7.65 x 54mm Mauser Turkish Headstamps

Hi, All…

Need help with these…I can decipher the dates, and the star and crescent represent Turkey…what do the other characters indicate ?


Hello Randy,

            The five characters at 12 o'clock represent the word [b]ماوزر[/b], which is translated as [b]Mawzr[/b] (Mauser). The last one -which in fact is the first- looks like one single character but shows two combined ([b]ما[/b] = [b]Ma[/b]). Both headstamps show the same word.

            The characters at 3 o'clock represent what it is believed to be the manufacturer (plant? machine?). Some of these can be found stamped in the bullet base.

            The first one is dated ١٣٢٦ (1326) which means it could be either from 1908 (May 4 to December 31) or 1909 (up to January 24), depending on the month it was made. Most probably from 1908.

            The second one is dated ١٣٢٩ (1329) indicating it was made in 1911 (January 2 to December 23).

Thank you , Fede…

I knew the Arab year did not start and end same as the Western year, so dates could overlap a bit…

I assumed the letters in the upper quadrant were the same on each headstamp, just done a bit differently…and yes, read from right to left…

Now I know…


Fede: Does not your explanation of the Islamic lunar year 1326 either have the year begin too late or end too soon? A year extending from 4 May 1908 to 24 January 1909 is very short. Perhaps it began on 4 February 1908? Jack

The Islamic lunar calendar is between 354 and 355 days in length, so the years creep along at a faster rate than a Gregorian 365.24-day year. Islamic months are also strange to western logic. To add to the confusion, calculations of years differ among some Islamic countries. Back in the early 1980s I actually wrote a computer program for my Timex computer to approximately convert Islamic calendar dates to Gregorian calendar dates (year and month), but it’s lost in the mists of time. There may be such a calculator existing on the internet somewhere, but I have not looked. If it exists, it would be useful in answering this question.

Dennis: I have a Islamic lunar calendar filed away, but it’s not at the computer. If 1329 did begin on 2 Jan 1911 then 1326 should have begun three years plus 30 (give or take) days earlier, or early February 1908, not May 1908. I think. Jack

Here is a calculator: oriold.uzh.ch/static/hegira.html

The Islamic year 1326 extends from 2/4/1908 to 1/23/1909
The Islamic year 1329 extends from 1/2/1911 to 12/21/1911

As I’ve said so often, ain’t the internet great?

Sorry, I was confused during translation. Year 1326 extends from February 4, 1908 to January 24, 1909. The 1329 conversion I posted before is correct, at least according to my converter.

Whilst the Turks did use an “Islamic” calendar (Months and “Short” Years), they did NOT use the Hegira Date ( July, 621CE) as their basis for dating, at least in the Turkish (Ottoman) Ordnance year. ( They may have in religious dating, but the Turkish Ordnance dating system began about the mid-1700s or so.)

The “Ordnance year” (Like that of Great Britain) did NOT start at 1 January, but somewhere in March-April ( Beginning of Northern Spring). (Similar in the USA, the IRS Income Tax year/“Fiscal year” starts 1 April.-- also used by US Ordnance (Springfield) for setting Serial Numbers ( up to the M14 rifle) and calculating “numbers manufactured per Fiscal Year”)

Ie, Dates calculated from M1 Rifle and M14 Rifle serial numbers refer to the “Fiscal Year” and not the Calendar year.

Added to the factors of Ottoman Islamic/Julian/Gregorian calendar calculations, the best and closest Conversion Factor for the Turkish Ordnance Year to Western Gregorian Year is the use of “584” ( the Putative year of the coming of age of the Prophet…which he did at age 14, his putative Birthday being 570CE.

This works out almost correct, giving 6 months either way…so I have calculated the years as 1326 TOY ==1910 Gregorian, and 1329 TOY == 1913 Gregorian. (TOY==Turkish Ordnance Year)

AS to the calculation of exact months etc, that may be correct for the use of the 621 Hegira Date,( with a “computer calculator”) and then one must allow for the conversion of Julian to Gregorian Dates ( ie, “Old style vs New Style” as the Soviets did in the Revolutionary years).

The Use of AH (Anno Hegira) has varied over the centuries between various Islamic states…After WW II, many Islamic areas adopted the Gregorian Calendar for purely Secular matters, and in dealings with Foreign (ie European) Nations.

Persia ( Iran) only actually adopted the Hegira Dating for Ordnance in the early 1920s ( it still maintains it now, under the Theocracy); Before that it used a similar (Ordnance) dating system to the Ottomans.

The entire Calendar and dating system of all the Islamic Nations/States is a matter requiring deep study, and a knowledge of the Classics in Arabic Literature ( and script) to be able to decifer and make “absolute” date comparisons.

