8x57 M88 headstamp


#1

Picture shown the headstamp on the case of typical 8x57 Mauser M88 cartridge. What does mean S88 in headstamp?


#2

It is [b]K


#3

The “S” at the bottom stands for Spandau as stated. The “S88” means “Type S case for Model 1888 Rifle”


#4

Someone correct me if I’m wrong (I am wrong, a lot) but the M88 is not a Mauser but is really more of a modified Mannlicher with some features of the old 1871 Mauser incorporated into the design. The true Mauser did not appear until 1898. Amongst collectors, the M88 is usually referred to as the Model 1888 Commission Rifle or the German Infantry Model 1888 or the Gewehr 88.

The M88 cartridge is more correctly called the 7.92 x 57mm J.

I apologize for being so nit-picky but as a former martial arms collector it is hard to get out of the habit.

Ray


#5

Ray–I am not a gun collector, but I believe you are correct. The correct name for the cartridge is 8 x 57 Infanterie or Patronen 88. In the case of the cartridge in question the correct name would be 8 x 57 Infanterie mit Patronehulse Type “88S”. There is also a Type “E” case. It stands for “Einheitshulse” or “Universal Case”.

Your “8 x 57 J” designation would be more correctly used for hunting ammo rather than military. The “J” and “I” in German are interchangable, so the “J” would actually stand for “Infanterie”


#6

Ray - you are pretty much right regarding the basic design of the Model 1888 Commission rifle. However, in speaking of the cartridge, remember that the first Model 1898 Mausers were for the Model 1888 cartridge. The change to the Spitzer bullet, .323" diameter bulleted round, came after the turn of the century. Some gun collectors seem to equate all 7.9 98 Mausers with the S-bore, spitzer-bulleted round.

There are many designations for the Model 1888 cartridge, and all are correct depending on usage and who used the designations. The Germans used all three of the numerical portions of the designations at one time, 7.9, 7.92 and 8mm. The “7.9 x 57” seemed to be favored for German military use, while many export-contract rounds show a 7.92 designation, and much commercial German ammunition shows the 8 x 57 designation.
As far as headstamping went, the “J” and “JS” (or “I” and “IS”) designations were used more commercially than on military ammo. I can’t, off hand, think of a true German military cartridge that includes these letters, but there could be - they are legion, and it is hard to remember everything about them.


#7

This is what happens when a gun collector with vast knowledge tries to become a cartridge collector with half vast knowledge. :) :)

So, maybe I have my M88 cartridge labeled wrong. The headstamp is S.E 12 01 and I list it as 7.9 x 57mm J M88.

What should it be?

Ray


#8

Ray–In my inventory listing I call these with 0.318 Round Nose bullet "8 x 57 Infanterie mit Patronehulse Type “88E” or “88S”. I believe the “Type E” case was for both Rifle and Machine Gun, thus a “Universal” case.

As both John and I have pointed out, The “J or I” is exclusively used on sporting loads, not Military. Although it stands for “Infanterie”, it is never, in my experience, used in the German manuals or on the military boxes.


#9

Ray,

In


#10

Ray–Phil’s title works for me also, but only for the military rounds. For the sporting rounds “8 X 57 J” without the M88 is how I label those rounds. To use both “J” and “M88” is redundancy.


#11

On German military box labels, the caliber (i.e. 7.9mm, 7.92mm, 8mm or whatever) is rarely noted. I have only seen one label where it is noted, but that doesn


#12

[quote=“Ron Merchant”]Ray–I am not a gun collector, but I believe you are correct. The correct name for the cartridge is 8 x 57 Infanterie or Patronen 88. In the case of the cartridge in question the correct name would be 8 x 57 Infanterie mit Patronehulse Type “88S”. There is also a Type “E” case. It stands for “Einheitshulse” or “Universal Case”.

Your “8 x 57 J” designation would be more correctly used for hunting ammo rather than military. The “J” and “I” in German are interchangable, so the “J” would actually stand for “Infanterie”[/quote]

As I understand the marking S88 and E on the cases of M88 cartridges is the same. Or I can say thet S88 is early designation (headstamp) of E-type case?


#13

No, the “S” and “E” cases are not the same. If I remember correctly, the “S” case is for rifles only and the “E” case was for both rifles and machine guns. The difference, I think, was a thicker web in the head for the “E” case. This is all from memory and could be wrong. I’ll try to find the exact differences and post it late.


