8mm Experimental Cartridge with Consumable Case

The attached pictures show a round that I have had for some time and never identified. The large picture shows the corrugated case using flash, and the smaller one a better representation of the colour. I never thought it was a ‘proper’ round and just something made by a collector. However, I recently found the drawing shown and the measurements match up with the round that I have. Unfortunately other than saying it is an 8mm caseless round and a possible date (64) the drawing does not throw any light on what the cartridge is. Can any one provide any more information?

Best

Ian

Great, Thanks for showing.

Rgds

Dutch, Though I know little about 8mm ammo, but this round reminds me of the German “Polte” caseless that showed up after WWII. Phil Sharp (with the CIOS teams) brought some back to the US I understand. It has been many years since I saw the one in the Woodin Laboratory but it sure looks similar. Your thoughts???

Cheers,
Lew

It is definitely a German experimental caseless cartridge, according to data in the British National Archives.

Interestingly, the bullet is not German, but an Italian 8 mm Breda, having a little larger diameter (8.3 mm) than German 7.9 mm.

Ian, please, could you measure the bullet diameter and the total weight? What is the bullet jacket made of? Also, it is possible to know who was its previous owner?

The drawing looks like a faithful redrawn of the one found in the British report.

Jochem, the identification of the bullet as an Italian 8 mm is mentioned in the report, but the Woodin Lab concluded that it is actually an Hungarian 8 mm 31 M. The Italian bullet is slightly heavier, the position and shape of its cannelure is different, and its base is not as pronouncedly folded.

Regards,

Fede

There was a book, don’t remember the title, from the 50s that showed a number of these cartridges and credited Phil Sharp with finding them (or perhaps bringing them back). My memory is that the ones pictured had a white tip or the text indicated that because it was a black & white photo. Could be wrong on this.

Cheers,
Lew

Firstly, I can’t believe that I have both Kent’s 7.9mm book and Die Militarpatron Kaliber 7.9mm and did not recognize the round, possibly because I always thought it was from the 1960/70’s era.

Secondly, there is no doubt that it is not genuine and is a fake/copy.

Thank you for all your replies.

Best

Ian

[quote=“Lew”]Dutch, Though I know little about 8mm ammo, but this round reminds me of the German “Polte” caseless that showed up after WWII. Phil Sharp (with the CIOS teams) brought some back to the US I understand. It has been many years since I saw the one in the Woodin Laboratory but it sure looks similar. Your thoughts???

Cheers,
Lew[/quote]

Please can you tell me what the “CIOS” stands for…thanks …paul.

Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee. They were essentially groups of Allied soldiers and scientists who ran around Europe at the end of WWII to gather up all sorts of German technological and scientific secrets.

This is a picture I have in my files.

Courtesy B.W.

Rgds
Dutch

There was both a BIOS (British Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee) which probably was the first group formed, and the CIOS made up of both British and US military and probably civilians. A US Colonel Jarrett headed at least the US portion of the ordnance team (or a subset of the ordnance team) and was the one who found the original 9mm “Rocket” rounds in the drawer of Walther’s desk, or so the story goes. Major (I think) Phil Sharpe was another US member of the team and wrote and wrote a memo on German small arms developments that is a treasure trove. A Captain Pollack was a British member of the same team. I think the BIOS was folded into the CIOS, at least to some degree. The headquarters for the effort was at East Halstead in Kent. The group produced a huge number of reports and gathered lots of original German information and samples of material (including the 8mm Caseless and the 9mm Rocket). I was told that in the confusion shortly after the end of the war, a lot of material never made it back to England. Much of the effort originally was aimed at locations that would be occupied by the Soviets and were a race to get as much info as possible before the Soviets took the areas over. There is one story I have heard that a set of rail cars full of CIOS material disappeared at a rail yard in Paris. Some theories I have heard are that the French took them and others that the Soviets organized them to go east.

In the 1950s the British published an index to the CIOS (or maybe CIOS & BIOS) material with very short descriptions of each packet of documents. In the mid-1970s Herb Woodend set me up with an individual at the IWM (Imperial War Museum) to go through this index-actually a rather large book-and request reports. I had a job at the time that took me down to that part of London regularly and I spent a lot of time in the IWM going through microfilm of these records. Though most of the material was on microfilm, some (like a large batch of cartridge drawings) were still the original paper copies. It was a very hit & miss process because the storage site in London had a fire at some point and a some of the material was destroyed but a good deal of the material was misfiled and lost. I would request a set of files and when I next came down about half or often more couldn’t be found and quite a few of those found were not the file described in the index. Still a wonderland of material. One file was a complete set of DWM drawings of cartridges and machines for the production of steel case 7x57mm ammunition apparently for the Spanish. My memory is this dated to about 1942. The impression I have is that the Spanish were going to do the actual production. Long ago I passed this material and much of the other material I copied on to the Woodin Lab.

The CIOS/BIOS activity was a wonderful source of speculation when collectors got together over a few drinks. My insight is only from the stories I have heard, the documents I copied and the few BIOS/CIOS documents I have copies of. I’m sure there are others, particularly in the UK who know much more than I do.

I heard these stories a long time ago so treat the material above as recollections, and not hard information.

Cheers,
Lew

Thanks to jonnyc and Lew for the description of CIOS…paul

Yes, the Bullet is close (or identical) to the Austrian M30 S 8mm (8x56R) bullet, which is aka Hungarian 31M and Bulgarian M934;

The dimensions of the Cartridge case make it seem like a development of the PP43 ( 7,9x33) chamber, NOT the normal 7,9x57.

