7.9 Mauser (P / S* / P/ 37) H/S new pictures. Steel core. Steel Jacket

I found a box pictured below, thank you in advance for any information you can help with on the below cartridge. Armor Piercing Incendiary?

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pg 56 says API pg 57 says AP red annulus
read pg 53 for the API details

There are P.m.K. cartridges with red annulus like S.m.K. cartridges with red annulus. Differents only you can see with cartridge weight. Or if you have the original box with label.
In pag 54 from Kent book you can see P S* 59 38 with red annulus. Maybe is a P.m.K. i don’t know.
I show you in link one P m.K. cartridge with red annulus. And there is a file with differents P.m.K…The one in file is from 1938 year as the kent book, so is possible, sure some expert will tell us.

Best Regards


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By 1939, I think this cartridge should be a standard, common S.m.K. cartridge, identified by the red primer seal. The red-seal P.m.K. rounds came earlier.

If in doubt, weigh the cartridge. If in the range of 390 to 390 grains, it is S.m.K. If weighing closer to 364 grains overall cartridge weight, it is P.m.K.

John L. Moss

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This looks nothing more than a cartridge with AP bullet as indicated on the box. According the lotlists of dutch, this Polte lot, 9 37 with brass case, is SmK (Spitzgeschoß mit Kern). In case of doubt (I don’t) you may weigh the cartridge. SmK is 11,55 grams, PmK is 10,10.

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P S* 9 37 showed in first post sure is S.m.K. and box label says it. No doubts.
I put the post thinking in P S* 59 38 showed in Kent book.

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P S* 59 38 should be PmK according dutch’s research.

But the box says S.m.K. and not P.m.K. So in English terms it is AP.

Hans - the headstamp duqjans says is a PmK is Polte case lot 59 of 38. The box label is for the cartridge shown in the opening of this thread, P S* 9 37, and the box label clearly identifies that one as an S.m.K., as do the cartridge characteristics.

Two different cartridges. I had lot 59 of 38 in my own 7.9 collection when I had it, and my catalog, which I retained for my library when I sold my 7.9 collection, shows it just as Duqjans said, a P.m.K.

John Moss

Shame on me, this comes from working from my small smartphone screen :roll_eyes:

I think there are several ways to identify a PmK from a SmK.

First, as John Moss explained the weight.
Second, a PmK has a special crimp to hold the bullet in the case.

PmK cpimp

Third, but that is my opinion, the anulus color. It seems to be red, but it is not the same red as they used by the SmK and the SmK Lsp.

I made several pictures for an example. I took the P S* 59 38 as discussed here with an SmK from the same time range. The head stamp is not so clear, but I hope you see the difference in color.

It looks a little more orange/red.


I could identify 4 different markings on the PmK,

Red stripe, red anulus, black over red and black anulus. The cartridge on the right has a primer 43.



Gents much to do about ID. He was looking at the headstamp on pg 56 which was about the Pmk, but not reading the pg 57 which was the start of the SmK or assuming that the headstamp went with that page & not the start of the API or Pmk which was several pages before.
To me an easy mistake trying to relate the headstamps to the text in that book is almost impossible. I gave it up years ago & just use the descriptions which are excellent.

Thanks for all the input. I had removed the book and page as it was confusing, so we could work on this cartridge Head-stamp *(P / S / 9 / 37)**and loading as in above photo.
I just pulled the bullet outside as it maybe a phosphorous API according to page 54 in Daniel W. Kent’s book German 7.9mm Military ammunition. it is safely in water now, just in case.
It appears (to me anyway) to be a least a tracer projectile.
Weight as in picture in 177.4 grains if that helps. ( I am no expert on 8mm Mauser older loadings or head-stamps.
Again thanks to all on this discussion
The top photo is the projectile almost out of the case to show shape,
Please see photos below:

Thanks and my best
Dave Call

Looks like AP to me…

The bullet shown, pulled from the case, is an S.m.K. projectile. The bullet weight of 177.4 is quite in tune with the nominal bullet weight of S.m.K. at 178 grains.

The P.m.K. has a nominal bullet weight of 147 grains.

John Moss

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S.m.K. at 178 grains. is that AP or FMJ ?
Whatever the material is in the base of the bullet it is very hard…
Bullet is drawn to magnet so is at least, steel jacketed if not AP ?

Mine does have special crimp and darker red primer sealent.
Thank you

AmmoOne - I don’t quite understand your question. AP bullets are normally FMJ. So, one could say, in answer to your question, that the S.m.K. 178 grain bullet is both.

The German designation is Patrone Sptizgeschoss mit Kern, which is where the “S.m.K.” initials come from. The bullet core is steel, as opposed to lead. Unfortunately, to add to the confusion, the S.m.E load, “Spitzgeschoss mit Eisenkern,” considered a ball round, also has a 178 grain bullet, but is identified by a blue primer seal. I assume that the type of steel and its hardness are different between the S.m.E. (where a steel core was probably the product of preserving lead) and the S.m.K. (produced specifically as an AP loading).

The amount of German cartridge types in 7.9 x 57 mm is staggering. Years ago, I made up my own guide to the identification of loadings, and it is 18 pages long, and does not include the “Stahlpatronen” all steel gauges, which while very nice in a cartridge collection, are really a tool and not a “cartridge.”

John Moss

Yes John it is tungsten steel core
I have been away, but just cut the bullet in my shop. Not a good cut like Paul Smith does :sunglasses:
It looks to be tungsten steel core ( as stated in the book) with a copper-clad ,steel jacket.
Not sure I want to cut the lower part to see if it is API or AP-tracer. I may get burnt. :sunglasses:
again thanks to all

This is a simple hardened steel core, no tungsten carbide.

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