Is this a 7,9x57 SmE cartridge II

Headstamp did not come through on previous post.

Yes, it is an SmE, as denoted by the blue primer seal. Type sS ball would have a green seal, normally speaking.

Cartridge overall weight will tell you also. Your cartridge should weigh approximately 379 grains, an average figure derived from weighing five specimens. If it were s.S. ball, that overall weight would be 400-406 grains, based on the same average.

I said “normally speaking” above, because s.S. ball cartridges can be found with Belgian, Czech and Polish-type s.S. bullets. Belgian rounds loaded as type s.S., usually found in steel cases, have black primer seals. Your round is pure German manufacture.

John Moss

John, thank you. I weighed the cartridge, it is 383 grains. One observation, I have been collecting cartridges for ten years, since 2010. I have not seen any boxes of SmE. I have found S.s., a lot S.m.K. the different tracer colors; but, no S.m.E. Has this been you experience?

I do not collect the 7.9 x 57 mm cartridge, although I did at one time and had a fair collection when I decided it took to much away from my hobby time and space, with my primary interest in ammo always being auto pistol/SMG cartridges.

However, I do not recall any particular rarity of boxes. I did not aggressively collect 7.9 boxes, but had perhaps three or four hundred when I broke up the collection. Mind you, that was military and sporting, and all countries, not just German Military. I am sure I have a fair number of SmE boxes.

Wish I could be more specific, as while I did save all of my library notes, including a workbook that I made up for myself on the German cartridges, I never made photos of my boxes and the collection has been gone for some time now.

John Moss

By volume, the SmE variant had the largest share of rifle cartridges produced, because there was simply not enough lead available to make sS bullets in the desired quantity.

Another interesting thing, it is my understanding that SmE bullets/cartridges were never made with tracer elements. They were a true “war-time-expedient” cartridge. To be made simple, cheap, in large volume and fast.

How did you “highlight” the numbers and letters on the head stamp?

While you are correct regarding war-time-expedient, German tracer variants after WW1 were always limited to the armour piercing (SmK) bullets: SmK L’spur. Germany had no tracer version of the ordinary ball cartridge (sS) and consequently no SmE tracer.

Dear Tomdokulil, thanks for asking. China Marking Pencils or, what I call, grease pencils. One has to rub it all around the primer pocket on the head of the cartridge, take care not to get it into the primer. It will kind of “crumble or smear” all over the head, but at the same time it gets into the letters and numbers. Then wipe all the excess away. George

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Thanks George!

Late in the war the Germans stopped to hardening the cores from the SmK tracer bullets.

Most of the cartridges were loaded by “cdo” and “cdp”.

Long time ago I try to make a cut from a SmK tracer bullet with a high “cg” lot number from 1944 with a rusty case.

No problems with the cut when I hit the core. It was no steel but iron.

We tried it with different other cartridges from this time aria.

I never have seen a box label with SmE Lspur mentioned.

yes, you mentioned this observation in a different thread some time ago.
Did you ever try to cut a late K bullet from WW1? According to German sources, late in WW1 the same happened to the cores of ordinary AP bullets. They were simply not hardened any more, making them basically useless. But there was no indication whatsoever on the boxes.

George and tomdokulil,
White chalk also works. We have used it to highlight serial numbers on firearms for many years.

Thanks BadgerJack!

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