G Roth vs J Roth Headstamps-Help Resolve Confusion


#1

On another thread on a Czech box that grew into a discussion of Czech headstamps viewtopic.php?f=8&t=14482, I posted the following comment:

Quote:
I just had correspondence with another Forum member over G Roth (HP) and J Roth on when they were one and when they diverged since the two companies assigned different numbers to the 9x19mm cartridge in roughly the 1930. Further complications!

Fede, who understood what I was referring to posted the following request:

Quote:
By the way, could you expand on the different numbers assigned to the 9x19mm cartridge? Do you have a picture of JR case no. 897?

Both of these were comments that were part of much longer emails that were relevant to the thread. The resulting discussion risked capturing the original thread so I have moved it here since the subject above deserves it’s own thread and is far from resolved.

The basic issue is that there is one J Roth case number that is used on a 9x19mm cartridge that the commonly accepted list of G Roth case numbers assignes to a Pinfire cartridge. The information below brought out a lot of new (to me) information, but as John M points out, also creates a lot of confusion since common wisdom has been that the GR and JR headstamps were the products of a single organization and should be consistent.

Please read on. I have asked some questions in the final email which may help us zero in on an answer to the issue discussed.

Thanks for any help!

Lew

ORIGINAL G ROTH VS J ROTH POSTING BY LEW

Fede, All I have is this B&W photo of the round in the Woodin Laboratory collection.

Hope someone has one of these lying around that they don’t love too deeply!!!

The Hirtenberg catalog from 1932 lists the number for the 9mm Para as 927 which is apparently a continuation of the G Roth numbers.

Cheers,
Lew


Czech or Slovakian 7.62 label translation needed
#2

Lew - don’t understand your last comment about a number different than the one on the headstamp pictured representing a continuation of the G. Roth numbers. “G. Roth” (Georg Roth) and “J. Roth” (Jiri Roth) are the same - “Jiri” is just Czech, Georg German for the name “George” in English.

The end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire simply meant, pretty much, the end of the official use of the German language in what became Czechoslovakia.
Certainly some use of it continued, especially in German-ancestry areas like the Sudetenland, and perhaps even on product meant for export (although that is just a guess on my part), but G. Roth simply became J. Roth, for the most part.

I do realize that occasionally one finds the same caliber with two different Roth numbers, but that is usually a error, as in the case of the 9 mm Steyr with the 8 mm Steyr case number on the headstamp.

So, what was your point in that last statement? I must have missed something.


#3

Lew, thanks! That is an amazing headstamp and was probably made just to confuse cartridge colletors. There are several JR headstamps using G. Roth case numbers but I can’t think of any other example using a different numbering system.

John, the “problem” with this number is that in the Roth numbering system corresponds to a 7 mm pinfire cartridge.


#4

John, G Roth had a factory in what was to became Czechoslovakia. I understand that the factory was controlled by G.Roth until 1928/29 when it was sold to Zbrojovka BRNO. Apparently the G Roth product line was taken over by Hirtenberg. The J Roth headstamp was reportedly introduced about 1923. In any case, the G Roth catalogs from 1925 and 1927 show #897 as a 7mm Pinfire Cartridge. The only logic I can see for the #897 on a 9x19mm is that after ownership of the factory changed, they continued to use the J Roth headstamp and introduced 9mm Para using a number for a cartridge they no longer produced whereas Hirtenberg used a later number (#927) for the 9mm (and probably used the hst H * * *). I have heard an opinion form someone who has done a lot of research on DWM & Roth numbers that perhaps the Austrian and Czech portions of Roth began assigning numbers independently as early as 1923.

This is of course all only supposition to explain the disconnect on the JRoth 9mmPb.

Has anyone examples of other instances where G Roth and J Roth numbers differ???

Can anyone add information from any sources to either refute or support the suppositions above???

Cheers,
Lew


#5

Some years ago I came across a seemingly authoritative description of the G Roth-J Roth-ZB saga, and summarised it for my own information. Unfortunately I cannot now remember what the original source was, but I have so far found no reason to think it seriously inaccurate. However if anyone has any comment I would be glad to hear it. My summary is as follows:

"After WW1, the formerly Austrian city of Pressburg became part of the newly-formed Czechoslovakia and was renamed Bratislava. As a result, Georg Roth’s plant there became “Czechified” under the name “Jiri Roth” (Jiri being the Czech for Georg). It used the “JR” monogram on its headstamps and also as its mark on clips and chargers.

In 1928, following the final collapse of the Georg Roth firm, J Roth came under new ownership and was known as the “Cescoslovenske Munieni a Kovodelne Zavody” (Czech Munitions and Engineering Company). At first they used the “M-in-circle” mark on headstamps and chargers, but by 1932 the style had changed to the “M-in-part-circle” mark, with the bottom of the circle open beneath the M.