#14

There were at least 6 different cases used for the 8 x 57 Infanterie with a 0.318 bullet. This type was made until 1916. After that only the 8 x 57 Mauser, with a 0.323 bullet which started production in 1903, was produced for the military.

1)-PAT.88
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888
Used from Sep. 1893 to Oct. 1893. This case always has a 3-part headstamp.

2)-PAT.88 n/A
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE "NEUER ART"
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888, NEW TYPE
Used from Nov. 1893 to June 1895. This case always has a 3-part headstamp.

3)-PAT.88 n/A.
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE “NEUER ART” (PUNKT)
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888, NEW TYPE (POINT)
Note the dot after the n/A. Used from July 1895 to Sept.1901. This case always has a 3-part headstamp. NOTE1: Cases with segment lines were probably specially selected lots for machine guns. NOTE2: Most factories stopped with the 3-part headstamp (and probably the Model 88 n/A. case with it) in 1901, but K


#15

[quote=“Ron Merchant”]There were at least 5 different cases used for the 8 x 57 Infanterie with a 0.318 bullet. This type was made until 1916. After that only the 8 x 57 Mauser, with a 0.323 bullet which started production in 1903, was produced for the military.

1)-PAT.88
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888
Used from Sep. 1893 to Oct. 1893. This case always has a 3-part headstamp.

1)-PAT.88PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE "NEUER ART"
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888, NEW TYPE
Used from Nov. 1893 to June 1895. This case always has a 3-part headstamp.

3)-PAT.88 E
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE mit EINHEITSHULSE
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888, WITH UNIVERSAL CASE
Used from Oct. 1901 to 1913. This case always has a 4-part headstamp. It was approved for both rifle and machine-gun use.

4)-PAT.88 S
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE mit “S” HULSE
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888, WITH “S” TYPE CASE
Used from 1912 to 1915. This case always has a 4-part headstamp. It was approved for rifle use. It is a 72% copper brass. The “S” is believed to stand for “Spandau” who developed this case.

5)-PAT.88 S67
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE mit “S67” HULSE
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888, WITH “S” TYPE CASE, 67% COPPER BRASS
Used from 1915 to 1916. This case always has a 4-part headstamp.[/quote]

Thanks for your information, I have only some questons.

In that way I can identify my case as 4)-PAT.88 S, am I right?

And what was the differences between cases 1)-PAT.88 and 2)-PAT.88PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE “NEUER ART”?

As per your information the cases (and cartridges) # 2) was Used from Nov. 1893 to June 1895 and #3) was Used from Oct. 1901 to 1913. What type of cases was used in a period from june 1895 to October 1901?


#16

I just got a Pat.88 cartirdge dated 1912, but what surprised me about it was that it still has the round nose and not spitze projectile. I would have thought all the Gew. 88 were all modified for the spitzer round and there was no longer a need for round nose in 1912. can anyone comment.


#17

The 3-position headstamp was used at least into 1902. Most factories stopped with that style of headstamp (and probably the Model 88 n/A case with it) in 1901, but K


#18

Treshkin–Yes, you are correct, your cartridge is a Type 4.

Yes, you are also correct in noting the gap in the dates. I missed one case type. It is:

PAT.88 n/A.
PATRONEN 88 or 8 X 57 INFANTERIE “NEUER ART” (PUNKT)
CARTRIDGE MODEL 1888, NEW TYPE (POINT)
Note the dot after the n/A. Used from July 1895 to Sept.1901. This case always has a 3-part headstamp.

As for the differences between the case types with a 3-part headstamp, as far as I know, once removed from the box, the only external way to tell them apart is the headstamp date. The actual differences are in the web thickness and powder type and amount.

I have edited my earlier post to reflect this addition and the notes from John Moss, who is MUCH more knowledgeable on this subject than I am.


#19

I don


#20

Dutch - thanks for the information. I mentioned that I had been told that the “dnf” load was actually a “forager” round. Forager rounds are hunting rounds, normally associated with military use. So, the information I received years ago was correct. I was never able to confirm it. I have never seen the soft-nose version of the bullet in this case, so assumed that the round-nose, FMJ, smaller diameter bullet was a Model 1888-type projectile.