Please Identify this 7.9x57mm Headstamp


[quote]From John Moss:

Can anyone identify the country and/or manufacturer of this 1952-date 7.9 x 57 mm Mauser round? Brass Case, Brass Primer, Red PA, no CMS, GMCS pointed bullet with an ogive somewhat like the older Germany “S” Ball. In some ways it looks Spanish to me, but not sure.
The magnetic bullet is not such common in Spanish 7.9 loadings as I recall. Note that most of us write the last character behind the "T: at the bottom of the headstamp as “e” but it really is much closer to a
cursive-font, lower-case “L” Coming after a plain-Jane upper-case "T"
it is hard to figure what it represents.

My guess is Eastern Europe, but that is just a guess.

Any help appreciated.



Lew and John, I believe that this is a ICI (Kynoch) contract for a Spanish speaking country, but I don’t know which one. The bullet type indicated by means of one or two upper-case letters or one upper-case combined with a lower-case letter following the caliber designation was used or proposed before for export loadings, and in this case it would mean “Trazante ℓuminosa” (Flame tracer). The primer sealant color also agrees with this identification.




Fede - Could be. However, trying to think of a Spanish-speaking country that would have a need for 8 mm Mauser. Except due to the import of anything that would shoot during the Green Chaco War by Paraguay and Bolivia, the 7.9 mm (8 mm) Mauser has not seen a whole lot of use in South America. A small importation of G-43 German rifles came from an unreported country. We had a couple, and in the butt trap of one, I found a letter in Spanish from the “Ospital Militaria” (I am sure “Hospital” with the silent “H” not used at all), Venezuela. It was only partial, and I could get much out of it. I though I had kept it, but make a very fast search and couldn’t find it. The 7.65 mm and 7 mm Mauser, as you know, pretty much reigned supreme in South America.

México made a quantity of 8 mm Mauser ammo at F de M in 1924, but for whom it was made, I have no idea. I suspect it was for export. And, of course, we know from the Argentine Contract that Ecuador WAS using some sort of weapon(s) in 7.9 x 57 mm Mauser in 1954 and 1955, at least.

Wonder if the “E” in “CE” stands for Ecuador. If that were the case, I can’t think of anything that the “C” would stand for.

Just some random thoughts brought to mind by your reply.


John, I think that the general idea that the 7.9x57 S cartridge was not used in South America originates from several of the most well known books dealing with Mauser rifles used around the world. For example, almost without exception, you will read that Ecuador used vz. 24 rifles chambered for the 7.65x54 Mauser; however, this is a mistake as the 1936 contract specified that all 30,000 rifles were of “7.92” caliber. The same mistake occurs with the ZB 30 machine gun, as all 750 units purchased that same year from Brno were also specified as “7.92” caliber.

Regarding the ammunition for these arms, it was also bought from Brno and is packed in 15 round boxes with an orange label that reads: “Z BRNO 15 Cartuchos Mauser 7.92”. Typical headstamp is 19 / Z / 36 / III / and maybe also 19 / Z / 37 / IV /.

Also, is worth mentioning that the Argentine cartridges were packed in two different ways: in clips for rifles in crates marked “7.92-F.” (F. = Fusil) and without clips for machine guns in crates marked “7.92-F.A.” (F.A. = Fusil Ametrallador or maybe Fusil y Ametralladora). Because of the lack of clips, the crates also have a difference in weight of 1.5 kg (34 vs. 35.5 Kg).

There are at least two other countries that in 1937 purchased small quantities of Czechoslovakian vz. 24 in 7.9x57 S, these being El Salvador and Nicaragua. Also, Venezuela purchased ammunition from Kynoch before and after WWII.

For the moment, I don’t know of any other that used the “S” round, although many South American countries seems to have had at one time or another rifles chambered for the M88 cartridge.





Thank you. Good information, as always. I was thinking of Eduador because the date of 1952 is quite “late” and it is in the same decause as the Eduadorian contract from FM Argentina. Still, no documentation, so guess my headstamp will remain an unknwon, as it evidently has been since collectors first saw it.


For what it’s worth, here is an example of the headstamp markings proposed by Kynoch for the Chilean 13.2 mm Hotchkiss contract:

P = Perforante
Tℓℓ = Trazante luminosa (the double “ℓ” seems to be a mistake)
Tℎ = Trazante humosa

And here is a similar example using upper-case letters: … =8&t=13350


John, do you happen to have the round at hand? If so, can you confirm that the first letter at 12 o’clock is a “C” and not a “G”?


Fede - all I can tell you is that it is exactly as my picture of the headstamp shows it. It appears to be a “C.” However, as you might note from the picture, if you tried to close the gap in the letter “C” (differentiating it from “O”) with a normal continuation of the curved line f the letter, it likely would not close, but rather the end of the lower loop would be in front of the upper loop. That is, perhaps, more typical of a “G.” Still, as stamped, it should be “C.” Broken bunters or improperly made bunters are never an impossibility, but I don’t see how it could be proved to be anything other than “C.”


Brazil did have a large number of G43 rifles immediately after WWII, and Itajuba Factory did experiment and Prototype a .30/06 version of it. But the G43/-.30 project collapsed, when Brazil bought the FN-FAL in 7,62 Nato calibre ( early 60s) and eventually built their own at “IMBEL” ( successor to Itajuba).

I don’t know of any other country in SA adopting or Testing the G-43 in any great quantities in the 1940s-50s. Most were overcome by the US Garand ( free aid) and the more modern FN-FAL ( good salesmanship).

Doc AV

Salud a todos los amigos de Sud-America


My recollection is that at the time a group of G43 rifles became available in the U.S. in the early to mid 1960s it was said they had been imported from Guatemala after the Jacobo Arbenz government was deposed. In checking his entry out on the Wikipedia I saw a reference to “surplus Wehrmacht weapons” which arrived in Guatemala from Czechoslovakia during the Arbenz regime, that is, about 1953 or '54. Jack