REM-UMC 30 Cal & 30 MAUS headstamps

Remington appears to have used at least two different headstamps on their .30 Mauser pistol cartridges, these being REM-UMC 30 MAUS and REM-UMC 30 CAL. I’m aware that UMC produced the .30 Borchardt cartridge with the UMC 30 CAL headstamp, but question whether production of the .30 Borchardt extended past the merger of the two companies. Can anyone comment on whether or not the two REM-UMC headstamps are indeed the same cartridge, and if so, when each headstamp was used? I have quite a few load variations of the 30 CAL headstamp in my collection, but only one of the 30 MAUS.

I have a copy of the Remington 1923 catalog (#107) that lists the .30 Mauser as ‘adapted to Mauser and Borchardt automatic pistols’ and shows the REM-UMC 30 CAL headstamp and a ‘U’ marked primer. It appears that Remington last listed the .30 Mauser pistol cartridge in its 1967 catalog, but the catalogs at that time showed no headstamps.

Guy–All my “REM-UMC” rounds have “30 CAL”. All my “R-P” (beginning in 1961) have “30 MAUS”. The last Remington listing of the .30 Mauser was 1968, a Dealer Price List dated 2 Jan 1968.

I knew I could count on you, especially when the topic dealt with REM-UMC and catalog listings.

So, I guess that explains why my collection is so light on the REM-UMC .30 MAUS headstamps. So, it would appear these were made shortly before the 1961 change to the R-P format. I wonder if liability concerns were the impetus for the change from the generic ‘fits anything’ 30 CAL to the 30 MAUS.

Guy–At least through 1917 the the .30 Mauser and .30 Borchardt were listed as separate loads. The first scan is from the Remington-UMC 1913-14 Catalog. Note the headstamp is still shown as “U.M.C.” but the inscription on the side of the drawing is "Remington-UMC. The second scan is from the Rem-UMC 1917 Pricelist. (click to enlarge for reading). The previous page also listed a 85 gr. Metal Cased loading for the .30 Borchardt.

Guy–I only said that all my REM-UMC headstamped rounds IN MY COLLECTION had .30 CAL. It does not necessarly follow that there are no REM_UMC .30 MAUS headstamped rounds. Especially when you consider all my REM-UMC heastamped rounds have tinned bullets which would date them to before about 1935.

I’d be willing to bet REM-UMC never produced the .30 Borchardt with a REM-UMC headstamp, but continued to sell the UMC produced stocks until they were exhausted, at which time the separate 30 Borchardt catalog listing was dropped.

It does seem odd that they would have produced the Borchardt and the Mauser with the same headstamp. As I understand, the Borchardt used a lighter powder charge. How do you suppose they kept the cartridges from getting mixed up prior to boxing them?

Guy–You may be right about Rem-UMC never making a Borschardt with Rem-UMC headststamp. I have never seen a box of Rem-UMC marked for Borschardt, but then I don’t collect boxes. As for using the same headstamp for both, UMC certainly did so why not REM-UMC? I guess to keep them seperate in the plant, maybe well labeled bins or producing them and boxing them on different days. Concerning the powder load I can only point to the weight for a case of each. The Borschardt is listed as 54 lbs. and the Mauser at 53 lbs. wither this reflects the different powder charges or not I am not sure.

I did some research on these cartridges (UMC and REM-UMC 7.65mm Brochardt) some time ago, and can shed some light on this. Firstly, up front, REM-UMC absolutely did produce cartridges specifically boxed for the 7.65mm Borchardt. I have pictures of three individual boxes, all of the same label, in my file, including one I purchased a cartridge out of for my collection. Unfortunately, the box was not for sale. I have the UMC box for 7.65mm Borchardt in my collection.

My research found a couple of interesting things. While no powder charge, velocity etc. are discussed, UMC’s original records for the the 30 Mauser and the 30 Borchardt have absolutely identical entries for every date that an entry was made, starting in 1899 and ending in 1911. The last entry for both calibers was made May 9th, 1911, and indicated that they changed from Walsrode Grey powder (I think that was a shotgun powder, judging from earlier entries), to Bullseye. Entries of August 1899 indicated that they were changing the name of both the 30 Mauser and the 30 Borchardt to “30 Cal.”

Regarding headstamps, it is an absolute myth that the Borchardt rounds from UMC were without headstamp and with a “U” marked primer cup and that the .30 Mauser rounds had the “30 Cal” headstamp with “U” primer. I have a box with specimen for 30 Mauser with the unheadstamped case, and my UMC 30 Borchardt box was filled with the headstamp “UMC 30 Cal.” I also have an early 30 Mauser box with rounds headstamped “UMC 30 Cal,” and it is possible that there were UMC 30 Borchardt rounds with no headstamp, although I don’t know how one would tell.

