Acquired spanish-american war ammo. Identify?

Hi everyone,
Obviously, I’m new here and just came into a small lot of some antique rounds. The first 5 (on the left) were from the family of a Spanish-American war vet who apparently brought them back from the war. The others are some miscellanous ones.
I have been wondering if you can tell the age by the stamps. Also, since I don’t have access to any good books, is there anyone out there that can positively identify them? I have a couple ideas on some of them.

Anything exceptionally rare or valuable?


11,4 spanish reformado
45-70 union metallic cartridge,solid head
7 x 57 mauser,DWM 1898
6,5 x 54 mannlicher schoenauer,Keller & Co,austria 189?
45 colt (?)
45-70 united states cartridge Co
44 colt Winchester repeating arms
41 short colt (?) ??

When asking for an ID,please always write some dimensional data

About the american cartridges of the picture (45-70,44 colt) there are some experts here that can tell you something about their bullets,powder charge ecc

I enlarged the picture:the last one is a 41 short colt double action made by peters

I believe the #4 round is also a 7x57 Mauser.

yes,it is possible.I can’t positively identify them from the picture without any dimensional data.

Believe #5 is a 45 Schofield Benet cup primed.

Could it be D.M. 11 93 instead of DM 11 93 by the third round from the left.

Assuming the bullets are loaded to proper OA length, I’d say no. 3 is an 8x57 and no.4 a 7x57. JG

Nice stuff.

I have a couple of original documents from the DWM company, dated 1903.

DWM stated:

[i]The rifles, which the Spanish Army used, were delivered by us at different intervals during 1893-1895.

The ammunition was partially supplied by us, after the war begun also by others (France, Belgium, etc…). If you send us a sample we can identify it and tell you if we delivered it. [/i]

The letter was written to the Greek Consul, Robert Adelssen in Berlin after the Greek government was offered 10,000 Model 1893 rifles and 3,000,000 rifle rounds in 1903 for the total sum of $100,000,-.

DWM advised agains the sale (naturally), and tried to flog their own M98 model instead. As the result of a Cartel Agreement between Loewe/DWM/Mauser/FN and the Austrian Steyr arms company, DWM agreed to back out of the Greek market after 1904, leaving the door open for Steyr to supply the Greeks instead.

I ran the photo of the cartridges thru photo shop to be able to see the height of the case mouth on the 4th cartridge from the left. It was hard to tell. Frankly, the bullet looked smaller in diameter to me, and I thought the case might be shorter as well. On the picture I made of it, and printed out, the bullet diameter, it turned out, is proportionately the same between cartridges three and four, and the case length appears to be approximately the same. Jon is probably correct. The only puzzle for me, not collecting this caliber, is the very big difference in the postiion of the shoulder on the case. The cartridge on the right, number 4, is sitting a tiny bit lower in the picture than the “DM” 7 x 57mm round to its left, but the shoulder is considerably lower on the Keller & Company cartridge. Is this normal? What about headspace?

I realize the comparison method I used is not particularly scientific, but it is better than viewing them on the screen in a fairly dark picture.

A good example of why measurements are helpful.

John: It’s largely the shoulder position that makes me think no. 3 is an 8x57 while the other is a 7x57. The shoulder to base length of the 8 is greater than the 7, since the 7 has the same shoulder position as the 7.65 m/m Mauser. We do need bullet diameters for both these fellows. JG

The attitude difference of the rims will account for much of the apparent shoulder and neck differences.

Hello all,
Thanks for all the responses. I will take them into work and measure the bullets with the caliper we have there since mine is packed away for our upcoming move. I will post the info tomorrow night.

Thanks a lot!


Gill - Yes, now that you pointed it out, the thrid one does appear to be an 8 x 57mm. I was locked into the Spanish American War thing. I doubt this round would have come back from Cuba or the Philippines, although I suppose it is not impossible. All of the other cartridges could have, including the .44 Colt and the .41 Colt. A lot of American soldiers had privately purchased handguns, and I wouldn’t rule out the Spanish (Cubans especially) having them as well. The one round that appears out of sorts with anything used in that war is the 8 x 57, if we are both correct about what it is. I think only the measurements will tell us with certainty. I don’t have the 11 93 date in my own collection, but I have a rather scarce headstamp “18 D,M, 91 KARSRUHE” made before it and a number of them made after, starting with “6 94 D,M,” (I made the periods after the “D” and “M” with commoas, becuase they are not usually dots on these early rounds, but rather a short vertical line as punctuation.)

Jon - it may be irrelevant if that round is an 8mm, but the difference in the height of the shoulders is three times that of the difference in the positions of the rims in the photo. That would not begin to account for the difference in my opinion. I think Gill is right in his ID. We will see if the dimensions are posted.

Good work on the ID part.

As far as values, they are an interesting souvenir set asssembled in the Span Am War era of the major U.S. and Spanish cartridges, although the condition is not all that wonderful. Individually I would expect to see them bring an average of no more than a dollar or two each or maybe $10-15 for the lot. However, as a set, perhaps more like $20-25 from someone who is more of a Span-Am collector than a cartridge collector. Some provenance would probably help make the sale as otherwise these are relatively unappealing to most collectors

At least that’s my opinion.

If that 1893 DM cartridge is, indeed, and 8 x 57mm Model 88 cartridge, I would think it would bring more than a couple of dollars. Those very early headstamps in Model 88 are not found that often - I have only a few in my own collection - and many 7.9/8mm collectors collect every date in these, so there is a demand. I have paid more than that for early dates, even eight or ten years ago. I can’t speak for the others cartridges.