Full meaning headstamp, general questions

This is the harvest of today: a 8 x 57 Mauser blank from DWM Berlin-Borsigwalde productionyear 1940. That I already know and can find out. But what about the rest of the headstamp? Can someone give me a full “translation”, please? And can I find some magic standard bookwork, digital or printed, no matters what, which reveals these secrets?
And how should I correctly “read” a headstamp? (“On six o’clock, there’s this and that, at nine o’clock… and so on”) Are there some rules reading a headstamp?

P131 - Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken, A.-G., Berlin-Borsignwalde

This is the factory that made the case. The loading factory can only be discerned from the box label. It is quite possible DWM also loaded the ammo,

VIt1 - Steel analysis number. Hard to read that lower-case letter in your photo, but I think it should be “t.” Individual elements of the code are:

VI - The steel-mill providing the first draw cups to the case maker. In this instance, Rheinmetall-Borsig A.-G., Düsseldorf…

t - The firm that plated the case material. Dürener Metallwerke, Berlin-Borsigwalde.

1 - identifies the Carbon Content of the steel. I do not know the percentage of carbon identified by each number.

All of this material can be found on the web. No being a “computer guy” I reseearched thru all the avenues I knew of and put together my own “German Headstamp Identication Source book.” I did this some 15 years ago, with additions to it as I found new information, the last one being added only a couple of months ago.


A German made blank (Platzpatrone33) would have had a wooden projectile, not a star crimp…

The appearance of your round would make it a “treibpatrone mit eingewürgtem hülsenmond (typ 1)”, but they had as annuluscolor yellow (sprenggranate) and black (panzergranate)
As far as i know, P131 also never made any treibpatronen…

A green annulus is pointing towards an sS round, so i suspect this is a non-German post-war made blank round using a german s.S. casing.

For translations of the HS, there’s a good site by P. Colmant : http://home.scarlet.be/p.colmant/german-codes.htm

I am sorry John.

It is not a „t“, it is an „l“
It must be VI l1.

That means “l” = Dürener Metallwerke, Plant Düren.

@ orpheus72 You are right. Blank made after WW2


Dutch - I couldn’t really accurately read that letter, so thanks for the correction. On my screen, their is a black horizontal line about where the cross line on a “T” would be, so I went with that. Thought it might be a broken bunter. Always good to get the right information. Sorry for the error.

About this -t- or -l- : I read it as a -j- but in mirror-image (pretty confusing). And what about the 13? Batchnumber? In the meanwhile, thank you all, gentlemen as I make some further progress in revealing headstampsecrets.

On that headstamp, 13 is the manufacturers lot number for the case. Once again, to get the lot number of the loading itself, you must have the box label.
The final two digits are the year-date, and again, pertain to the manufacture of the case only.

About “revealing secrets” of these German headstamps, thanks to heavy research by many, many collectors, which includes the finding of much documentary evidence. very little about German military headstamps of the 7.9 x 57 mm era are secret anymore. Virtually all aspects are pretty common knowledge among those who are really into that cartridge, and most have been published in one form or another. We are very lucky and thankful for that research today. When a lot of us started collecting, very little was known about the German WWI and WWII headstamps, and much of what was believed, including stuff put on lists made by various collectors, was erroneous or woefully incomplete.