However, the Czech arms firm Zbrojovka Brno was seeking to improve its competitiveness by entering the ammunition market and sought to take over the Bratislava plant, claiming among other things that Bratislava was too close to the border with Austria to be a secure site for ammunition production. In 1934 ZB finally gained control of the firm and moved production to its new plant at Povaszka Bystrica, introducing “Z” as its mark on headstamps and chargers."

JJE


#6

JJE’s history is what I know of the factory as well. Any separation between G. Roth and J. Roth I know nothing about, and since it was the same company with the slightly different names only representing the tow different languages, German and Czech, I am still confused by the explanation for the use of two numbers.

Another thought, and it is only that since I really know nothing about G. Roth production of 9 mm Para (Remember - that caliber was not an “Austro-Hungarian” caliber in the sense that the 9 mm Steyr and even 9 x 25 mm Mauser were) is that the one known specimen (I don’t know of any others besides Bill’s) of JR 9 x 19 mm Para could be from a prototype run where they simply took a bunter that fit and used it on a small lot for “in-house” identification. Absolutely pure conjecture on my part, and based on absolutely nothing other than the incredible rarity of the 9 x 19 mm cartridge with that JR headstamp, and the fact that such use of a wrong headstamp has been done before by companies on trial runds of cartridges. About as much of a WAG as you can get, and I admit it freely.


#7

[quote]John, G Roth had a factory in what was to became Czechoslovakia. I understand that the factory was controlled by G.Roth until 1928/29 when it was sold to Zbrojovka BRNO. Apparently the G Roth product line was taken over by Hirtenberg. The J Roth headstamp was reportedly introduced about 1923. In any case, the G Roth catalogs from 1925 and 1927 show #897 as a 7mm Pinfire Cartridge. The only logic I can see for the #897 on a 9x19mm is that after ownership of the factory changed, they continued to use the J Roth headstamp and introduced 9mm Para using a number for a cartridge they no longer produced whereas Hirtenberg used a later number (#927) for the 9mm (and probably used the hst H * * *). I have heard an opinion form someone who has done a lot of research on DWM & Roth numbers that perhaps the Austrian and Czech portions of Roth began assigning numbers independently as early as 1923.

This is of course all only supposition to explain the disconnect on the JRoth 9mmPb.

Has anyone examples of other instances where G Roth and J Roth numbers differ???

Can anyone add information from any sources to either refute or support the suppositions above???

Cheers,
Lew[/quote]

Lew, the G. Roth numbering system was used by Bratislavská J. Roth a. s. and continued to be used to some extent by Československé municní a kovodelné závody a. s., Bratislava sometime between 1929 and 1931 (i.e. 6.5x50SR headstamped M -inside full circle- / * / 830 / * /). I approached this approximate period of time keeping in mind the first dated headstamp showing an “M” inside a full circle (19 / M / 29 / VI /) and the first dated headstamp with an “M” inside an unfinished circle (19 / M / 31 / VI /).

These are my thoughts about the “897” number:

What if the Bratislava factory decided to make the 9 mm Parabellum cartridge that by that time was not made at Vienna? Well, they had to choose a new number for this new case type and they evidently chosen “897”, but it doesn’t mean they were not following the G. Roth numbering system, they simply must have chosen what is was the next available number. The closest identified GR number is “892” assigned to the 9 mm Steyr c. 1912-13, which could mean that the 9 mm Parabellum cartridge was made in a closer date and maybe was discontinued soon after because of the war, but given that the first reported JR headstamp in any caliber is dated 1923, it was likely assigned after this date and discontinued for reasons I can’t explain. Also, the number “892” was the last number known that was actually used in a GR headstamp.

The 7, 9 and 12 mm pinfire cartridges were listed in G. Roth catalogs but were never made by that firm, only by HP, which would mean that the “897”, “898”, and “899” numbers assigned to identify these cartridges were a follow up to the G. Roth numbering system assigned by HP. The next known number, the “908” assigned to the 9 mm Mauser, was also made only by HP.

To summarize, I believe that when HP had continued adding numbers to the G. Roth list it wasn’t aware of the follow up already started by the Bratislava plant. On the other hand, the “897” could have been assigned by G. Roth of Viena but made ony in Bratislava, but I assume that in this case HP should have known of its existence.

JJE, the “M” inside an unfinished circle was used as early as 1931. The “M” inside a rifled barrel was used on artillery cases at least up to 1934.


#8

Fede, I think you and I are on the same track. I don’t think Hirtenberg ever knew that the Czech plant had assigned a number to the 9mm Para. I don’t believe the #897 was ever made in 1912/13 because if it was, it would have had a GR logo, not JR.

