New guy with question on vintage ammunition find (8x57jr)

I am new here. I am pretty active on some other firearms boards but have not dealt with vintage ammunition much at all. After plumbing (unsuccessfully) the minds of my main firearms boards I was referred here as a more authoritative source for vintage ammunition.

Little while back I saw a large lot of vintage ammunition for sale at a flea market, and given the price was simply too good to pass up (you really don’t want to know the details, it probably will make you cry) I bought a nice 30 caliber ammo can filled with 20 boxes of this ammunition.

They are in boxes marked RWS 8x57jr, Sinoxid and the like ( you can all the markings in the pics) I got 19 boxes of the round nose style, and one box of a more modern FMJ style, although its stepped? No idea what the technical term for this style is. I have done some research and found out that the round is used in drillings. I found one picture here that says these might be pre-war? Unfortunately that’s about where my research has hit a wall.

Any one have any more information about these. Any idea on value (I have 19 boxes of the round nose and one box of the fmj style) Sorry I really am clueless when it comes to collectable cartridges.


Round nose


FMJ style



The ammunition you have is pre-1946; some people call all of this pre-war but this was a caliber that was likely still made at least in the early war years. It could be from anytime from about the very late 1920s until at least the late 1930s and maybe later. I am just not sure from the
label. In both your pictures, the cases have the look of steel - copper-washed steel in the first cartridge picture. You should test them with a magnet far enough down on the case so that the magnet is not being attracted to the projectiles inside the case, as they could be steel-jacketed. If steel, they are probably from the late 1930s.

The ammo looks very clean, and in the quantity you have it in, it wouls probably be of more interest to a shooter than a collector. In the one case, 19 boxes would be enough individual rounds for 1/2 the collectors in America interested in European sporting ammo, probably, and would make them probably not worth as much as they would be to a fellow with a drilling or double rifle (I used to own a J. P. Sauer & Sohn double rifle in this caliber). These are for rifles with the .318" bore, not the “military” .323" bore.

I’m sorry, but I don’t do values. Hope this is of some interest, anyway.

Just as a FYI, the H-Mantal (FMJ style) is a “protected soft point” type bullet, as can be seen in the box illustration.

Normallslert means (I’m fairly sure) that the rounds meet the “normal” or standardized specifications (before standardization, literally each small gun maker had their own variation on the theme, meaning the only ammo that would even fit in their guns was their ammo)

To expand a bit more, the rounds you have are rimmed and intended principally for use in the various European combination hunting guns of two or more barrels. That is what the R in JR means. If there were an S, as JRS, it would have indicated the use of larger 0.323" diameter bullet (S Caliber) that was used in the various 8 mm Mauser bolt-action military rifles (and also sporters). Yours have the earlier 0.318" diameter bullet. The J simply means Infantry, as the letters I and J are interchangeable. Sinoxid means noncorrosive priming.

There are probably many US owners of combination guns liberated and brought back during and after WWII in that chambering who would love to have your ammunition, as it is difficult to find in the US, and yours is probably shootable. If you want to sell your stash, using one of the internet gun auction sites (Gunbroker, Auction Arms, etc.) would probably get fast results. I would have no idea of a value.

The packet codes indicate when these pkts were packed (not necessarily when the cartridges were produced/loaded):

P48M = 8 Mar 1945

O56U (U ?) = 16 Nov 1944

WBD: Did RWS make sporting ammunition with steel cartridge cases during the period of the second war in calibers other than 8x57? I’m referring to cataloged items, not experimental loadings. Jack

Jack, I believe that they produced the following with Steel cases during WW2:

