I just picked up a group of 7.92 Mauser; one headstamp that caught my attention is R.A. 1948; was this made by Remington? If so, why the military style headstamp, and why in 1948?
This could possibly also be Raufoss Arsenal, Norway.
Your Mauser R. A. 1948 headstamp is definitely from Raufoss Ammunisjonsfabrikker, at Raufoss, Norway. There is no question of that. They made the cartridge for some time; starting in 1925, the known datea are 1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1924, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1948, 1949 and 1950. You can see that several dates are missing. It is likely, since information from a Norwegian survey of this round matches my own collection very well, that this caliber was simply not made in those years. Of course, there is always the possiblity that one will show up with any of those dates, but at this stage, it is not likely.
They used several different headstamps styles duirng this years, and there were loadings other than ball.
Thanks Falcon and John. Is there a reference book on the 7.92 Mauser? I have nothing on these other than what is provided the standard headstamp guides. I have a couple of hundred different headstamps in a collection I bought that I will need to sort out.
Guy–You say you have a couple of hundred 7.92’s. It is a begining, but keep in mind if you catch the 7.92 fever that a moderate collection is 3000+ and a really good collection can run 6000+. So, reserve lots of space. Besides headstamps, there are well over 100 load types with different colored bullet tips, bands on the bullet, casemouth and primer annulus colors. Plus 3 major case materials, brass, copper washed steel and lacquered steel, even a few aluminium and plastic ones.
There are two major works available on this round. The first one, and in my opinion, the best is “German 7.9 mm Military Ammunition” by Daniel Kent. The other is “Die Militarpatronen Kaliber 7,9mm” by Brandt, Hamann & Dr. Windisch. Kent’s book is just line drawings of the different loads, but is in English and is easy to use. The other book is in German, but much of the data is in both German and English. The advantage is it shows a sectioned photo for each load and covers many variations of each load type.
There has been a lot of info published in articles as well.
Did the Norwegians produce this caliber for domestic use, export or a little of both?
The Norwegians produced the 7.9 Mauser for their own use.
I have to disagree with Ron about the quantity it takes to have a really good 7.9 x 57 collection. I hate to be discouraging, but I have 12,600 or so in my collection, and while I consider it a good collection, it is not great in the overall veiw of what was produced, or even in comparison to some other collections. If you don’t collect lot numbers and dates (almost hard to do because of all the loadings one can find from the same case manufacturer, and because of the material codes on German headstamps that make it confusing to decide how to collect them), I would guess a really good collection by the standards of some would be 10,000 and if you do collection lot numbers and dates about 20,000 would probably be a great collection, as long as either had its fair share of rare items. Of course, I am talking about a real collection of 7.9 x 57 - all countries, and military & sporting.
But, of course, the question is, does any of that really matter. Collecting is not a competition for most of us - it is “something to do” that is fun and educational, according to our interests. The best way to collect anything, in my opinion, is to collect what pleases you, and don’t worry if it makes it a “great collection.” If it brings you pleasure, doesn’t go beyond what you can afford to collect, and teaches you the things you want to know about ammunition, then for you, the collection you have is a “great” collection no matter how many you have or don’t have - it doesn’t matter what the other guy has, or how he views your collection. If a collection is for the purpose of “status” as well as the other things (I am not criticizing that - we all liike some recognition in our lives, and some seek it one way and some another) than one must be prepared to build a very, very large collection in a caliber like 7.9 x 57, and unfortunately these days, spend a lot of money to get key items (although I have found that patience sometimes pays off - “good things come to those that wait.” Of course, one could say that good things also fly by one that waits. I have had both happen).
John-- I did say a really good collection was 6000+. You did see the plus on the end didn’t you?? I didn’t want to scare Guy off from collecting a really intersting case type!!!
Ron - sorry, missed the plus. My old eyes ain’t what they used to be! Still has to be a lot of pluses in this caliber. I have given it up. I need the room for my first love - auto pistol rounds. I think if I were staring again with a round like the 7.9, I would specialize further, and collect a naroower range within the claiber - like German Third Reich only, or Non-German only. Military only or Sporting only. With me loving headstamps above anything, maybe collecting different headstamps only, and no different loadings if the headstamp were the same, might fill the bill.
