A DWM mistake?


I found this 7.65 Parabellum with others DWM K 471 K

What do you think about it ?



The case mouth appears, in the photo, to be slightly irregular. However, if found in a box full of 471 rounds, it is probably a legitimate factory error. I only pointed out the irregularity since the 7.65 mm Para cartridge case could be made out of a Bergmann-Bayard case (456B) although on the surface, that would seem silly due to how common 471 is and 456B being scarce.

If I had found it, I would keep it in my collection, unless there is something obvious on it that shows it was “home made.” There is nothing in the photo to really show that. I assume you have compared the shoulder contour, etc. with other rounds in the box having the 471 headstamp? A picture with the round side-by-side with a 471-headstamped cartridge would be helpful.

We all have samples of factory headstamping errors in our collections, so there is no reason to believe that DWM never made one.


Thanks John for your answer.

This cartridge is exactly the same that the others 7.65 Parabellum. The case mouth not seem irregular to me.


It is probably not irregular. In the photo, as it appears on my screen, the mouth on the left side of the cartridge as viewed in the picture seems to have more of a case mouth bevel than does the right side. It may not at all, but rather be an illusion caused by the lighting of the picture.

Very interesting cartridge. Thanks for sharing the picture with us.


There are other examples of DWM cartridges with wrong numbers but this one is new to me. I have seen 8 x 50 R Mannlicher M. 93 cartridges headstamped K DWM K 358B, .30 Model 1906 with K DWM K 379D K and 7,65 mm Parabellum with K DWM K 403. First two obviously were made making use of cases which were a little bit longer in original form (2 mm) but third example is a more radical conversion (like Chassepot round). A full box of these was found.

What can be considered a classic DWM number “mistake” occur between 7,65 mm Parabellum pistol and carbine loads. You can find carbine loads with blackened cases headstamped 471 and pistol loads with normal cases headstamped 471A.

Another well known example is the .375 Miller & Greiss Magnum (9.5 x 73) headstamped UDWMU 555 KAL.404.



Another well known example is the .375 Miller & Greiss Magnum (9.5 x 73) headstamped UDWMU 555 KAL.404.[/quote]

But this is actually not a “mistake”, as Miller and Greiss just necked down DWM 404 cases to their proprietary Cartridge of 375 caliber. I had never seen a correct headstamped 375 MG with DWM-Number, except some with Miller&Greiss hs only…


Fede - I am not sure that the 7.65 mm Para Luger Carbine loads with “471” case number were a mistake. They may have simply represented earlier runs before a “471A” bunter was made, or simply the use of the “471” bunter because of convenience. The blackened case was the primary identication as a Carbine load, and remember that the carbine load was made in the time when the headstamp was " * D.M. * K. " and there was no case number. There are too many of the carbine loads without the “A”, in my opinion, for it to have been a down right error on the part of the factory workman, ie: not changing the bunter when they should have. I think it had to be either, again, first use of the K DWM K 471 headstamp on carbine loads, or simply a conscience decision to use the “471” bunter for one reason or another. I had a full box of truncated bullet 7.65 mm Carbine loads that had the “471” headstamp without the “A.”

In your discussion of several other errors, was it the use of a “403” bunter on .30 Luger that you were referring to as “the last.” Do any of these every show up down there?


I don’t think any of these are actually mistakes but just wanted to point out that there are DWM cartridges that do not have a correct case number in their headstamps. I shouldn’t have used the term “mistake”.

John, I was referring to a full box of 7.65 mm Parabellum cartridges headstamped K DWM K 403.

I’ve never seen a full box of 7.65 mm Parabellum carbine cartridges headstamped * D.M. * K. but I’ve seen these mixed with K DWM K 471 in two different boxes labeled 471A (FMJ and TCFMJ). It would be very interesting to find out when case number 471A was actually assigned (carbine loads already existed in 1900).


Fede - I don’t know when the 471A headstamp first appeared. In my last posting though, I did make a confusing statement which when I read it again, intimated that the 471 headstamp was used on carbine rounds first, and then was replaced by the 471A headstamp on those blackened-case rounds. That is, of course, not confirmed at all. I have 16 variations of Blackened-case 7.65 mm Para in my collection from DMW. Three are with * D.M. * K. headstamp, CNCS FMJ Truncated, CNCS FMJ RN and CNCS HP FMJ RN bullets, respectively. Nine of my rounds are headstamped K DWM K 471, showing that this is actually more common on Carbine rounds than is the 471A headstamp. They vary in bullet style, primer cup shape, and headstamp letter and number styles, spacing and size. I have four variations with headstamp K DWM K 471A. These include one with a non-typical copper primer cup, whereas all the others of all three headstamps have brass cups. They include CNCS FMJ RN, CNCS FMJ HP RN (actually almost a flat nose, and CNCS Soft Point RN projectiles.

None of these rounds have plain letters on the headstamps; all have serifs. I suppose this could be taken as an indication that DWM dropped production of the carbine round before they changed the letter style on their headstamps from serifs to plain. I don’t know the exact year that change occurred.

I guess the main point I am making here is that the “471” headstamp is encountered on black-case carbine loads in 7.65 mm Parabellum DWM ammunition so often that I consider it highly unlikely that the use of that bunter was a true error - that is, simply a goof-up by people on the production line. I believe that for what ever reason, it was a conscious decision to use the bunter. Another point in the favor of this position is that I have never seen a plain brass 7.65 mm Para round from DWM (not blackened) with the 471A headstamp. If the use of 471 was an error, one would think that errors in the other direction would have been made. Please note that sometimes the black finish on these cases was poorly applied, or has worn down with age, but every time I have thought there was a plain brass 471A round, I found, on close scrutiny, some black case finish still remaining.

By the way, just to be sure I was not remembering wrong, I checked my once-full DWM box of carbine rounds with CNCS truncated bullet, properly labeled 47lA. There are 25 rounds still in the box, and all have the 471 headstamp. Originally, all 50 rounds were there and had the 471 headstamp. Over the years, I have supplied other collectors with specimens of this round, as the full box had no importance to me. I am, in fact, the one that opened it originally, so I can confirm the integrity of the contents of the box.


John, I have two of those 7.65 mm Parabellum pistol rounds headstamped K DWM K 471A that do not have a blackened case. One is loaded with a 261L truncated FMJ and the other with a 261 round nose FMJ.

It seems evident to me that during a given time any case available was used for pistol and carbines loads.


Some pictures:

Both variations in my collection show exactly the same headstamp and flattened brass primer.

There are also cartridges loaded with a 261I open jacket bullet and 261K hollow point bullet (same headstamp and primer).


Fede - that is the first one I have ever seen. If never cleaned, then I would agree that the case was never blackened. I have seen some where the basic case waqs a clean as that one of any black finish, but closed examination of the top of the rim and the edge of the extractor groove right above the top of the rim still had black finish showing. Yours looks absolutely like it was never blackened. Interesting. It may be absolutely correct that DWM loaded what cases they had on hand with either load, but in that case as well, it would be purposeful, and therefore not a factory error.


This is one of those rounds with black finish showing on the extractor groove and above the top of the rim (261K hollow point bullet):

I wonder if these were actually made this way or maybe cleaned at the factory. All the ones I have seen doesn’t look to have been cleaned.


Fede - unless taken from a sealed box, I would assume that this round has simply been cleaned by someone who thought the black, which was often poorly applied at DWM, was some sort of oxidation, or it simply wore off from handling. Good example of precisely what I was talking about, but many I have examined also showed traces of black other places.

I agree that the other one you showed was probably never blackened at all, and could or may not be a carbine load.