RWS * 6.5X57 * (Laquered steel)
RWS. * 6.5x54 M-Sch. * (Laquered steel)
RWS * 7x57 * (CWS/Laquered steel)
RWS * 7x57R * (Laquered steel)
RWS 7x72R (confirmed steel case but hs unconfirmed)
RWS * 8x56 M.’-Sch * (CWS and Laquered Steel)
RWS * 8x57J * (CWS and Laquered steel)
RWS * 8x57JS * (Laquered steel)
RWS * 8x57JR * (CWS and Laquered Steel)
RWS * 8x57JRS * (CWS and Laquered steel)
RWS * 8x60 * (CWS and probably Laquered Steel)
RWS * 8x60S * (Laquered steel)
RWS * 8x60RS * (CWS and Laquered Steel)
RWS * 8.15x58R * (Laquered steel)
RWS * 9x56 M.-Sch* (Laquered Steel)
RWS * 9x57 * (CWS and Laquered Steel)- Pkt code N58X=1943
RWS 9.3X57 (Laquered steel)
RWS * 9.3x57 * (Laquered steel - produced from c1941)
RWS * 9,3x72R * (Laquered steel)
RWS * 9,3x74R * (Laquered steel)

Shortly after WW2 the box had this aditional sticker.


WBD: Thanks much for the list. It’s far longer than I would have imagined. Jack

thank you all for the great information!

The round nosed cases are brass, the tapered (still not sure what to call them) ones are the coated steel.

[quote=“akolleth”]thank you all for the great information!

The round nosed cases are brass, the tapered (still not sure what to call them) ones are the coated steel.[/quote]

Call them “H-Mantel” bullets, just like it says on the box :-)

[quote]P48M = 8 Mar 1945
O56U (U ?) = 16 Nov 1944[/quote]

Why would the Germans waste valuable resources in the manufacture of sporting-type cartridges so late in the waning days of the Third Reich? There must have been some reason, but I can’t imagine what it was.

Export maybe?


Remember something about wartime Germany - it was not the fashion to admit, almost to the last days of the war, that they were in “the waning days of the Reich.” That was “defeatism” and not acceptable. Further, the Volksturm were using almost anything that would shoot, including sporting arms. Also, the Luftwaffe survival guns were a nice drilling with the rifle barrel in sporting caliber. A lot that we, in this country, might consider goofy if done in wartime, especially if faced with almost certain defeat, were not so-considered in Germany at the time. I had a Walther Model P-38, full commercial markings and proofs, that was the highest HP serial number known - made probably in March 1945 - for a double-action 9 mm P-38. The only two higher numbers were for a special single-action version of the P-38, and another commercial one in caliber 7.65 mm Para. One could ask why they were making commercial Walther pistols in calibers not allowed civilians at that
time, with the Russians almost within cannon range of the Walther Zella-Mehlis factory. Another case of “why do they do these things” from Walther are the coded Model PPs, marked in the military fashion with “ac” code. The codes were supposed to be to conceal the point of manufacture of military goods. Yet these pistols have wood grips where the carefully put some awful quality checkering, along with the commercial Walther Banner insignia? What was with that? Trying to figure out what they did and why in those days of the War can make you crazy.

John, DWM RWS etc. were no state factories.
It is not unusual they were making guns and ammo for the civilian market.

Some time ago I have visit a dear friend, and made some pictures of a wonderful rifle in his collection.
It is a Mauser Mod. 98. with a high polish finish and in a sporting caliber 8,15 x 46 R.
Made I think during WW2.

They get orders from the state, but the civilian market in Germany must be served too.
The interesting part is that this hunting ammunition was made with the same technology as military rounds.


Willem - I know that those companies were not state-owned. But, with Germany pretty much in ruins,
allied troops entering the country from east and west, and the SS hanging people that were not either on
their jobs or heading towards the front, weapon in hand, to fight, how many people were buying commercial
firearms, especially in some calibers (cited Walther Mod. P-38) that were denied civilians? My main point was
that things were happening that seem very odd to most of us. I can’t picture a U.S. gun or ammunition factory
making anything but stuff for the war effort under similar circumstances. In fact, with basically peacetime circumstances on our continent for those not away to the war, very little in sporting arms and ammunition were made in the USA during the height of the war years. Production of civilian arms and ammunition was a fraction
of the pre-war levels. I guess if we didn’t live the conditions that existed in Germany and the rest of Europe in 1944/45, we will never understand.