Remember that Europe and Britain , during the 1500s to 1800s (1918 if one includes Russia) had at least four differing Dating systems ( Julian,
(Pre-Reformation) Julian ( Post-Reformation) Gregorian ( as adopted by Catholic nations ) and Gregorian ( adopted much later variously by Britain and eventually the Americas. ( Protestant Nations). Various Religious entities still use the Julian Calendar ( ie “Old Style”,) most being of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Just note also, that Ultra-Religious Jews still maintain the Hebrew dating system based on the creation of the world according to the Torah…about 5800 years or so. ( can’t give the exact figure, and they also use a “lunar year” based originally on the Ancient Egyptian Three-Season Year of 364 days,( based on the astronomical event of the rising of Sirius (The Dog Star) which heralded the Flooding of the Nile) and Modified by their exile in Babylon, under the effect of the mathematical culture of Mesopotamia ( the use of “60” as a base for astronomical calculations).

SO, given all these Potential and actual variables, transposing a Turkish Ordnance Year into a Gregorian Year is at best, a Hit-and-miss affair, once one gets past a “year” period, with maybe a lee-way of three to six months either side.

Another Point: UP to 1908 ( Month unsure) Turkish 7,65 Ammo was manufaxctured in Europe (Mostly Germany) and supplied to Turkey either in Loaded form, or as components to be “filled and Loaded” at the Rifle Factory at Istanbul. Cases were stamped in Turkish Script.

In 1908 Germany supplied the machinery and expertise for Turkey to set up an independant Plant to manufacture cartridges from brass strip.
Initially set up at Istanbul, later subsidiary Plants were established elsewhere in Turkey. In this transitional Period, Germany continued to supply “component sets” for Turkey to assemble.

During the pre-WW I period, Great Britain also supplied 7,65mm ammunition to Turkey, but headstamps are little known.

A quote from Ataturk at Gallipoli mentions that the Ingilizi (the British) were lucky they were being fired on with British-made ammo, as it was of a quality inferior to the German stuff ( in 1915).

It seems there is no means of differentiating Pre-1908 contract German Ammo from the Component-assembled ammo, or from the Post-1908 manufactured in Turkey ammo.
I have no info as to who made the Powder or Primers for the Turkish manufactured ammo before and during WW I,( I assume Germany), but in the 1922-25, Ataturk did make Turkey self-sufficient in Ammunition manufacture, including Primers AND Powders ( First Explosives factory (Now part of MKEK) was established in 1925, to make Nitrocellulose for both SA Cartridges and Artillery.)

Just a bit of New Years Fat to chew over for 2012.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

The years 1922-1925 cannot be correct for total Turkish self-sufficiency in the production of 7.92 x 57 mm ammunition. There are known rounds from contracts in 1927 with Raufoss, of Norway, and from 1928 with FN, of Belgium. Those are just ones I have specimens of. I don’t know if there are others or not. That is, unless there were other reasons for these contracts, such as “balance of trade” pay-offs or the like, but that seems doubtful.

Dear JM,
I think you misconstrued my statement regarding “self Sufficiency” in Turkish ordnance…The Explosives Factory ( first ASFA, then MKEK from 1952) was producing Smokeless Powder and shell fillings in 1925, the first factory in Turkey to do so.( See History of MKEK on thier Web Page).
THis did not mean self sufficency in Cartridge manufacture, (esp. 7,9mm) due to the large quantites of 7,9mm still left over from WW I, although these were now runnign out, witnessed by the large orders overseas of 1926-28.

Also the decision, in about 1924-26, to Standardise the Turkish Calibre to 7,9mm, and either convert or eliminate all rifles not in this calibre, or capabl;e of being converted to this calibre ( ie, the 7,62x54R Mosins were traded off, whilst (Nearly)all the 7,65 Turkish rifles were converted; a short lived attempt was even made to convert Lee-Enfields to 7,9 cal ( 1936 “Enfauser” or “SMLE-Frankenmauser”) But other rifles such as Austro-Hungarian M95s, etc were also traded off (the M95s to Bulgaria). MGs were nearly all converted to 7,9mmn ( even Vickers Guns) and the Turks (with German assistance) made a “clamshell” flexible metal Belt which fitted all of three calibres ( .303, 7,65mm and 7,9mm).