Given the scattered and chaotic developments in late war Germany, it is no wonder we have little or no “connecting” information about individual developments…the info is probably still buried in the Archives taken by the Soviets and the American and British “CIOS” teams at the end of WW II…the Americans have returned all the docs ( at Koblenz and other Archives,) the British have returned the originals, but their analyses have been retained ( Public Records Office, etc.); as to the Soviets, some stuff has trickled back from time to time, since 1990, but not much.

AS can be seen, the British were very particular in copying and redrawing any Cartridge specifications, so at least we have an “Inch/metric” design of good quality, and excellent detail.

The only thing I can’t see is the composition of the “caseless tube” ( celluloid or similar? cellulose nitrate plastic?).

The reason which this development may have been partially "overlooked’ in 1945, is because the investigators were not “Primed” for such developments initially; they were looking at “Normal” cartridge information; The British did recognise the developments later and looked hard at it, but probably the main problem with all “caseless” ammo, is How do you extract a “Misfired” round??? or “Make safe,” with clearing the chamber?)…Only the “Tround” design, with rotating chamber starwheel, resolved that problem, and it was NOT caseless. Also, the Bolt head obturation was also a problem…tight tolerances would have been fine on the Test bench,. but not in the Field. ( remember Chassepot and Dreyse?).

Nice Post, L will be saving it to my files.

Doc AV

After further considering the Blue Print ( other Thread) I have come to the conclusion that this cartridge IS for the Sturmgewehr…The “Neck” of the Cartridge ( the enlarged Bullet diameter) will engage the chamber neck loosely (Being a .330 diameter) and allow the Bullet itself to engage the throat and rifling correctly. The “Oversized” Bullet (.330-.340) is a bit big for the Rifling grooves (.323") but since the bullet is Lead cored, it will engrave well. ( see WW I 8x50R fired in 7,62x54R Barrels).

The slower progress of the bullet will ensure Higher Temperature and Pressure in the chamber, ensuring complete combustion of the Nitrocellulose casing ( PV=nRT, the Gas Law relating Pressure, Volume and Temperature, n and R are Gas Constants).

The Burning Powder/Casing will also send the Primer cup down the barrel, either to be expelled with the gas, or shot out with the next Bullet. The serrations along the Case body were to increase Burning areas, so as to “speed up” the combustion. (it was Progressive, with a slow pressure build up as the inner wall burnt through (pushing the bullet to engage the rifling fully and “swage down” followed by an increased rate of burn, as the serrations were entered by the flame front creating a higher pressure, and higher temperature, to send the bullet all the way out of the barrel…It would be interesting to see a Progressive Plot (by Piezo electric means) of the “pressure curve” from Ignition to bullet exit… sort of a “sawtooth double step” (in milli-seconds)

Since the StG was for Close combat, any inaccuracies from a heavy, pointed bullet at probably a slightly lower velocity, would be negligible…Really a “Spray and Pray” result.

The Initial misconception by the British report that this was for a “Normal” chambered 7,9 German, or 8mm Breda gun is probably because they did not have full details on the SturmGewehr and its cartridge, even though Mkb42 and MP43s were already captured in Normandy in June 44 and at Falaise Gap later in July-August. Again, the “un-primed” mind of the investigators.

May be just a case of the Left and Right hands not knowing what the other was doing. Happens all the time in the Military ( and ion Civil Gov’t).

Moderator, is it possible to Combine these two Posts, as one entity, to avoid them both going astray???

Doc AV
Proud owner of three (3) MP/StG44s…all working for the Movies—now.

Unfortunately I have an other opinion. I don’t think that the cartridge of the blueprint is for the Stg.
Some years ago I had the opportunity to make a picture of this round.

Courtesy B.W.

Kind regards

I agree with Dutch.
If the caseles prototype had been for the assault rifle, it would have used an (about 8 g) assault rifle bullet, not an 8 mm Breda long range machine gun bullet. While everyone in Germany was desperately experimenting with bullets having no lead in them at all, it is in my view quite unrealistic that a bullet needing large amounts of lead could have been considered for actual use.

The presence of a (for Germany) very exotic bullet having a diameter too large for German 7.9 mm barrels is in my view a strong indication that this was purely an experimetal project, possibly also using available 8 mm Breda machine gun barrels in modified form as testbed.

Edit:
DocAV, note that the British report about this cartridge is from July 1945. The assumption that Stg44 was unknown to the analysts does not hold in my view.

Assault rifle ammunition was much more difficult ot obtain for German troops than assault rifles themselves. From all accounts in German archives, semi-automatic fire was the norm and burst only very rarely used. Saving ammunition was of the essence. No hint at all of a U.S. “spray and pray” approach.

I agree with JPeelen on when the Allies knew about the Stg44. The initial report was written less than a month after the D-Day landings. it was based on two or three weapons which were assembled by the US Foreign Weapon Evaluation Unit commanded by Lt Col Harold Burkett. Apparently the German troops were told to prevent these weapons from falling into Allied hands. The ones that were found had been broken down and thrown into the water or had the barrels bent or were otherwise not capable of being fired. The unit assembled two serviceable guns from the captured weapons and pieces of captured weapons. Burkett did the firing and wrote the report himself. The reassembled weapons were demonstrated widely and met with some interest.

Cheers,
Lew