Germany at Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbritzen in 1937. When Germany lost 1st World War, only one (1) factory was allowed to make ammunition. It was Polte. By 1937 Germany had many ammunition factories running, but they were not allowed, they were illegal. So Germany just coded them with P and a number so British, French and Americans thought ammo was made in only one place, Polte. So this was done to confuse the Allies who won the war.
In addition to what Vlad has already said, this was from the 17th lot of cases produced in 1937 (loading date can only be obtained from the box label). The S* indicates this is a brass case containing 72% copper. Without the original bullet I cannot identify the load from the red primer anulus, as this was used on S.m.K. Patrone (AP), S.m.k. L’Spur Patrone (Tracer) and S.m.k. GL’Spur Patrone (Dim tracer). The latter two loads had bullet tip colours to differentiate them. However, I don’t know if all three of these loads were produced by Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbritzen, so it may be possible to identify the loading by the factory but that is beyond my knowledge.
The real 7.9x57 collectors will correct me if I am wrong.
According the lists of member Dutch, this was a case with Spitzgeschoss mit Kern. So AP. And yes, P163 stands for Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbrietzen, part of the Kopp-Konzern. P163 became later in the war hlb as the Germans changed these codes.
Not so important but the S.m.k. GL’Spur Patrone (dim tracer) was never made by P163.
The only thing I can add to the fully correct answer of @Duqjans is that the lot number was made with a primer 30 and 88.
A primer 30 looks a little red (copper) instead the yellow brass from the primer 88.
Thanks dutch, that is the (important) information that I lack.
Is your list (referred to by duqjans) freely available somewhere? I know I have heard of the list before and possibly saw it but there is so much valuable information on here that I struggle to keep track.
DFZ8812 and others,
The IAA Home website has an an extensive list of headstamp codes and their makers. This list hasn’t been updated in a long time (no volunteer(s) to take over the project) so new manufacturers are missing. Still it is reasonably complete through 2000 and very complete from WWII and earlier.
P163 is listed along with all the other German P codes and WWI & WWII codes.
Give it a try at:
Thanks a lot for your replies!