Meaning of "SK" in name of Schönebeck company

In the name of the ammunition company in Schönebeck, Germany, SK Sportwaffen, can any of our German friends tell me what the “SK” actually stands for. I have lots of material from SK, Lapua, who owned them at least for awhile, and NAMMO who owned both SK and Lapua, but none of it, not even the book on the Schönebeck, tells what the two initials stand for. Help!

I too am curious as to what SK really stands for. I always was under the impression SK was for Schonebeck with S being the first letter and K the last letter of the name Schonebeck.

That was my guess too, cartridgecorner. But, I need, for something I am working on, to get a really solid opinion on the meaning, hopefully even with some documentation of some sort. I do know that in the headstamp “SKN” that the “N” part stands for “Nimrod,” as in a"SK-Nimrod." That is why we have modern “SK” AND “SKN” headstamps, as not al SK ammunition is sold under the Nimrod brand.

This is unconfirmed but might be an explanation:

There are more places in Germany called Schönebeck. The city were
the ammo plant is located is in an area called [color=#FF0000]S[/color]alzland[color=#FF0000]K[/color]reis.
Maybe they used two letters of the area to distinguish.

just a thought


The Plant which Lapua took over from the Former East German plant (VEB ??? Schoenebeck-am-Elbe) is in “Salzland kreis” ( “Saltland District”).

THus the SK indication would be appropriate.

The reason Lapua bought the Plant from the German Re-unification Privatization Disposal Agency (which took over all the former DDR State Plants), is that in 1988 or so, the SK Plant had just installed a brand new, state of the art Automatic .22 Rimfire Production Line, ( sort of like a SCAMP setup) and capable ( with the right QA) of producing the high quality .22RF Target ammo Lapua was already famous for. This was one of the (Few) DDR Conversion to free economy success stories.
Lapua has since transferred all its Quality .22RF production from Finland to SK.
I don’t know if the plant has continued production of Centerfire ammo;
(Military or Civilian); maybe they still make Shotshells…any sign of these?
Of course the SK plant was originally the former S&B plant established well before WW I.( taken over by the Nazi regime in 1939, and then by the Coomunists & DDR in the late 1940s.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

That might be another explanation for the letters “SK” but I was hoping someone would know for sure. As important as the Schönebeck factory has been over the years, in the story of European ammunition manufacture, I am surprised I have not heard from PP (Forensic), Dutch or Hans on this matter. I know that Forensic has had some close ties with SK (Leader, Nimrod, etc.) since unification. It is a question I should have asked Dr. Plenikowski, the Managing Director of SK, when I met him at the 1004 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, and managed, finally, after two previous SHOT shows, to talk them into selling me their display copy of his book on the Schönebeck ammunition story.

Regarding SK’s production of other types of ammunition, I can only report that the last catalog I have for them that shows anything but .22 ammunition is from the 2006 SHOT Show. While the brochure itself is only about .22s, it shows, under “Our Programme includes” different kinds of shot-shells for hunting and sporting, ammunition for air guns, slug ammunition for hunting and sporting purposes, different kinds of blank cartridges, and 9x19 Luger Parabellum ammunition.
Subsequent catalogs don’t have that little section in them (the brochure given at the 20e8, 2009 and 2010 - my last SHOT Show - were the same one, with a printing date of January 2008).

Regarding their ownership by Lapua, Doc Av’s information is correct. Accoridning to “Lapua News,” Number 2, 2004, Lapua Oy acquired ownership of the ammunition production at Schöbeck in 1992 and "Under their leadership the production range has been tightened up and the forces have been concentrated on producing small-caliber cartridges. While they speak of the name change to “Lapua GmbH” replacing “SK Jagd- und Sportmuntions GmbH,” the brochures continued to show the SK name until at least 2010.

Another question would be their relationship to the firm of Nimrod Jagd-, Sportbedarfs- und Feuerwerksartikal GmbH, also at Schönebeck/Elbe, but operating from a facility in a different postal zone there than does SK. Their brochure on pistol and revolver ammunition, which shows a fairly full line of calibers, also shows the SK Symbol, but may mean they simply sell that brand as well, since also shown are the symbols for SAGA, Germania, MESKO, Norma, JSC Barnaul, Sauvestre, Sellier & Bellot and even CCI. This company is of interest to me primarily because MESKO, of Poland, produced 9 mm Makarov ammunition under the Nimrod name, and the headstamp on that ammunition, SKN (SK-Nimrod) implies a real connection between Nimrod and SK.

Of more interest, while not shown on the box for the NIMROD 9 x 18 mm ammunition, the NIMROD Export Price Sheet for 1996, in English, shows the calibers sold under the KOPP name.
How NIMROD and/or SK relate to the Czech firm of KOPP-TPZ (KOPP-Tula Cartridge Works) is unknown to me. Again, there is no doubt that the SKN-headstamped Makarov ammunition is made by MESKO in Poland. The 50-round, red-plastic boxes and label style are identical to that of a MESKO-brand box I have, as are the cartridge characteristics.

These are modern firms that seem somehow tied together. It would be nice to extablish an accurate history of them before the names, in some case, slip into obscurity in the future, which they very well could.

If I have time tomorrow, I’ll give them a call
Let’s see what they say . . . .



I keep my mouth shut because I really don’t know and don’t have any contacts to find out, just an OPINION ;-) about SK standing for the county name Salzlandkreis. If I understand the county’s chronic right it was newly formed in 2007, long after the SK brand appeared on the market.


So I gave them a call this morning. The girl on the phone asked me to call again
next week because the person who knows everything about it, is out today.
But to her opinion, SK stood for:

[color=#FF0000]S[/color]chönebec[color=#FF0000]k[/color]er Jagd & Sportwaffen Munition.

In this context Schönebecker means: from Schönebeck

more to follow next week


Hans - great detective work. Frankly, I didn’t agree with that answer anyway, but l kept my big mouth shut on it two, since I really didn’t know the answer. Thanks my friend, for your opinion ot that.

Rene - thanks for grabbing the reins and taking direct action. More and more, I think cartridge corner is right - that is it simply an abbreviation for Schönebeck, in what ever form of the name.

I will await your further information. Thanks to all. Some on this Forum don’t like guesses and I can appreciate that. I think we all like solid documentation. But sometimes, throwing out your best guess on a subject onto the discussion table, and everyone kicking all the info available around, solves the question. I have seen that, and I mean questions solved beyond doubt - though sometimes the doubt has to linger - a hundred times. Often a consensus of opinion on something points the way to even further research that finds the documentiation - further research that would never have been thought of or done without a finger pointing the way.