7.9mm BESA Dummy?


#1

Does anyone know if this is a factory made dummy or something put together later on?
It rattles when the round is shaken (lead shot inside?) and total weight is 427 grs.


#2

Phil - I have the identical dummy round to yours. The heavy neck crimp has not been disturbed and I am sure it is a factory original dummy. I cannot explain its existence, however. British dummy rounds in this caliber are legion. I have 34 variations in my collection, and judging from the ones I have seen that I don’t have, I don’t think I have a very good collection of them.

From a Kynoch headstamp of the same year, I also habve a tinned-case dummy with empty Berdan primer pocket, flash holes present, with a magnetic bullet that has three knurled cannelures on it, above the case mouth. I believe the bullet must be an AP type or something, as while it is magnetic, putting a moderate-power magnet at the very tip reveals that the bullet jacket is GM, not GMCS, so the pull to the magnet is from within the bullet. This dummy rattles much louder than the one I have that duplicates yours. Headstamp is “K57 G3Z” so a Mark 3 tracer case was used to make it.


#3

Excuse the nit-picking - but strictly speaking - this is not a 7.92mm BESA dummy - that is - it’s not an approved Drill or Inspection round for the BESA machine-gun. The term ‘Dummy’ is rarely used in British nomenclature - & not in relation to the BESA. These 7.92mm Dummy rounds were usually for export, e.g. Kuwait.


#4

John - truthfully, I have never liked the designation “7.92 Besa” for any purpose. the Besa machine guns are caliber 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. If we named every cartridge a different name for the guns they were used in, we have to call rounds like the 7.9 Mauser by 100 different names. I have met collectors who don’t collect military rifle and MG rounds that thought the so-called “7.9 Besa” was a different case type from the 7.9 x 57mm Mauser.

I understand why some cartridges started life with the names of specific guns or gun companies, like the A,C.P. series of pistol cartridges for automatic Colt pistols, but to rename a cartridge years after it went into service to suit a specific gun is a silly practice, in my view.

Just my opinion, but I would hate to have to explain that I collect 7.9 Mauser, 7.92 Besa, 7.9 Bren, 7.9 Brno, 7.9 Browning MG, 7.9 Carcano, 7.9 Maxim, 7.9 MG 34, 7.9 MG 42, et cetera ad nauseum.


#5

[quote=“JohnMoss”]John - truthfully, I have never liked the designation “7.92 Besa” for any purpose. the Besa machine guns are caliber 7.92 x 57mm Mauser. If we named every cartridge a different name for the guns they were used in, we have to call rounds like the 7.9 Mauser by 100 different names. I have met collectors who don’t collect military rifle and MG rounds that thought the so-called “7.9 Besa” was a different case type from the 7.9 x 57mm Mauser.

I understand why some cartridges started life with the names of specific guns or gun companies, like the A,C.P. series of pistol cartridges for automatic Colt pistols, but to rename a cartridge years after it went into service to suit a specific gun is a silly practice, in my view.

Just my opinion, but I would hate to have to explain that I collect 7.9 Mauser, 7.92 Besa, 7.9 Bren, 7.9 Brno, 7.9 Browning MG, 7.9 Carcano, 7.9 Maxim, 7.9 MG 34, 7.9 MG 42, et cetera ad nauseum.[/quote]

John,

I understand your viewpoint and generally agree with you, the BESA did not use a special cartridge case. However, in Britain the BESA was somewhat different to the standard 7.92x57mm Mauser round. As I understand it this difference was not intentional. The Czech ZB37 MG was being considered for adoption by Britain in the late 1930’s. The original intention was to adopt the Czech gun, cartridge and belt exactly as they were. However Britain wanted to make the guns and ammo under license. When the first barrels were manufactured they were found to perform badly with standard Czech ammo, falling short on range. It turned out that the commencement of the rifling on the British made barrels differed from the Czech barrels being bored with a long leed, similar to the .303 calibre barrels. After some experiment it was found that the guns preferred bullets with a “fatter” ogive and a longer parallel bearing surface. By now WW2 was imminent and the time to make your mind up had arrived. So, rather than making new barrels to the dimensions that they should have been in the first place all ammo for the BESA was loaded with the modified bullet. Whilst captured German 7.92mm ammo was authorised for use in the BESA it actually performed poorly at longer ranges. This gave the false impression that the British ammo was better whereas in reality the British barrels were not as good. So John, there is a sub-group of the 7.92x57mm Mauser which is 7.92mm BESA, to us pedantic Britons at least!

gravelbelly


#6

Gravelbelly - I understand perfectly your comments, and some of them are new to me and I am therefore thankful for the information. However, they pertain to a difference in the projectile, not a different cartridge. The Germans, themselves, used a myriad of different projectiles with the same caliber ammunition - S Ball, s.S. Ball, S.m.E. Ball, l.S. Ball, l.S. Tracer, S.m.K, S.m.k.L’spur, P.m.K., etc. Some other countries made slightly different ball rounds, although admittedly, the vast majority stuck with the German-type S and s.S. ball, and of course, variations of sporting bullets in this caliber are legion. I know that you understood my point, but this is just to clarify that a change in the projectile (other than to a different caliber, as in wildcats or new calibers based on an older case) does not a new caliber make, even by name-designation.