I frankly have not had the time to sort through the G Roth/J Roth/Bratislava/Hirtenberg dates and relationships, but your explanation sounds good.

John, Beside the #897 you and I know of, there is at least one in a collection in Austria and a fired case in a collection in the Czech Republic. Given the nature of collecting in that area, with lots of small collections of things that have turned up locally, there could well be others. I agree that the production was rather small, but there are other similar rounds that were clearly production pieces that are only known from one or two specimens, and some of these appear to be post WWII.

Cheers,
Lew


#9

Yes, but that doesn’t explain the wrong case number used on the J.Roth cartridge in question. :-)

I was simply offering a possible alternative solution as to why this number was used, rather than an outright error. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough Roth information to determine if the 9 mm Para was ever assigned the number appearing on Bill’s cartridge. At any rate, I return to my wish that someone could put together some sort of outline-style, quick but comprehensive reference to these factory histories. Quick frankly, a couple of recent threads with all the different answers for these central European companies just about made my head explode. While I thank everyone for their contributions to them.
the bulk of scattered information left me knowing less about the the subject than I thought I did before the threads started. If I had the patience to spend about three hours to sort it all out and put it into order as if they were all a single answer, I am sure I would learn a lot. Unfortunately, these days I don’t have that patience which is why I don’t sit down and try to put together the company history “Atlas” that I would like to see someone else do.


#10

John, I agree there is confusion! I think there are some questions that, if answered could help.

  1. Is there a 7mm Pinfire known with a G Roth or GR headstamp? If so does it contain a Roth case number and what is the number?

  2. Please post any GR or JR cartridges with case numbers on the headstamp which are higher than 826 (the highest number listed in my G Roth catalog copy from 1913). Provide the caliber and the full headstamp.

  3. Please post any other headstamps that include, or appear to include a Roth case number like the 6.5x50SR with a Circle M headstamp and Roth case number 830 that Fede describes above.

  4. Does anyone have a Roth catalog later than the 1913 issue? If so please post the relevant Roth numbers. A Czech language catalog would be particularly interesting.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Lew


#11

Hi Lew, regarding your two first questions:

  1. There are no 7, 9 and 12 mm pinfire cartridges by G. Roth; these were made by HP and headstamped with an “H” inside a sun and caliber at 12 o’clock (9 & 12 mm only). Later, an stylized “H” was used.

  2. The highest case number used in a GR headstamp is 892 found in 9 mm Steyr (GR / * / 892 / * /). Excepting number 897 in discussion, the highest number used in a JR headstamp that I’m aware is 830 found in 6.5x50SR (JR / * / 830 / * /).

I prepared this detailed timeline for GR numbers between 892 and 929:

892: 9 mm Steyr. Assigned c. 1912. First listed by GR in 1925. This is the last case number found in a GR headstamp (GR / * / 892 / * /).
893 to 896: Unknown

[color=#FF0000]897[/color]: 9 mm Parabellum. Made by J. Roth with JR / * / 897 / * / headstamp. For reference, the earliest known JR headstamp found in any caliber is 19 / JR / 23 / IV / found in 8x50R M. 93 and the latest is 19 / JR / 28 / XI / found in 7,9x57.

897: 7 mm pinfire. Date assigned? First listed by GR in 1925. Made by HP.
898: 9 mm pinfire. Date assigned? First listed by GR in 1925. Made by HP.
899: 12 mm pinfire. Date assigned? First listed by GR in 1925. Made by HP.
900 to 907: Unknown.
908: 9 mm Mauser. Date assigned? First listed by HP in 1932. Made by HP.
909: .442 Revolver. Date assigned? First listed by GR in 1925. As far as I can tell there are no GR or HP specimens reported, but one made by the latter firm probably exists.
910 to 923: Unknown.
924: 7.65 mm Parabellum. First listed by HP in 1932 with bullet no. 1215. Made by HP.
925 to 926: Unknown.

927: 9 mm Parabellum. First listed by HP in 1932 with bullet number 1216 (not illustrated). A manuscript made sometime after 1930 mentions bullet numbered 1219 (not sure which one is of truncated profile). Made by HP.

928: 8.4x56R M. 95 rifle experimental cartridge for S profile bullets.
929: 9 mm Kurz. First listed by HP in 1932 with bullet number 1220. Made by HP. This caliber is interesting because it was made years before by J. Roth of Bratislava as the “9 mm vz. 22” (i.e. headstamps 19 / JR / 24 / VZ. 22 / and 19 / JR / 25 / VII /).

Needless to say that corrections and additions are most welcome.

By the way, where is Brad? His opinion would be most valuable as he has worked on this subject since many years ago.

Cheers,

Fede