German 7.9 headstamp and bullet question

Cartridge is brass cased, headstamp is shown in photo… Written out and actual photo of headstamp. The comparison of the Czech bullet is there just because… Both the Czech and German bullet are similar in length and appearance. Photos should be at the bottom. Thanks!!! I haven’t left the house in 3 weeks… I’m getting a little crazy… Stay home if you can… I know not everyone can but try to stay safe gentleman.


  1. What type of bullet is the German one in the photo? I would assume it’s a s.m.e. bullet and cartridge from 1939? Bullet is magnetic and it’s core, opened at the base, is steel. My digital scale is throwing numbers all over the place… From 110 grain to 300 grain… So I cannot weigh it at the moment. It’s a Hornady scale… Bought on Amazon.

  2. Does the primer sealant of this cartridge denote what type of bullet it contains? It’s a red color sealant.

I bought this assuming it was the S.s. load given it’s year of 1939… I was going to have my son velocity test a few cartridges for my own records… Using my K98k.

The red primer seal indicates SmK (S mit Kern) meaning armor piercing.

I have about 20 of them. Are they of significant collectors value?

Very common, especially in some codes, one of them being P163, which indicates the case was made by Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbritzen G.m.b.H., Werk Selterhof. You cannot tell who loaded a German 7.9 round of this period without having the box label for the individual cartridge. Sometimes it is the same as the case maker; sometimes it is not.

The type s.S. (note order of the lower and upper case initials) would have a green primer seal. And yes, the color of the primer sealant is significant with German 7.9 of the period. For some countries’ cartridges, it is not - for example, U.S. .30-06, etc. In 5.56 by 45 from Lake City, I have found three different color primer seals in one box, all ordinary ball and the same loading lot number.

John Moss

Thanks John. I do not have the original boxes unfortunately. Color coding is a very good system.

The Czech bullet is the type they used after the war, equivalent to a German SmE. It is definitely not a left-over from German occupation.
When shooting, keep in mind that the primers for both are corrosive (Czech anyway, German the brass type you show).

P163 made and loaded this cartridge.

With this case, the 12th lot of 1939 two types of cartridges were loaded.

SmK and SmK tracer.

Unfortunately I cannot show you the SmK box label,

only the SmK tracer with the 12th case lot.