Another 7,92 without headstamp


The thread about greek production for Spain in the 30’s mentioned cartridges without headstamp. Coud this be one of those?
Black primer annulus, GMCS bullet (it’s magnetic) and a military crimp. I have cleaned it a little, otherwise the pictures would have been of a green lump of greasy crud…


8mm Mauser with no headstamp
  • @ mausernut: The Germans manufactured 7.92X57 rimless ammo with brass shell cases and no headstamp markings for Romania during the late 1930s. The carboard boxes were marked in Romanian language. Your 7.92X57 cartridge was not made in Germany for Romania. Liviu 05/11/10


The sS / S.m.E. style bullet ogive combined with black primer annulus and no manufacturer mark gives it a post WWII Czechoslovak smell.


edited once for better wording.


[quote=“Hans”]The sS / S.m.E. style bullet ogive combined with black primer annulus and no manufacturer mark gives it a post WWII Czechoslovak smell.
edited once for better wording.[/quote]It was given to me a part of a small (cigarboxful) very mixed (and very rusty and dirty) german, polish and czech 1937-45 dated cartridges. I have to date never found any postwar military 7,92 in this country and we do not import surplus, except our own AMA, which for some reason must not be sold to danish wholesalers, only foreign. Denmark was a backwater to the conflict in Europe 1939-45 and troops here were equipped with a diverse collection of ‘Beutewaffen’ as was evident when they discarded them at the border in may 1945. The primer looks like an Modell 88 or a Mod. 30.
I’m fairly convinced it is prewar, just not where from…


Ok, I did not have that found-circumstance information.


I have the same, or very similar, cartridge as yours and it’s filed as ‘sterile Republican manufacture during the Spanish Civil War’.


The total weight of this cartridge should help materially in discovering its origin. If the weight suggests it’s an SmE loading it certainly isn’t prewar and likely (I’d think) postwar Czech. If, on the other hand, the weight suggests it is an sS, the round was probably made before the second war. Jack



I’m with you. However the assumption

might lead into the wrong direction. The sS was also produced during the war and, as you write, unless it is Czechoslovak even after the war.



Hans: If the weight suggests it’s SmE that will at least eliminate a prewar origin. I’lll grant that the other half of my suggestion is less certain, but half a loaf is better than no rest at all. Jack


420 grains


Jack, we share the same thoughts!
Søren, sorry but I cannot say it is sS or S.m.E. from weight, there are more knowledgeable folks in this forum.



A cartridge weight of 420 grains is very heavy. Generally, type sS ball is heavier than SmE. Type sS ball rounds in brass cases generally run around 408 grains in German loadings, with SmE at about 393 grains. Both are somewhat lighter when in steel cases. The cartridge shown at 420 grains is approaching the weight of the Scharfe Patrone 88, which had a bullet approximately 226 grains in weight, and a total cartridge weight of 430 grains. Of course, it is not a Model 88 in an way, shape or form.

I don’t know of any German loadings that weigh so heavily. Of course, that speaks nothing for non-German ammunition of this caliber. Many loads from other countries that use the German style and weight bullets have overall cartridge weights close to the German cartridges of their same type, but I am sure others, due to case construction, different bullet weights and different powder charge weights do not. Still, for a 7.9 x 57 mm military load, I think 420 grains OAW is nearing the top for anything with a pointed bullet. If it is not German, or from a German-occupied country of the war years, you cannot count on the primer seal being a point of identification of the loading as set by German standards.

John M.


you beat me to the draw by a few seconds!! Here’s what I was going to say.

The normal average weight for a German sS ball round with a brass case is about 405 grains +/-, so I would say it’s probably not German. The German S.m.E. ball in a brass case averaged about 386 grains +/-. Quite a few countries made the equivalent to the German sS ball loading, some of which were heavier. The Polish SC loading runs about 420 grains +/- but normally has a CN/CNCS jacket and 3 primer stab crimps and green annulus. The Czech pre-war and wartime Vz 34 loading was about 426 grains and normally has a CN/CNCS jacket and green primer annulus. The post-war ball round was the Vz 47 (S.m.E.). I can’t find anything that fits the requirements – 420 grains total weight. GM/GMCS bullet, slightly rounded brass primer with no crimps and black annulus. Have I got that correct?

I find the study of the un-headstamped 7.9mm Mauser ammo to be interesting but at the same time very frustrating. You can research and collect the different varieties of mouth and primer crimps or lack thereof, primer types, bullet types and materials. Do minor differences in two cartridges mean they were made in two different factories or just by a different machine line within the same factory? For the most part, at the end of the day you usually don’t find out much you didn’t previously already know. Occasionally you can find a box or label or other bit of information that will shed some new light on a particular cartridge but not often enough.

Cartridges with no headstamps are like Heinz food products, they come in 57 different varieties (probably much, much more).

Here are a few I have dug out of my collection. I have more but can’t locate them right now but I imagine this will be more than anyone wants to know!!

  1. Dark purple annulus
  2. Case marked Portuguese on side. 414.3 grains total weight. Normal average weight for M/937 Ball is about 415 grains +/- so it might be Portuguese.
  3. By DWM for Romania 1939
  4. By Polte for Romania 1939
  5. Japanese Army Type 1 AP
  6. Japanese Army Type 1 Incendiary
  7. Japanese Army Type 3 Explosive
  8. Japanese Navy Ball. This is the only known headstamp found on Japanese Military 7.9mm Ammo. E 79 3-II (Yokosuka Naval Arsenal Mfg. 2nd Trimester 1943
  9. Japanese Navy Ball.
  10. Japanese Navy AP-T
  11. Japanese Navy Incendiary – green annulus
  12. normal Czech military headstamp, steel primer by Cs. Zbrojovka Brno, Povazska, Bystrica, Slovakia
  13. Clandestine headstamp by Povázské Strojárne, Povázská Bystrica, Czech
  14. No headstamp, brass primer, by Povázské Strojárne, Povázská Bystrica, Czech
  15. no headstamp, steel primer, by Povázské Strojárne, Povázská Bystrica, Czech.

Left click pictures to enlarge

Pictures of Japanese Navy cartridges (with large primers) courtesy John Moss


That is an absolutely awesome selection of pictures. For someone like myself who is also interested in the unmarked rounds that will be extremely useful. Thank you.



That’s one nice post. As Jim indicated, great reference material! Thanks!

Very interesting thread.



Do you have any views on cartridge no.2 - unmarked purple p.a.?
I have an apparently identical round which I bought from a very knowledgeable source who had it identified as Kynoch manufacture in 1956 for clandestine use in the Aden campaign.



I hadn’t heard about the clandestine ammo from Kynoch for use in Aden but it sounds very plausible to me. I looked through some more of my stuff and found another of the rounds. It has “British BESA” marked on it. The bullets for the BESA ammo have a somewhat different ojive, about half way between that of the German S and sS bullets so it looks like that’s what it is.


I can confirm that these are indeed Kynoch manufactured and the 20 round packet is shown in the attached picture. These were all surplused by Kynoch in the late 1960s and although the packet is anonymous, the date stamp is unmistakable. This indicates manufacture in June 1965 rather than 1956 though.

I used to buy these in quantity for shooting at that time and was told they were originally made for Israel. I think this makes more sense than Aden for a couple of reasons. We were still in Aden at that time so why did we need clandestine BESA ammo, and the label specifically states “7.9mm Mauser” rather than “7.92mm” which is the normal British nomenclature. Also both the UK and Israel may not have wanted the source of the ammunition known, although it is readily identifyable!



That’s a nice, conclusive identification Tony, thank you.