7 x 57 mm Mauser: the 1893 DMK spanish contract


#1

In 1893 the spanish Army adopted the new Mauser rifle in 7 mm caliber. It was named the Spanish Mauser Model of 1893.

During the set up of spanish facilities to manufacture the rifle and its ammunition, orders were placed abroad for the first guns and cartridges.

The first Spanish Mauser rifles were manufactured by Ludwig Loewe & Co, Berlin. The spanish government factory at Oviedo started production only in 1896.

In 1893 a contract was placed on the german firm of Deutsche Metallpatronen, Karlsruhe, for nearly 16 millions of ball cartridges in the new caliber.

These cartridges had a CNCS roundnose bullet, and their typical headstamp was: (18 D.M. 94 K.)

I have found in an old book the data collected by the spanish commission that traveled to Germany to inspect the cartridges. A summary is presented in the attached file.

The number of rejects correspond to the total of the components that failed upon inspection. This means, for example, that the number of cases rejected is the sum of the empty cases rejected, the cases that failed upon the inspection of the loaded cartridges, and the cases that failed upon the firing trials.

It is funny to read that the chargers were the most difficult item to make, as they had the greater number of rejects upon inspection.

Does anybody know the rejection figures for ammunition of modern manufacture?


DM 7x57 Mauser headstamp with an O
#2

schneider

I don’t have an answer to your question but maybe you can answer a couple for me.

Were the 7x57mm cartridges headstamped 18 D.M. 96 K. and 18 D.M. 97 K. contracts for Spain also?

Is there an 18 D.M. 95 K. headstamp?


#3

A bit off track, but I thought I’d show this anyway.

A commemorative plaque from spain, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the M1893 Mauser.

A large number of these rifles were captured by the US following the Spanish-American war. A lot of thousands of rifles including ammunition was offered for sale on the open market and I have an original letter from DWM, dated 1903, in my archives that responds to an inquiry of the Greek Consul in Berlin, as Greece was interested in purchasing the rifles and the ammunition. DWM advised against it, trying to sell Greece the improved 98 model instead. Nothing came of this, as a cartel agreement between DWM and Waffenfabrik Steyr granted Steyr the right to sell to Greece.

Ludwig Loewe & Cie. and Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik in Karlsruhe were closely tied. DM became part of DWM in 1896, DWM being a 100% daughter of Ludwig Loewe & Cie.


#4

Phil,
I have the following additional headstamps for the 7mm Mauser:
18 D.M. 94 K
18 D.M. 95 K
18 D.M. 98 K
18 D.M. 99 K
19 D.M. 02 K.


#5

The 7x57 was also chambered in the Mauser rifles adopted by Brazil (M.94), and by Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Persia, China, Transvaal, and Orange Free State (M.95). Most if not all of these would have received ammunition from DWM during the latter half of the 1890s, at least until they could build up their own production.

John E


#6

Guy

Thanks for the headstamp info.

John E.

Did the ammo from Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik destined for Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, et al carry the same headstamps as the ammo going to Spain or were they different?


#7

Phil –

I have the same range of DM 7x57 cartridges as Guy, and have never seen even a reference to one of their rounds from that period with a different headstamp style. Their 7x54 “Boer Mauser” rounds had the hstp “18 D.M. 96 F,y,A.”, but they were presumably reworked from cases originally intended for Argentine 7.65x54.

John E


#8

Thank you John


#9

Like Schneider, I am surprised by the rejection rate of the DM 7x57 chargers – nearly 1 in 5. I wouldn’t have thought they would have caused that much difficulty to a firm with DWM’s expertise. Their early chargers were made with the recurved cartridge-retaining flanges (sidewall bent inwards through 180° to lie flush with the wall, and then again through 90° to form the inward-pointing flange). Hence there should be no problems of the flange fouling the cartridge groove and its upper bevel as sometimes occurred with the later simple “bent-inward” flanges.

