Monogram on German 7.9mm "S" bullet

Has the manufacture of the monogram impressed into the lead of this German 7.9mm

I just noticed that our forum member from China

Phil - the headstamp you show has always been identified as Chinese. It also exists on .30 Mauser, another cartridge very popular in China. That being said, it is very possible that the bullets were made in Germany and loaded in China, that the cases and bullets were made in Germany and loaded in China, or that the entire cartridges were made in Germany FOR China. I don’t know which.

I will stand by the belief that the headstamp is Chinese, but there are hundreds of cartridges we know to have headstamps from one country even though the rounds are made in another.

I will admit, though, that the headstamp is puzzling. For example, the cartridge in the photo you reproduced from the other thread has the numbers “89” on it, while my headstamp is “96.” Neither seems to represent the Chinese dating systems of the time, so may be Julian Calender dates. However, the letters “RC” taken to mean Republic of China then make no seense because the Republic was not established until somewhere in the early 1900s - 1912 comes to mind but I am not sure I am correct on that.

By the way - these rounds should be Model 88’s. I forget now what bullet was shown by Tiengulden, but my round has the round nose bullet. Frankly, while I recall the headstamp was questioned, I don’t recall the bullet marking part of it. The picture you posted of the base of the bullet appears to be the same photo posted in relation to the Spandau cartridge, am I right? Certain tiny anomolies on the base of the bullet appear to be identical in each photo, as does the black background.

I did not know, however, that the round you question was made in Germany, but it seems it was. Why not? In the case of the 7.63mm Mauser pistol, many of the guns in China were made in Germany, as well as similar types made in Spain and China.

Maybe Lew Curtis knows more about this round. He is one of our leading experts on Chinese headstamps, and I know that he is of the opinion that the 8mm Mauser round is a Chinese headstamp as well.

That is not chinese, that is an old german type called " S

Genkideskan - that is astonishing news and very important! Do you have any idea why they put the “RC” on the same headstamp in standard-style letters? Is there anything in German that the “RC” could stand for. As I said, if the dates on these rounds in the 80s and 90s (19th Century) represent the Julian calender, than the “Republic of China” interpretation makes no sense, I think.

It seems clear now that the rounds were made in Germany. What still needs to be discovered is if they have anything at all to do with China. This is starting to sound familiar - like the “Ethiopia” headstamp problem.

Does nyone know of this style headstamp on any claiber except for Model 1888 7.9 x 57 and the 7.63mm Mauser pistol cartridge?

You are correct, the pictures of the bullet base is of the bullet that came out of the S case. I included it in the second posting just to compare the script with the M1888 headstamp. I thought it would show up larger but it didn

The Chinese bought a lot of german M1888 rifles. When tienguldens case was made in 1889 the bullet must be a round nose bullet…

I seem to have confused some with my second posting… The picture of the bullet base alongside the M1888 case is not from that case. It is from the S 3 15 S headstamped case. I included it only to compare its markings with that of the script on the M88 case. I

Might the Monogram be a rough form of cursive script, signifying "DM " (Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik)…I have seen “DM” in Fraktur on the bases of WW I year “s” projectiles ( along with a lot of other Fraktur marks).

Just a suggestion… As to the Chinese connection, although the Chinese had experience making ammo from the late 1870s (Courtesy Remington’s involment in the Tientsin (Tianjin) Arsenal) and the use of German technicians at the Hanyang Arsenal ( “An Australian in China”—Morrison, 1895-96); they would probably have utilised German components at first, until they had perfected the techniques of manufacture in House.

By the end of WW I, the Chinese were making 7,9mm ammo (both “J” and “s”) on their own account, without any direct German assistance ( except for expatriate technical help after WW I)…(they were even making /assembling 6,8mmM1907 ammo just prior to WW I)

Doc AV
AV Ballistics

They used these day

This doesn

Upon closer examination of the marking on the bullet base from the German case and the one on the clip, I think they might be two different markings. What do you all out there think?

While I think the bullet base marking and the marking on the Model 88 case’s headstamp appear to be two very slightly different forms of the same marking, I do not think that the clip marking, even though similar in writing style, represent the same two letters. Just my opinion.


This is one interesting piece of scholarly analysis.

An added bit of information. This mark also appears on 7.63M headstamps that have a very distinctive Chinese style headstamp. I don’t know who made them, but the headstamp has the star (mark for the Chinese Army) and this “double h” mark along with a date.

My opinion it is likely Chinese made, but could be a contract for China.


The only use of ‘RC’ on German equipment that I’m aware of is a small marking found on bayonets and other weapons that have, in a small way, failed an inspection after manufacture. The weapon was then inspected again and if deemed serviceable it was stamped ‘RC’ for ‘Revision Control’ to show that it was a second grade although useable item.

I’m not sure how far forward this takes though.