7,9; 7,92; "8mm" Correct Nominative

Since we ( the Organisation of Cartridge Collectors) are dedicated to academic and correct research regarding Cartridges, we Should Rid our Correspondance and research of Incorrect Terminology.
In this case, the Technically ( and Legally ) incorrect use of “8mm” in describing the 7,9 Patrone in German Military Service.
In German ( Imperial, Wiemar, III Reich.) Service, the Military Description ( Bore Diameter) referred only to cartridges for Service Use; to Legally distinguish Sporting Ammunition, the Term
“8mm” or ever “8,2mm” ( Bullet or Groove diameter) was used…possession of FMJ ammo was restricted to Military and Police.
What the American Commercial ammunition manufacturers did post WWI ( some even before) in misnaming 7,9 ammo as “8mm” is the result of Ignorance of European Practice.
To note, that US manuf. of7,9 ammo for China WWII, and Indonesia (1950s ) bears the Correct Nomenclature for FMJ.
7,92 Description adopted by CzechoSlovakia in 1919, and adopted by Britain as well. Most other nations used 7,9mm designation.
So, for the Sake of Technical Correctness, all references to the German ( and other National services) use of the 7,9 S or sS cartridges should Never be referred to as " 8mm"…that includes the PP43/ Kpz43 commonly called the Sturmgewehr
Cartridge…is 7,9 x 33, NOT “8×33”.
Usual allowances for official 7,92 descriptive use.

We should lead the way, Members, Posters, and Moderators, in the correct use of 7,9/ 7,92 for Military cartridges of the Patrone 88 and Patrone S and sS in Military Service.
Education in " Bolidology" ( Greek,
Bolidos ( projectile, bullet, “ball”, round shot from Peltastes
( Slingers) and Logos: Knowledge
is as ancient and honourable as any of the other " -ology" and should be seen as such with correct Terminology.

Doc AV
Bolidologist since 1960s.
Also Hoplologist as well.
No, I didn’t do Classical or Biblical Greek at School or Uni.; Only Latin.
Which instilled a preciseness of Language in my English / Italian etc Ramblings ( Law School late in life helped also).

Is this a Labour of Sysiphus???


I was warned two years ago when I first joined this forum to never use “8mm” Mauser in this group… I can understand why since, as you state, this is first and foremost an academic forum and should maintain sanitization…

I welcome your initiative very much.
But to my surprise I find myself in the unexpected position of defending the American commercial manufacturers.
When in 1906 German commercial manufacturers started to standardize (Normalisierung) case dimensions and introduced the
[nominal caliber] x [caselength]
metric designation of ammunition types, they made the mistake to name the German military 7.9 mm not 7.9x57, but “M88/8”. This means “case type based on military model 88 / nominal caliber 8 mm”. One reason for this probably was the commercial use of an unrelated 8x57 cartridge, the R360 of British origin.
After WW1 the “M88/8” (similar names like M88/6.6 or M93/7 also existed) was replaced in Germany by the 8x57J and 8x57JS (plus R if rimmed) format we know today. The 1939 proof law (the first after 1891) made these names a legal requirement in Germany for commercial ammunition.

So it was the Germans who invented “8 mm” as commercial designation of the military 7.9 mm caliber, as unfortunate as this may be.
The mistake the American manufacturers in my view made, is appending the name “Mauser”, although Mauser had absolutely nothing to do with its creation. Similar to the U.S. military rifle cartridges, the 7.9 mm was developed in the Prussian state arsenals.

Edit: In my view there is no problem to use the decimal point, as in many languages it has the same meaning as the comma in German.


I’m afraid it is but such labour keeps us vivid.


Norway also used and uses 7,92x57 and 7,92x61 FWIW.


The Romanian army also used 7,92mm instead of 7.9/8mm in all official documents of the era. While this may have to do with the fact that the ammo production tooling and most guns were imported from Czechoslovakia (from Zbrojovka Brno, to be more exact), that makes me curious how the Hungarians named theirs during ww2 (they partially switched from 8x56R to 7.92x57 production in 1943).

I collect U S made 7.9 x 57 cartridges and this thread prompted me to measure bullet diameter on some of the earlier cartridges.
Peters Cartridge Co. 236 gr. SP, .3165" Ø
REM-UMC 236 gr. SP, .323" Ø
Union Metallic Cartridge Co. 227 gr. FMJ, .3165" Ø
Winchester Repeating Arms Co. 227 gr. FMJ, .317" Ø
Another Winchester Repeating Arms Co. 227 gr. FMJ, .320" Ø
Winchester Repeating Arms Co. 236 gr. SP, .320" Ø

So, diameters are all over the place.

Here are some pictures of early U S boxes.

