Help ID 7,92x57 headstsamp

Who made this case?



from the book Culots de Munitions Atlas tome II pag. 114

Does anyone know if there is documentation indicating Serbian manufacture? If not, how was this conclusion reached? This headstamp is know in other calibers not used by Serbia.

Does anyone know if this headstamp is in Kent’s 7.9 book ?

No, neither this headstamp nor Serbia is mentioned in Kent’s book (2nd edition).

The same round with a 1914 head stamp is also known.

I also have no idea who made them.
Both cartridges in my collection have the case mount cracked.

What little I know about Serbian military industries is next to nothing. However, I do remember reading that the country lacked the capability to manufacture arms and ammo. Serbia was heavily dependant on imports to sustain their troops against the Austro -Hungarians, who had them heavily out numbered.

I do beleive they lost a few engagements because the ammo supplies ran out.

Given those kinds of events,one would think that this h/s is not of Serbian manfacture. The ammo could have been made for Serbia,but that brings one back to the original question.

Serbia certainly did manufacture small arms ammunition before the war at Kragujevac, but given the devastation the country suffered between 1914 and 1918, together with its occupation by the Central Powers until the end of the war, it seems unlikely to me that the 1918 cartridge mentioned was made in Serbia. Jack

When we talk about the headstamp shown in first post, I believe it is 1913 instead of 1918!


Thanks for answers!

Just curious, is this reference not accurate?

In my opinion its identification as Serbian is highly questionable because it is also found in 7.63 mm Mauser and 9 mm Mauser pistol cartridges, and 11.15x60R Mauser (with six-pointed asterisks), and these are not Serbian military cartridges. Also, Kragujevac already had their own headstamp style during these years (С К + full date). If these are Serbian after all there must be a very interesting explanation.

The ID as “Serbian” ( Kingdom of Serbia became Part of “Kingdom of South Slavs” in 1919020, and then “Jugoslavia” later in the 1920s… is very iffy, especially since Serbia was standardised on 7x57 cartridge up to WW I, then adopted variously the 8mm Lebel ( Military Aid from France) and the 8x50R ( Captured Austro-Hungarian ); Only in 1924, with the establishment of the FN design (M24) of Mauser in 7,9x57, did Jugoslavia change over to a standard 7,9mm calibre, and then also convert a lot of existing 7x57 Rifles into 7,9mm.

The “anonymous” appearance of the Headstamp ( two six point asterisks and a date) point to a “contract” supply to some Buyer who wished that their ammo was “un-identifiable” in the normal course of events…Who in the 1913 period would want 7,9mm ammo ( in Europe or elsewhere), besides Germany???

The following spring to mind …The Irish Republicans and the Irish Loyalists, the Chinese, Some other user (at the time) of 7,9mm???

We don’t know if the sample cartridge is an M88 (J) cartridge, which would suit both China and the Irish Groups ( Both used Commission M88 Rifles and M1904 Steyr Rifles of the M88 cartridge persuasion.) Of course, the ammunition could have been made for one of the German Wholesale outfitters ( who also had 7,9 J and S Rifles available…

European makers of 7,9mm cartridges of the time, besides the German Imperial Factories and the classical Commercial makers (DM, etc) also included the Austro-Hungarian makers, such as Keller & Co, and G.Roth (both Austria and Bohemia)…these latter two were supplying customers who had bought M1904 Steyrs…and it is not strange that Hirtenberger ( 1920s ETC) utilised the six point asterisk in its ammunition from time to time…K&C and GR both disappeared after WW I, and their mantel was assumed by HP, and to a lesser degree, S&B of Czechoslovakia.

Samples of the complete cartridge are necessary, also the construction of the Primer Pocket would be indicative as well ( Austrian-made cases have, by and large, the Roth-design single flash hole Berdan Primer Pocket…)

Doc AV

To return to the “1918” date shown in the drawing: are we sure this isn’t “1913” misread? It’s hard for me to make up a story of a particular lot of cartridges–likely a contract as Doc suggested–in 1913 and 1914 having a gap until 1918. And by 1918 most matters which required small arms ammunition for their resolution had, for the time being, been resolved one way or the other. Jack

The cartridge in the first picture is definitely marked 1913;


Bogdanovich in his book on Serbian Mausers states that initial supplies of 7,92x57 were obtained from FN, he shows a cartridge dated ‘26’. This was until production could be started at Kragujevac, the earliest headstamp he shows from there is ‘29’. He doesn’t mention this headstamp in the section on 7x57.

Happy collecting,


But is there assuredly one dated 1918? Jack

Yesterday I pulled a bullet of.
Inside there is a sticky dark black collared powder. It is not a German powder.
Also the bullet has no marks on the back.


Dutch: How many flash-holes? Jack

From Chinese Ammunition 1870 to the Present Day by Ken Elks, page 73: "Foreign Contacts for China. These M88 cartridges from unknown sources were almost certainly an overseas contract for China."
He shows pictures of the 1913 and 1914 dated headstamps each with two 8 pointed stars, as being discussed here in this thread and an additional headstamp with two five pointed stars, 180deg. apart, without a date.


Brian, I read about this possibility, but why would China need 7x57 Mauser cartridges?