8x56R headstamp question


#1

My first trip to the IAA! A total newbie I’m afraid… the most experience I have in this field is that I have a “Cartridges of the World” identification book - dated 1965.
So there I was today at our police range house where I’m one of the instructors - about a 300 member department. There was a mixed bag of ammo sitting on the counter - everything from .40 to .223 to .357 of various manufacture with a note on the bag to take what you wanted - turned in from various sources I guess.
In the bag were five (Identified via my cartridge book) 8x56R Hungarian Mannlicher rounds. What caught my eye, as a WWII buff were the headstamps. The headstamp is divided in to four quadrants. The top of the headstamp has the Roman numerals “VIII”. The date 1938 is in the middle of the headstamp, with “19” on the left and “38” on the right, and there is a nice crisp Wafenampt (I just know I’m spelling this incorrectly) on the bottom complete with a swastika in a circle below an eagle.
In my book it says Hungary switched over from this caliber in 1940 to the German 8mm Mauser and had their rifles rechambered for that round.
As I said - “total newbie”… are these particurlarly rare or collectable?
Thanks fellas! John


#2

John–Quite common, worth maybe 50 cents to $1, but that does NOT mean they are not collectible. Every cartridge from the oldest about 1840 to the most recent is collected by someone. Take myself, for instance, I collect .45 Colt as my specialty (I also collect anything else I can get my hands on!!). I have .45 Colt’s from 1873 (The year it was introduced) to the latest Hornady red flex tip loads. Don’t overlook the different headstamps either. In today’s market, with so many new companies coming and going, there are lots of new headstamps that are already gone by the time we collectors even know about them. Working at or having access to a police range, you are in a good position to find many of these new headstamps, especially in .45 ACP and 9mm. Keep your eyes open for any headstamp you don’t immediately recognize from the large companies, such as Winchester, Remington, Federal, etc. Even fired case (although most collectors prefer loaded rounds) can be collectible for an unknown headstamp until a live round can be obtained. At least it documents the existence of that headstamp. Even on “Common” headstamps like “R . P” or “W-W”, etc., watch for unexpected dots, dashes, etc. These usually mean the case, or the entire cartridge, was made on contract by another company, such as Sellior & Bellot for Winchester, etc. A good clue to these types of rounds is to check the box, when available, to see what country it says the cartridges were made in. This will usually be in small print, usually on the bottom of the box. U.S. law requires any goods, not just ammunition, to be marked with the country of origin. So, if you spot anything like that, please post it here on the Forum. It may or may not be common knowledge. You might well be the first to notice it.

Well, just a few suggestions from an “Old Timer” (I started collecting cartridges in 1958) to an admitted “Newbe”.

Welcome to our Forum. Don’t hesitate to ask ANY question you might have about ammunition. We have all been “Newbies” at some point and I guarantee you will not be laughed at for even the simplest question. Somebody will be glad to give you an answer.


#3

The cartridge which you mention was made in Austria after they became part of the greater German Reich. Cases of this ammo turned up on the market several years ago and you can still find it for sale by the box at reasonable prices. The caliber was used and made by Austria,Hungary,Bulgaria and other countries and used in rifles and machineguns. Some of these guns and ammo still turn up in Afganistan and Africa in use. There were also some which turned up in Iraq. There are several variation of loads including H.E. , blanks and brass and steel cases with various finishes. Many of these are covered in “Cartridge collectors notebook” by Charlie Yust. If you would like to give me a shipping address I will send you a copy of the book and a CD copy as well. We senior collectors have to do all we can to encourage new collectors. If you don’t want the world to see your information you can click on the “PM” on the page and leave a personal message off thread.

Many of the titles which I publish are available free to EOD and bomb squad units as well as Police and Fire departments.

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