7 x 49 Venzuelan aka 7mm Liviano

I have been searching my files for a copy of the ads, but may not have them since it predates my keeping of almost everything even remotely connected to ammunition in my files, but I cannot remember the importer. I want to say Century Arms. Whichever company it was imported a huge amount of this ammunition into the United States perhaps 20 years ago, or more, and they had purchased it believing it was 7 x 57mm Mauser. Of course, they quickly found that there probably weren’t three firearms for this caliber in the entire United States, and they began selling it cheaply. At one point, they put box ads out indicating they had a quantity for sale open to offers to purchase. I think that is when the various little firms that bread down ammo for components got into it. AKMS is correct - it used to be sold at gun shows for whatever anyone could get for it. Guys thought they had a rarity, and found that at shows in any given region, after they sold a few boxes, they had saturated the market for that area, and before long, you could buy this stuff not just for a buck a round, but for little over a buck a box. I bought one box and I had the cartridges and box for almost ten years before the last round was gone and I gave away the box with the last round.

If anyone has any of the early ads for it, or can even tell me which firm imported it, I will appreciate it. It would have probably only been Century Arms (pre-Florida days), Service Armament/Navy Arms or Interarms. I really think it was Century, but just don’t positively recall.

I still think of it as a common cartridge among collectors, with a very low cash value, at least in the variations that came out of Venezuela into the U.S.

John, If the rounds were as cheap as you say, did someone not think of re-barreling a firearm to take the rounds?

I’m sure it must have happened somewhere.

With soft point bullets, I wonder what it would have performed like as a little hunting round out of a handy carbine.

As yet I am no gunsmith, but I would have thought that shortening a 7x57 Mauser barrel, reaming the chamber and re-threading it would work. The added bonus is that the cartridge base diameters are the same size, meaning no modifications to the bolt or extractor.

Falcon - that would be a nice exercise in gunsmithing, but to what practical value? The FN 7 x 49 mm cartridge, I feel sure, was designed to fit the basic paramaters of the FAL rifle, and thus a shorter case. In a good, bolt- action sporting rifle, I can see no advantage at all to taking a perfectly good 7 x 57m/m Mauser, truly a great cartridge in its own right, and rechambering it, with all the work necessary to that task, for what in the hunting world would probably be a cartridge inferior to it.

Of course, I admit to not being adventuresome in this regard. Considering that a 20-round rifle cartridge box would fit all (probably with empty spaces) the rifle cartridges from those ever evented that represent a useful answer to anything a rifle needs to do, if I were the holiest pooh-bah of cartridge making and had a say about what would be made and what wouldn’t in my life span, we as cartridge collectors would be out of business. Many old cartridges, and most of the cartridges designed in the last forty years, come under the heading of “so what” as far as I am concerned as a shooter. Of course, as a collector, I almost wish they would come out with a new pistol caliber every 24 hours, although I am growing wearing of the million new bullet types, most of them quite useless, and the plethora of new headstamps, that seem to come out minutely. The headstamps are fun, but become a discouragement when they are brought out in such quantities that is it impossible to even learn of them all, much less have any hope of finding them all.

Well, I know I just have committed the most egregious blasphemy against cartridge experimentation, wildcating, and ammunition commercialism that can be imagined, so please don’t all jump on me at once. It is just the opinion of an old man torn between the practicalities of using guns in the real world and the great hobby of cartridge collecting. I also realize that if it were not for some of the wildcats and other experimentation, some of the very cartridges I would put in that 20-round box would not exist. I just think it is an area that has been done to death when it comes to moving a projectile down range, for any purpose, using a primer, cartridge case, and gunpowder.

Please, don’t anyone bring tar and feathers to St. Louis. I don’t want to stay locked in my room there.

I was just thinking that someone may have seen all the cheap ammo floating around, and thought “that’s what I’ll do this weekend with that old Mauser”. With access to machine tools, I think of so many things that would indeed be possible if one wanted to try them.

Falcon: I think a lot of people did see the cheap ammo & have thoughts, but ultimately the deal-breaker for nearly everyone was the fact the primers were dead or nearly so decades ago. Had the stuff been sure-fire probably a few rifles would have been converted to use it as is. Even penny-pinchers have a breaking point. JG


How could anyone disagree with what you said? It’s all true.

If you save 3 places in that 20-round box I can fit all of mine in there. And the older I get the more I realize I could get by with one, the 22RF.

An authentic tar and feather job requires that the victim be stripped naked before applying the tar. I don’t think any of us want to go there. So, you’re safe. ;)


I agree with John and Ray, although I would have said that about half a dozen cartridges (rifle and pistol) could cover every reasonable need. It can be quite a fun exercise deciding which half dozen you’d choose, but the inclusion of the .22RF is the one certainty!

Feathers are easy, John, but the TSA might have a problem with the tar. That might have to be sourced locally.

