7,9x57 black plastic dummy

There is an old topic in the forum, link below:

I recently aquire next Cartridge which is not headstamped.
While comparing it with a “dnb” headstamped, most of the mesures are nearly the same.
Do you think it was made also in the WWII era?

The dnb marked specimen is of WW.2 vintage. I doubt the unmarked one is of that period, as it is hard to believe anything at all was made in pre-1946 Germany without any sort of marking. (I jest, but only slightly). Jack

Laurent - the cartridge you show, with no headstamp, would be of the WWII vintage (I include here cartridges possibly made shortly before the invasion of Poland which began WWII), judging from the cartridge’s “bullet” ogive. The DDR version has a much sharper point, like a spitzer bullet, rather than the more round point of the wartime Ex.patr. which has a ogive more similar to the mock projectile in the PP33 rounds.

As to unheadstamped WWII vintage dummy rounds, while the first black 9 mm Ex.Patr. was likely the one with headstamp “P 40” the more common black 9 mm Ex.Patr. had no headstamp. there were also red plastic 7.9 and 9 mm Exerzierpatronen with no headstamp, in several minor variations each, from the WWII era. They also have the more rounded “bullet” tip. As I recall, Bill Woodin had also a DDR version of the RED plastic 7.9 round with the more pointed “bullet.”

John Moss

Thank you John for your help!

John: Thanks from me too. From the day I found a thumbtack stamped “F.R. Co. GERMANY” I was convinced nothing ever escaped being stamped. I suppose the tack is from the '20s, and I keep it in my desk. Jack

Thanks from me also, I never realised the DDR made 7.9mm black plastic dummies,any I have ever come across were of soviet calibres.


Tony, the GDR also made 7.92x33, 7.65x17SR and 9x19 in black plastic.

Here an image of the small caliber section. Not shown are 12.7x108, 14.5x114 and 23x152B. (source: internet):

Just to fill in, those caliber are, from Right to left (smaller to larger), 7.65 mm Browning, 9 x 18 mm Makarov, 9 x 19 mm Parabellum, 7.63 x 25 mm Tokarev, 7.9 x 33 mm Kurzpatrone,
7.62 x 39 mm Kalashnikov, 7.62 x 54R mm Mosin-Nagant, and 7.9 x 57 mm. Couldn’t resist filling this out with that information. A lot of folks don’t know that I have a sub-collection of DDR cartridges. The four pistol calibers shown, at least, have many little variations, even though they evidently were all made by one company, VEB Preßstoffwerk Spremberg “Dr. Erani,” Spremberg, DDR. Dr. Tagi Erani was Chairman of Iran’s Communist Party, and lived in Berlin in the 1920s. In WWII days, the factory name was H. Römmler A.-G. Preßstoffwerk, also located at Spremberg, Germany, and was assigned the factory code “ehe.” I have found no evidence that they made any of the plastic dummies produced during the Third Reich era.

If anyone has any information as to why there are so many variations in rim shape (square-edged and beveled), the machining marks on the steel portion, the width and shape of extractor grooves and extractor-groove bevels, and the like, please let us know. I had always thought there was more than one company that made at least the four pistol calibers and the Russian-caliber rifle cartridges. I have only a single specimen of the 7.9 x 33 mm Kurz Ex.patr. and the same for the 7.9 x 57 Ex.patr.

I also have two variations each in 12.7 and 14.5 mm Russian. There is at least one black plastic dummy from the DDR (or at least I am assuming it is from the DDR and not Nazi Germany) in a larger caliber, but it is so far out of my normal field I have forgotten the correction designation for it. The “bullet” portion means 22 mm in diameter, and while my Digital caliper will not extend to that length, the “case length” appears to be about 158 mm. The cartridge has a very long, tapered shoulder, hard to measure but about 16 mm in width. Base diameter of the plastic portion is aproximately 33 mm. I am sure EOD of one of our other German friends will know the right nomenclature for this round.

John Moss

John, that is the said 23x152B.

EOD. Thank you, my friend. I knew you would know that immediately. I am a real dunce when it comes to these big calibers. It is only because I collect all DDR cartridges, except shotgun shells, where it is hard to tell if they are pre-DDR, DDR or post-DDR, that I even have anything other than auto pistol these days.

John M.

there are also Ex rounds made from Pertinax.

I also add one DDR Ex in red.


Norbert Berg

Norbert, I seriously doubt the genuity of the Pertinax ones.

Norbert - the only Pertinex Ex.Patr. from the DDR that I believe to be genuine are the 12.7 and the 14.5 mm. Also, one in Pertinex with a steel base, with the portion representing the projectile painted black, which I am told is “25 x 218 mm Navy cartridge.”

There are also steel-base, aluminum body Ex.patr. supposedly from the DDR, but my understanding from some of the other German collectors is that are fakes, as well. I have one of these in both 9 x 18 mm Makarov and 9 x 19 mm Parabellum. Another collector has one in 7.62 x 25 mm, and there are perhaps other calibers. I am told they are all fakes.

In the 7.62 x 54R there is a variation with a very mottled brown & black color to the plastic portion of the cartridge. I don’t know if this is just some problem with the color for what should have been solid black, or if it is a different type of plastic.

Any comments are welcome. I had a chance years ago, right before the dissolution of the DDR, to pick up a very good selection of their cartridges, so I began to collect them since there was a definite beginning year and a definite ending year. I like them, but in some of the calibers, I am quite ignorant.

John Moss

Do you have any documentation to prove they are real?

I am not surprised at the red plastic DDR 7.9 x 33 mm Ex.patr., since it exists in 7.9 x 57 mm as well. I have neither in my own collection, unfortunately. There is also a brass-case, aluminum projectile dummy, no headstamp, in 23 x 152B mm that I am told is from the DDR, as well as some sore of propelled grenade dummy about which I know nothing, made of black steel, and marked in Cyrillic with what I believe is the Russian designation. I cannot do Cyrillic on this venue, but the Western Alphabet equivalent of the markings would be “VOG-17M.” This marking is in white paint, and above it in bigger letters is “EX” in the Western Alphabet, which I assume is for “Exerzierpatr.” These markings are on one side of the item.

John, your transliteration is correct. It says VOG-17M and is a GDR made dummy for the 30x29B of the AGS-17 (series).

EOD - thank you. But, what is the AGS-17 Series? Short answer fine. A grenade launching weapon similar to our M79 in concept??

John M.


1 Like

Thank you EoD,
never come across the 9x19mm either, so another one for me to find now.


John, the AGS-17 is an automatic grenade launcher.
So more the counterpart to a 40x53SR MK19 or one of the many other variants.

Azov gave you a Russian link, maybe it is easier in English:


Tony the GDR 9x19 is easy to find (and inexpensive). Just watch out at ECRA.

1 Like

AZOV and EOD - thank you. I don’t read Russian, but the pictures on that site tell the story. I will look at Wikipedia later. Normally, a grenade-cartridge like this would be out of my field of study, but the DDR connection is not. I assume that like several calibers, the DDR only actually produced dummy rounds for training, and used live ammo from the USSR or other WAPA entities???

John M.

1 Like