Left over from my 7.9 x 57 mm collection, sold some years ago, I have an odd cartridge that I never could identify to my own satisfaction. In appearance, it appears to be a normal pre-WWI ball round. The headstamp is “S S 3 06” which I take to mean it is of Spandau manufacture (at least the case) with “S” type case made as the 3rd lot (or possibly the thrid month) of 1906. There is nothing at all unusual about the brass case itself, in appearance anyway.
Brass, non-magnetic (highly unusual in German 7.9 of this period) spitzer bullet
No primer crimps of any type
No special neck (bullet) crimping
Total overall cartridge weight is 365 grains. This would be “ball park” for a round with “S” type bullet. A long study I did in the identification of German 7.9 x 57 cartridge types, some years ago, left me with an average OACW of 361+/- Grains.
Points of Departure:
The bullet is non-magnetic. At the mouth, it almost appears that the bullet and case are one piece. However, the bullet looks like it might have been turned on a lathe, although the marks are faint so hard to interpret. Regardless, in a collection of several hundred rounds of pre WWI and early WWI German ball rounds, this was the only brass bullet.
There are no primers crimps.
There is no primer seal (usually black) and almost certainly never had one. The primer is unsnapped - no firing pin impression.
I did not attempt a photo of this round, as at my skill level, it would not show anything unusual in profile at all. The bullet, like some of the case, is “black tarnished” and hard to tell in a picture that it is brass. Regardless of that, being non-magnetic is highly unusual.
A picture of the head would only reveal the absence of primer crimps or a primer seal, and no picture is needed to show something that is NOT there. The headstamping is a quality job, and of the same size and general letter and number style as other contemporary 7.9s from Spandau.
Shaking the cartridge vigorously you can neither hear nor feel any powder charge shifting around inside. This is a minor, non-conclusive point.
I have never had an X-Ray of this cartridge done.
Does anyone have any clues as to what this round may be? Dutch, I am especially interested in your opinion on this cartridge!!!