

Do you have any idea what “M.S.M.” stands for? The cartridge was obviously made by S.F.M.

Jean-Pierre - is their a factory drawing for the M.S.M> headstamped 7.63 Mauser round?

Jean-Pierre - is their a factory drawing for the M.S.M> headstamped 7.63 Mauser round?[/quote]

There is surely one but without the meaning of MSN very hard for me to find it.

Making a research with name MSM as a proprietary mark I found a customer but it was for the mark on shotshells’ tubes. I do not think it is that.

There are some drawings showing hstps for 7.63 Mauser , but I don’t have them.


JP - No worry. I have been trying to find out what MSM stands for for twenty-five years with no success. I can fully understand the difficulty of researching drawings without know what to research. It is kind of a two-edged sword - you need the name to find the name which you don’t know!

I have had the same problem. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Here are a few more “403” headstamps. There are only 6 in total, my photographic skills are very limited tonight. I hope there is at least one clear shot of each.

Clockwise from top/left:
403 (3 is backwards) / * / 44 / * /
DWM 04 403 8
?-?-? * 403 *
DWM K 403 K (Chinese copy)
RBM X 403 X
DWM B 403 B

Jon - I was reviewing this thread and noticed that you identified the marking on a 7.62 x 25mm Tokarev as being the “403 with the 3 backwards” (The DWM case number). That is not correct. The number on that cartridge is probably 304 representing the arsenal number for the Moscow-Kutsevo Ammunition Factory, created in 1941 and open until 1946, according to IAA Journal Issue 450, Jul/Aug 06, page 11, in Phil Regenstreif’s article on Russian factory codes.

Unfortunately, it could also be read as the Cyrillic letters representing the Roman letters “Z O CH,” although I personally think from the style of the “4” that they are the digits “304”.

It is certainly not “403” under any circumstances. It is an unusual headstamp though, since the “304” is upside down to the date. I have three variations of this headstamp and all are rightside up to the date. I will have to really check my dupes, as this is an anomaly that I could have easily missed.

I’m familiar with the Soviet 304 factory, and I’m sure the round is from them. However, it is definitely stamped 40E, or perhaps 30h, if upside-down. It is surely a mistake, but I thought it was interesting to put it along with all the other 403s.

Jon - on looking at my specimen, where the top entries (12 O’Clock) are all but gone off the edge of the cartridge - you cannot even tell they were numbers - the marking could well be “30b” which could be the number “30” followed by the Cyrillic B, which looks a little similar to a Roman lower-cased “b”, or if all letters, it would be ZOB.

One thing is pretty sure - it is not any form of “403” and is not intended to be a representation of the DWM case code “403,” so its inclusion on this thread with the description given tends to muddy the waters a bit.

No matter. Do any of our Russian or Ukrainian friends have a better idea of what it is? I have only seen a few of these and all are so badly stamped that it is hard to tell what the various entries are. My three headstamp variants for Arsenal 304 are quite decently stamped and there is no mistaking that number on them.

OK, I’m sorry. I will never try to add humorous elements to my posts ever again;)
I have had 2 or 3 of this very headstamp, and always thought it could simply be a drunk bunter maker, or perhaps even some ammo from Darra, Pakistan.

I’m with Jon C, nothing worse than a drunk bunter maker. Hate 'em.

Jon - your humor is too subtle - it has to be slapstick for a square like me to get it. I am definitely in the “Three Stooges” category for appreciation of humor. My mother, who could be funny as h,l, thought I was totally devoid of any sense of sophisticated humor. What, me not sophisticated? “Hey wife, while you are ironing my checkered shirt, bring me another beer and my latest comic book!”

Don’t think that Tok is from Darra. I think it is really Russian. In the war years, some of their bunters were pretty poor. I suspect they didn’t care - just wanted to get the stuff up to the front. That would have been my own attitude.

It would be interesting to have that “30b” looking mark defined though. Yuri, you know anything about it? Treshkin? How 'bout you. Treshkin is a new papa so he is probably to busy to be looking this over!

I’ll try to get and post a clearer pic of it and make a new thread.

Jon - I think one think that makes it unclear is it sdeems to have a lot of remnants of having had whiteout on the headstamp at one time. It looks like some parts have it and some don’t, and that makes it harder to read. I enlarged it and cropped it down to this one headstamp, and photo-shop corrected the color balance, shading, etc, and still couldn’t read it.

My sample is even poorer stamped than yours.

Yes, there’s old white-out in it I think. I clicked on the pic above and it gets very clear for me. Did you try that?

Jon - yes, I did, but I don’t call it clear. I even enlarged it and enhanced it in photo shop - rotated it to be rightside up for less confusion, enhanced the shadow and color tone a bit, etc., and it is still a crap shoot as to what it is, in my view. I am almost inclined to think that it is the Cyrillic ZOB, but I don’t know what the heck that would stand for. I don’t think that last entry is a number.