Kurz Werk. Origin?

Just got this, a chromed steel 7.92 Kurz tool cartridge. No markings at all on it. Anyone recognize it and know its origin? I’m thinking East Germany, Spain, or Argentina, in that order.

What is a tool cartridge?

The Germans called it a Werkzeug(sp?). They were an armorer’s tool for working with actions.

Would not it be cheaper to use regular ammo without gun powder to cycle action? Sure, it would not last that long, but then it is off a regular production line and so is easily replenished.

Jon - I cannot identify your cartridge by country, but will say that I have a pretty good selection of East German Stahlpatronen-type gauges, in calibers 9mm Para, 7.62 x 39, 5.45 x 40, 7.62 x 54R, and 12.7m/m, and I have never seen or heard of one that is completely unmarked.

Further, reference your last entry, these were not, to my knowledge, referred to as “Werkzeugpatronen,” that title being for a different type of chromed or nickeled dummy with a pretty specific hole-pattern in the case and bullet. I recall receiving some criticism on the Forum in the past for using the term “Stahlpatrone” for some of these solid-steel cartridges.but the truth of the matter is that the German price list for those that were gauges, at least, refers to them exactly as that, “Stahpatronen.”

That said, usually a gauge will be marked, if with nothing else, the measurement. Most “full cartridge” gauges are headspace gauges, and to be unmarked would be silly.

However, there are also armourer’s dummies, made to be used in major repair shops and even at the factories that made the weapons. These were often made of solid steel or solid brass so they would have a longer service life than items made of normal ammunition components (no bullet set back, split necks, torn or buggered rims, etc.).

They were not made or issued in anywhere near the huge quantities of normal functional dummy rounds, and therefore the expense was not the consideration that making all dummy rounds out of of solid brass or steel would represent. I think it is likely your cartridge is one of those. In that case, I suppose it could be from the DDR or even original WWII German. I simply don’t know. The Germans were pretty big on marking everything, but there are exceptions (unheadstamp plastic/steel base dummies, etc.). It could also be from Spain or Argentina, as you pointed out. I’ll leave to someone who knows something about this caliber to answer the national identity question.

VEry nice item, by the way, Jon. Congrats on getting it.

Vlad - regarding tool cartridges or true “Werkzeugpatronen” of the German WWII pattern, these differed from dummies generally in having a closer to normal cartridge weight (full bullet with core) than a lot of the Exerzierpatrone issued just for safe practice in loading procedures and maniputlation of the action to practice loading. There are certain parts, primarily on machine guns, that can be disassembled with nothing more than the use of a cartridge - the bullet tip as a pin punch, the rim as a screwcriver or turning device (handle) for example. IN a perfect situation, the tool cartrdige (Werkzeugpatrone) was made to combine those operations with a functional dummy round. Under combat conditions, it would be more likely, of course, that a live round would be used, if necessary.

Please be aware that there are fakes being sold by a well known Faker on the Dutch ECRA meetings which have markings on them.


If that is true,do you know if the Dutch President or other members of the NVBMB/ECRA know that!!
Because if it’s true they most refuse the Faker access to the ECRA show!!!


Gyro, I sent you a PM.

If it is true that marked fakes are being sold of a similar cartridge, it would be good if someone could get a good picture of the “fakes,” especially the head, for comparison to the unmarked one. If marked fakes are made, it is a simple matter to just not mark some them to have another variation. It would be good to compare the very distinctive firing pin clearance hole on the unmarked round shown here to the “fakes.” Not many of these holes are made with what appears to have been a flat-faced end mill. Tha tis, the bottom of the holw is very flat.

Do not interpret this to mean that I have said the cartridge shown here is fake. I have not said that at all. Rather, it is simply one more step in the process of trying to properly identify it.

I am not even saying that the marked ones referred to are fakes. I don’t know that. I have seen photos of a Stahlpatrone (gauge) being offered for trade, and it looked quite good. Also, there is no reason they should not exist. However, I am not expert on these things, have no “inside” knowledge about those particular rounds, and generally, am totally unqualified to judge whether or not they are fake.

Yes, Alex, could you please post pics of the “fakes”?

I have a little collection of fakes in my collectiom.
And when fakes are marked like these cartridges I think it is no problem.
I have seen fakes marked with COPY or COPIE or FAKE and only with the name of the faker


I will say that this Faker is not a Dutch guy…
But a ECRA member.


The problem is, these items are very rare.
This item is offered and when the story is good, we must have it.
There are many other hijackers on a show who could grab it in front of our nose.

Sometimes we buy such an item for a lot of money, and later, if a discussion for example in this forum, we are ashamed that we, high skilled collectors as we all are, don

Please let me clarify, you are not saying that the chromed Kurz cartridge that I posted is a fake.

Gyrojet - in my opinion, if a cartridge is permanently marked in any way to show that it is not being passed as an original, such markings as “replica,” “fake,” club markings on headstamp (such as the CCCA series,
or a modern headstamp like the Kynoch Replicas of the BSA Pistol series, then they are not “Fakes,” but rather replicas. If someone does something with an existing replica, such as remove legitimate replica markings and replace them with original-type, then that person is the faker and the replica cartridge then does become a fake.

Replica cartridges serve a purpose for some and there should be no stigma attached to anyone who produces one with a conscious effort to properly identify it as such. To produce a replica with all “original” markings and nothing to show it is such, in my opinion is “faking,” and should never be done. I realize some will say that the motive for making it is what counts, but I will stand by my statement that a replica cartridge made with nothing to show it is a replica is a fake, period!

I am not talking here about cartridges made up to use in some old gun of obscure caliber by a shooter, by the way, who probably doesn’t even know there are people who collect cartridges. Usually, these rounds have no headstamp if the case is “home made” completely, or the wrong headstamp, or improper primer and/or bullet, etc., and can be instantly recognized as a modern rendition by most experienced collectors. I suppose in that instance the lack of an attempt to deceive, and therefore a lack of “motive” in the sense we are speaking of, does count for something.
I am talking specifically and only about cartridges made for collections, even if it is for the person who makes it own collection, since some day it will be passed on.

Hi Jon,

This is not an Argentinian 7,9 mm Kurzpatrone all steel magazine dummy. I’m aware of only two or maybe three surviving specimens and their construction is pretty much different than yours.

Jon, please be aware, I definately did not refer to your cartridge.

I had in mind those which were supposed to be German and were for sale by a well know faker - and I only then got to know that he is attending the Dutch ECRA shows and no German shows since he is German an well known there.

Of course I did not buy them and have no images.