7,92 G E headstamp? GMCS .323" & deep purple to black primer annuls color.
This round was still being called “unknown” when I stopped collecting and studying the 7.9 x 57 rounds a few years ago. I have, myself, often wondered if it is another of the Spanish Civil War headstamps. I remember for years we thought the G B headstamp on 9 mm was British, only to find out they were made by DWM. The sam was true for the “K” headstamp that appeared on 9 mm. Thought to be Kynoch, it was found to be DWM and my thought then was that the “K” actually stood for “Karlsruhe.” I wonder if the “GB” and “GE” headstamp are somehow related.
As is often the case, I am probably totally wrong. I have exactly zero documentation for my thoughts on the G E 7.92 headstamp.
Joe, these were used during the Spanish Civil War but as far as I know these are still part of a long list of unidentified headstamps. My speculation is that these are German made for the Nationalist forces and that the “G E” initials may stand for for “Gobierno de España”, which although sounds odd, it was established on January 31, 1938, more than a year before the war was over.
[quote=“JohnMoss”]This round was still being called “unknown” when I stopped collecting and studying the 7.9 x 57 rounds a few years ago. I have, myself, often wondered if it is another of the Spanish Civil War headstamps. I remember for years we thought the G B headstamp on 9 mm was British, only to find out they were made by DWM. The sam was true for the “K” headstamp that appeared on 9 mm. Thought to be Kynoch, it was found to be DWM and my thought then was that the “K” actually stood for “Karlsruhe.” I wonder if the “GB” and “GE” headstamp are somehow related.
As is often the case, I am probably totally wrong. I have exactly zero documentation for my thoughts on the G E 7.92 headstamp.[/quote]
When I started shooting in the early 1960s the familiar 50 round green boxes of the “G B” 9mm were fairly common and I shot many through my P.08s. Like you, for years we thought these were British made.
However, we discovered that these had in fact come from a 1941 British wartime contract with Bolivia for 30,000,000 rounds and that the “G B” stood for “Gobierno de Bolivia”. At the same time there were similar green Spanish language boxes of Hirtenberger 9mm headstamped “* P * 1934” which are believed to have come from the same contract. Both are mentioned in British ammunition pamphlets of the time and live examples of the Hirtemberger 9mm were found recently at the crash site of a British glider from the commando raid at Telemark in Norway.
Not being a 7.92mm collector (apart from British BESA) I cannot help on the “G E” headstamp.
Tony - can you confirm what country the “GB” 9 mm rounds were made in? The information I got some years ago was that they were made in Germany by DWM. This is the first (at least that my withering brain can recall) that I have heard of the Bolivia connection. I am confident that they were not made in Bolivia, and with that information about Bolivia, the Spanish Civil War connection is doubtful, of course, with the Green Chaco War being more likely the reason for their existence, I would think.
Fede - Since we have the 9 mm Largo with initials G. E. on the headstamp standing for “Gobierno de Euzkadi,” the Basque name for what they considered the Basque Nation, made in 1937, is it possible that the G. E. on the 7.92 headstamp stands for the same, rather than “Gobierno de España?”
John, I thought about that as a possible explanation, but maybe because this headstamp looks German to me I was inclined to think that it was made for the Nationalist forces. Related to this, here is a picture of another headstamp in this case found in 7x57 that is believed to have been made in Basque Country.
I agree with John that these were made by DWM in Germany.
In Juli 1936 the Spanisch zivil startet.
The first German ammo was send with a DWM head stamp.
Later in 1936 the DWM send ammunition to Spain with head stamps normally used by the German Army.
Because this ammo was not intended to be used by the Germans (Abnahmebedingungen) they did not give them a primer crimp and sometimes no annulus colour.
Later in 1937 they started with the secret code system.
DWM Berlin (P131) and DWM Lübeck (P413).
Because the DWM concern became the code “A” Berlin became the code “A” and Lübeck “AI”. DWM Karlsruhe (P28) had no code
The reason why I write this story is that I am not convinced that the cartridges with the “G E” head stamp were made by DWM.
The most significant for me is the bullet crimp. That’s why the pictures. I have never seen this kind of hard crimp by DWM in 1936-39.
Also the characters of the bunter look not the same to me.
The guy who made the bunter did not change his stile for an export order.
B.t.w. The “9” and “2” in the DWM Karlsruhe (P28) looks in 1937 different as the “G E” head stamp shown by Joe.
They could be made in Germany, but by DWM??
Until a fellow collector found this lS tracer box.
Perhaps we must wait for a hard proof before we say; this round was made by factory A or B.
Dutch - You are probably right. Sometimes a little conjecture starts a search that ends with success, but this “G E” headstamp has remained “unknown” for so long that perhaps we will never know who made it.
Regrding the “7.92” headstamp (no other entry), it is know with at least three different sizes of numbers. I think that has been known here for years that it was likely Polte. I don’t exactly recall how I found out, but I think it was because Bill Woodin has a Polte cartridge board and some 7.9 rounds on it have this headstamp. I hope that is the correct way I found out about it (I think others knew before me), but it has been so long ago that I am not sure I trust my memory on it.
I will say that the box label is perhaps more definitive than a cartridge board. It is an interesting label. It is the first non-ball loading I have seen with this headstamp. Thanks for posting it. I don’t collect this caliber anymore, as you well know, but I still am always interested in it.
John, I have a board which I have posted here before. It is titled “Polte Patronenfabrik Magdeburg”. Six of the rounds have the “7.92” hst and the other is a blank headstamped P S* 84 33. Seems pretty good documentation to me. I agree with Dutch, a box is even better.
Dutch, great post and thanks for sharing this information and pictures, but DWM was mentioned as the manufacturer of 9 mm Parabellum cartridges headstamped “G B”, not of these 7.9x57 headstamped “G E”.
“G.E”: G. Egerstorff, Linden in Germany?
G.E. Green & Co., london?
Maybe all these went out of Business way before this cartridge was made. I do not know as I have no information on these makers.
Perhaps it was your board I saw, or Bill W. may have a similar one. By the way, in my reply to Dutch, I also agreed that the box was likely better ID than the Boards.
John, You saw Bill’s which is similar to mine. I’ve only had mine a couple of years.
As you all know, I have know insight into 7.92’s, except a passing interest. But, reading this thread, two things struck me. The “G” in the two headstamps are distinctly different, implying to me the two rounds could have had/probably had different years of manufacture. Second, that the style of the “7,92” is distinctly different between the GE headstamps and the Polte “7,92” headstamp Dutch pictures. One technique that you might consider is to look for other European rounds with similar number styles. Similar letter styles might also help. John and I have had some success, and some failures, in this approach. While it isn’t a solid identification, it can lead you to the path to a solid identification. In two 9mm cases that come immediately to mind we agreed that a headstamp the character style looked like the work of a particular manufacturer, and through friends got in touch with the companies and in both cases we were right, though the headstamp code gave no clue because they were contract loads.
Just a thought, but if you have a lot of contemporary headstamps it isn’t a lot of work.
Definitely two different bunters however that plays out.