7x57 Mauser "for mine sinking only"


#1

I paid a small fortune for a single “K37 7m/m” 7x57 Chilean Mauser round and this almost invisible copy of a packet label. I also found this old topic about it viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3728&p=24989&hilit=mine+sinking#p24989. Firstly, may someone post a good picture of this packet label. Secondly, did not British produce good ammo in .303 also? The logic of keeping Mausers and ammo onboard for this very specific purpose escapes me. What happened if sailors fired Mauser ammo at a German U-boat? Would they be punished? Why such a specific label?


#2

Dear Vlad - I am afraid you have been ripped off if you paid a small fortune for that round. It is a common Kynoch military contract (export) round, probably for the South American market. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Royal Navy use of Mausers in WWI for mine clearing.

When war broke out in 1914 there were two 28,000 ton Chilean battleships building in the UK which were seized by the British government. One was the “Almirante Cochrane” and the other the “Almirante Lattore”. They were virtually complete and were even equipped with their small arms complement of Chilean Model 1912 Mausers made by Waffenfabrik Steyr.

Almirante Lattore became HMS Canada and served with the 4th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet whilst Almirante Cochrane was converted into an early aircraft carrier, HMS Eagle.

Due to the shortage of rifles, the Mauser rifles were issued to British second line vessels such as minesweepers and Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (DAMS). This is why the ammunition packet is marked for mine sinking. The actual ammunition was made by Eley Brothers (See the large “E” on the bottom right of the label) with the headstamp “. ELEY . 7M/M”. I have attached pictures of the packet and ammunition. I have added a drawing of the label so that it can be more easily read. (For some reason the software has condensed the font of “MAUSER”). Notice also the spelling of “CHILIAN”!

When HMS Canada was sold back to the Chilean government after the war the sale included all equipment including small arms. By 1918 the Royal Navy were equipped with Ross Mark III rifles and bayonets which were taken into service in Chile. These rifles were eventually sold in to the US surplus market, so keep your eye open for a Ross Mark III with both British and Chilean markings.

We also seized some Brazilian Mausers that entered RN service.

Now if you had bought my books on British Secondary Small Arms of WWI you would know all this and not got caught!

Regards
TonyE


#3

I could have saved myself the effort of the above post if I had gone to the link that Vlad had posted! I have posted it all previously.

My only excuse is age!

Cheers
TonyE


#4

Thank you very much, Tony. So I lost $20. Would it make any difference if the projectile may be AP, it is highly magnetic from top to bottom going into the neck? Mine, I assume, is from 1937, and is not part of this story.
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#5

It is probably just a cupro-nickel clad steel envelope. Kynoch would identify AP rounds by whatever method the customer wanted, but most had a green primer annulus and/or a green tip.

Some Kynoch contract loads attached.

Regards
TonyE


#6

I have one of the “HMS Canada” Ross rifles, marked “D.A. xxx” serial with matching bayonet (“D.A”== Directorado de Armada…the Chilean Navy Directorate.
Rifle is a LC ( long/large Chamber) in excellent condition,m 1916 acceptance date on butt.

The original Chilean M1912 Steyr Mausers were also used by Naval Training Depots as Drill rifles.
All were sold off at war’s end to “The Trade”

Regards,
Doc AV