B Patrone Questions


#1

Hi,

I know this is ignorant for many of you but I am confused about the 7.92 Mauser B Patrone cartridge. When did it come into existence?

It is my understanding there were several different types of these cartridges. What exactly was their function? I have read that they were called an observation cartridge but I have also read where they were described as an incendiary-explosive round too. Was it the same as or similar to a “spotlight” round? Maybe the B Patrone is all of the above?

Also what was the color coding on the B Patrone both primer and/or bullet tip? Was there only one or multiple color codes for this cartridge?

Are these commonly encountered rounds for collectors?

Sorry for all the questions but I am curious.

Thanks.

Heavyiron


#2

I can’t find a specific date for the development of the B-Patrone (which means “Beobachtung-Patrone”, or “indicating”/spotting cartridge), but they were certainly in service by around 1936-7. These rounds were originally developed for long-range machinegun use, because when they function, they cause a bright white cloud of smoke about 4 feet in diameter to appear at the point of impact. You can imagine this would be useful if you were firing a machinegun at a target 1000 metres away. But, because of the way they work, they also have a significant incendiary effect; the smoke is caused by a payload of white phosphorous, that’s sprayed around the point of impact by a small explosive charge. Because of that incendiary effect, these rounds ended up being used primarily for anti-aircraft use in fighter machineguns. The original rounds were marked with a chromed bullet tip and a black primer annulus, but the majority of production was marked by having the BODY of the bullet blackened and the tip left in its natural gilding metal colour. Here’s a picture showing a sectioned B-Patrone with 2 other spotting rounds; the B-Patrone is at the bottom, and has had its explosive charge replaced with red putty, and its white phosphorous payload replaced with yellow putty.


#3

Heavyiron-- There are 5 diffferent loadings of the B. Patrone.

#1-GERMAN ABBV.: B.PATRONE
GERMAN DESIGNATION: BEOBACHTUNG PATRONE
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: OBSERVATION CARTRIDGE
BULLET WEIGHT: 165 gr.
CARTRIDGE WEIGHT: 379.5 gr.
VISUAL RECOGNITION: 1st TYPE: 11.5mm CHROME BULLET TIP
BLACK PRIMER ANNULUS

#2-GERMAN ABBV.: B.PATRONE
GERMAN DESIGNATION: BEOBACHTUNG PATRONE
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: OBSERVATION CARTRIDGE
BULLET WEIGHT: 165 gr.
CARTRIDGE WEIGHT: 379.5 gr.
VISUAL RECOGNITION: 2nd TYPE: 10mm GILDING METAL BULLET TIP WITH THE REST OF THE BULLET BLACK
BLACK PRIMER ANNULUS

#3-GERMAN ABBV.: B.PATRONE - (Trop)
GERMAN DESIGNATION: BEOBACHTUNG PATRONE (TROPEN MUNITION)
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: OBSERVATION CARTRIDGE - TROPIC AMMUNITION
BULLET WEIGHT: 165 gr.
CARTRIDGE WEIGHT: 379.5 gr.
VISUAL RECOGNITION: 10mm GILDING METAL BULLET TIP WITH THE REST OF THE BULLET BLACK
BLACK PRIMER ANNULUS; BLACK CASEMOUTH

#4-GERMAN ABBV.: B.PATRONE - v
GERMAN DESIGNATION: BEOBACHTUNG PATRONE - VERBESSERTE
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: OBSERVATION CARTRIDGE - IMPROVED
BULLET WEIGHT: 165 gr.
CARTRIDGE WEIGHT: 379.5 gr.
VISUAL RECOGNITION: 5mm GILDING METAL BULLET TIP OVER A 5mm GREEN BAND WITH THE REST OF THE BULLET BLACK
BLACK PRIMER ANNULUS

#5-GERMAN ABBV.: B.PATRONE - v - (Trop)
GERMAN DESIGNATION: BEOBACHTUNG PATRONE - VERBESSERTE (TROPEN MUNITION)
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: OBSERVATION CARTRIDGE - IMPROVED - TROPIC AMMUNITION
BULLET WEIGHT: 165 gr.
CARTRIDGE WEIGHT: 379.5 gr.
VISUAL RECOGNITION: 5mm GILDING METAL BULLET TIP OVER A 5mm GREEN BAND WITH THE REST OF THE BULLET BLACK
BLACK PRIMER ANNULUS; BLACK CASEMOUTH