Just like our dear frin John-Pople said, I was nit-picking to make a point.

My understanding is that you will be at St. Louis, and I hope that we will meet there in a few days.


#7

[quote=“JohnMoss”]Gravelbelly - I understand perfectly your comments, and some of them are new to me and I am therefore thankful for the information. However, they pertain to a difference in the projectile, not a different cartridge. The Germans, themselves, used a myriad of different projectiles with the same caliber ammunition - S Ball, s.S. Ball, S.m.E. Ball, l.S. Ball, l.S. Tracer, S.m.K, S.m.k.L’spur, P.m.K., etc. Some other countries made slightly different ball rounds, although admittedly, the vast majority stuck with the German-type S and s.S. ball, and of course, variations of sporting bullets in this caliber are legion. I know that you understood my point, but this is just to clarify that a change in the projectile (other than to a different caliber, as in wildcats or new calibers based on an older case) does not a new caliber make, even by name-designation.

Just like our dear frin John-Pople said, I was nit-picking to make a point.

My understanding is that you will be at St. Louis, and I hope that we will meet there in a few days.[/quote]

Hello John.

Greetings from one nit-picker to another! I won’t be at St. Louis I’m afraid but a small packet from me to you will be there. I hope that it interests you. My next major meeting will probably be at Walenstadt, Switzerland.

gravelbelly


#8

I think John’s (JP-C that is) point was to do with the term “Dummy” rather than BESA. In British nomenclature the term “Dummy” is only applied to Inspection rounds designed to test a weapon’s functioning, as it is a true dummy round in terms of dimensions and weight. These have the code “U” and there are two Marks for the BESA gun.

Rounds intended for training are “Drill” and are often lighter and made from rejected components so may not be dimensionally absolutely accurate. These carry the code “D” and there were three Marks for the BESA.

Of course, just to confuse matters the early Inspection rounds (for example the .303 Mark I and II) were entitled “Dummy Drill”!

John M - I realise you are aware of all this but I thought it worth clarifying for people not familiar with the pedantry of British nomenclature.

BTW I WILL be at St.Louis so we can while away the hours discussing nomenclature.

Regards
TonyE


#9

Tony - thanks for the clarification. I was NOT aware of all of what you said. I do not recall ever learning about the early “Dummy Drill” designation. thanks. I wish I knew 10% of the combined knowledge of all the guys who post on this Forum!


#10

JP-C
Do I understand your post and that this dummy, or whatever the correct designation is, was made for export to Kuwait? If so, it would seem other loadings would have been made also. If others were made, is there a way to identify them by headstamp, etc.?


#11

The last British military loadings for the BESA were in the 1950s as by then the Browning was replacing the BESA as the standard AFV MG. Kynoch made the Drill Mark 3 and tracer G3z up to about 1957.

It is fairly safe to assume that any Kynoch loadings after this date are for export sales, especially as thay have non British military headstamps. I have ball, tracer, AP and API all with “K59 7.92” or “K61 7.92” headstamps.

Regards
TonyE


#12

TonyE

I have those rounds also (with the exception of the A.P.I.). What I would like to know is: are there any reocrds, box labels etc. that would show where they were exported to?


#13

here is an example from the Kynoch order book, dated 19.6.59:

Order Z3603
24,864 7.92m/m Ctges with Incendiary (API) blts
49,728 7.92m/m Ctges with Tracer (D.I.) blts
74,592 7.92m/m Ctges with armour piercing blts
49,728 7.92m/m Ctges with Ball blts
To be fitted into metal-cum-fabric belts of 225 rds in the series 1 Tr: 1 AP: 1 Ball: 1AP: 1 Tr: 1AP: 1 Ball; 1 inc.
888 7.92m/m Ctges with Ball blts

His Highness Shaikh Abdulla Mubarak
Al Sutah, C.I.E.
Kuwait, Arabia

The following order Z3604 was for .30-06 in mixed belts, also for Kuwait.

Other customers for 7.92mm BESA during this period were the Governments of Quatar, New Zealand, Aden, and Libya. Most of these would have been packed in typical Kynoch military “trade” boxes.

The last order I have a record of is for 50,000 154 grn. ball rounds to Aden in November 1965. I believe these were the unheadstamped rounds packed in plain 20 round boxes, but instantly identifiable as Kynoch, both by the purple annulus and the typical Kynoch date of work rubber stamped on the box.

Hope this helps
Regards
TonyE


#14

TonyE
Thank you much for the info, I’ll buy you a beer in St. Louis!!