Guys - I was being generous with my 20 round box.:

Fun and very small game hunting: 22LR. No Magnums, 17s, etc. needed.

Hunting: Varmint: .22-250 does it all (I can’t see far, so I’d put a .223 in
my box.
Any bigger non-dangerous game or semi-dangerous game: Who needs anything more than a .30-06 with bullet weight choices (sensible choices) of 125 grains to 220 grains.

           Dangerous Game:  No experience, and frankly, in expert, cool hands, a .30-06 will kill anything on earth instantly, but I think as a neophyte in this area, a .416 Rigby would suit me fine.  We don't need 500's, 600's, 700,s etc these days.

            Birds:  .22 LR (bulleted) for tiny ones, 20 gauge for little ones, 12 gauge for big ones.

Self Defense: Rifle: .308 to cover the most rifle types. An M1 in .30-06 will do me just fine.

Self Defense Pistols: .38 Special for little guns, .45 Auto for big guns. Little guns in big, hard kicking calibers are fine for the 1% of police, civilians, etc. that can really perform well under pressure with them, but the two calibers above, with a modest amount of training, can be handled by teenage girls.

Self Defense Shotgun: 12 Gauge.

War: 9mm Pistol possibly, but not with the crappy NATO ammunition. Screw the Hague convention. 147 grain hollow points. It isn’t a game. .45 better, in a pistol and/or submachine gun. 7.62 NATO in a rifle. Does almost as well as a .30-06. (I am American and American calibers are what I relate to.
A 7.62 x 39 would be minimal. Its actually inferior to even a .30-30 Winchester. In a bolt gun, 8mm Mauser, .303 British, or anything similar would, of course, yield the same results.

So, for me, if all that existed was the following, nothing is lost:

.22 LR, .308 or .30-06, .223 or .22-250, .416 Rigby, 20 Gauge (possibly superfluous - 12 gauge light probably just as good), 12 Gauge, .38 Special, .45 Auto. That’s a total of seven or possibly eight calibers (note the use of “or”). Heck, not even half a box.

I didn’t include target shooting but who needs other than .22, .308 or .30-06, .45 Auto, and 12 Gauge for any of those, unless you’re a Cowboy, and then for me, despite the gamer use of .38 special, the .44-40 rules!

Glad TPA won’t allow the tar!

Rember: It is best to be caught a bit over gunned, than under gunned!
Frank Barnes


Phil - thanks for answering all of the questions. I’m just getting over the flu and getting caught up.

There are at least a couple of other lesser known 7 mm rounds that presumably are linked to this discussion.

The first one is the 7 x 47.6 Pre-Nato by FN on a Super Speed .300 Savage case. This round dates from the late 1940’s/early 1950’s and appears to use the FN S12 projectile. Whether this round has ties to the British developmental efforts or the US efforts, I do not know.

The other round, which I have attributed to Canadian origins, is based on the 7.62 x 49 US Pre-Nato case (headstamped FA 48) and loaded with the British Type ‘C’ ball projectile with pink tip.

Interesting items Paul. I have seen no mention in British records of either item, but they seem to fit after the FN prototype FAL in 7.92mm Kurz and when the British/Belgians/Canadians found out about the US efforts.

We must discuss at SLICS!


I didn’t think of that, if the only ammo you can get in that calibre has dud primers, converting a rifle to fire it is a non-starter.


Two interesting cartridges.

Check the one on the left very carefully. I have seen similar cartridges that were simply a shooter’s attempt at making 7mm Savage cartridges (a wildcat) to shoot. Cases and the S12 bullets are plentiful.

It’s hard for me to tell but if the case has the vestiges of a segmented factory crimp it could be a 300 Savage factory round that has the bullet pulled and the case necked to 7mm. I would think that only new factory cases would have been used, such as Frankford Arsenal did for the the pre-T65.

Also, the primer appears to be later than the 1940s - 50s. SUPER SPEED and SUPER-X cases from that period had a very flat primer. Again, if you’ll look at the Frankford Arsenal pre-T65 cartridges you’ll see what I mean.

I’m not saying that the two cartridges are not legitimate. They probably are. I’d buy them in an instant.


Ah, the crimp on the 7mm FN round is factory perfect! I can’t explain the primer, but this round is a recognized experimental caliber, and has the XCR code of 07048BGC015.


That certainly looks like an FN crimp (the S 12 bullet did not have a crimping groove, right?).

As to the primer, maybe they simply bought unprimed cases from WW.

What is XCR ?


Hi Ray,

You are correct, the S12 projectile does not have a cannelure. The XCR code is the reference to the ECRA database which lists some 9800 known calibers. The code 07048BGC015 is the unique identifier for this round. It is based on caliber (07), case length (048), case profile (bottlenecked, head profile, and centerfire priming) and variant (015).

What is the upper limit of calibre on that databse? I am just curious.

50mm, last time I looked.