7.65 x 53 Belgian Mauser


Recently found at SLICS…
Cartridges within have browned case, headstamp U.M.C. 7.65 M/M
Were these made for one of the countries in South America that used this caliber ??..These would date from about 1914
The overlabel states: 4,000 Atmospheres 58,800 Lbs. Pressure

Thanks for any info !!


Belgium use of 7,65x53mm?

Randy: I think they would have been made for one of the Latin American countries using this caliber, but if these were loaded into brass a few years old they could be proof loads produced for Hopkins and Allen in the U.S. to test the Mausers of this caliber being produced during the Great War for Belgium. The overlabel does seem to suggest they are proof loads. Jack


Thanks, Jack…
They are proof cartridges, I should have mentioned that…the backs of the lid and box are stamped in red ink PROOF CARTRIDGES, and of course, the cases are purposely “browned” to indicate this…

I think that the brass would been fairly new at this time, lets say this was one of the calibers where the changeover from UMC to REM-UMC headstamp was not immediate…say, 1913-1914

I did not know that any Mausers were made in the US…



The time line seems to leave Hopkins and Allen out of the picture. Perhaps loaded for a Latin American country who did overhauls and rebarreling and would need proof loads for testing. Certainly the mention of pressure in terms of atmospheres suggests end-user was familiar with that basically European measure of pressure. Jack



Back in the day, as you know…the ammunition companies “used up” pretty much everything, sooooooo…the box and cases could, in my opinion, have been from the WW1 era…

When were Hopkins and Allen making the rifles ???..I would assume early in the war ??..1914 or so ??

There are also tinned 7.65mm dummies from the same era, with headstamps RA 17 7.65 and REM-UMC 7.65 m/m



Randy: I don’t know exactly when Hopkins and Allen was producing the Belgian Mausers, but my impression was fairly early in the war, perhaps 1915-16. Jack


The Hopkins and Allen Model 1889 Belgian Mausers and Bayonets for them are from beginning in 1915.

"In 1915, Hopkins & Allen entered into a contract with the Belgian Government to manufacture their 1889 model military rifles. This was the first time that H&A had ever been involved with a government contract. They disconinued all commercial production and converted their facilities to fulfill their commitment.

"In less than two years, H&A had lost so much money, they were forced into bankruptcy. At that time, the U.S. Government took over their plant and assigned it to Marlin-Rockwell Corp. to make parts for Browning Automatic Rifles.

"Marlin bought out all of the H&A assets, except the buildings, in 1921 and moved every thing to their factory in North Haven, Connecticut.

“The 1889 Belgian rifles and bayonets were marked HOPKINS & ALLEN ARMS CO. NORWICH, CONN.”

Note from JLM: In the photo shown of the top of the receiver of one of the 1889 rifles, it appears that the marking on the rifle was actually “HOPKINS and ALLEN,” with a much smaller print “and” instead of use of the ampersand (&). It is very hard to read, but I believe I am correct.

Reference: “Falling Blocks & Other Single Shots from Hopkins & Allen,” by Charles E. Carder, 1995, Andrew Onze Publishing, Delphos, Ohio, page 78.


Why did H&A end up doing so badly out of the deal?


Falcon - I really have no idea. Conjecture might lead to a conclusion that they simply had no experience with Government contracts and did not foresee all the possible problems and expenses in manufacturing a type of arm that was nothing like anything they had made before, and therefore bid the project too low.

Again, that is absolutely nothing but blind conjecture on my part, offered only as one possible explanation. Simple mis-management of the whole firm could be another answer, again conjecture. There is no real explanation for it in the reference cited, that I could find with a cursory examination, at least.


H&A had previously mostly made very inexpensive guns, generally not to the quality and interchangeability standards expected of military contracts, especially considering that the Belgians had been dealing with the very large and capable Fabrique National organization.

Further compounding their economic problems were the sudden increases in demand for tools, materials and workers skilled in arms making as most U.S. manufacturers started to receive and fill orders for war material for European powers. These drove up costs and created delays, wich may have triggered penalties for slow deliveries.

H&A would have been the only logical domestic demand for 7.65 x 53mm proof ammunition circa 1910-1920.


Thanks much to all who responded…Ya learn something new every day !!



As usual, JohnS is right on about the bankruptcy of Hopkins and Allen over the 7.65 mm Belgian Model 1889 contract. Haams Newsletter, Volume 6, Issue 1, Jan./Feb. 1007, Page 2, has this to say about the contract: “Because of unforeseen rising cost of labor and materials, this contract actually caused their bankruptcy.” Haams Newsletter was a publication of the of the Hopkins and Allen Arms & Memorabilia Society and published by Charles and Jean Carder. Carder is the author of most of the published material on Hopkins and Allen.

Volume 3, issue 2, March 1994 of this newsletter has more on the H&A Model 1889 Belgian Mauser for those interested and with access to copies of the newsletter, but nothing in it adds anything of importance to this thread.


A new book from Wet Dog Publications by Luke Mercaldo will shortly be published, covering all the US rifle contracts for the Allies in WWI. It will of course include the Hopkins and Allen Belgian Mausers.


In addition to the H & A Mausers, they were also made in Birmingham at the old W.W.Greener factory. Nobels made 7.65mm drill rounds as well as ball ammo on contract to the Belgian government.



Tony - you just sold a book for Wet Dog Publications. I ordered the Allied Contracts book. Things for the heads up, my friend. I ordered another book while at it. You find out a lot of things on this Forum. I probably would not have been aware of the book without your comments, as I don’t get around to what few shops that would carry it are still left where I live, and am not on their mailing list anymore. Thanks again!


My pleasure John. I have to declare an interest in that Luke is a good friend of mine!