8 mm Ultra?


#1

A friend of mine found several cartridges that he ID as 8 mm Ultra, since their shape and dimensions match the german cartridge.
He says that they have a hollow point,flat nosed nosed bullet and they are headstamped " M & W SOEMMERDA"

Anyway I think that that hds should be too old for that caliber, since the Ultra was experimented in 1934 ca.

Are there any other cartridge that can fit 8 mm Ultra outside dimensions and shape?
I have seen that there was an experimental 8 mm Roth cartridge with a similar case, but using a rather long ogival bullet


#2

I think your friend is maistaking the 7.63 x 21 mm Mannlicher, DWM 466, G. Roth 716, E&B 64 (page 95 Volume I) for the 8 mm Ultra. I only know of one variation of the 8 mm Ultra Cartridge, which as you say, is too late for the headstamp your friend has. The 8 mm Ultra is from the 1930s. Erlmeier & Brandt (Number 109, page 146, Volume I) say 1934, but I would like to see documentation for that, as the 9 mm Ultra is a bit later, and I always felt that the two ultra rounds were developed simultaneously.

The headstamp on my 8 mm Ultra cartridge is “GECO 8mm Ultra” and the cartridge has a copper-cup “O”-marked Sinoxid primer along with a CNCS FMJ bullet with a round ogive, but a distinctive, very flat meplat. The 9 mm Ultra, always mentioned as having been made in one lot only, is known from at least three variations. Two have GMCS bullets of the same basic shape as that of the 8 mm, and one known specimen has a CNCS bullet of the identical form.
Headstamp on the 9 mm versions are all the same, “• GECO • 9mmULTRA” and, obviously, there was more than on run of this caliber ammunition.

I hope this helps.


#3

I have been mulling over a comment made in my previous answer on this thread, and it would be only honest and fair to say that more and more I believe that my statement more or less challenging the earlier date, shown in Erlmeier and Brandt Volume I, for introduction of the 8 mm Ultra cartridge over the 9 mm Ultra, could very easily be unwarranted.

I had not looked at my Ultra cartridges since writing an article and follow-up on the 9 mm version for the March-April and July-August 2006 issues, respectively, of the IAA Journal. While there are similarities in the two cartridges pointing to the same basic project, the headstamps alone are different enough to bring doubt to mind that the two calibers were brought out simultaneously. The 8 mm Ultra round does not have the two dots on the headstamp that are found on the 9 mm version, the letter font is larger on the 8 mm, the spacing of the caliber markings is quite different, and the word “Ultra” is a capitalized lower-case letter version while on the 9 mm, it is expressed in all capital letters. In short, while of similar content and the same manufacturer, the execution of the headstamp is quite different. The cartridges are obviously relatively contemporary to each other, but of simultaneous production? Perhaps not. There is a factory drawing of what appears to be the improved version of the 9 mm Ultra (wider extractor groove and change angle of the extractor-groove bevel) dated from February 1939, so the date of 1934 given by E&B for the 8 mm Ultra cartridge may be accurate.

It would still be nice to see documentation.


#4

THANK YOU JOHN - I JUST DIDN’T WANT TO DIG UP THE INFORMATION TO ESTABLISH THE CARTRIDGES CORRECT DESIGNATION - IT’S TERRIBLE WHEN YOU GET OLD & LAZY.

Pivi - ALTHOUGH THE CARTRIDGE IS A 7.63 X 21 MANNLICHER, THE HEADSTAMP IS NOT A COMMON HEADSTAMP, NOT NEARLY AS RARE AS THE 8MM ULTRA HEADSTAMP BUT STILL VERY NICE.


#5

Pivi - I just noted that I did not answer one of your original questions in opening this thread. There are many cartridge case types that are similar to the 8 mm Ultra, such as the 7.63 Mannlicher, the 7.63 Mannlicher Experimental, the 7.65 mm Bergmann No. 8, the 7.65 mm French Long, the 8 mm Bergmann No. 4 and the 8 mm Roth (even the 8 mm roth Steyr, although short in the case, is somewhat similar). Regardless, the 8 mm Ultra is its own case type, not interchangeable with any of the others. I stressed case type, because the bullet of the 8 mm Ultra is quite different than the others, with its flat nose. It is actually more reminiscent of the 8 mm French Lebel Revolver projectile than that of any of its pre-WWII auto pistol “cousins.” The projectile is a major identification point, although hardly needed unless found out of a cartridge, since all known 8 mm Ultra cartridges are properly headstamped with the caliber.

GWB - I fully understand “old and lazy,” but am disappointed to know that I am not the only specimen of that condition. I thought I was unique. Yes, the headstamp on the aforementioned 7.63 Mannlicher round is quite nice, and somewhat scarce. There are variations within that general headstamp. Actually, aside from the 1947 Argentine headstamp and perhaps the S.F.M-headstamped rounds, none of the 7.63 Mannlicher rounds could really be called common. They range from scarce to pretty rare, and are a fun little group of rounds to collect. I have a little over 40 different 7.63 Mannlichers in my own collection, and am always excited to find one I don’t have. I certainly enjoy having the single-specimen rarities like the 8 mm Ultra, but once you have it, and have oohhed and awwed over it for a few days, that is pretty much it. With groups like the 7.63 Mannlicher, it is conceivably possible to get them all, although few achieve this including me, but that leaves the interest and opportunity in adding to the collection open. Once the rare single-specimen rounds are acquired, that door is shut. I guess that is why calibers like the 9 mm Para are so popular with collectors - you can add one a day for every day in your lifetime, and probably not have nearly all of them. Areas of collections that can grow are more interesting to me than ones that have no where to go.


#6

Thanks guys. I have not thought about the 7.63 Mannlicher, that I have in my collection too, but not having the sample in my hand and having seen no picture of it I thought that the guy talked about a true 8 mm cartridge.

I called my friend yesterday and told him your comments. He measured the bullet diam and it is about 7,8 mm, so your ID is correct.
I think he found the original boxes too, will post a picure of them when I will have the stuff in my hands