8x57 JRS MWK

I have this Mechanische Werkstätten Königswartha suposidly from the DDR. I understand, unless I am misinformed, that these rounds were made in 1988-1990, but this one is “78”??


Joe, there were gauge drawings found dated 4.4.72

Thanks for the info Hans.

It it known what countries these sporting rounds were exported to?

I will say one thing, German sporting projectiles have some of the most interestingly engineered projectiles.


Joe, you certainly mean hunting projectiles or?

Given the German hunting law (another thing “overengineered” by the Germans) I would not be surprised if we’d had projectiles whistling a tune while on it’s way to the game…

Well, once again, a rather long answered simply disappeared into the Land of Oz. I will try it one more time.

I would suggest that the MWK sporting (includes “hunting” in common American usage of the word when it applies to firearms) ammunition was primarily made for their own domestic market, although they certainly would likely have exported it as well if the market existed for them. While controlled more than in some Western countries, private possession of some types of hunting arms was allowed in the DDR, as was hunting. They also made hunting arms at such firms as Merkel, for example. Some of these were exported.

I have in my own DDR collection the 8 x 57 JS cartridges with dates of 77, 78, 79, 83 and 88. The cartridges dated 77 and 78 have the wrong caliber designation on the headstamp, being marked “8x57JRS,” the designation for the rimmed version of the 8 x 57 mm cartridge. The other dates have the proper “8x57JS” designation on the head. MWK also made the 8 x 57 JRS cartridge, and I have one dated “90.” They seem to be scarcer among collections in the USA than are the rimless version. There are two bullet types, both Soft Nose but different shapes and different overall cartridge lengths, in the 8 x 57 JS version. I only have one bullet type, of course, in the 8 x 57 JRS, but it is not impossible there were others. All of the cartridges have GMCS bullet jackets, brass cases, brass primer cups and red primer seals.
The primer cups are rounded on all of the 8 x 57 JS rounds, but the 8 x 57 JRS from 1990 has a flat primer cup. Both the JS version dated 88 and the 90-dated JRS have smaller headstamp letters than the others.

I guess even some of my friends didn’t know that I collect metallic cartridges, even rimfires, manufactured in the DDR in their own cases or those of other Warsaw Pact countries. I even collect them by date. I have not added anything to that collection in years, but still retain it. The bulk of it, of course, is caliber 7.62 x 39 mm, as would be expected considering the year-span of production of ammunition in the DDR, before reunification.

According to Mischinger in his book on MWK, hunting cartridges in 8x57IS and 8x57IRS were produced from 1962 onwards, at the request of GDR authorities. Known years in the headstamp start with 68 in 8x57IRS and 76 in 8x57IS. Bullet weights 10 and 12.7 g.

Headstamps, boxes and labels use the old spelling with JS/JRS instead of IS/IRS.

Thanks again everyone.

And there also was an undated 8x57 JRS, calibre at 12 and MWK at 6 o’clock.
Another detail, late, and I don’t know since when, JS had Boxer primers.