More small caliber insert or reducer cartridges

Here the swiss 4mm Lienhardt. In fact not a cartridge, but a primer and bullets for the Lienhardt apparatus.
I show box and components. The primers are RWS Sinoxid-primers with the ZL-markings.
Box and sidelabel:

And here the components:

Forensic - I have one of these “ZL” primers with a 7.65 Para all-steel auxiliary cartridge I believe is from Switzerland. What does the “ZL” stand for. I assume from the labeling that the “L” is for “Lienhard,” but what about the “Z” (Zielpatrone???)?

John Moss

Hi John, correct. ZL stands for Zielpatrone Lienhardt. The small round lead ball in the photo is the “bullet” which has to be seated into the front of your auxillary “Einsteckpatrone”…and the ZL-Primer from RWS has to be placed in the base of that steel cartridge…

Peter - thank you, my friend. Fröhlich Weihnachten.

John Moss

Hi John and Peter,

My notes on Lienhard state that:

“A “ZL” hs on primers (and possibly adaptor cartridges) represents “Zimmerschiessapparat Lienhard” and is a trade mark of Lienhard.”.

That translates approx. to “Lienhard Indoor shooting apparatus”.

Neither of these expressions are on the items shown so it may be a bit hard to confirm one way or another ? but as stated above you couldn’t technically describe this as a “Patrone” (Cartridge) ??

Hello everyone,

The meaning of the “ZL” trademark is mentioned in one of his brochures as “Zündhutchen Lienhard”.



Fede has like always the correct answer,
But in every shop i found this “ammo” in Switzerland (Primer and bullets are in one box) it was described as “for Zielpatrone Lienhardt”, as the Zimmerschiessapparat cames for rifles and pistols with the barrel-insert-tube and the steel auxilary Chambers (which when fitted with the ZL-Primer and the small 4mm bullets are by german law a cartridge/Patrone, as the bullet is propelled by means of hot gases)…

As an auto pistol cartridge collector, I want to thank all of you for delving into this particular subject. I never knew what the ZL was on the primer for the auxiliary cartridge I have. I should have realized that it likely did not stand for anything that described a “cartridge” (patrone) since it is, of itself, just a primer. I don’t know why I didn’t think of “zündhütchen,” which now seems obvious. As for seeing it in shops that sold them described as “Zielpatrone Lienhard,” I can easily relate to that. Having worked in a gun shop for years, I can tell you that sometimes a “common language” develops that is not always technically correct, but is descriptive, as non-technically minded customers don’t always understand every term correctly used, even if they are good shooters and excellent gun handlers. It is mostly those with a deep student’s concern for the history and all other details of what they study that know all the technical terms. Those of us that are not so technically minded (first and foremost, me!) learn with great discussions like this. Everyone who answered my question on what the letters meant had good, logical answers, but of course, original literature from the person who made and used the items described must “carry the day.” It is nice to know those other terms for associated items as well, too! Thanks again, guys.

Thanks for clearing that up Fede !

As some of you know, I am very interested in both the subcaliber adaptor cartridges and in the sets for these subcaliber devices as long as they include something I can call an adaptor cartridge. I have a number of the Lienhard sets and spent about four hours today on a post showing them. Unfortunately, my post was too long and not only would it not post, but the system deleted what I had written and the copy I made of it before I posted was only gibberish. I think it was too large. I have two sets that are reputed to be pre-WWII, one set that is probably immediately post war, and two that are later, one may be from the 1970s. I will post them a bit at a time to get them past the computer!

The “pre-WWII” are pictured below. Both are intended to fire a .22LR cartridge which slides into a short adaptor. The back of the barrel insert provides most of the cartridge shape that fills the chamber on the pistol. One of the sets is designed to lock on the front sight of the Luger pistol. Both sets contain a turned brass dummy 22LR cartridge.

More over the next few days!