Is this german 8mm?

I got this from a friend. Anything special and why on stripper clips?



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These are 8 x 56R for the Steyr M95 straight-pull bolt action rifle. Yes, they are of Gross Deutschland manufacture, which is Germany and Austria combined. Most of us simply refer to them as Austrian made. The factory was, prior to the German annexing of Austria, the Hirtenberger Patronen- und Zündhütchen Fabrik, at Hirtenberg, Austria. The German name connected to the German code P.635 was Gustloff-Werke, Otto Eberhardt- Patronenfabrik, Hirtenbert Niederdonau.

I have handled and sold dozens of these Austrian rifles, and am embarrassed to admit that I am not sure what I am about to say is correct, but I believe those “clips” are enbloc chargers that go into the rifle with the cartridges, and when the last shot is fired, it drops out of the rifle thru an opening in the bottom of the magazine box of the rifle. I am sure if I am wrong, and I hope, that one of our Clip collectors will correct me if I am wrong.

Edit to correct a typo only.

John Moss

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Better description than I could have done, JM!
One addition, although made in Ostmark of GrosseDeutschland ( Austria) in later 1938, these cartridges were destined for Bulgaria, along with the Majority of M95/30 rifles and carbines, from Austrian inventory.
Since Bulgaria was a minor co-belligerant in WWII, until Soviet occupation in 1944, most of the 8x56R ammo ( both Austrian and Bulgarian made) was placed in strategic store in 1946 as Bulgaria converted to 7.62x54R Soviet.
These stores were partially released to Mozambique during its 1980s civil war, and then to Century Arms as Surplus in 1990s.
Some packets are still sealed, but majority are"repacks", either to check ammo condition, or repack of MG belted ammo.Hence headstamps may not match labels
Clips date from 1890s to 1940s, various Makers ( other clip thread here a few years back)

Doc AV

thank you gentlemen, that is very excellent information!


Doc - Thank you. Good information. The Germans made some use of the Steyr carbine.
I read a book or article, I don’t recall which, on the “Great Escape,” the mass escape, primarily by United Kingdom personnal, from one of the Luft Stalag during WWII. In it was a picture of two real German soldiers holding a wonderful, hand-made, full-size model of one of the Steyr M95 Carbines. I assume that is what the guards carried at that Stalag, so that there was something for the prisoners to manufacture that false weapon. It seemed, from the picture, to be a remarkable copy!

Also, the label, in the German Language and with the prominent Reichsadler insignia on the box, the charger and the headstamp of the cartridge, would indicate German usage, but most certainly not preclude shipment to Bulgaria as well, an ally of Germany, as you mentioned. By “German usage,” I am, of course, including the remnants of the Austrian Army.

John M.

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