7.92 blanks

I recently acquired courtesy of Falcon two boxes of 7.92mm blanks.

These have been converted from US M1909 blanks by necking, and the conversion was done on the loaded rounds as the red wad has been slightly crushed in the process.

Both boxes are from the same lot of Lake City production, but the rounds inside have a variety of US military headstamps from the 1952-57 period, suggesting quite a large number were converted.

The boxes have the M19109 designation crossed out and “For 7.92” German Mauser" hand written on the label. Note the error of using inch and not millimetre.

I would normally dismiss these as movie blanks but for the label that was attached by string. This is a government label with “FOR 7.92 MAUSER RIFLE” typed on it and stamped “APPROVED”. There is also what appears to be a “B” and an “8” typed at right angles.

The only thing that occured to me was that they may have been used to make a military training film and that German weapons were used by the “enemy” as there were not too many Soviet weapons in captivity in the 1950s. Any thoughts anyone?


No thoughts on why the blanks were made, but as to the headstamps, the U.S. .30-06 M1909 blanks were often made on reject cases, so a mixture of headstamps could occur in any one box. I don’t know what they were doing this late regarding case usage, or whether Lake City was using rejected cases in general, rejected cases of only their manufacture, or new, unrejected cases. This was just a general observation about loading practices on blanks.

I recall reading in an unrelated post by DocAV that Lake City made a bunch of M-1909 blanks consisting of mixed headstamps for export to Europe somewhere.
As I recall, it was in the 1970’s, but I could be mistaken. Some years later this blank ammunition was sold off as surplus and he ended up acquiring a lot of it for his movie blank business. This might explain the mixed headstamps in one box. Why it has a very official appearing government tag but the box has very unofficial looking handwriting is a mystery. Someone went to some trouble to make these, but if it were a large quantity, I would think that a proper label would have been made up.

I reform .30-06 brass into 7,92 Mauser and it does not look quite like that after the first re-sizing pass. I appears the extra material at the neck might have ben sized down again to be smaller than the nominal .30 caliber of the original case in order to fully chamber and not touch the rifling.

Good mystery!


The label attached is a post 1953 (coronation of Elizabeth R) printing, and the LC Lot number wou;ld give an indication of when the original .30 cal blanks were assembled.
As I mentioned in another post, Lake City used up old cases, re-worked fired cases, reworked life-expired ball ammo, and factory reject cases from all of the major US makers of .30/06, wartime and post-war, up to the mid 1960s for making M1909 Blanks for the US Forces. In the late 1960s, a large(several)consignments were sent to US Allies which used M1 rifles etc ( Mostly Middle East…Jordan, Morocco, even Iran!!). The Jordanian stuff trickled back into the European market ( UK) just in time for “Private Ryan” and BoB.

By the end of the 1960s, LC was making Fresh M1909 blanks using New cases (Not re-treads or rejects).

As to the 7,92 conversion, the marking (7,92) denotes a British conversion; the label is British Government, and could be a small lot done by Ordnance for a particular use (not necessarily Film work, could have been comparison of WW II guns with modern (1950s) developments.

The reduced “profile” of the remaining neck was probably for two purposes…proper feeding without “stove-piping” , common on Bolt rifles of the M98 design) if the extra length is left there at full diameter (.30 cal neck); the other reason would be to ensure the laquered wad does not move.( Most common defect of the M1909 blank cartridge was the distressing regularity with which the laquered wad would shake loose in vehicle mounted guns, and spill powder everywhere, and render the blanks useless for MG use.).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.