German 7.9mm cases reloaded in Spain?


I was sorting some stuff out and was looking at a 100 round sS box that I thought just contained some miscellaneous German headstamps. I was struck by the uniformity of the primer seals. Closer examination revealed all the rounds have been reprimed. I would think these must have been reloaded in Spain as much of the DWM and RWS ammunition in this type box ended up there during the Civil war.

Does anyone know where this reloading may have been done?

I checked my Polte rounds in this lot number range and many of them have been reprimed also (which I hadn’t noticed before).


Reprimed? or just Badly double-struck originally???

From the photos I can’t see any evidence of repriming, as I would think it would be close to impossible to “re-crimp” the primers close or identically to the original (RWS) primer crimp. There would always be evidence of the original crimp (even if swaged or “reamed” out)…I know, I reload a lot of (1930s) German cases for use as Blanks (Film work).

Of course, from a close look, they could have been “Recapped” because of faulty primers; but by the 1930s, “re-capping” was becoming a lost art…it was prominent prior to WW I, but the economics after WW I, made it a “no-brainer” unless we are considering Millions or tens of Millions of rounds. And for simple ball ammo, I would not think so.
Also for German late 1930s productrion, which was very high quality, even after dubiuos storage, I would doubt that such large quantities were “failing”.

One solution is that Germany also supplied Spain with large quantities of Once-Fired Brass, for “Reloading” as Spain ramped up its 7,92 production after the SCW…a possibility— and that Spain simply didn’t recrimp the reloads.

The original RWS Export Pack shows that either the ammo was repacked or that empty RWS Boxes were recycled after the loose ammo was either belted or clipped up for distribution…re-use of packaging was still a feature of 1930s-40s Armies.

In any case, such recapping etc. would be noted on the packets, at least on official production…Has anyone though this may have been Republican recycling during 1937-39?

Doc AV
(acting as “Advocatus Diaboli”)


DocAv – The primer stab crimps are all the originals but have been deformed (not restaked) as a result of the removal of the original primer and no longer cover the primer at all. The crimp stab ends at the edge of the primer pocket where the original crimp would extend past the primer pocket and covers the primer to a small degree. This can be seen on all the German cases that were originally crimped and later reprimed (sometime restaked) and used as blanks.

This can be also be seen on ex-SmKH cases that were disassembled, reprimed and loaded as something else but these were usually recrimped and have the appearance of having 6 primer crimps.

Here are some scans that might better illustrate what I’m getting at, The original three crimps are truncated at the primer pocket while the 2nd three stabs extend over the primer.

Also shown are a couple of the Danish reloaded blanks that are not restaked, which we all know have been reprimed.


Aren’t these Portuguese “Beneficiados”?


Fede wrote: Aren’t these Portuguese “Beneficiados”?

I think you are correct. That type 100 round box and the rounds with the DWM and RWS headstamps were originally supplied to Portugal on contract. All these headstamps also appear on Portuguese made chrome or nickel plated dummies with cases of German origin. I didn’t think to check them before!


Phil, shouldn’t those “Norwegian” reloads be “Danish” reloads?


EOD - You are correct, I don’t know what I was thinking of!


Mea Maxima Culpa…the Packet, of course, is an RWS Portuguese Contract Packet (“RWS E37” headstamp, sS Ball, SmK and LSp)

I should have been thinking beneficiados also…(as in reloads, not repack/checking)…but some of the themes in my above Post are still valid.

Doc AV

(it’s too late at night)


Phil: Something else about these cartridges that suggests reloading is the fact the case mouth crimp is very slight or, possibly, missing. I have a 7.9 m/m S cartridge that I have thought might well be a Spanish reload. The headstamp is H 12 14 S, and the bullet appears to have an unplated steel jacket. The case mouth also has evidence of re-crimping. Since both (if there are two) crimpings are of the pinched type (not what is often called the “French crimp” seen typically on later German ammo) the case mouth is a bit wrinkly looking. The primer has no black sealant and does appear to be a reprime. I could, of course, pull the bullet and check to see if it has a basemark to agree with the headstamp, but I ain’t gonna. Jack


You can find the unplated steel-jacketed bullet reloads, done in Spain during the Civil War of the late 1930s, with just about any headstamp. I had about 14 or 15 headstamps in it, perhaps more, when I stopped bothering to acquire them that way. There are, of course, a host of different 7.9 headstamps on the Spanish Civil War stuff that were of the clandestine nature, made to deceive or at least to prevent knowing from where they came. Today, we know what most of them are - that is, what factory actually made them - but there are still a couple of unknowns. Even some with non-standard headstamps were made in Spain itself during that conflict.