Assuming that DWM’s stated optimum dimensions of the cartridge and charger components were kept to, the distance between the flanges and the base of the charger would be 1.65mm. This would have been occupied by the thickness of the cartridge rim (1.05mm), and the thickness of the spring (0.2mm), leaving a clearance of only 0.04mm to be taken up by the spring’s flexibility.

So clearly this flexibility would be critical in ensuring smooth stripping, and a slightly over-stiff spring, particularly when accompanied by any unfavourable tolerances elsewhere in the charger, might be a significant cause of rejection. However whatever the cause, their inspection system must have been pretty efficient, for all the early DM “Ladestreifen No.2” chargers I have come across have worked fine with 7x57!

John E


#10

[quote=“pbutler”]schneider

I don’t have an answer to your question but maybe you can answer a couple for me.

Were the 7x57mm cartridges headstamped 18 D.M. 96 K. and 18 D.M. 97 K. contracts for Spain also?

Is there an 18 D.M. 95 K. headstamp?[/quote]

I have a 18 D.M. 97 K. ball found in Spain, but it could have been made for another country and have come to Spain during the civil war of 1936-39.

I have also 94 and 95 in nickel plated, 3-knurled cannelures on case drill type.


#11

There is a mystery charger which is reputed to be for early Spanish 7x57 ammunition. It is of unique construction in that the re-inforcing grooves do not run the full length of the charger but are interrupted by a diamond shape pressed into the surface. Yust ascribes these as being Argentine for 7,65x54 but I suspect this isn’t the case as the charger has the dimensions of those for 7x57 being both wider and deeper than the Argentine ones as well as having sidewall lugs.

Has anyone ever found one of these chargers with cartridges, seen mention of them in written sources or (fingers crossed) found an unopened packet with them inside? Vast amounts of Spanish 7x57 are meant to have been sold off by Bannermans after it was captured by the US forces in Cuba, has anyone seen cartridges definitely from this sale?

Happy collecting, Peter


#12

There’s a paper published in the Memorial de Artillería (Artillery Corps official magazine) in 1899, about cracks developed in the necks of cartridges. The samples were taken from the Habana Arsenal, and were of german, french and belgian manufacture (contracts for Spain, no further data available) and of US U.M.C. manufacture (supplied to the cuban rebels). The european rounds could have 5 or 6 years of life, but the U.M.C. cartridges were of recent manufacture, came in sealed tins inside wood crates and still they developed neck cracks too.

Interestingly, the paper also speaks about 7,65 mm ammunition for turkish Mauser rifles used by the spaniards in Cuba during the war (spanish-american war, april-august 1898), and it says that the year of loading of those rounds could not be asserted as they came headstamped in turkish language, but for informations it should have been made before 1895. In 1897, a lot of 12.000 of these rounds was examined one by one at the arsenal, and it was found that 9.210 of them had perfectly visible neck cracks.

I have seen 7,65 mm Turkish Mauser rounds from that era (some showed up in the spanish civil war too) but they were a DMK product and their headstamp was similar to the 7 x 57 one, i. e. 18 D.M. 95 K. The turkish Mauser rifle was adopted in 1893 too. But who made that turkish-headstamped ammo between 1893 and 1897?


#13

The same book I mentioned in the first post* says that the steel for chargers and charger springs must be of special and superior quality, or it wouldn’t resist the working to make the chargers. The Karlsruhe plant of Deutsche Metallpatronen purchased this steel in strips from the british firm of Jonas and Colvez, Sheffield.

  • Lessons on chemistry and military industry, explained at the Higher War School by Leoncio Mas Zaldúa, Lt Col, Artillery. Second edition. Tome III, manufacture of war materiel. Madrid, 1900.

