Can anyone help identifying these 7.9x57mm headstamps? I know Hirtenberger Patronen- Zundhutchen-und Metallwarenfabrik 0f Austria liked to use stars and asterisks. The 1914 one might be one of their products?? The
Phil - regarding the first headstamp you show, with two stars and a split 1914 date, it is always listed as unknown. I suspect, but cannot prove in any way, that it is a product of Louis Dieu & Cie, Paris, France. There is a variation of the 7.9 heastamp - two stars at approximately 10 O’Clock and 2 O’Clock, and 1914 at the bottom, that is certainly from the same manufacturer as the 7.9. Further, Louis Dieu made both calibers also with a headstamp of * L.D.P. * and a date at the bottom, which in the case of the 7.9, is “88” and certainly represents the model of the Mauser Rifle Model 1888, rather than the date of manufacture of the cartridge. We know this not just from the nationality, but from other L.D.P. headstamps such as 7 x 57 where the “date” is “93” the same date as the Model date for many 7 x 57 Mausers. This is just a guess and a gosh, as I have said. Officially, the headstamp is unknown.
Regarding your “21” headstamp, everyone wants to make this a code. In my opinion, it is the date of manufacture. Picture a four-place German headstamp with three places removed! I base this on several things, but one thing in particular. My first rounds with the “21” headstamp are empty cases, one primed with a very large, nickeled (? - silver in color) primer - much larger than any other primer ever used in a 7.9 cartridge to my knowledge. The other is the same case unprimed, showing the primer pocket formed as a step for a flange, and then bored straight through making a very large flash hole about the size of the diameter of a normal primer. Perhaps experimenting for a short range gallery load propelled only by the primer? Then I have a Model 88 (CNCS RN bullet - perhaps a full-patch sporting round rather than a true M88) with “21” also. My next round has a headstamp of “22” and that’s why I am sure it is a date. I discount the bullet in it, which is a spitzer FMJ because I believe these rounds to be German, and the bullet is GM (non-magnetic). However, I have to state that the neck crimp looks perfectly undisturbed, so…? My fifth and final round has a bullet exactly like the one you show, but the date is "22
John: The lower cartridge is utterly new to me and while I too feel the case is German and of probably 1921 manufacture, isn’t the use of gilding metal as jacketing material very atypical of German practice at that time? JG
My “21” is also a GM-SP, and that is all I have ever seen with that headstamp. As John mentioned, I also believe the bullets in most of the “21” or “22” cases are not connected to the original case manufacturer, but were loaded at a later date into available cases.
J.G. - you are absolutely right that a GM bullet is atypical for German manufacture. It should be GMCS. That’s precisely why I said that “I discount the bullet,” but did explain that the crimp didn’t look disturbed. While I don’t think it is an original bullet to the case - even to what happened to the cases later, since I think Jon is basically correct about these cases being loaded later - it was only fair to mention that the crimp looks o.k. since my opinion of the bullet is just that, opinion. Aside from the fact that most German bullets (not all) are either GMCS or CNCS, I have no documentation about these rounds so everything is an educated guess. Well, maybe in my case, not even “educated.”
John: I realized you weren’t absolutely convinced the bullet was loaded at the time the case was made. Even without the final word here, thanks to you and to Phil for the show and tell. JG
Thanks again for the comments. Back they go into the “Unknown” box.
I forgot to mention: the 19 * 14 * is CNCS and the 21 is GMCS SP.
John, let me precise that LOUIS DIEU & Co., Paris was only a retailer for cartridges made otherwhere, mostly from S.F.M., and never manufactured ammo by himself. He was active before WWI and probably some times after.
A funny connotation is an existing box of 32 ACP (7,65 mm Bwg) labelled:
“LOUIS DIEU, Paris” and " for DEMON pistol" !!!
(as you know, Dieu is the French word for God…!)
Phil - thank you for the information. Do you know what headstamp was on the L.D.P.-sold .32 Auto rounds you mentioned? Do you know who actually made the L.D.P. Cartridges in 7,9 Mauser and 7.63 Mauser? Do you have any opinion on whether or not the cartridges with just two stars and a 1914 date in 8 mm Mauser and 7.63 mm Mauser Pistol were made by the same company that made those two calibers with the L.D.P. headstamp?