DWM Headstamp and Caliber ID


I am not very good with older rifle cartridges. This one is throwing me. Am I correct in thinking that it’s not 8x57R?


German "DWM K M88H K" 8x51

I found it listed as an “8 x 57R Mauser “A” base”.
Hope that helps.


This is the first in the sporting “Mauser M88” series and was given DWM (or more correctly DM-K) case #366B which should be after 1891. The “M88A” is not really a DWM case number but this is the only way that DWM produced it except for the earliest hs which are “PATR.FABR + KARLSRUHE”, loaded with pp bullets and these were a product of DM-K which operated 1889-1896.

This cartridge uses a raised “Mauser” type base having the same diameter as the “MB” type. This base has since been referred to as the “A” base from the “M88A”. The “A” base expression is also applied (incorrectly) to the MB type which preceeds it by nearly two decades.


In the Gewehr PrufsKommission’s trials to find a suitable small calibre magazine rifle, they experimented with a similar shaped Rimmed “8” mm case, derived from the M71 Patrone dimensions…could this Sporting rifle case be a flow-on from those initial rimmed Military Trials, ( which rimmed case was then substituted by the Patrone 7,9 M88 (ohne Rand), which was adopted in the Kommission 88 Rifle?

What are the body dimensions of the M88 A case?

Doc AV
AV Ballistics


Here is the round with the paper-patched lead bullet and earlier headstamp mentioned by WBD.


Doc, that is quite possible and would explain the pp “PATR.FABR + KARLSRUHE” cartridge.

The M88A case dimensions are very similar to the standard 8x57 M88 except for the “MB” type base: ie. Rim diameter c15.00, rim width c2.4mm.

There were also two other 8x57R in the M88 series. The M88B became the standard 8x57R case used for the 8x57RS (aka 8x57JRS) as well. The M88C is also very similar - and extremely rare.

Here is the M88 series as shown in the well known DWM 1904 catalog: