7,92 mm Mauser black tip

I have a problem with identification. Why different long color tip? Error in production?
The headstamp is all the same with a red annulus. See photo:

Thank you

The nominal length of the tracer (Leuchtspur) black tip was 10 mm.
Later in the war, a dark tracer (Glimmspur) for night fighters was introduced, having a 5 mm long black tip. The Luftwaffe ammunition field manual of 1940 does not mention Glimmspur.
I think what you show are tolerances in manufacturing (dipping the tips in a liquid).

Yes, I also think of this - dropping the paint volume level in a dipping container.
Is tracer only or AP-T?
Thank you for your reply

S.m.K.L’Spur as indicated by the black tip and red primer annulus.


Late 1944/, begin 1945 the steel cores was not hardened anymore.
We should call them correctly a SmE tracer.


Only a few exist with the correct annulus colour (blue)

You can find them in high 1944 lot numbers from “cg” and “edq”


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Thanks for the info, I was not aware of this incorrect annulus coloring.


I think that they are the same types of rounds. And that the different tips are some sort of failure or that they didn’t had that much Paint left. They are all 7.92 mm Mauser rounds. I Hope i could Help a little bit.


In my view, the bluish primer seal is NOT incorrect. Since the cores were not hardened on these, they are basically a true tracer, usually not differentiated in the other calibers of other countries to reflect the soft-iron core or lead core. In most countries, multi-purpose cartridges (projectiles) are identified by combinations of colors at the tip, such as the US API loads with black over silver tip colors. Dutch is right, though. The correct designation should be SmE L’Spur.

It is not a matter, again in my opinion, of not having the correct type of paint, or any sort of “failure,” but rather a correct application of identification of a tracer that was NOT armor-piercing. The red primer seal of the more normal German AP and AP-Tracer should not apply to a cartridge, tracer or not, that is not armor-piercing. It is the black tip that identifies it as a tracer, not the color of the primer seal, which identifies the type of tracer it is, or if standing alone, with no other added forms of identification, indicates it is an AP round…

Dutch will correct me if I am wrong.

John Moss

I think Dutch and John are right.

Maybe I’m missing something, but these rounds are from 1935. Are they not SMK then?

There are two types discussed on this forum. A black tip round of the proper length coloration of the bullet tip and a red primer seal are, indeed, SmK L’spur, APT in our language, so you are not incorrect, psg. The one that prompted the last few additions to the thread above your last question is the cartridge with the bluish primer seal, headstamp “dou. S* 13 44.”

John Moss

Perhaps there are more explanations necessarily

In 1914 the Germans invented the SmK. (Spitz mit Kern)
It is a bullet with a hardened steel core instead of a lead core.
In September 1914 the first SmK cartridge arrived at the front.
From the beginning the cartridge had a red annulus colour and a “K” (Kern) a shortage from Core in the head stamp. Later changed to “K67”

Later in 1916 the SmK Lsp (Tracer) was introduced to replace the LE cartridge, which was used to see were the MG was shooting during an air battle. This bullet explodes about 400 meters after he was fired between the normal “S” bullets.


This WW1 SmK Lsp round had also a red annulus colour.


The SmK Lsp cartridge was made again after WW1 in 1930.
In principle it stays the same until end 1944. The only change was the colour from the tracer.
It changed over the years from red, green, green-red, yellow, orange and white. In 1944 the hardened core was replaced to an iron one. The name SmK Lsp stays the same.

The SmK Lsp cartridge with the blue annulus colour I used as an example was not loaded by “dou” but was made by “edq” from shipped brass cases to DWM Lübeck.


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Thanks for clearing it out for me, english is not my first language. I got confused when Dutch wrote that we should identify them as SmE even with red primer seal if produced in late or after 1944, since the rounds in question was from 1935. I thought I missed something, but couldn’t see what.

German ammunition is now one of my main fields of interest, but I don’t have so much knowlegde about it. Learning a lot from this forum, please bear with my little knowlegde. ( And spelling-gramatic errors.)

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The LE cartridge Dutch mentions was named “Luft Einschieß”. Probably translated best as “air spotter”, because Einschießen is used here lacking a better German word. The term Einschießen normally would translate as [artillery] fire for registration.
The “Natr. Ox.” in the SmK L-spur label is “Natrium Oxalat” (sodium oxalate), added to the propellant to reduce muzzle flash.

“Einschieß”, if anything like the Norwegian word “innskytning”, could translate to something along the lines of “sighting in”.

As in using the cartridges to align the sights/know where you are hitting.


Ole, pretty correct as such!
Just German as a rather precise language is distinguishing between “Einschieß” and “Anschuss”.

“Einschieß” would be “ranging” or remotely “spotting”.
“Anschuss” would be “zeroing” or “sighting in”.


Yes, in the less precise Norwegian the term “innskytning/å skyte inn” can refer to both spotting with a spotter rifle, “breaking in” a gun, or zeroing/sighting in a gun.