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

One can wonder how the name Bofors got attached to the Swedish 8mm m/32 cartridge. It may very well be due to Datig’s book Cartridges for Collectors, Volume 1, page 57. This book was first published in 1956 and here is what Datig says. This is mostly nonsense. There were no Bofors machine guns or rifles. The 8mm m/32 cartridge was never a popular sporting round in Scandinavia. There was only one Norma plant i Sweden and it didn’t even produce the 8mm m/32! I might be wrong but I seem to recall having seen a 8mm m/32 label with these words: Krut: Bofors. This means Powder: Bofors.

Townsend Wheelen in the November 1925 issue of The American Rifleman (p. 24) wrote about the problem: “There is no standard as to boring and rifling, or as to chambering. The groove diameters of barrels vary all the way from .318” to .326" [8.08 to 8.28 mm]."
So it seems the influx started after WW1. Due to Versailles, weapons for the 7.9 mm cartridge became illegal in Germany. One would expect many were sold abroad.

Edit: Found an even earlier reference, J.R. Mattern: Loads for 8 Millimeter Cartridges, American Rifleman, issue of 15Feb 1924, p. 5-7
“I confess inability to weave any sort of logic from the 8 mm situation.” (p. 6)
“It has been definitely established that the guns which are sent to America are the bearings from the trade of other nations.” (p.7)

Regarding the ammunition availability issue, in the 1960s and seventies, I recall that Dominion/CIL was selling “8mm” cartridges. This engaged my interest because store displays at the time had large quantities of this ammunition, often similar to the amount of other popular cartridges such .303 British, .30-30, .30-06, and .270 Win. Boxes of Dominion/CIL “8mm” still show up at gun shows.

Since the adoption of the 24M Madsen LMG it has been designated as 7.92mm. As far as i know Czechslovakia adopted the same LMG two years earlier so when we adopted it the “7.92mm Madsen LMG” had existed with this caliber designation so we might have ‘bought’ the caliber designation along with the gun

Update: On the other hand the later Gebauer cartridge was designated as 8mm 30M. so god knows…

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Thanks a lot for the input, Vince!
I was thinking more about the 43M cartridge, which seems to be also called 7.92mm.

I think we should consider we are dealing with two different problems:

  • how to call the variations of the German 7.9 mm rifle cartridge
  • how to call foreign cartridges using similar bullet dimensions

… and the third problem of commercial naming of the ammunition, especially since many of those names have been around since before WWII.

I do believe we have been down this road before, and it is not a likely change for those of us who have been calling a cartridge what we first learned what it was, well over 50 years ago.
I mean, it is not like we are calling a cat a Dog, yea?

In my view, our problem is insisting on calling a cat (7.9 mm) a dog (7.92 mm) although we know better.

… even though we know better. Scientists we are :wink:

Interesting discussion on this very widely used caliber. Or, should that be calibre…

My two cents to this very interesting discussion.

Until now I have only seen (one) German military label with 7,92 printed.
All other I have identified were civilian or export labels.

In the army/air force it was not necessarily writing a caliber on the box label. There was only one caliber available.

These “civilian” cartridges for Police, Waffen SS and export had a 7,92 marking on the label.

The same story by the only marking “16 scharfe Pistolenpatronen 08
On a civilian box label; zur Selbstlade-pistole Cal. 9mm Parabellum.





I have long wondered why we sometimes see a . [dot, period] and sometimes see a , [comma, mark] to indicate a fractional devide in a number.

Does anyone know the origin, or the math/syntax “rule” for this useage?

I do not believe I have seen it written/printed that way before 1890~1900, or thereabouts.


The world languages are split in this regard. According to Wolfram MathWorld, the decimal comma (instead of the decimal point) is used
“… in continental Europe, most of North and South America (with the exception of the United States and Canada), and most of Africa …”

Edit: “Treatise On Gun Powder” from 1798 uses the decimal point. I believe its use in English is much older. I am convinced the decimal notation is not our problem.
Edit2: corrected typo in line 1: now “world”

Peelen - "in continental Europe, most of North and South America (with the exception of the United States and Canada), and most of Africa…)

After that eception, what is left of North America? The USA and Canada ARE North America. México and below is part of Central America, and further south, South America.

Reference: “Essential Atlas of the the World,” edition published by Barnes and Noble, 2001, 68-73.

Not your error of course, but rather that of Wolfram Mathworld.


Googl is only as smart or dumb as the information that people put into it…

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I add the crate to the DWM SmE box.The crate was send to Mauser Oberndorf.

DWM 1500 Patronen S.m.E.

and annother DWM box
DWM 7,92 Schachtel

and a Polte box
20 Polte in Schachtel


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Does anyone know what language “cartuse cu glont” is? Then we would know the export country, which most probably had previously gotten its ammunition from Czechoslovakia.

I have two labels from SB civilian or export ?
SB Platzpatronen


Jochem, this is Romanian.

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Less civilian but to “no brothers in arms” as they were not allowed to use the Wehrmacht codes on such exports.