Help with early Machinegun rounds


Do you have a time frame? If you extend to WWI or so, you might want to include the 9mm Glisenti round used in the Villar-Perosa MG.

The Spanish used the 7x57 round in the Sp.Am. War. Did they use any MGs chambered for that round?

And how about the 6.5mm Carcano?

Spain did use the 7m/m Mauser in its Hotchkiss MGs, as did other nations armed with 7m/m rifles and carbines. JG

Paul - that one you list as an 11mm Werder appears to be an 11mm Brazilian Comblain which are not the same case. I doubt that the 11mm Werder was ever used in a MG as it was obsolete from about 1871.

Hi Jon - I’d like to stay towards the turn of the century. Looking back over Huon’s book, he does mention a Maxim (along with some other early systems - thanks also J. Gill - ), so yes, the 7 mm Mauser belongs on this list. As with all of the other dual role cartridges, is there anything different about the MG loading or will it suffice to get an appropriately headstamped cartridge?

Hi Strakv - I don’t have any references that the 6.5 mm Carcano was used in any MG’s before 1914 (that being the Fiat Revelli M1914). The cartridge certainly existed at the turn of the century. Which early MG was chambered for this round?

Hi Brad - thanks for the correction.

Hi Paul,
I know of no special “MG-only” loads among early Spanish 7mm Mauser rounds.

Were there any Japanese Gatlings in 11mm Murata? How about any of the Turkish 9.5 or 11mm rounds?

I know tree differents calibers for the De Reffye machingun

L to R :
13 x 86
13,5 x 90
16 x 111


Hi, Paul…30 Army…(.30-40 Krag) in the Colt M1895 MG…no special marking of any kind…standard Frankford Arsenal Ball rounds were used…These were typically loaded in the white cloth belt (with black striping) of the time…also…experimental metal belts were used…the fairly rare Krag round with groove in the case body with headstamp U.M.C. 30 CAL. was one of these…Randy

Jon - aside from Paul’s intention to stay with pre-1901 machine gun cartridges, the 9mm Glisenti would not qualify anyway. While initially called a “Mitragliatrice leggera” (light machine gun), the Villar Perosa was, in truth, the first submachine gun, predating the German MP 18 by three years. It has been referred to by many names and initials, such as V.P., Pistola Mitragliatrice (an Italian form of the German "Machine Pistol), etc., but most often as “La Mitra V.P.” Mitra is a term derived from “mitragliatrice” that in the opinion of Italian arms experts, better described a shoulder-fired automatic weapon of pistol caliber than does the term Machine Pistol, an opinion I personally concur with. Machine Pistol conjurs images, in my mind, of weapons like the Schnellfeuer Mauser Pistol, and the Russian Stechkin.

Despite its early official designation as a light machine gun, it is recognized in almost all scholarly works on the subject as what we call in the U.S. a submachine gun, including books like “I Mitra Italiani 1915-1991,” by Vittorio Balzi, and “The World’s Submachine Guns,” by Nelson and Lockhoven.

The fact that after the initial issue of the weapon to Italian forces it was recognized as a “pistola mitragliatrice” or “mitra” rather than a light machine gun is confirmed by the existance of a badge worn by Italian Troops who were armed with this peculiar Revelli-designed weapon, called “Trofeo de braccio - Pistola Mitrgliatrice.” (Literally “Arm Trophy - Machine Pistol” as in a badge worn on the arm, or sleeve). Note it is awarded for use of the Machine Pistol, not Machine Gun or Light Machine Gun.

Simply the 9mm Glisenti caliber relegates it to the classification of a submachine gun.

I am sure you know all of this already, but am printing for those who may not be familiar with Italian small arms. I think due to the two barrels and the spade-type grips many of us initially think of this Model 1915 Villar Perosa as a light machine gun.

Chassepot - thank you for sharing the picture of these beautiful early rounds.

Randy - thank you for this information.

Jon - I’ve not been able to find (at this time) any references to Turkish 9.5 mm or 11mm gun systems. I went back thru Elks most excellent revised Japanese Ammunition 1880-1945 and indeed there was a Gatling chambered in 11mm Murata. These loads had a 56 mm case and were loaded with a lead round nose bullet with paper patch. The base of the cartridge is of a normal profile (i.e. not the Mauser A-base style) with initial supplies of ammunition being manufactured by Winchester. Later Japanese production was on machinery supplied by Germany.

Elks also notes that the standard 11mm Murata cartridge was used in a 5-barrelled Nordenfelt gun that equiped early torpedo boats.

I’ve also been through the ECRA database and have found many more listings and will have to revise my initial survey.

Great stuff, Paul. Yes, please revise and repost your list. An interesting mental and historical exersize.

We all look forward to seeing “half” of all the old machine gun rounds…
Perhaps you can subdivide your quest into:
a. Manually operated arms (Gatling, Hotchkiss, Gardner, etc)
b. fully automatic

c. Rifle caliber rounds with MG use
d. MG specific rounds

e. land service
f. naval service

g. Nation of origin

Italy had Maxims in both 10,4mm Vetterli and 6,5mm (Carcano); this latter was in the Vickers Sons & Maxim Model of 1906 design, the predecessor of the true"Vickers Gun"; Whilst Italy did buy a couple of hundred of the M1906 model, these were relegated to special use in 1915, in order to avoid problems in maintenance.
The Vickers M1906 were used almost exclusively on Ansaldo Armoured cars, designed and built in Genoa, at the Ansaldo Shipyards. This project came about in late 1915-early 1916. But the cars saw little use on the Italo-Austrian Front, although some were sent to theatres where Italy had a presence (Palestine, North Africa, China). BY the mid 1920s, other designs of AFVs had been developed, and the Vickers Guns faded from the scene.

Italy also had some Nordenfeldts and early Gatlings as well, chambered for 10,4 Vetterli. The Royal Navy also used larger calibre (1 inch) mechanical MGs as shipboard armament.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

How about Russian 4.2 line Berdan, known as 10.67x57R?

The 11mm Werder was used in the bavarian Feldl gun. A four barreled

crank wheel operated gun. Each barrel was feeded by two magazines holding

41 round each…

The guns see successful service in the German french war of 1870/71.


Paul, “4.2 line rifle cartridge” is the Russian designation for the 10.67x57R everybody is calling “10.6 Russian Berdan”. At that time the Russians were not using the metric system but their own which was tied to the US inch.
So 4.2 lines will be .42 inch.

Their revolver cartridge known as “.44 S&W Russian” was designated in Russia as “4.2 line revolver cartridge”. Should be actually a “.42 S&W Russian” then - but for some reason it is not.


Yes it is the “long” Werder round - 11,5 x 50 R