Is there a difference between Breda M-37 machine gun feed strips designed for Italian 8x59 Breda ammunition and M-37 feedstrips used for the German 7.92x57 round? Were the feed strips interchangeable? If not how can you tell them apart? Thanks-Curt
I was able to do a little more research this morning and I kind of found the answers at a machine gun forum. The feed strips are not interchangeable. If you can compare the Italian 8x59 and the German 7.92x57 feed strips, the Italian 8x59 feed strip will be slightly longer than the German 7.92x57 feed strip. This is perfectly reasonable, as the Italian 8x59 round is wider than the German round. There are no markings, and I was not able to find measurements that would allow for quick identification of an individual feed strip. I guess that the most basic ID method would be to insert a 7.92x57 round. If it is held properly, then you have a 7.92x57 feed strip. If the cartridge slides around loosely in the slot, then you have an 8x59 Breda feed strip.
Just as an attempt to build a complete answer here, I would like to know how long these feed strips are. Please feel free to measure any that you may have in your collections and post the results here. Even if you haven’t identified your feed strip, we can compare numbers and sort it out.
Thanks for your information on this topic! I had displayed at SLICS 2013, as a “unit issued equipment” box, a box of Breda feed strips, identified as 7.92 X 57. One of the many people who shared my interest in ammo boxes, asked how I know it is that caliber vs the original Italian caliber, and I had no answer, except that is how the seller identified it to me! My strips fit the 7.92mm rounds perfectly. I will track down an Italian round, for a test fit, but I’m thinking it must be too large. My strips measure 10.5 inches exactly–I hope that equates to something “reasonable” on the metric scale!
Interesting subject, unfortunately all I have are feed strips for the Italian Breda 8x59mm so I can’t help with the 7.92x57mm feed strip, there is an old discussion on the 8x59mm Breda in which the 7.92x57mm feed strip is mentioned: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4618&hilit=breda.
I checked a couple of other forums with no luck.
Hopefully Taber10 will able to provide the some comparison measurements.
I knew that I could not be the only one that wanted to know about M-37 feed strips.
So let’s do a little metric converting here…10.5 inches times 25.4mm per inch gives 266.7mm and we can probably round that to 267mm or 26.7cm.
OK we have our first data point for the 7.92x57 M-37 feed strip: 10.5 inches or 26.7 cm
Now the base of the 8x59 Breda measures about 0.491 inches and the rim of the 7.92x57 measures about 0.473 inches, with the difference being 0.018 inches.
Twenty times .018 inches should give us the difference in length between the two strips, at least in ball park terms.
20 x 0.018 = 0.36 inch (9.1 mm)
10.5 + 0.36 = 10.86 inches (275.8 mm or about 27.6 cm), so I am going to stick my neck out and predict that the 8x59 Breda feed strip is going to come in at about 10.86 inches (27.6 cm) or just a bit under 10 and 7/8 inches.
Now we are just waiting for someone with a 8x59 Breda feed strip to confirm or correct this number.
My Breda feed strip which is supposed to be for the 8x59mm cartridge measures 267mm x 91mm and holds a 8x59mm cartridge correctly. So it looks like more info is needed.
Maybe the feed strips have the same overall dimensions and the separator tabs that separate each cartridge on the feed strip are structured differently or spaced differently for the 7.92x57mm feed strip.
Oh I hate it when that happens!! I went back to the original post and saw something interesting. Here is a cut and paste from the Gunboards.com forum:
"As you have found out the 8mm rounds are slightly too wide to fit the 7.92 strippers and fill them. The two types look almost identical, but the 8mm is slightly longer. I have an M37 that is set up for 7.92 so all my strippers are for that round. I ran into the same problem with buying some strippers which turned out to be for the 8mm so I returned them. Kept one but can’t find it at the moment to take a pic. If I find it I will post a pic of the two types.
I’d suggest that if you buy some that you can’t handle and test with a 7.92 round, just make sure the seller agrees to take them back if they are for 8mm.
The majority of strippers in the US are for the 7.92 since they came in with import of Portugese M 37s. "
It appears that some 8x59 cartridges will fit in the 7.92 feed strip, but that will distort the clips so it is impossible to load the full twenty rounds in the feed strip. Maybe I am also wrong about my method of test fitting a single cartridge, and the real test is to fill the entire feed strip. If you have close to twenty 8x59 Breda rounds, that would be a simple test, but I am assuming that you probably don’t have that many. I certainly don’t (yet). There is still the chance that testing the feed strip against a 7.92x57 round might help differentiate between the two sizes, if the smaller round is sloppy loose in your feed strip, then my length hypothesis is shot all to heck. If the 7.92x57 round is held reasonably firmly, then you may have a 7.92x57 feed strip.
The correspondent from Gunboards wanted the 7.92 feed strips and seems to imply that the 8x59 Breda feed strips failed to hold the 7.92x57 in some rather obvious manner. I must confess to reading between the lines here. At this point, all I can ask is that you try your feed strip with a 7.92x57 and see what happens. It may be that some 8x59 Breda feed strips are longer than others and we really shouldn’t be totally surprised if that is the case. This would not be the first time that I have gone looking for a nice, neat, bullet proof ID, only to be sent back to the old drawing board.
Here is my contribution to this interesting subject.
- the base plates for both 7.92 and 8x59 appear to be the same and small differences in total length only come from the manufacturing processes
- the riveted dividers are definitively different between the two calibers : the radius of curvature is different and therefore will seat the cartridges differently. A 7.92 is loose in a 8x59 strip and a 8x59 round can only be inserted into a 7.92 strip with very much efforts and distortion of the dividers.
-the only way to tell apart the two types of strips is to try the seat of a cartridge
From my observations (but only observations from specimens no definitive proof), I have noted that :
- all my 8x59 strips are blued and bear a manufacturer marking
- all my 7.92 strips (Portuguese contract) are phosphated and bear no manufacturer marking
Here are some markings on 8x59 strips :
Hope this helps,
Now that is what I call a definitive answer!
Great information! Thank you for sharing it with us!
Thanks for your very informative post in this thread!
My 7.92 X 57 strips are “phosphate”–I guess, it sounds right and they certainly aren’t blued, and there are no marks anywhere. Still looking for Italian rounds, but it looks like I now need 20 of them…
I finally found my Breda feed strip in 8X56RB, and as JFL has said in his very informative post, it is blued, has the fourth marking (“Pegasus-like” winged horse?) in his examples, and is exactly the same overall dimensions as my 7.92 X 57 strips. One difference I did note: on the blued strip, the dividers are approximately 1/16" taller, accounting for the bigger case diameter. Using my crude measurement skills and instruments, the 8X56 strip has dividers 7/16" tall, vs. the 7.92x57 strip has dividers 6/16" (3/8") tall. A 7.92mm round will slide right through the round holders on the larger strip.
You won’t need 20 8mm rounds to try in your strips, I tried to fill a 7.9x57mm ('though I didn’t know it then) strip with 8mm rounds and only got 4 or 5 in before it was obvious, even to me, that I was damaging the strip! Each divider leaned further and further over and it would not be possible to fill with the wrong rounds.