Help with inert 6.5x53.5R (Edit: Mannlicher M93 Romanian)

Have identified the following as a 6.5 x53.5R Mannlicher M93.
K&C M93 (Patronenfabrik Keller & Co., Hirtenberg, Austria).
Manufacture: 1898

The case length is 53.75mm.
The bullet is strongly magnetic.

Should the bullet have had a lead cap or, is this as expected?

Any help, or comments, would be appreciated.


It looks like the tip was cut.

Hallo Sam3
Hate to disappoint you I have precisely the same round same stamp and the bullet is not cut
off.Unless someone can bring proof that some were issued in this manner.

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Have the same bullet in 4 other rounds of M-93 Mann. which show slight variations in the hollow point. One is loaded with a Fraser’s Oblique Ratchet bullet. It has a HS date of 1903, no primer annulus sealant but is otherwise the same by K&C.

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There is a hollow point shown on Munición at:

Example (ER0011 y 20 a 22)

On close inspection, looking into the bullet, there appears to be straw, or something like straw, trapped in the small (hollow point) cavity. Unfortunately; I can’t get a good photograph. The last appended photograph shows just a small amount of the straw packing being visible.

The bullet is strongly magnetic.
The magnetic attraction appears to be the full visible length of the bullet.
Is this the bullet casing being attracted to a magnet, or a steel core?
Apologies if this is a silly question, but, were there steel core cartridges available at that time (1898)?


Hi Sam3
You can see the hollow point on the Freser and a smaller one in the one your have. Regardless what currently might be in it after all this time. (perhaps pocket ‘stuff’ from a previous owner?)

The bullet jacket is cupro-nickel clad steel - CNCS.

As to steel cores at this time, in the M-93 Mannlicher? I don’t know but I doubt it, nor do I know when the ‘modern’ A.P. round was invented, good question though.

A steel core would be mostly used for very deep penetration through a hardened substance, at least that’s the modern use / or reason.

I can’t explain the reasoning for one in this as it has a flat faced hollow point with an exposed lead tip which should help aid in expansion. It’s not a design for deep, deep penetration.

The explanation of a thick CNCS jacket does seem to be the most logical.

My last question is, in regard to the designation of the cartridge…civilian hunting, or military?
The headstamp, having a date, has a military feel to it.

The hollow point would tend to lead in the direction of a civilian hunting application.

The manufacture date of 1898 would, however; place it one year before the 1899 Hague Declaration concerning expanding bullets:

Could this cartridge have been for military use and then, like some of the earlier .303’s, be made illegal under the 1899 Hague Declaration?

Many thanks to everyone for their help and; any thoughts would be much appreciated.


Howdy Sam3
Not sure why you say “thick”, it’s most likely a normal, typical, bullet jacket of the time. And as being steel would take a magnet as only a thin layer of CN over it…

As some of these are loaded with FMJ bullets I’d think those were more likely military than this, as it is designed to expand.

Yes the case is a military headstamp but rather than have new cases made with a non-military headstamp, the retailer/factory/or whomever used what was on hand. You see .303 inch cases with military style headstamps loaded with soft nose bullets don’t you?

This M-93 Mann. must not have been widely used as the rounds are not often seen & when they are a good portion are loaded with sporting style projectiles. At least that’s my best guess about them.

Note the date on the Fraser bullet case, 1903, almost the same but for the jacket cuts, so for sporting use.

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Bear in mind that this headstamp implies Romanian contract, not Netherlands or commercial sales. I suspect that Keller & Co. might have offered production overruns to the commercial market, especially Britain, where many new Mannlicher model 1892, 93, and 95 rifles were sold by Steyr for conversion to hunting and target rifles. Jack

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For information:

Whilst searching for more background information on the 6.5 x53.5R I came across this earlier topic where the unusual projectile construction had been discussed. On looking again, there now appears to be a good explanation:

6.5 X 53R M93 K&C

6.5 X 53R M93 K&C FULL

6.5 X 53R M93 K&C FULL_0
“Close up of the observation cartridge. These were in all probability used against the shielding of machine guns or artillery pieces to indicate the strike.”

This appears to give a degree of closure on the previously unanswered question.

Thanks to:

Howdy Sam3
I’m confused are you saying this observation round is the same construction as the one you showed at the start of this thread, but with a bigger hole?
Or more exactly, what is the previously unanswered question that this provides an answer to?

Hi Pete,
The previously unanswered question was; why was there an example or examples, with a projectile that was strongly attracted to a magnet, that appeared to have been; ‘cut off,’ at the; ‘pointy end.’

Above I commented:

It is my belief that the material looking like; ‘straw packing,’ is shown in the sectioned cartridge from K&C.
The profile of the sectioned K&C (on, appears to be very similar, or identical, to the profile of my example and the headstamp is the same.

Is this a leap of faith, or are there sufficient similarities to make a reasonable case?

Ok, ta for that
No I think the one from cartridge collectors site is not a hollow point, It looks to me to have the jacket, or a weakened section at the nose tip. At least I can’t see and hole in the remaining tip.
What you see in the very tip is I believe to be other materials used in the observing feature of the bullet. Looks like a striker, a cap (red) & a weakened tip with three materials behind the cap. 2 shades of grey (a book here?) & the granulated material.

Very neat round.