Muzzle velocity of 7.92x57 German AP ammunition?

What is the published muzzle velocity of the late war,steel case, German Spitzgeschoss tungsten core 8x57mm Armor Piercing bullet fired from a 98K standard issued rifle?
Thank you.



Thank you Sir, this info is for an article I am writing.

I am not sure about the figure 451kr mentions, because 745 m/s would be slower than the ordinary sS form the 600 mm barrel of the K98k which clocks 755 m/s.

The 12.6 g AP bullet with tungsten core, SmK(H) according to Ringbuch der Infanteriemunition had 875 m/s.
The British (Ordnance proceedings 35007) measured 3024 fps (921.7 m/s), although I do not know the barrel length (BESA MG?).
This came at a much increased pressure with a special propellant containing PETN (the same as used in the -v- ammunition for aircraft guns.

The ordinary AP bullet (SmK, 11.55 g) had 785 m/s.

P.S. Reading your question again: It can be either “late war, steel case” (which would mean ordinary SmK with ordinary steel cores) or “tungsten core” (SmK(H)) but not both. The latter were discontinued early to use the tungsten in bigger calibres and certainly always had brass cases.
As is the U.S. AP M2, the SmK started with cores made from steel that contained tungsten but the tungsten had soon to be dropped from the alloy.

A table of common types of 7.9 in an official German manual shows the velocity of the S.m.K. loading, when fired from the K98k, at 750 mps. Fired in the Gewehr 98, with its longer barrel, it is shown as 785 mps. In comparison, the figures given for s.S. ball are 755 mps and 785 mps respectively. I cannot account for the 5 mps difference in the spread between the two loads fired in the two different barrel lengths. You would think it would be the same difference in mps for both loadings.

Reference: Munition für Karabiner 98k und MG, Munityionstabelle für 7.9 mm, 9.0 und 5.6 mm Kaliber.Unfortunately, I don’t know the title of the manual, but this table appeared on page 28, in case someone is familiar with it. I have only a photocopy of that page.

Thank you for the info. I will post the head stamps of the cases. I hope the projectiles I have are Tungsten and not hard steel.

John, the figures for SmK according to my sources are 785 m/s from the 600 mm barrel and 815 m/s from 740 mm.
The numbers you cite for the ordinary sS are in agreement with what I know.

P.S.: Your figures are, it seems, from a manual for the East German police (DVP Nr.44 Munition der Deutschen Vokspolizei, Berlin 1950). It was reprinted by Journal Verlag Schwend.

Interesting. I might have that manual, I am not sure. I’ll have to look and see.

I must admit I have found conflicting information in official German sources many times on many subjects. I personally believe that “Deutsche Ordnung” is a myth. I tend to think that the German military was just as screwed up as that of everyone else.

I will see if I have any other official sources that show velocities. I have a wall chart on German small arms ammo - 7.9, 9mm and .22 as well. will have to get that out and see if they show velocities.

Be assured, you are absolutely right.

Here are the two cases that came with the bullets. Perhaps this will help ID the bullet loading and the type of core?
Thank you for your replies.

Standard Smk; not Smk-H (tungsten) JH

Is the core Armor Piercing or just a steel core?


The projectiles I sold you for $20 for the 14 or so were S.m.K. Spitzgeschoß mit Stahlkern (pointed bullet with steel core [armor-piercing]). They are not the S.m.K.H. Spitzgeschoß mit Stahlkern gehärtet (pointed bullet with tungsten carbide core). I must have failed to get this point across in our emails back and forth. My suggestion is to take pictures and post them here along with weights and dimensions and you will get a better second opinion as to what I sold you for the testing and article you are doing. I do not have any S.m.K.H. projectiles I would be willing to sell as I explained, they are rare to start with and If you do find some they will most likely be 25 times the price of the S.m.K. I sold you. The other two I threw in for free with the stained tips I thought I explained were S.m.K.L’Spur or Spitzgeschoß mit Stahlkern und Leuchtspur (pointed bullet with steel core, tracer). The empty hulls I sent are for the S.m.K. as I had not enough of one lot to pull good projectiles from. I went threw double the rounds to find you unrusted/unpitted heals on the projectiles. I did not include empty hulls for the S.m.K.L’Spur I gave you but can provide headstamps if you so need as they are still on the workbench in the shed. Just for the record, I have no issue with you confirming what I sold and gave you as you do not know me personally.

Joe Adashunas
Phoenix AZ

I just need to know if they are AP and not just a normal steel core. I made it clear in my post that I need AP.

The round are AP. The steel cores are hardened. If the primer annulus was blue it had a soft steel core.

I thought I made it pretty clear in my half dozen emails when you bought them that you were getting AP. Rob, there is in general with German WWII era 7,9 ammo an tungsten core that was used that most refer to as “Super AP” abbreviated S.m.K.H… Then there is the more prevalent standard AP core abbreviated S.m.K. and what you received from me. It is a hardened steel core similar to the USGI M2 AP core in some respects. Then there is the S.m.E. which clieuwens is mentioning in which the Germans called an Iron core, and some refer to as “semi AP”. Maybe someone else here can explain it better as I obviously am not getting the point across. If you were trying to obtain the tungsten core heads that is NOT what I sent you and I felt strongly that I conveyed that respectively in our emails back and forth. If you are still after tungsten all I can say is good luck as I do not have the heart or ambition to pull 10 of mine and sell them.

I did the range test today and the results were very impressive. I’m doing a long winded essay on the results and I will post a link or copy of the article here. What I will say is that I loaded the round to be at 8x57mm Mauser muzzle velocity at 200 yards where the bullet is stable in flight, the results far exceeded what you would ever think would happen. I knew Hollywood was wrong, but not this wrong.
Thank you for the info you provided and a special thanks to xjda68 who provided me with the .323 AP projectiles.

Rob, I am glad you obtained the results you were looking for. Just to reiterate, the two tracers I sent you are also AP. Properly refereed to as S.m.K.L’Spur or Spitzgeschoß mit Stahlkern und Leuchtspur (pointed bullet with steel core, tracer). It would be an interesting comparison to the standard AP projectiles you tested. Thanks for the special thanks mentioned.


I will do that this pay day. The steel plates were 30 bucks each for a 7x5" piece. All steel is sold by weight now.

Just a tease, here is an birds eye view of the one inch thick Armor Plate that the core went through.

And the core. There’s much more going on that you will see in the article. You will be amazed.