7.9 x 57 WW I Bullets


Does anyone know if there is a drawing in one of the back issues of the JOURNAL that shows details of the predominant WW I 7.9 x 57 ammunition?? Particularly the bullet.



I don’t know about a drawing, but the predominant ball round used by Germany in WWI (7.9 x 57) was the Type S Ball. The bullet weighed nominally 154 grains, could be CNCS or GMCS depending on when made, and can be with or without a crimping groove, although I think they more often have the groove. Not sure of that, just my impression. If determining bullet weight from a loaded cartridge, the cartridge’s overall weight should be about 361 grains in a brass case and about 353.4 grains in a steel case. The Type S bullet is from 1.102" to 1.114" long, and does not have as sharp an ogive as does the heavier Type s.S. bullet that came out late in WWI. That is, the sides of the Type S are a little straighter until they turn towards the point of the bullet. For comparison, the Type s.S. bullet weighs nominally 198 grains and is about 1.390" long. Hope this helps a little. The Type S load is usually identified by a black primer seal, while the Type s.S. is identified by a green primer seal. I hope this helps a bit, anyway.


Thanks John. Yes it helps. Any time I learn something I figure I’m ahead.

Ron Merchant is sending me some information also. I sent him a PM explaining what I was after and it occured to me that maybe it would be of interest to others so I’ll copy and paste it here.

"A fellow shooter wants to do some experiments by shooting bullets loaded backward, that is, with the base first. The Germans did some tests along these lines back during WW I when they found that a backward bullet penetrated armor better than point first. One of the side effects was that the bullets also seemed to be more accurate. Several shooters I know load this way for things such as turkey hunting. Anyway, my buddy wants to try and duplicate the German tests by computer simulation and then test it in the field to see just how much accuracy is gained and whether it would have any application in competition. To do this he needs information on the bullets they would have used back then. Such things as bullet length, ogive, etc are critical. I think the bullets were plain vanilla 154 grain flat base FMJ with about a 7 ogive - the same as the US 150 gr 30 caliber bullet which was patterned after the German.

Sounds crazy huh? That’s why I didn’t put more detail in my question on the forum. But, competition shooters will go to extremes to gain a small edge on other shooters and some of them are really nerdy. I prefer to do it the old fashioned way by loading and shooting but they get a kick out of computer stuff plus the shooting."



Ray–From Kent’s book “German 7.9mm Military Ammunition” Here are the dimensions of the two bullets.

Patronen S

Patronen s.S. Style. This is actually the L. Patronen bullet developed from the French 8mm Lebel. But the diminisions and construction are almost identical with what was to become the Patrone s.S.


Bob Taylor caugt an error on this last posting, and asked me if I agreed, which I certainly do. The last item on the thread is a picture reported to be the German type s.S. Ball projectile for the 7.9 x 57mm round. It is not. It is actually the German form of the French Balle D, known in Germany as the Type “L” bullet. Instead of being solid gilding metal or brass, it has a lead core. The drawing identifies this as the German Balle D bullet for loading the 8mm Lebel (“pour cartouche, genre 86 D”), and the text of Dan Kent’s book, from which the drawing came, also identifies it as the German Type Balle D. In fairness to all, the German type s.S. bullet was, of course, based on the Balle D, and the two bullets are similar, but this one IS the Balle D.


John–Yes, of course, you are correct in the proper identification of the bullet I labeled as s.S. I was fully aware of all that you said in your posting. My error was in not being more explicant in my labeling. I will go back and edit it to properally identify it. For Ray’s purposes it was the most detailed drawing I could come up with of a s.S. Style bullet.

Thank you for pointing out the error of my ways. I should have known I could not slip one past you “eagle eyes” out there.