7.9 mauser-German 1938 Chromed Dummy

Is this cartridge an exercice round or a fake?
The ball is crimped but not as the others 7.9 mauser are.The cartridge is chrome’s plated and there is four holes in the case but they are far from each other (1,5 cm).



Sorry my friend, but if this cartridge comes from France, it’s very probably (I would say 99 %) a good-looking fake !

It should belong to a lot of “little marvels”, chrome-plated on order by a well-known antique arms dealer, a Mr. Alain Serpette, from the Clignancourt Flea Market, outskirts of Paris, where he sold them in his shop.

The guy was well-known as eager to make as much money as possible by any way he could find… (he had a nice motor boat to take care of, and a very mink-coat loving wife too!)

He is also known to have faked a good lot of 12 mm GALAND French Rim reloadables, thaks to new lathe-machined steel cases, and artistically oxydized lead bullets obtained from an original mold in his possession… also some Colette self-propelled bullets!

As a matter of fact, he told me once his recipee to a good-looking aspect and original (sic!) patina for his lead projectiles: he just put them outside in his backyard, in a bucket filled with … urine and let them here marinate for one or two weeks… results guaranteed!!!

He had diverse calibres (he plated whatever he had at hand) made as plated dummies, holed or not, to beginners in cartridge collecting in the late 60ies, beginning 70ies, even including 6,5 mm Daudeteau N°12 and 7,65 mm French long, for “discret” prices…

The plating process was made by another of his “good friends”, a gipsy who owned a small plating business (chrome and nickel plating is one of their usual ways to earn their life overthere, besides begging in front of churches… or ransacking tourists in the metro!).

Many of the specimens were even “treated” over unstruck live primers!!! a probable faster way to make them…

At the end of 70ies, he offered what was left unsold as… keyrings! (why not?)

So, I only hope that the one you got wasn’t the “Cartridge of the Century”…

Please will everybody excuse me for this folkloric issue, but I think it is another funnie (well, not so) about our hobby!



A company in the UK has done (and may well still be doing) 7.62 Nato dummies like this. They are often seen for sale in tourist areas as linked belts, keyrings or loose cartridges. Some have real bullets and some have empty bullet jackets. There are also some which have false pot metal bullets that have a casting seam along the sides. This type can be found both plated and un-plated.