Here are my notes on “Normalised”:
A major problem in Germany ammunition production c1900 was that most companies introduced similar cartridges for competing Gunmakers that were similar in dimensions but apparently non-interchangeable. The “MB” cartridges in both Utendoerffer and Lorenz catalogs are examples of such cartridges.
Many of these cartridges were incompatible and hence as early as the mid 1880s there was an attempt to “standardise” some calibres. The 52mm case length MB calibres listed in the c1886 Lorenz catalog are referred to as “Einheitshülse” and in the Roth c1888 catalog some of these are listed as “Sogen Einheits” (abbreviation of “Sogenannte Einheitshülse”), both meaning “Standard” or “Normal” case.
Heinz Held states: “Up to the period 1874, beside military two-piece, only cases in light construction were manufactured. H. Utendoerffer addresses the manufacturing of cases with solid base for private use which is shown in an offer of July 1875 and makes such a decision dependant on their being a standard case. Despite the proposal to standardise the cases 9,5/10/10,5x52R eM the project was not achieved before c1888 until the 8.15x46.5R normal case was introduced.” [ED ??? - even the 8.15x46R wasn’t normalised until c1899]
However in the 1890s, a large number of manufacturers in Germany were still producing the commoner calibres without control over the exact dimensions and tolerances of bullet diameters and cases. A good example of this was the 9.3x72R (see ‘9.3x72R Express (360) Types’) where at least 4 different versions existed and some described as being the same actually had different dimensions depending upon which company manufactured them.
Most packets are marked 'NORMALISIERT" or “STANDARDIZED” if English was used on the packets. See two DWM packets showing the 'NORMALISIERT" designation. The left is a post WW2 IWK packet and the right is a pre-WW1 DWM packet (hs was “DWM * K *”).
Rosenberger refers to the ‘normalisation of case measurements’ of 1905 but this may not be early enough for the first efforts at normalisation. Certainly by 1902 the 8.15x46R (GSP7) calibre was “Normalised” as it is shown normalised in the Oscar Wills Venus Waffenwerk 1902/1903 season catalog. This may have occurred even earlier, possibly as early as 1899 as it is shown in early 20th century catalogs by Stahl and Egestorff as being “Normalhülse” including a Stahl catalog with handwritten date ‘1899’. This date is unconfirmed but the catalog appears to be close to this date.
According to J&R : “At the Erfurt conference of 21.09.1909, German manufacturers voluntarily agreed to to define dimensions for each calibre. For the marking of the bases, only are accepted the references of gauge and the code or summary of the locality of manufacture. Here, SCH is for Schonebeck. But one can also meet. If several manufacturers are in the same locality, only packing will make the difference”.
Heinz Held states: "Following the rules of the ‘normalization’ c1910, case/ cartridge designations had to be: calibre x length. It was no longer allowed to associate letters with each measurement, they had to be combined after the measurements. The small letter indicating the calibre needed to be used first. So, together with the designation ‘R’ for rimmed case introduced in 1922, the correct sequence results in: 9,75x40,5R bA; 9,5x47R bB; 10,5x38R bS; 9,5x47R b/aMB; 10,5x47R bMS, etc. "
The 1911 DWM Catalog No3A shows four case types as “Normalhülsen specified by the Erfurter conference of 21 September 1909” (see image). These four case types are all known with “NORM” in their hs and were the: 8x57 J (M7), 8.15x46R (GSP7), 9.3x72R (EXP17) and 10.75x68 (M58).
Other references (?) state that evidently beginning in 1909 the German arms industry (supported by DWM and RWS) established the official dimensions of a number of such calibres. Progressively through the 1920s, 30s and even into the 1950s, more calibres went through this process and were shown in DWM and RWS catalogs as being standardised.
According to Anderhub: " In 1912 during the Erfurt Convention, the measurements for the 8.15 x 46 R (besides some other cartridges) have been
"Normalisiert" (standardized), All 8.15 x 46 R cartridges, manufactured in accordance to the Convention’s Agreement were headstamped “8.15x46R NORM”." [Ed - This date is likely wrong and should be 1909].
The following table shows all known officially “Normalised” calibres (with approx dates of normalisation). This list is derived from DWM and RWS catalogs from 1912 -> 1950s and also various German Arms industry publications (Cartridges that are known with a ‘NORM’ hs are annotated " ** " ):
8.15x46R c1899/1900 (**)
9.3x72R - 1909 ()
8x57J -1909 ()
10.75x68 -1909 (**)
6.5x58R S&S <1913
8x58R S&S <1913
6.5x48R S&S <1923
also listed as “Normalisiert” on packets: