8x57S made by M+FA, some questions

Need help with some questions regarding this cartridge made by Eidgenössische Munitionsfabrik, Altdorf, Switzerland:

  • What is a meaning of headstamp SXS?
  • Why caliber mentioned on the case base as 8x57, but really it is 8x57R?

Thanks for any info



SXS it’s for the date in french : SoiXante Six (1966)

Thank you very much!

i have the same round but with silver mat finish on case
it’s strange that cannot have the “R” for rimmed on his headstamp (isn’t here a “normal” 8x57 because the 8x57 is rimless)
i don’t know the signification of the mat grey finish on case

The Altdorf Armory sporting production never bothered showing the “R” on any of the sporting loads, as I quess they figured that it was fairly obvious that the case was rimmed or not. It was not compulsory to do so in Switzerland as it was in Germany (from 1922) and also some other European countries.

The grey/black colour on the M+FA primers indicated “S” loadings similar to Gernany.

Here is a full list of Swiss date codes (plus some other notes of mine):

v =confirmed to exist v? =believed to exist (either by year of introduction, drawings or known packet labels)

Year M+FA MFT Exists Derivation
1928 VH VH v? Vingt Huit
1929 VN VN v Vingt Neuf
1930 T T v Trente
1931 TU TU v Trente Un (TU6) *
1932 TD TD v Trente Deux
1933 TT TT v Trente Trois
1934 TQ TQ v Trente Quatre
1935 TC TC v Trente Cinq
1936 TX Trente siX
1936 TSX v Trente SiX
1937 TS v Trente Sept
1937 TST Trente SepT
1938 TH TH v Trente Huit
1939 TN TN v Trente Neuf
1940 Q Q Quarante
1941 QU QU v Quarante Un
1942 QD QD v Quarante Deux
1943 QT QT v Quarante Trois
1944 QQ QQ Quarante Quatre
1945 QC QC v Quarante Cinq
1946 QX Quarante Six
1946 QSX v Quarante SiX
1947 QS v Quarante SepT
1947 QST v Quarante SepT
1948 QH QH v Quarante Huit
1949 QN QN v Quarante Neuf
1950 C C v? Cinquante
1951 CU CU v Cinquante Un
1952 CD CD v Cinquante Deux
1953 CT CT Cinquante Trois
1954 CQ CQ v Cinquante Quatre
1955 CC CC v Cinquante Cinq
1956 CX Cinquante siX
1956 CSX v Cinquante SiX
1957 CS Cinquante Sept
1957 CST v Cinquante SepT
1958 CH CH v Cinquante Huit
1959 CN CN v Cinquante Neuf
1960 SX SX v SoiXante
1961 SXU SXU v SoiXante Un
1962 SXD SXD v SoiXante Deux
1963 SXT SXT v SoiXante Trois
1964 SXQ SXQ v? SoiXante Quatre
1965 SXC SXC v SoiXante Cinq
1966 SXX v SoiXante siX
1966 SXSX SoiXante SiX
1967 SXS v SoiXante Sept
1967 SXST v SoiXante SepT
1968 SXH SXH v? Soixante Huit
1969 SXN SXN v Soixante Neuf
1970 ST ST SepTante
1971 STU STU v SepTante Un
1972 STD STD v SepTante Deux
1973 STT STT v SepTante Trois
1974 STQ** STQ v SepTante Quatre
1975 STC STC v SepTante Cinq
1976 STX v? SepTante siX
1976 STSX SepTante SiX
1977 STS v SepTante Sept
1977 STST v SepTante SepT
1978 STH STH SepTante Huit
1979 STN STN v SepTante Neuf
1980 QV QV v Quatre Vingt
1981 QVU QVU Quatre-Vingt Un
1982 QVD QVD Quatre-Vingt Deux
1983 QVT QVT v Quatre Vingt Trois
1984 QVQ QVQ Quatre Vingt Quatre
1985 QVC QVC Quatre Vingt Cinq
1986 QVX v Quatre Vingt siX Match "M+FA QVX"
1986 QVSX Quatre Vingt SiX
1987 QVS*** v Quatre-Vingt Sept
1987 QVST Quatre-Vingt SepT
1988 QVH QVH v Quatre-Vingt Huit
1989 QVN QVN Quatre-Vingt Neuf

  • A TU6 code does exist on 9.3/72 examples from M31 or ‘D’ packets : 
    ( - see the notes on page 226).

** The original Altdorf list show 1974 = STR, this was a mistake corrected by 1972 to STQ. No STR code exists.

*** The last known packet of purely sporting ammunition (10.3x60R) was dated 23 Feb 1987 (QVS) but examples of this calibre with QVS hs are not confirmed as existing. However 7.5x55 Match ammunition is known with the QVS and QVH hs. Factory lists clearly show codes up to 1989 but these codes were established in advance of production and the 1989 code (QVN) is not known to have been used.

Unknown “1”, “2” and “3” codes are also known that appear to be used c1927-1928 and may be pre letter date codes?

Note that some codes have often been misidentified : CSK (= CSX), plus some beginning with O should be Q (eg OVS = QVS).

Thank you very much for this great info!

I have this headstamp “M+FA QH 8x57” which, I assume, is made at Munition Fabrik Altdorf in 1948. I don’t see this Swiss ammo a lot here. How big was production in 1948? I thought most of Europe was in ruins and hunting was the last thing on people’s minds. And Swiss hunting crowd couldn’t be that numerous. So is it un-common?
Here it is,on top, with a .303 Brit at the bottom. At first I mistook it for a .303 Brit.

I can’t give you production figures but from looking at the known hs, M+FA/M+FT produced very little in the way of sporting calibers from 1939-1941. After that right through WW2 they produced about 5-6 calibers each year which was normal. In fact after the war they steadily increased their output to the normal post WW2 production range of c12 calibers by 1947 & 1948 by introducing at least 8 new calibers in the 1945-1950 period including the 8x57/R, 8x60/R, 9.3x62 and x74R.

Production later dropped to about five calibers again in the 1960’s as all the older Swiss calibers became obsolete except the 10.3x60R.

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