I have recently dismantled an apparently normal 8mm M88 ball cartridge to find the cupro-nickel jacketed bullet is lighter and considerably shorter than usual. The cartridge was live. The bullet is 27.2mm in length and weighs 195.2gn…this is very close to the weight of an sS bullet! It is almost as if the base of the bullet has been cut off however the lead core is slightly convex and sits proud of the jacket. The bullet also has a ‘U in a shield’ base stamp so it clearly has not been cut off. The headstamp is ‘P S88 3 13’. What type of bullet is this?
In my opinion your cartridge must have been shorter than a Patrone 88, which is 82.5 mm.
You bullet is for civilian use. It has the same weight as became popular for 8 mm hunting bullets, which even today is 12.7 g. I have no idea why exactly the weight came out a little less than the 12.8 g of the sS bullet.
U in shield is Utendoerffer, Nürnberg and was later replaced by R in shield (RWS). I have a 12.7 g full jacket round nose bullet with R in shield that was made in 1965!
Cases headstamped with S88 were only made for a short period in 1912/13. Because 88 rifles were still in use in parallel to 98 rifles, manufacture of the old type ammunition had to be restarted. It is believed that S88 cases were were made from S cases or S case production stages, not the old 88E case design.
The civilian bullet is not original to the military case.
You are probably correct in that the cartridge may have been shorter than normal when pulled, I was inerting a whole load of assorted cartridges at the time and may not have noticed any discrepancy. Its obviously too late to measure it now! Thanks for your help.
Hi Jim, I think it could be the RWS bullet shown below. Please, can you post pictures?
Modell 88/8 mm mittel No. 0:
Fede, I am sorry but I can’t post a picture. The cartridges were being inerted on behalf of a friend and he has now taken them away.
Here you go Fede…
This is the sign from RWS formal Utendoeffer in Nürnberg.