Cartridge id needed

Picked up two rifle cartridges yesterday. Both measure 7.9mm x 57mm. I take that to be a German Mauser rifle round. One has a copper FMJ that is magnetic and is head stamped R up arrow L 43 II Z The other is head stamped K5 43 IIZ with a nickel FMJ that is magnetic. Both are rimless.and have a dark black? annulus. Can anybody help me on this?

Can you send photos. This headstamt looks like British

Sound like 7.9 Besa (MK II using Z = Nitrocellulose powder) ball rounds which England was working on, but never adopted. It is the 7,9x57 German (aka Mauser) but for the Besa MG.
One rnd. is by Kynoch & the other Royal Labs.

Pete is correct. My understanding was that it was in service with the British army in Korea. I would expect the annulas colour to be purple, as both HS indicate ball loads.

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Could be purple, Am waiting for the sun to come out so I can see it better. ! Any of these two rare? I got them out the $1 box some guy wanted to get rid of. Thanks guys! Tom from MN

The 7.92mm Besa machine gun was used as defensive armament on British tanks during WW2.

The Czech designers had fled to the UK at the start of the war. It was originally planned to redesign the guns to .303 calibre. As the guns were needed as soon as possible, this never happened. It was decided that the tanks could be fitted with 7.92mm guns.

The 7,9 Belt fed Vz37 ( export ZB 53) had alreadybeen acquired by Britain well before Czechslovakia was partitioned by Germany ( Sudeten, 1938, the Rump 1939). The Britishwanted to convert to .303, as they had done to the ZB 30/33, to make the Bren Gun…but events overtook them. They did modify the Vz37 for tank use only…the Czech gun was a tripod mounted Infantry gun, and the Germans used it as such in N. Africa and the Russian Front.
Interesting info is that Britain supposedly contracted the Greek Powder Co of Piraeus, to manufacture 7.9 ammo for them, fir trialsof the BESA gun, headstamped
PCH 39 and 40 (Poudrerie et Cartoucherie Hellenique,
Hellenic Powder & Cartridge). This was still when Greece was neutral, before Italy invaded in late 1940.
Greece had started making 7.9 after buying FN 30 Mausers, and acquiring 7,9mm CSRG 15/26 from Poland, in the early 30s.and probably Hotchkiss LMGs in 7,9.
They already had French M1914s in 8 Lebel, and Portatives in 6,5MS.
Kynoch and R^L began production of 7,9 ammo in 1940,41., and continued supply through the war supplemented by Canada. I don’ know if producti ok n of 7,9 continued after 1945, of whether they used
FN production during Korea. BESA guns were for British built tanks, as the US Lend Lease Tanks were equipped with Browning .30 cal. BRITISH TANKS FOR RUSSIA??? guns???

Doc AV.

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Here’s the box for the Kynoch 7.92mm Besa cartridges, these dated 1945 with a copper (plated?) magnetic bullet, but otherwise the same as Tom’s. I believe the black stamped lettering across the front of the sealing label is K529 45B, perhaps interpreted as Kynoch May 29 1945 Besa. Stamped into the surface of the end of the sliding tray portion of the box is No 16 II W 44.


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Thanks for the correction Falcon & Doc.
Nice box Guy & Tom you paid what they are worth.

A unique design of this MG was, it manually cocked and loaded on the forward stroke of the bolt handle. Allowing ease of charging in a confined space such as a tank turret or aircraft cockpit. A friend has one of these. Some versions also were selective fire. (he is a FFLtype 7 SOT). Have fired this quite a bit.

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The cartridge was produced in Canada by Dominion Arsenal until at least 1949. Roy Dunlap in his Ordnance Went up Front reported that armorers in the British Eighth Army in north Africa were able to use a supply of captured German Besa barrels with slight (or no?) modification for use in the British-made guns. Jack

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Interesting. Is it known if they were able to use captured German ammunition?

Black annulus and magnetic suggests armour piecing 7.92 Besa British rounds !

British used a green annulus and the letter W on the headstamp of AP rounds. The rounds described by Tom and shown by Guy are mark 2 ball rounds, loaded with nitrocellulose powder. The envelopes were either CNCS or GMCS, so would attract a magnet.

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Yes you are correct ! Getting old !