How to ID a s.S 30/40 German Cartridge


How does one identify a s.S. 30/40 German cartridge? This is the heavy pointed bullet 30/40.

I think I may have a couple and they look very similar to the S.m.E, but don’t have the blue primer or primer annulus.

The rounds have what almost looks like a grey primer without any blue at all in the annulus. The bullets appear similar to the S.m.E. rounds.

Also what is the significance of the 30/40.

I don’t have very good references available for these rounds so any help would be appreciated.



Heavyiron–The 7.9 s.S. always has a green primer annulus. The Type 30/40 primer has Galvanized Steel cup that looks gray. There are 4 types of primers used by the Germans on 7.9 ammunition. The original brass cup was a Type 88. This was replaced in 1937 by the Type 30 Copper Plated Brass. In 1940 a Type 30/40 Blackened Cup primer was introduced. The Type 30/40 Galvanized Cup was a later development. It is believed this was a special cup for -40 degree C. weather, but as far as I know, no proof of this has been found.


Thanks Ron.

I am just beginning to learn about these German cartridges and they are fun.

I have a scan of the cartridges now which may help illustrate what we are talking about.

I have these tentatively identified as s.S. 30/40.

Please correct me if I am wrong.


Heavyiron - As i think Ron was trying to tell you, and it really is basically semantics, is that no round is referred to as a Type s.S. 30/40. It could be a type s.S. with a 30/40 primer.

Your aux- St+29 44 round is not likely to be type s.S. at all. I don’t think Polte loaded s.S. ball that late. With no primer seal color, it is very likely a type S.m.E. Lang. The bullet should be a silver-grey color (can range to dark grey). The eej St+ 23 43 round, if it has a silver-grey bullet also, is likely a type S.m.E. with zinc-plated bullet.

Hard to tell with no real bullet description or cartridge picture. Neither round is likely at all to be type s.S. regardless.

the German 7.9 rounds that we would call “tactical ball” types (not including short-range, etc.) included:

Model 1888 (round nose bullet) 226.8 grains
Type S 154 grains
Type s.S. 198 Grains
Type S.m.E. GMCS bullet 178 grains
Type S.m.E. Zinc-plated bullet 178 grains
Type S.m.E. Lang (longer bullet) 185 grains
Nahpatrone (silencer load) Green case and 196.7 grain bullet

The bullet weights in grains are shown after each one.

If you need more help in sorting out the loads, please PM me. I have something that may help you.