These are in M1888 style clips.

UMC 8MM BOX 10001
These are in M1888 style clips.


Yeah, the military in France, Germany and Russia decided to enlarge bullet diameter when going from round nose to pointed shape bullets. The bore dimensions of the rifle barrel remained the same (I have no proof for Russia in this respect); this is the modern 8x57JS, identical to the military 7.9 mm S-Patrone and later.

Because of Germanys different environment (military rifle and cartridge commercially available), the two bullet diameters commercially continued to exist in parallel. The crowning achievement towards chaos was the introduction of a new --tighter than military-- bore diameter by the German gun trade; this is the modern 8x57J.

I looked up my notes from Krigsarkivet in Stockholm and found the Swedes called their machine gun ammunition with 63 mm case length 8 mm m/32.
The modified German K98k rifles their machine gun units used would indicate the same bullet and bore diameter as the German 7.9 mm.
Does anyone know documented bore dimensions (land diameter, groove diameter) of the Swedish 8 mm machine guns?

It appears Sweden used both designations while the 8mm was more used within the military:


Here the M36 MG manual of 1966:


The M32 8x63 Bofors MG cartridge was a special design to update Schwarzelose M1914 MGs, and for future Browning MG designs ( water and aircooled)
In 1939, Sweden accepted 5,000 Kar98k rifles 7,9x57; These were named Gevaar 39; in 1940, they received further Kar98k, but these they converted to 4 shot Gev.40, in 8x63; this was for MG crews ( commonality of Ammo)
All the Gev.39 and Gev.40 were sold to Israel, and the Gev .40 eventually converted to 7,62 NATO.
The Actions still carry the Swedish Inspector’s Initials ( S.S.).

PS The German rifles ( and ammo) were in part exchange for Swedish Iron Ore ( preferred for
Ordnance alloys) and SKF Ball bearings.

Norway had a similar Dichotomy of Calibers; BMG first in 7,9x57, then improved to 7,9x 61; Barrel Specs. were as for German Barrels; First deliveries of Brownings from FN. Later 57mm and 61mm Guns in Norway.

Doc AV

Doc AV,
decades ago, when I was much younger, I wrote a letter to Bofors regarding the 8x63 mm cartridge. In the kind response, which contained some drawings from the Ammunitionsregister (as I much later found out), Bofors assured me it was never in any way involved in the development of the cartridge.

As far as I can tell, the use of “Bofors” in connection with the 8 mm m/32 cartridge family is a misnomer.

I know that today it is unthinkable to get a similar courteous response from any manufacturer.


I seem to remember that the late, great Bill Woodin would cringe whenever he heard or saw “8 x 63 Bofors”


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Let’s keep in mind the Norwegian round was never called “7,9x61”.
Lett and tung versions were in use at the same time.


Ole, what WAS it called in Norwegian services???
The 7,9x61 is the common description in Non-Norvegian countries. TO distinguish it from the German ( & Norwegian) 7,9x57 cartridge
Doc AV

7,92. Not 7,9. That’s my point, as described earlier in the thread.

As for whether full designations were used (i.e. 7,92x57 and 7,92x61) is harder to say, but the common terms are respectively “7,92 lett” and “7,92 tung” (“light” and “heavy”).


Thankyou for the clarification on the Norwegian Light and Heavy 7,92 cartridges.

Doc AV

From a Norwegian 1931 administrative manual:


Quoting above, “The mistake the American manufacturers in my view made, is appending the name ‘Mauser’…”

I believe the “American mistake” was compounded by mistaking the original German “I” designation for a “J.”

In any event, the different groove diameters of the 7.92s were confusing. In my youth, when there were many fine examples of surplus European military rifles on the North American market, my caution caused me to pass up excellent buying opportunities. It was years later that the differences were demystified.

So my question is, did significant quantities of rifles with the earlier .318-inch groove diameter barrels ever reach North American shores?

Back in the 1960s’ to mid 1970s’ we saw quite a few with the .318 bore, and many that had been converted to easier-to-get ammo by either re-boring or re-barreling, because they were ‘free’ being bring-backs, pre-WWII.

After WWII many Mauser rifles, (selling for as little as $19.95, or less), were available, but hunting ammo was not as readily available.

While it was simple enough to form .30-06 brass to 8x57 [Sorry, Doc!] it was a multi-step process, and a pain in the posterior.

To fix those problems, a wildcat 8mm/06 was developed around 1948~1954 [sorry, not sure of the date], known in Germany as the 8x63.5 [?], which is simply the .30-06 necked up to 8mm, and all you needed was a chamber reamer for the conversion.

This cartridge was very similar to the Brenneke 8x64S from about 1911/1912… so what once was old became new again.