At any rate, nothing to be discouraged about (except in my case, the lack of room), as again, collect the way you like. It is a good collection if you enjoy it, regardless of the number and content.
My mentioning having a couple of hundred 7.92’s was not intended to be my idea of what constitutes the ‘complete’ collection, but merely to point out that not having a good reference makes the task of sorting this many out just a bit overwhelming. I won’t be catching the 7.92 fever. I am a general collector who buys in bulk to keep my web page ‘for sale’ lists interesting, and to add to my collection as I sort through them. I no longer go out looking for specific items. As John said, patience pays off; some really nice items have made their way into my collection using this approach, and selling the surplus pays for the ones that I hang onto. In addition, the variety keeps it far more enjoyable for me than collecting a single caliber, maker, or country would.
Thanks Ron for the information on the two books. As is often the case when I find that I should buy a particular book, the suggested book by Daniel Kent is probably long out of print, but I’ll see what’s available on the internet.
Guy–Kent’s book was originaly published in 1973 but was revised sometime later, I think about 1990. If you can, try to find the revised edition as it has quite a bit of new information not in the original. The German book was published in 1981. You might try Vic Engel for Kent’s book.
I think there has been some confusion regarding Raufoss manufacture of “7,9mm” ammo.
Definitely, a 1948 date would be possible for a 7,9x57 cartridge, as Norway was left with very many almost brand new MG34, 42 and Kar98k when the occupying German Forces surrenedered in 1945;,
but Raufoss in 1925, was making the 7,9x60/1? Browning MG cartridge; Norway had adopted the Commercial Colt version of the M1917A1 Watercooled Browning, and manufactured it under Licence. it was the standard Norwegian MG right up to the Invasion in 1940. After that, a lot of the captured Norwegian Guns were re-issued to German Railway Troops for use on Trains during the Russian Campagin of 1941 ( I don’t know if the were converted to standard 7,9x57, or left in 7,9x61 Norwegian–probably converted.)
Norway only adopted the 7,9x57 cartridge in 1946, AFAIK.
The confuasion is probably because in Military parlance, the Norwegians would have described the cartridge as a “Kal 7,9mm” without showing that it was a 60 or 61 mm case, rather than a 57mm case…The Norwegians would know, of course…from the Model number…And as the ONLY “7,9mm” calibre weapon the Norwegians had before WW II was the Browning MG, and it was in this “One Off” calibre, any RA (Raufoss)( 1920s-30s) marked ammo must be this Norwegian special cartridge, and NOT the German 7,9x57 cartridge.
Whether Raufoss made 7,9x57 For Export, well that is another matter…but would they have marked it the same way as a different calibre for Local use, or have an “export” type headstamp???
Regards, Doc AV
There is no confusion on the Norwegian 7.9 x 57mm cartridges. I have most of the dates shown in my answer, although I am missing the very rare 1925 date (I do have the 1926 date, which is equally rare). Some of the dates on ball have variations in bullet jacket material.
Struggling with a document in Norwegian, I can tell you, probably, that Norway’s production until 1929 was mostly for export, but in 1929, they acquired what are described as Colt Browning machine guns in caliber 7.9 x 57mm. Export rounds used not only Norwegian headstamps, however. I have a Turkish round with typical Turk headstamp (in their Arabic-type writing) that was made at Raufoss in 1926 ( not to be confused with the Raufoss headstamp in our alphabet that I have, also made in 1926). It is pictured on page 125 of the book “RA 1896-1996,” a Norwegian-language history of Raufoss published on behalf of the factory at Raufoss in 1996 to celebrate their 100th Anniversary. This is not really a “cartridge book” as we generally understand that description, and pictures few cartridges. It is a true company history of some 334 pages.
The 7.9 x 57mm cartridge is covered briefly in a monograph written by Vidar Andresen on behalf of A/S Raufoss Ammunisjonfabrikker, which is solely about the ammunition, including types Ball S, Ball sS, tracer, 3 types of blanks and factory exercise (dummy) round. There are some later types not covered such as the short range cartridge. This publication is "H
Thankyou for the added clarification. It does expand my limited knowledge of Norwegian ammo production considerably…I don’t read Norwegian either.