Info on German 7.9x57mm Ammunition

Hello everyone and thank you for allowing me to join the group. I look forward to learning from the group and furthering my collection. I am a new ammo collector and looking for some information on a pack of ammo I recently purchased. I understand its pre WW2 German 8mm ammo and wanted to see if you could translate the label information? The container is looks brand new and is actually in much better condition that it appears in the photos.
I was curious if you can give me an idea on the rarity of the ammo.
Many thanks

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1st Line: Loading. This is Patr. s.S., (scharfes Spitzgeschoß). In English it’s simply “Pointed Bullet”
2nd Line: Loading manufacturer (Pollte) and lot/date.
3rd Line: Powder type and (dimensions of powder in millimeters). Nitroglycerin in this case.
4th Line: Manufacturer and date of powder.
5th Line: Case type (Brass), Manufacturer and lot/date of case. Bullet manufacturer and lot/date. Primer manufacturer and lot/date.

Patr. s.S. = Patrone mit schwerem Spitzgeschoss, the standard ball at that time
P 3. L. 34 = cartridge lot 3 of 1934 loaded by Polte, Magdeburg
The next line identifies the propellant as Nitrozellulose Gewehr-Blättchen Pulver (NC flake powder, the flakes (in wet condition) being 2 by 2 mm and 0.45 mm thick.
Rdf./128 is a coding for giving the impression the powder was made at Reinsdorf, while it really was made by factory 128: Wolff at Walsrode
The last line identifies the Polte lots of case (Patrh.) and bullet (Gesch.) The primer (Zdh.) was made Selve-Kronbiegel-Dornheim AG, and the code O stands for 1932.

Edit: I saw hfhubbard11’s response only after completing my own.
While “pointed bullet” is correct, the lowercase s stands for schwer (heavy), not scharf.
German military small arms propellants did not use NG. They were single base (nitrocellulose only) with the exception of the -v- cartridges for Luftwaffe MG17 and the special SmK(H) armour piercing load, with a propellant containing PETN (Nitropenta in German, “Np.”) as the second energy base.

Edit2: I forgot my ceterum censeo: the German military, where this caliber originated, called it 7.9 mm. 8 mm is the civilian designation and the name 7.92 mm was invented in Czechoslovakia after 1918.

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Thank you so much for the responses…I have a lot to learn and appreciate your expertise and time!

Thanks JP, got the propellant mixed up. Anyway pudgy welcome to the forum and just so you know there are a ton of resources online and in books on this particular cartridge. Have fun collecting!

My german is getting rustier as the years go by. Thanks for the corrections

About the box: in German it is named PackhĂĽlse. Each PackhĂĽlse contained 20 boxes of 15 cartridges. There were 5 PackhĂĽlsen in a greater wooden box: the Patronenkasten 88. It seems your box is in splendid condition, very nice piece for a collection.

Thank you for the information on the packaging. I appreciate the time and comments.

Very nice!
I have a simple/silly question:
Does the other end cap/cover look the same as the “front” cap/cover under the label that you show, and, is there anything on the bottom?

If the answers are “yes” and “no” do not bother with images, and thanks!

Hello BadgerJack-
I am away for a few days and am not able to take a look. If I remember correctly there is a small label that acts as a seal. I will check it out and let you know.

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As a followup to the question from BadgerJack…see photos of the side and end of the 7.9x57 ammunition box. I welcome and appreciate any thoughts. Best wishes

Ammo 3 Ammo 4

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It is the normal “Verschlußzettel für Packhülse 88”, applied by the manfacturer (in this case P for Polte) after packing. (Verschlußzettel = closing or sealing label)

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This is correct.
I can show one from P490.


After a couple of years, the stored ammunition was checked in a Munitions Anstalt.
After the inspection they sealed the PackhĂĽlse with a special label, most of the time glued over the old one.
Some examples from H. Ma. Töpchin, Feucht and Ingolstadt.


Very nice examples, thank you for sharing

pudgey3, JPeelen, and dutch, all much appreciated for the sticker examples!