DWM 9 mm and 9.3 mm cartridges

I am looking for some information about early DWM cartridges. I have compiled a list of DWM 9 mm and 9.3 mm cartridges.
#474 9 mm Jagd W Foerster Berlin
#474A 9.3 mm Jagd W Foerster Berlin, later 9.3x74R
#474B 9x70R (.400/.360) Rigby
#474C 9.3x62
#474D 9.3x62R Dornheim (GECADO)
#474F 9.3x86 Behrs Waffenwerke

Does anyone have more information about #474 and #474A

  • What year did they first show in DWM catalogues?
  • What year was #474 renamed 9.3x74R
  • Can they be found by any other maker?

any information is appreciated.

Best regards Johan

Here are my notes on the DWM 474 series which may help:

Around 1900 the DWM company introduced a 9x74R cartridge (M59) for W. Förster of Berlin. This cartridge was the first of several long rimmed case types designed by DWM and generally intended for single shot drop barrel, drilling’s, double barrel and combination rifles.

The 9x74R was the first of the DWM case #474 series and used an 11.9mm base diameter similar to the 8x57R M88 Mauser. It is also quite possible that this case was based on the English 400 Express case and paralleled English modification of the 400 case such as the English 400/350 Rigby (introduced 1899 and called the 9x70R in Germany) and 400/360 Westley Richards (1901).

This series included the popular 9.3x74R and 9.3x62 Mauser calibres. Most used the 11.9mm base (the 9.3x62 and 9.3x62R being the exceptions) and some are still popular today, especially the 9.3x74R Mauser.

The series was as follows:

474 9x74R Förster c1900 Short-lived - not shown in 1904 catalog (M59).

474A 9.3x74R Förster c1902 Shown in the 1904 catalog (M60).

474B 9x70R Rigby c1903 Shown in the 1904 catalog. Listed in the case book for Rigby but also as the English 400/360 which is contradfictory. Actually 400/350 (M79)

474C 9.3x62 Mauser c1905 Originally listed for Dornheim, Suhl but this was crossed out and Mauser entered. Not in the 1904 catalog (M54).

474C1 9.3x62 Mauser Dummy Exists

474D 9.3x62R Dornheim c1906 No diagram or dimensions shown in case book but a DWM drawing dated 1906 plus specimens show this to be the rimmed version of the #474C (M55).

474E 9.2x70R (400/360) c1906 Diagram shows this to be similar to #474B but with a 9.2mm mouth as compared to the 9.1mm mouth of the #474B. Examples are believed to exist this is not confirmed. (M79)

474F 9.3x86 Behrs c1908 or later Listed for Behrs Waffenwerke Suhl (M61).

Here is a DWM Karlsruhe factory drawing believed to be dated 6 June 1906.

I can provide more info on each of these calibers if required.



Thanks a lot, very useful information.

Dear WBD,

do you agree that it is true to say that both 474 and 474A are Förster designs?

  • The drawings you posted clearly mention them as Förster cartridges. Are they mentioned anywhere else as Förster cartridges? catalogues? by any other ammunition maker?

Any historical information on both of them would be of great interest to me.

Best regards Johan

Firstly your questions:

I think it is clear from the DWM cartridge drawings that they were designed BY or FOR W. Förster of Berlin.

******************** Notes on 9x74R are brief - not produced or mentioned anywhere else (than DWM references) to my knowledge:

The rare 9x74R was effectively the prototype for the slightly later and much more popular 9.3x74R Mauser (M60). This was the first of several calibres introduced/designed by/for W.Förster/DWM and intended for single shot drop barrel, drilling’s, double barrel and combination rifles. They were all of greater than 70mm case length and some are still popular today, especially the 9.3x74R Mauser (M60). This case is the longest sporting calibre of 9mm. The 8x75R Behrs (M62/63) and 7x75R Vom Hofe (W31) were both based on this case type.

However, the 9mm type was short-lived being only produced by DWM with “DWM K 474 K” hs. Case #474 was introduced c1900 but it was not listed in the 1904 catalog. Förster obviously felt that it needed a slightly larger calibre bullet and so it was soon replaced by the 9.3x74R Mauser about 1902.

In Buttweiler VII/2 #205 it is stated that “… reportedly less than ten of these cases were found with original bullets some ten years ago (ed. ie c1980)… With only one factory loaded example believed to exist…” This information is unconfirmed but this is certainly a rare cartridge.

***************Some notes on the 9.3x74R
This very popular cartridge was introduced c1902, being produced by most European ammunition companies. In 2004, it was still currently listed by RWS, Norma and SBP. This cartridge was most widely used in double rifles and was superior to the 9.3x72R Express (EXP17), which it effectively superseded as the most popular cartridge for that purpose.

Dr Manfred Rosenberger in his ‘Cartridge Guide : II/71’ stated re the 9.3x74R:

“This cartridge, widely used in Europe, was originated in Germany about 1903 as a competitor to the .400/350 Rigby and the .400/360 Purdey. It was made from shortened and necked down .400 3 1/4” Express brass. It appeared on the market under the designation 9.3x74.5R. After the normalisation of case measurements of 1905 it got the final name 9.3x74R Mauser."

