7.9x57R Dutch MG Ctg


I have saw several references to the 7.9x57R Dutch MG ctg as being adopted in 1908.
In the book “Grand Old Lady of Noman’s Land” ,Goldsmith, the following chronology of Dutch MG acquisitions is given:
1908 Scharzlose cal 6.5x54R
1918 Vickers .303"
1918 Maxim 08 &08/15 cal 7.9x57
The above refers to the Dutch home army not the east indies army which had their own small arms program.

In 1925 the Dutch adopted a “newly developed cartridge which was basically the German 7.9 cartridge with a rim.” A program was then started to convert the Schwarzlose, Vickers and Maxim guns to the new cartridge.
What was the date of introduction of the 7.9x57R Dutch Mg ctg,1908 or 1925? Does anyone have a specimen of this round dated earlier than 1925.


The Patroon Scherpe Nr.23 ( 7,9x57R) is so similar looking to the .303 Mark VII that it is often mistaken for it…until one does some actual measurements. FN made some post-1945 for the Dutch Gov’t, and surplus of this in the USA is in packets similar to FN .303 of the 1950s…hence the confusion.

From my information ( Smith & Smith—I know, they make mistakes as well) did mention 1917 as the development of the “7,9” cartridge for MG use, and the conversion of some M95 “Carbines” for use by MG crews.

Definitely in the 1920s they converted a lot of Schwarzelose and probably Vickers to 7,9R. It seems that Lewis Guns made in Holland, were in 6,5mm, to match the rifle calibre of Infantry.

As to any British Lewis Guns acquired in 1918-19 in .303, I don’t have any info on conversion or otherwise).

During WW II, the Luftwaffe “re-badged” Dutch 7,9x57R ammo for use with Survival Drillings on North African and Arctic Patrol Bomber aircraft.

It is close enough dimension wise to work in Krieghoff drillings quite well.( and being FMJ, avoided any problems in using such drillings against troops.

Doc AV
AV ballistics.


During WW2 some captured Dutch 8x57R Schwartzlose cartridges were converted by RWS into Mauser 8x57RS sporting rounds. The rim was reduced to Mauser thinness by machining away the upper rim surfaces, which gave the cases a slightly semi-rimed appearance but retained the original case length and the Dutch primer and headstamp. It was then loaded with a soft-nose bullet bearing the Utendoerffer-RWS “U-in-shield” mark on its lead base.

John E


Just checked “The Belgian Rattlesnake The Lewis Automatic Machinegun” Easterly and it gives the date of adoption of the 7.9x57R as 1925 and states that “this cartridge was for machine gun use exclusively and was never used in any Dutch rifle.”
“The Dutch Mannlicher M.95 and the 6.5x53.5R Cartridge” a bilingual Dutch/English publication to mark the 100th anniversary of the M95 shows dozens of variants of the M95 made for the army, navy and east indies army but no 7.9x57R M95s. It does show a 7.9x53.5R cartridge made by necking up the 6.5 to use a 7.9 S bullet and mentions one rifle being made in this calibre c1910-12. Anyone have one of these cartridges?