#14

[quote=“enfield56”]There is a mystery charger which is reputed to be for early Spanish 7x57 ammunition. It is of unique construction in that the re-inforcing grooves do not run the full length of the charger but are interrupted by a diamond shape pressed into the surface. Yust ascribes these as being Argentine for 7,65x54 but I suspect this isn’t the case as the charger has the dimensions of those for 7x57 being both wider and deeper than the Argentine ones as well as having sidewall lugs.

Peter[/quote]

I have never seen a charger like this one, nor have I seen a reference to it. All the references I have found in spanish books from the start (1890’s) show the well known M1893 standard charger with two lugs on each side.

The same for the lugless M1892 charger someone in the forum asked to Santa some days ago.


#15

Schneider: Turkey adopted the 1890 Mauser rifle in 7.65m/m and then the follow-up 1893 rifle in the same caliber. There is ammunition in this caliber with a Turkish headstamp in the Arabic alphabet and an Islamic date equating to about 1892. I don’t have my notes at hand for confirmation of the exact date but 1892 is certainly close. I’m not certain that the maker’s name is given in this headstamp but pretty sure DMK was the actual producer. Jack


#16

The “humpbacked” M.93 Mauser charger shown by Enfield is certainly an interesting one. I have only seen one specimen, and it was not of top quality manufacture. The only references I have come across is the one in Yust’s 1950s paper on clips and chargers, and two illustrations in Chas Elder’s drawings (which I believe have recently become available on CD).

Elder showed two versions, one as illustrated above with the narrow spring latching tabs, and another with wider latching tabs, similar to those soon introduced by DWM as an improvement to their M.93 Mauser charger. This suggests that this type of charger was made over a period of at least several years, probably during the 1890s. Elder states that both versions were of tin-plated brass.

In the absence of any firm information, my guess would be that they were of Latin American origin. Mexico made several unconventionally designed 7x57 chargers, and Brazil and Chile are other possible contenders. They seem to have surfaced in the US rather than in Europe – have any of you American clip collectors come across this one?

John E


#17

schneider

Ken Elks in his work “Ammunition With Arabic Markings” has this to say about the early turkish-headstamped 7.65mm Mauser ammunition:

“In 1890 Turkey adopted one of the new generation of small calibre smokeless powder magazine rifles, the 7.65mm Mauser. The original ammunition for these was again supplied by D.W.M., Germany, at least until 1908 … To differentiate them from the 9.5mm Mauser they are denoted in the headstamp “Little Mauser”.”

An early Bannerman Catalog has 7.65mm ammo for sale. While it does not specifically say so, it strongly implies the ammo is from the Spanish American War.


#18

A copy of the 1903 letter from DWM to the Greek consulate about the Spanish Mausers and ammunition.


#19

Great information. Now, if our friend EOD is kind enough to translate the letter for us…


#20

[quote=“pbutler”]schneider

An early Bannerman Catalog has 7.65mm ammo for sale. While it does not specifically say so, it strongly implies the ammo is from the Spanish American War. [/quote]

A nice box indeed.

In december,1891, the spanish army acquired 1.200 rifles of the 1890 Turkish model for testing. The Mauser system would be retained, but the caliber was changed to 7 mm and in 1892 an order was placed with Ludwig Loewe of Berlin for 30.000 rifles and 10.000 carbines in 7 x 57 mm. But the following year Mauser proposed a change in the rifle magazine, switching from portruding single column to non-portruding staggered style. So very few of the 1892 rifles were delivered, only the carbine being imported in some quantity.

In 1893 the Melilla (north of Africa) campaign started, and the 1893 Mausers had not arrived still in quantity, so the spanish government arranged with Argentina the delivery to Spain of part of an order for M1891 Argentine Mausers placed by that country in Germany, again with the Ludwig Loewe and Co. company. So 10.000 rifles and 5.000 carbines in 7,65 caliber manufactured for the argentine order were delivered to Spain, and were sent first to Melilla and later to Cuba.

Maybe a similar arrangement was made with the turks so turkish marked DMK ammo was shipped to Spain also.