7.92x57 East German


I think this is made in DDR. There is a 3 stab primer crimp which is very shallow and does not extend to the primer. It is present in such a form in all the rounds. I don’t think it would hold the primer in place. Why such poor quality? And why did DDR make this round in 1960? Training? Maybe the info on the box tells something?


In 1960, the DDR had not yet reached anywhere near full issue of Soviet-style weapons. In fact, they had only about begun to make them. The Makarov pistol, for example, was made in tiny quanitities in 1958, and not until 1959 did it reach full scale production. Production continued until 1965, when sufficient quantities were thought to be on hand, and the DDR and USSR terminated the right to produce it, probably by mutual agreement. Later, in the 1970s and again in the 1980s, the DDR received shipments of Russian (and possibly also Bulgarian) pistols to supplement those handguns still in use by the Vokls Armee and the Volkspolitzei, etc.

I am not well conversed with the subject of the rifles and machineguns, but I am sure from ammunition dates that the situation and time-factor was about the same for them. The DDR Border Guards and police still had K98ks in service, and probably WWII vintage German MGs in the early 1960s. The Sturmgewehr was present too (7.92 x 33) and ammunition was made for it as well, during the same years. Plenty of Sphagin PPSh 41s were still in service, and probably Tokarev Pistols as well, and 7.62 x 25 mm was made until the earliest years of th 60s, along with 9 x 19 mm Para and 7.65 mm Browning.

It takes a long time for the entire military (and police, if the country is organized as many European countries are, with most Police being National) of even a small country to completely rearms itself. In the United States, WWII Weapons were still in used in the Army Reserve and the National Guards of the various States when the M14 and the M16 were already in service in the Regular Army, and in VN, it can be noted that many non-combat jobs (pretty much a myth that any job is “non-combat” in a war like that in VN) like Navy Seebees (non-combat - ? I don’t think so!) had a lot of weapons like M2 Carbines still in use.

About the crimp, in the photo on my screen, it appears as if the two upper crimps are extended over the edge of the primer, but that the bottom one is not. Not at all uncommon on ammunition from lots of countries. I don’t know the reason for it. You would think that in modern production methods there would be no reason or even the possiblity of striking crimps into the case that were short of the mark.


Thanks, John,
Here is a better more extreme example of poor crimping.


East-Germany was very fond of their ‘deliverer’s codes’, initially these were 4-digit codes signifying the manufacturer, duplicating the coding methods of their 3rd Reich forerunners.

So if an item is East-German, I would expect to see a 4-digit deliverer’s code somewhere. The codes became more elaborate when the number of items grew and the need to identify branches and/or subsidiaries of companies arose.

My 9x19 para box from the DDR has such a 4-digit code on the label: 2545.