Help in Identifying a German or Austrian Obsolete Cartridge


Gentlemen: I need help in identifying a German or Austrian cartridge. A friend of mine recently bought a German Drilling in 16 ga. by 16 ga. with the rifle bbl. clearly marked 7.7 x 57. The ammo that came with the gun was made from .303 British shells and it came with the proper loading tools and a note to load to 32-40 Win. pressures. I can find no mention of this caliber (7.7 X 57) anywhere. It is a bottle neck cartridge.
Can anyone help me with this question.
Many thanks


The .303 British cartridge is Metricised as “7,7x56R”.
Drillings naturally take Lower pressure Loadings than Bolt actions or “Double Rifles”…so to avoid confusion as to the right cartridge to chamber, the Notation “7,7x57 ®”. Merely a safety matter.

The 1mm difference is in nomenclature only, and if .303 cases are used, that is not a problem…one could probably use 7x57R cases expanded to 7,7mm as well.

As to the loading, yes, it is very advisable to use .32/40 type pressures ( BP type ) for safety.

As to the origin of this “Calibre” There were literally hundreds of "proprietary " cartridges made for Drillings from 1880s to 1920s in both Germany and Austria. Only a period catalogue of such as Collath (Austria) G.Roth (Austria), Sauer,(Germany), DWM ( Germany) and its predecessors DM, Utendorffer,Lorenz and others may indicate when and if the cartridge was manufactured.

Follow the instructions and let the owner enjoy the Drilling.
The .32/40 will take even large Deer, and of course Wild Boar…the usual game for such a Drilling,and the 7,7x57R will be much the same capacity, given correct bullet design and sight registration ( 70-150 paces or yards/metres).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

PS, Photos of the underbarrel German/Austrian proof marks etc will help date the gun and proofing type for pre-WW I guns.


It sounds as tho the arm in question is chambered for the 7.9 x 57R. German sporting rifle bores (land to land) were, at least at one time, gauged only to a tenth of a millimeter, rather than the hundredth used in German military practice. If so, this bore–if in fact marked 7.7 x 57 to indicate the rimmed version of the cartridge–would accept a 7.7m/m cylindrical gauge but refuse one of 7.8 m/m. A chamber cast (along with slugging of the bore), is really the only way to be sure what the drilling is chambered for. Jack


If this drilling is 7.9 x 57R in caliber, it likely has the .318 Bore, not the .323, so one should check that out also.


At a gun show this weekend, I ran across an odd item, which was a sidelock receiver made by a maker I had never heard of, but either German or Austrian, that had a set of SxS 16 gauge barrels, and a second barrel set with a 16 gauge barrel on the left, and rifled barrel on the right, stamped only as “11mm” I guess one would have to do a chamber cast to determine what caliber that one was. No proof marks could be seen on either barrel set.


That gun is probably 11mm Mauser caliber.


While we are on the subject…

How about a bolt action sporter on a 98 Mauser action with the barrel stamped 7,7 x 63 1/2.
I suspect it is chambered for .30-06, but would appreciate any opinion on what it may be.
Bolt face is correct size and magazine and feed ramp modified to take .30-06 length cartridge instead of 8 x 57mm.