7,92 unknown headstamps


Hi. I’m looking for information about this headstamps (7,92x57):

First. 21 and 22

Second: 1 SB 37 Schönebeck. Is that production for army or civilian ? It have green primer seal.



The 21 and 22 looks not German to me.

The “Schönebeck” was export to Spain. SB means “Sellier & Bellot”.



Both Poland and Hungary use the 21 factory code and also Romania. Poland inverts the date in the headstamp. The 22 headstamp is most likely Romanian. With no dates on the casings its hard to say. What are they made out of and how are they primed?


I think the 21 and 22 shown above have no relation to Warsaw Pact ammunition at all. The figures look rather like years.


I have the same cartridge ( headstamp 21 ) in my collection loaded as a M88.



When I was collecting 7.9, I had these cases loaded both as sport M88 and military Type S. I also had two, one with the primer and one without, with a differently formed primer pocket and a very different primer, which I personally think was experimental. I also believe, despite any “look” that they are German. One of mine had a prominent dot after the two digits. I do not believe for a minute that the double digits are anything more than
a date representing 1921 and 1922. This was a time of some clandestine manufacture both in Germany and for Germany in other countries. These are certainly NOT Romanian.

Edited for spelling only


I noticed that the front of numbers is almost identical as on Exerzierpatrone made by Polte. I think that John Moss was right and it was a discreet German production in 1921 and 1922.


The more I think about it I am dropping the Warsaw Pact Idea. It would still be interesting to know the headstamps in question as to what they are made out of and how are they primed?


xjda68 - I may not be completely understanding your question, so forgive me if my answer is non-sequitar.
The cases with the dates of 21 and 22 are brass cased. Some are Berdan primed. I had, as I mentioned before, two with a totally different primer pocket - I would not describe them as either Berdan or Boxer. One had no primer. It was almost shaped like a rmfire chamber in an auxilliary cartridge, but not exactly. One had a primer that entered by base of the case very deep for a primer. Unfortunately, these rounds are now in another collection and I never got around to photographing them (I had 12,500 or so 7.9 in my collection when I started to sell it off, so much I would have liked to have recorded never got done). I never found a way to safely (without damage to the cartridge case and/or primer) remove the primer, so don’t know precisely what it looked like.

The Sellier & Bellot contract round. of which I had an excellent unfired specimen, was a standard brass-case type s.S. ball cartridge, with normal Berdan primer and primer crimps, and a green primer seal. The bullet was GMCS Spitzer of the schweres Spitzgeshoss type.

You are correct to abandon the Warsaw pact theory. These cartridges with only the numbers on the headstamp predate the formation of the Warsaw Pact by 25 years or so. They are, in my opinion, dates on the headstamps and thus from the Period of the Weimar Republic in Germany. I would go so far as to say they were likely made at Polte, Werk Magdeburg, since the formation of the numbers is typical of those on Polte rounds of the era.


Sorry, I should have been more clear as I was directing my question to AveDanzig toward the cartridges he posted about. Anyways the information you provided on what you once had I think is sufficient for my theory which fell apart. It’s looking like German manufactured dated casings from the information discussed is the answer.


Thank you very much for such a comprehensive information.


Maybe you know something about these signatures ?

B.L. 3 35

EM 12 35 (not in my collection)



Ave - Sorry, can’t help on those. I will say this. I assume you are in Poland, as fired cases with the most amazing
headstamps are showing up there, and have been for some time. Dutch starting sending me pictures of some years
ago, when I was still seriously collecting the 7.9 x 57 mm cartridge. Most were headstamps never seen before they
were found in Poland. Virtually all were known from a single case only. Incredible, and absolutely all correct in my view
(not fakes!). Most of the factory designators defied identification even by educated guesses.

Sorry I couldn’t help you. I am actually now back to my original collecting field I began some fifty years ago, basically only
cartridges of the auto pistol/submachine gun case types. My current “favorite” is the 9 x 18 mm Makarov, as I am collecting
everything to do with that subject.

By the way, welcome to the Forum. It is clear you have a lot to contribute to our knowledge.
Keep it up! Thank you.


I have been wondering how all these “new” and interesting 7.92 headstamps seem to appear in Poland and the western Ukraine region. My first thought is that the SS was particularly active in those areas, and on occasion, they left a good number of fired cases in some relatively identifiable locations. Until the early '40s, I believe they received much of their supply via commercial contracts and captured stores. Therefore, relatively small lots of odd ammo could have been funneled from their origins all over Europe to a fairly small area of SS control in Poland and western Ukraine.


They look like Spanish civil war contracts no?



They come from that era, and they have the look of it, but then why have the headstamps that I have
seen from Dutch, and Danzig seem to all have been found in Poland?

John M.


I agree with EOD as the dates are all well prior to any German action in Poland…most of these have 1935-1937 dates…perhaps it was left over stock the Germans made for the Spanish Cival war brought to Poland later when running low on ammo stocks?


Rember that in 1945 Poland as a whole moved westward. The eastern border since then is what Hitler and Stalin had agreed upon as marking the separation between their areas of interest. Katyn today is no longer in Poland. The Poles living east of this line had to move out unless they wanted to become Soviets. As a sort of compensation, the new western border was moved to rivers Oder and Neisse into Germany.

As a result, for example the Neuhammer am Queiss Reichswehr training area today is in Poland. If German clandestine ammunition from the 1920s is found there, it would be no surprise. I mention Neuhammer, because it is known that 7.9 mm ammunition secretly obtained from Sweden went to the depot there. There are many other former German military installations in Poland.

Apart from that, in the 1920s a full fledged war between Poland and the Soviet Union was going on. Not to mention the German-Polish territorial conflict (due to Versailles Treaty) bordering on civil war.

It is most important for identification to know where exactly in Poland an item was found.


Think I missed this part of ammo factoring.

In the meantime I have heard that this “22” head stamp is seen on a Polte board.
A friend has a 22 head stamp with a dot behind it.
So it could be possible Polte started earlier with 7,9 Mauser cartridges than November 1923 as we use to think.

@ Your B.L. 35 3 head stamp is known. Unfortunately I don’t have a clue who is behind it.

This EM 12 35 is completely new to me. Great head stamp.

@ JonnyC Could it be that these kinds of head stamps were made for the Police units who moved behind the regular army.

@EOD, 1935 was too early for Spanish contracts.



Thank you, and the last riddle:

P 5 1924 S (in my friend collection)

Are these signatures from the same manufacturer (Mandl, Solothurn)?
The font of the “S” and “5” are identical.