7.92x57 primers

I have a few early 7.92’s and they all have the type 30 primers. Any ideas as to which primers are in the two shown. Or have they just rusted on the surface?


Unless one has the Original Packet Label for these cartridges, it is very hard to tell which primer it is, except in a general manner.
Brassy Primers will be ZdH88 ( the original, Mercury Fulminate/Pot.chlorate corrosive Primer, used 1888-1945). The ZdH 30 and the ZdH 30/40 should be steel or zinc’ed steel, and then there is the ZdH 43? I think. All Noncorrosive ( Barium Nitrate/ Lead azide/lead styphnate types of Mixtures ) Various books on the Patrone 7,9 (Kent, or Windische etc) give more details on the Primer Composition…I am going on (poor) memory.

Doc AV

Hi Timeout,
Here are some of the Zh in my collection. Some are easy to determine by their appearance , some are impossible to tell w/o the label.

1: Zh88 brass
2: Zh30 copper plated
3: Zh30 blackened
4: Zh 30/40 Zinc-plated steel
5: Zh 30/40 Nickel-plated steel
6: Zh 30/40 Lacquered steel (exists in red, blue and green according the loading, only briefly used in 1943)
7: Zh 43 (Only recognizable thanks to the label - see picture below)

The most plausible primer for those cases and with crimping would be the Zdh 88, assuming by “rusted” you don’t mean corroded iron or steel. If the primers were Zdh 30 they would have probably been loaded in blanks and, I believe, be without crimping stabs. Jack

Interestingly, the Lot number of the ZdH 43, is Lot #1, of 1943!!! Hope they had the composition right…especially for SmK (Armour Piercing.).

Doc AV

Jack, this is not completely correct.

Crimping or not crimping is not an indication for a primer 30.
The primer 30 was also introduced in 1937 in 7,9 non practice ammunition.

Mid 1938 the primer was redrawn for life ammo. They had a lot of problems with this primer. The German air force did not accept this primer. Only 7,9 cartridges with a primer 88.
The HWA allowed this primer only in practice ammunition, like lS, lS Lsp and blanks.

The same cartridges were loaded with mixed primers (Box label). That means you can find the primer 88 and primer 30 in the same cartridge/head stamp.

An example the 15th lot is a SmK, the 16th lot a SmK tracer.

Before 1937 the primer type was not mentioned at all on the box label, except mentioning the primer 30 on blank box labels. After 1937 the primer type was mentioned on the box label.
Here a late box label from 1938 with a primer 30.


While Zdh 30 originally was identified by its copper colour, this was later changed to black, as Orpheus72 shows.

Zdh 43, according to archival records, needed the same amount of steel as Zdh 30/40, so must have been made of steel. I am still in the dark what the difference between both was, apart from Zdh 43 originally being a Luftwaffe designation.

After the war, early 7.9 mm production by DAG was labeled as having Zdh 43/56 (which was brass again).

[quote=“DocAV”]Interestingly, the Lot number of the ZdH 43, is Lot #1, of 1943!!! Hope they had the composition right…especially for SmK (Armour Piercing.).

Doc AV[/quote]

The Primer 43 was the replacement of the air force from the primer 88.
The problem is that it looks like a zinc plated primer 30/40.
Without a box label it is almost impossible to identify this primer.


@ JPeelen,

The primer 43 is a rust free primer.

I recall reading that noncorrosive primers were used in 7.9 m/m pre-1919, but were restricted to blank cartridges. Jack

A non practice ammunition box (sS. St-Cu case ) from 1937
loaded with Zdh 30.