7.9x57 LITHUANIAN BOX


#1

Is this ammo made in Lithuania or made by FN and exported to Lithuania?


7.92 books
Lithuanian 7.92x57 "39 LD 20"
#2

As far as we know, in 1931, this ammo was only loaded in Lithuania from components made and bought in Belgium. So far is the label showing “FN” almost everywhere.
The only two existing Ammunition facilities in Lithuania, Arsenal of Kaunas (=Kovno) and Arsenal of Linkaicuai ,imported cammunition components from Belgium (FN) and England (Kynoch) until they were self-sufficient, by 1937.

Philippe


#3

[quote=“philippe regenstreif”]As far as we know, in 1931, this ammo was only loaded in Lithuania from components made and bought in Belgium. So far is the label showing “FN” almost everywhere.
The only two existing Ammunition facilities in Lithuania, Arsenal of Kaunas (=Kovno) and Arsenal of Linkaicuai ,imported cammunition components from Belgium (FN) and England (Kynoch) until they were self-sufficient, by 1937.

Philippe[/quote]

These have the A D 7 37 headstamp. Were the cases also made by FN ?


#4

The question is somewhat tricky, as the AD and LD cases should have been made in Lithuania, after they had became able to do it locally, first thanks to FN technicians who were sent in Lithuania to help the production to start.
From the very scarce infos available, it seems that at least some first lots of the LD and AD were made in Belgium and sent in Lithuania.

The presence of mixed lots of LD, AD and FN headstamped cases found after WWII in Belgium in FN scraps , shows that quantities of German -captured cases went back there during the war, to be reworked and reloaded as blanks. We have found two variations of this wood-bulleted blanks with the three kinds of headstamps at the FN. It can be assumed that the red -coloured bulleted ones were legitimate Lithuanian, but not the natural wood ones.
The close shape and structure of this wooden bullets do not cope with their German or Belgian counterparts, anyway. Unhappily, no packets or boxes ever did show up.

An almost similar story concerns other calibres which turned out in the German-ruled FN (DWM-L


#5

Superior- thank you.


#6

Very interesting box. The earliest date I’ve seen, not that I’ve seen a tremendous amount. It also is the first I’ve seen with a green stripe. Does that indicate a s.S. loading? My later dated boxes do not have the stripe on either the S. or s.S. loadings. Thanks for showing the box.

pbutler


#7

[quote=“pbutler”]Very interesting box. The earliest date I’ve seen, not that I’ve seen a tremendous amount. It also is the first I’ve seen with a green stripe. Does that indicate a s.S. loading? My later dated boxes do not have the stripe on either the S. or s.S. loadings. Thanks for showing the box.

pbutler[/quote]

I have the same question about the green stripe. What loads are in your later boxes? These are the green annulus SS ball.


#8

In boxes I only have S. (black annulus) and s.S. (green annulus). There is also a AP loading (red annulus) but I’ve never seen a box so I don’t know what they called it. John Moss could probably tell us.

Here’s a couple examples. I wouldn’t bet if the rounds are original to the boxes but that’s the way I got them.



#9

Interesting how the sizes of the SS are reversed in the later boxes. I wonder if this implies that the early one is actually from Belgium? Does anyone know French ( Belgian version-if it differs) and Lithuanian ?


#10

Strange how a person can look at something and not see it. I never noticed that before. Have no idea if its significant or not. Lookin through my other boxes, on all that have “sS” the bottom line Reads El.FN xxxxx, El.FN.N. xxxxx or El.FN.A.D. xxxxx. On all that have “Ss” the bottom line Reads El.LD xxxxx. Something to think about.


#11

I am hopefull that Dr. Regenstreif can figure it out. FN certainly made most of the early components and the early AD headstamped cases as well. Boxes?.


#12

If the cartridges from the first pictured box from 1931 are headstamped “A D 7 37” as I seem to be reading, they are NOT original to the box. The box label first posted clearly shows virtually all components supplied by FN, as well as a date way too early to have ammo dated 1937 in it. I am sure they were loaded at FN as well. I have a couple of dozen, at least, of these 1930s FN rounds, all with trinomial headstamps and different dates, made for Lithuania. I have full box of ammo with FN markings on the label, dated 1937 VII-2 (I take that to be 2 July 1937, full with s.S. ball ammo headstamped FN 11 36 (of course, cases are often loaded after the date on the headstamp).

I do not have the box for the red-sealed AP round, and do not know the official Lithuanian designation for it.

Regarding the reversal of the s.S. to S.s., this may be a result of the position of the modifier in the Lithuanian language. We would need someone fluent in that language and familiar with ammunition terms to help us there - I am not.

To me, what is strange is that so many countries, even Isreal, used the German-language abbreviation for type s.S. ball. Why they didn’t translate it into their own language is beyond me. We use it as collectors because it is the common language for that loading, but I don’t even know what we don’t just call it “Type h.b.” for “Type heavy ball.” It certainly doesn’t offend me to use the German designation - it is just surprising to me that so many countries did use it.

Tomorrow, if I have time and Joe is there to help me, I will try to post a photo of a rare and interesting variant of the FN headstamp for Lithuania.

John Moss


#13

Rare headstamp on 7.9 x 57mm ammo made by Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre, Herstal, Belgium, on contract for the country of Lithuania, in 1932. The usual content of these headstamps has a number representing either a month or a lot in place of the design on this one. The design is called the “Gates of Gediminas” and is the lithuanian Coat of Arms.

The same design is found on the receiver bridge of Model 98 Mauser riflesd, and on the front top of the slide of Lithuanian-contract FN-Browning Model GP (HP) 9mm pistols, and probably other weapons as well. Very few rounds like this have shown up over the years. this round is a type s.S. ball cartridge, as denoted by the green primer seal. To my knowledge, this particular headstamp has never been encountered on any other loading, or any other cartridge by any manufacturer.

John Moss Collection


#14

Yes the ammo is 37 date. Why the green stripe?


#15

Someone has repacked the 1931 box. Your confirmation of the date clearly indicates the box has the wrong ammo in it.

I can only speculate on the meaning of the green stripe. To me, clearly, it is a second identification of the contents as being type s.S. ball, with a green seal. The stripe only seems to appear on the earliest 1931 boxes that have a strip of tape sealing them, with the label printed on that tape. It may have been nothing more than a quick visual identification for troops in the field that may not have understood the label abbreviations, or even for the packers at FN who possibly would not have understood the abbreviations on the label. I don’t know if they had machinery for boxing loose rounds of ammunition then. I have seen early pictures, mostly from WWI, a bit earlier than these boxes of course, showing ammunition boxes being packed by hand, mostly by women. At any rate, in the absence of documentation on the green strip, it must be classed as purely speculation on my part.

I have boxes with the tape-labels dated 15 VII 1931 and 21 VII 1931. My next box is dated 3 IX (or possibly just “X” - it is faded) 1931 and the “label” is stamped directly on the box opening-lid. So, it appears they changed from the sealing-tape label very early in the contract for this ammunition. My boxes run thru 1940, with some with labels so badly faded that I can only tell they are different from each other (don’t really even know why I bother to keep them since they give up very little information in that condition). None with the label printed right on the box have any color of stripe on them.

I am sorry that the picture I scanned of the rare headstamp, kindly posted by Joe, didn’t turn out better. I tried to work with it but only made it poorer, so I went back to the original scan. I simply will not put any headstamp enhancer on the base of a cartridge as rare as this.


#16

Excellent-thank you.


#17

John,

Thanks for posting the scan. Great cartridge!!

pbutler