SO by thye late 1920s, 7,65mm ammo was becoming an obsolescent calibre, and being replaced, both by Imports and new manufacture in Turkey, by 7,9mm. The Changeover became more marked by 1935, when the M1903, M1893 and Gew88/05s had all been either converted or rebuilt to “7,9 JS” cartridge and Barrel specifications. ( .311 Bore, .322-323 Grooves, using a .323 Bullet, mostly FB 154grain, but some 198grain BT was also made for particular use in MMGs. (Long range fire)

I am quite aware of the Turkish Importation of 7,9mm ammo from Norway, Belgium, Austria (New) as well as acquisition of German WW I Surplus via Finland., and other European Countries.
Ataturk, having founded a Secular Republic on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, had a basic Nationalist idea of trading with small European States, of similar Power and capabilities, to improve Turkey’s Industrial and Social Base, and form a “Power Block” of small mations, to stand up to the Empires of France, Britain, the US and the New USSR, in both Politiacal and Commerce matters. Thus he dealt with Poland, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Norway, Belgium, etc. A Lot of the deals done with these countries included not only Arms and Ammunition ( The Lenin and German Mosin-Nagants went to Finland in return for German Arms, Ammo, and Timber and Paper products— Other exchanges were carried out with other European countries…orders for Repair Bolts etc for Gew88/05 started a long relationship with ZB in particular, till 1939; (including the erection & equipping of the Kirikkale Factory for ASFA in 1936-38. ).

Turkish Primary Production featured in a lot of the European Trade of the 1920s (Dried Fruit, Grain, Furniture Lumber, etc.)
The period of 1922-1930 was one of Reconstruction and Social Engineering in Turkey, culminating with the Change to the Roman Alphabet in November 1928.

For a better understanding of the entire Basis of “Kemalism” ( as the philosophy of Ataturk came to be called) one needs to read several of the excellent Biographies written since WW II, the latest ( and almost definitive) in the 1980s.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

Doc Av,

Sorry if I misconstrued what you said. The statement “…, but in the 1922-1925, Ataturk did make Turkey self-sufficient in ammunition manufacture…” seemed pretty definitive to me? Am I wrong? Seems like a statement hard to misconstrue. Regardless, the dates given, if they can be miscontrued from such a positive statement, are misleading.

Sorry, JM, I re-read what I wrote, and my “misconstruction” or vagueness…I should have said “self-sufficient in 7,65mm manufacture, as the Powder Factory was producing Powder and Other Explosives from 1925 onwards.” MY bad …should have been more specific.

In any case, it is not known, (at least to me) when Turkish 7,9 production actually started… But the latter years of the 1920s seem to be the most probable…Given the large imports to “Cover” any transition from 7,65 to 7,9mm …Given the ease of changing a Draw-line from one to the other ( very little in machine adjustment, to draw a longer case, and forming up; Simply a change of Dies to make the projectile ( Both the 7,65 and the 7,9 were 154 grains, so simply an Upsetting die change and the final jackets sizing etc.). IN fact I would not be surprised if existing 7,65 Die sets were not “Polished out” to make 7,9 diameter jackets. ( Cost is everything)

JM, I am getting old ( although I am still 10-15 yrs behind you…) and so I “go vague” sometimes…

Doc AV.

Doc - I can sure relate to “going vague.” As everyone knows, I do it with alarming regularity on this Forum. Its one of the reasons why I don’t write many articles anymore for the various club Journals. Not the only reason, but certainly one. No matter, Doc. You gave us an outstanding history of Turkish ammunition. I am just a cranky old nit-picker.

Greenwood & Batley certainly supplied either cartridge making machinery or possibly loaded rounds to the Turks around the turn of the century. There exist .303 Mark V (hollow point) rounds headstamped not with the usual British military three position headstamp of “GB C V” but with a four position headstamp of “GB C V Turkish Crescent”. Whether these rounds were for proof of machinery before it was shipped (as was often done) or sample rounds when bidding for a Turkish contract I do not know, but they would date from the 1897-1900 period. Presumably they used .303 dies as this was what they were producing at the time on contract to the War Office.

I also have an unloaded case and projectile headstamped “19 GB 28 7,65”. The headstamp is etched rather than impressed in the normal way and this is alleged to be a machinery proof run for Turkey. It would certainly fit in with regard to date.


My source on Turkish chronology was a pamphlet entitled Osmanische Zeitrechnung, published in Leipzig in 1927 by Joachim Mayr. Mayr included a table of Islamic lunar years down to perhaps 1950, along with a similar table of what he termed the “Finanzkalender,” in which years uniformly began on April 1 in each year. In his table of lunar years he equated them to dates within the Gregorian calendar. In comparing stated Islamic lunar years of manufacture with serial numbers I got a satisfactory correspondence for Turkish Mauser rifle manufacture dates. The Finanzkalender didn’t work out, suggesting manufacture of various Mauser models in years in which they were no longer being produced. Jack

Tony, a loaded example of the 19 7.65 28 G.B. headstamped round bears a cu-ni clad steel “S” bullet secured by a triple stab crimp and a flat brass primer with purple annulus. As far as I know any example was ever found in any South American country.