Bulgarian 8x50R dummies


here are two Bulgarian 8x50R Mannlicher dummies.
As I want to use them to display with Bulgarian Maxim and Schwarzlose belts, I would like to know if any of these two variants was actually a dummy for machine gun use.
I am not even sure whether the Bulgarian had different dummies for the rifles and for the MG’s.

Thanks in advance for any comment,




The only description of these Bulgarian-made 8x50R dummy cartridges that I have come across is in Mötz Vol.2, but he makes no mention of their intended use. I would guess that if a dummy cartridge was required to be repeatedly loaded and extracted through a machine gun’s action, the type with the metal bullet jacket would be preferable, being more robust than the wooden-bulleted one.

John E

I have a Bulgarian Dummy “loaded” with a green lacquered wooden bullet and without the primer . There’s something like a brass rod inside the case .Don’t know if the color of the bullet indicates a rifle or a MG use

Headstamp : “lion” / 19 / AG ( monogram) / 17

I also have a blank round loaded on a Austrian case , with a short & rather pointed , red lacquered wooden bullet

I also have a couple of Bulgarian dummies - how many variations were there? Does anybody else have any variations?

(L) Tinned and empty bullet jacket soldered into an Austrian case, apparently made during World War 1. The primer has been pierced.

® Uncoloured wooden bullet, empty primer pocket and the anvil appears to have been split apart with a chisel or similar.




Jim, the anvil is ok like that, the Austrians used one cenral flash hole in the anvil and to get a flash channel to the sides they “split” the anvil.


Mötz also states that Austria made a special dummy 8x50R cartridge for testing MG belt-feed systems. The wooden-bulleted dummy was not robust enough for this, so they adopted a round with a standard M.88 bullet supported in its case by a wooden distance-piece and the case pierced by four holes for identification. He illustrates one made by Wöllersdorf (hstp Eagle/19/4/03).

John E

JFL, am I wrong?

The bottom case you show seems to be made by Polte Magdeburg in September 1917


Thanks for all your comments.

Indeed I had already checked in the excellent book from Josef Mötz (vol. 2), however for the numerous Bulgarian dummies, he gives no details on any specific pattern for rifles or for MGs.

I have also checked John Munnery’s study dedicated to Bulgarian cartridges. He also describes many variants for the dummies, and provides a checklist of observed headstamps as a function of the dummy pattern. However, in this reference also, there is no information about any specific use of each type of dummy.


This question remains then open to future investigations, pending perhaps some data from Bulgaria ?

Yes Dutch, the case of the red-wood dummy is indeed by Polte. John Munnery indicates that both ball, various dummies and blanks have been observed with Polte cases dated 1917. At least months 1,2,6,8,9,10,12 for 1917 have been observed. John also precises that some of these Polte cases used with the red-wood dummy have an empty primer pocket which would account for a dedicated production of dummies and not only the rework of fired cases.

Armament material deliveries from Germany to Bulgaria after 1916 are known and even different Maxim machine guns belts manufactured in Germany in 1916 and 1917 for export to Bulgaria are observed from specimens.

Note that my red-wood dummies with Polte cases were packed loose by 10 in a paper wrapper tied with a string.



Small question JFL ?
Which is the publisher of this book, its publication date, its code ISBN / EAN.
Thank you in advance.


The booklet on Bulgarian cartridges by John Munnery was printed in Sofia in 1998.

It has no ISBN number and has been sold directly by the author.



Bulgaria wasn’t the only country to use this calibre but why do we only see so many ‘Bulgarian’ dummies? I’m sure Austria and Italy also used this calibre - where are their dummy cartridges?


Bulgaria wasn’t the only country to use this calibre but why do we only see so many ‘Bulgarian’ dummies? I’m sure Austria and Italy also used this calibre - where are their dummy cartridges?



On another forum, TonyE has presented two 8x50R Bulgarian dummies but with BLUE wood projectile.

The two different rounds shown both have case with blind primer pocket ; one case is Polte 1917, the other is Bulgarian dated 1933.

Hopefully TonyE can upload his pictures in this thread.

There must be a reason for either red or blue wood bullet .



Hi, thats cartridge is not Bulgarian. Bulgarian 8x50R have stamp “ВФ” or “ДВФ”.

Early Bulgarian Cases were headstamped
AC (cyrillic) Arsenal Sofia. 1880s to 1920s.
Bphi or Dom B phi (VF or Estab.VF, )are Kazanlak factory markings from 1930s onwards

Doc AV

АС (Arsenal Sofia) is not corect, because Arsenal is in Kazanlak city. VF is bulgarian and meaning is - Military Fabrique.

Hi Sensi, this thread is discussing Bulgarian dummy cartridges made from foreign cases by Hirtenberger, Polte and Roth, and also from Bulgarian cases made at the State Military Factory at Kazanlak.



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