Whilst most of the above appears true, some aspects I don’t agree with. Rosenberger refers to the ‘9.3x74.5R’ as being the first version of this cartridge and he was obviously referring to the RWS version with “R.W.S.-N 74.5–9,3” hs. In the DWM casebook it is clear that the 9.3x74R (DWM case #474A) evolved from the 9x74R (DWM case #474 c1900 see M59). Both were listed for W.Förster of Berlin and are very likely to have preceeded RWS production. Note also that the earliest RWS catalog that this was listed in was the 1912 catalog (not shown in a c1900 catalog) and it is shown by RWS with a “No 474A/9.3mm” designation. RWS appears not to have shown DWM case numbers in catalogs if RWS had introduced the cartridge - only if DWM introduced the cartridge and it was generally known in the market with that title. DWM first listed this cartridge in their 1904 catalog.

Comparison of RWS case drawings and RWS examples show that the early “R.W.S.-N. 74.5-9.3” does appear to have minor case differerances but it does however appear interchangeable and not a unique calibre. The pre-normalised form has a 0.5mm longer case at 74.7mm but all other dimensions are the same as the normalised form. The 9.3x74R was not shown in ‘Normalised lists’ until 1913 and the earliest of such lists was evidently promulgated in 1909.

The so called “9.3x74R Mauser Magnum” with an “RWS 9,3x74R MAG” hs (M82), was more than just a more powerful loading of the standard 9.3x74R. It has a 0.5mm larger rim diameter and is unlikely to be suitable for older weapons. Use of the H-Mantel bullet was in the 1934-1940 period which is believed to be the period when the “Magnum” loading was produced.

Dear WBD,
thanks a lot.
I have one old W Foerster double rifle dating from 1900, in the now days rare and obsolete calibre 8x57 M88A. Also a DWM cartridge i believe. When i did some research on that rifle I found some information concerning the origin of the 9.3x74R It was very helpful that you could confirm my clues.

Best regards Johan

Maybe a translation of the texts can help somewhat:

474 and 474A:
For hunting rifle [by] W. Förster Berlin

After a specimen received from John Rigby, London

474C and 474D:
After a specimen received from Dornheim, Suhl
474C: “which is legally protected by D.R.G.M.” (Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster)
Gebrauchsmuster is a German specialty, easier to obtain than a patent but also with less and shorter protection. The actual shape of an otherwise ordinary shaped cartridge case could not be patented, of course. This was long before junk patents.

Like 474B [but] bullet diameter 9.2 mm

Dear WBD

I fully agree with your conclusion concerning the origin of 9.3x74R

I have one follow up question.

#474 C&D are specified by Dornheim as it is stated on the drawing

in many books the cartridge 9.3x62 are said to be designed by the Berlin gun maker Otto Bock, do you have any clue how this can be explained? was he in any way in cooperation with Dornheim?

Best regards Johan

Regarding the 9.3x62, I have included my notes below which help explain the “Otto Bock” reference, but in addition I offer the following:

The info re Otto Bock was from Dr Manfred Rosenberg c1970 and was copied by everyone else since (including me as Rosenberg was generally considered an authority on such matters, although not by all German collectors…). Note he said c1905 and now most authors seems to say 1905 is the established date of introduction.

I have not been able to confirm that date or the relationship of Otto Bock to the 9.3x62 for certain. Maybe someone else here has some info (Fede ??).

The 9.3x62 was once a very popular sporting cartridge, being produced by over 20 companies with at least 90 hs variations known. Rosenberger (and later Barnes) states that this cartridge was designed c1905 by Otto Bock, a gunsmith of Berlin and that it was developed for hunters and farmers living in Germany’s colonies in Africa. This was still popular in Africa until after WW2 but supplies of ammunition became harder to get in the late 1960’s. However, this was still produced by SAKO until at least 2000, always by RWS since WW1 and this cartridge is having a resurgence in the 2000’s.

The exact date of introduction is hard to confirm. It appears to have been introduced by DWM (as case #474C) being part of the case #474 series (see DWM 474 Series article) although in a DWM Factory drawing believed dated July 1906 this had: “Nach von Dornheim Suhl erhaltenem gesetzlich geschütztem Muster (D.R.G.M)”, which translates to: “According to the patented sample by Dornheim in Suhl”. This may imply that G.C.Dornheim was the first to design/produce this case (see Headstamp2 image There is another DWM Drawing dated 28 March 1908 for this cartridge and it was shown in the 1908 DWM catalog.

Similarly in the DWM casebook it is shown as originally for ‘G.C.Dornheim’ but later this was crossed out and ‘Mauser’ inserted instead. DWM introduced most ‘Mauser’ calibres due to their company relationship. It was not shown in the DWM 1904 catalog . Case #474B ( 9x70R = 400/360 Westley Richards : see M79) was listed in the 1904 catalog and would be c1903. So c1905 seems correct. DWM was a large producer of this calibre with at least 20 hs variations being known (see Headstamps)

Note that the earliest RWS catalog that this was listed in was the 1921 catalog (not shown in the 1912 catalog) and it is shown by RWS with a “No 474C/9.3mm” designation. RWS appears not to have shown DWM case numbers if RWS introduced a cartridge itself - only if DWM introduced the cartridge. Interestingly, the 9.3x62 was not listed in the 1911 Alfa catalog. Maybe it’s popularity in Europe was not yet that high by this time.

There are nickelled 3 ring DWM dummy cartridges (see images) which are listed in the DWM case book as case #474C1. DWM case #635 (post WW2) is also listed as the 9.3x62 Mauser - "case 474C with central primer pocket (??).