Regarding the change to the “30 MAUS” headstamp, it was late, not long before the change to the R-P headstamp, which also says “30 MAUS.” It is my observation, possibly wrong but only based on what I have seen, that the “R-P 30 MAUS” headstamp is not often found, so I assume the caliber was discontinued not too long after that headstamp came into being.

It is my opinion that in the case of the unheadstamp early UMC rounds, the headtamped UMC rounds and the REM-UMC rounds, it is almost impossible to tell the difference without a box label.

As long as I have the information, I might add that evidently Kynoch differentiated between the two in early headstamps by headstamping the Borchardt rounds simply with “K” at the 12 O’Clock position and “B” (standing for Birmingham, not Borchardt) at the 6 O’Clock position, whilst the 30 Mauser rounds had the same arrangement for those two letters, but added a Star at both the 9 O’Clock and 3 O’Clock positions on the headstamp. I have not been able to verify this from box labels, but a well known British collector/dealer has indicated this and we have no reason to disbelieve it. The ratio between rounds found with the two headstamps would tend to substantiate it, with the lack of stars being the scarcer.

DWM differentiated between the two rounds when using the early " * D.M. * K." headstamp by eliminating the stab bullet crimps on the Borchardt while retaining them on the Mauser round, and by loading the Borchardt rounds with a copper primer cup rather than the more common brass cups used by them on other calibers, including .30 Mauser. I do not know how they differentiated between the two when they started headstamping rounds with “DWM” and the case number. Early boxes specifically for the Borchardt round show the number 403a on the label, but I have a sealed box of .30 Mauser rounds (so designated on the label) also marked 304a. I have never opened it, and don’t know what the headstamp is, but I don’t know of anyone who has ever seen a headstamp using the DWM marking that had case number 403a on it (403 is the normal number for 7.63mm/.30 Msuser), nor any other headstamp peculiar to the .30 Borchardt.

Another myth is that DWM rounds with greased bullets are always Borchardt. We have seen, and have in our collection, greased-bullet rounds taken from 7.63mm Mauser DWM boxes, and also with the features of the 7.65 Borchardt round. The greased bullet alone will not differentiate the two calibers as produced by DWM of Germany.

Winchester made ammunition offered for use in the Borchardt pistol, but I have not seen a box label for it. Dr. G. L. Sturgess, a reknowned expert on early automatic pistols and their ammunition, in an article “Borchardts’sche Selbstlade Pistole, Part II,” that appeared in the “Gun Report” magazine, March 2001, pages 42 thru 49, says "Indeed as late as the 1930s, after the date (1931) of the Olin Industries take over, Winchester was selling 7.63 Mauser in cartons marked “for Mauser and Borchardt pistols.” In my own 45 years of collecting auto pistol ammunition, I have never seen any Winchester 7.63/7.65x25mm cartridge headstamped specifically for the Borchardt, nor any unheadstamped round of this case type identifiable as being of Winchester manufacture. Dan Shuey, in his excellent work on W.R.A.Co.-headstamped cartridges doesn’t even deal with the 7.65mm Borchardt round as a separate entity, but rather subtitles the page on 7.63 Mauser with “7.65 Borchardt casing for Mauser Model 1896 Automatic Pistol.”

Thanks for your usual thorough coverage of the subject. What was the headstamp on the Borchardt cartridge you got from the REM-UMC box. I don’t believe there is a question regarding whether REM-UMC produced boxes of .30 Borchardt cartridges; the question was whether these Borchardt boxes ever contained anything other than UMC 30 CAL headstamped cartridges.

While not in the best condition, I also have the UMC Borchardt box with the headstamped cartridges:

Guy - I didn’t make that clear did I. I guess I have a mental block for it. The headstamp was REM-UMC 30 CAL, it was a CN FMJ Bullet with copper “U” primer.

I say I might have had a mental block for it, because it is the dumbest thing I ever did in cartridge collecting. During my research, I really sorted out most of the story of the Borchardt round, and was moving cartridges I thought were Borchardt that were not into the Mauser category in my collection, and vice-versa. Yes, you probably guessed it. I had my Borchardt round from the box in between my thumb and forefinger and several Mauser rounds of the same headstamp for comparison in the palm of the same hand taking them to my desk to weigh them on my electronic scale and I dropped the whole lot on the floor. I could not discern from the weights enough difference to be comfortable with which was which, since I had both a Mauser from a box and the Borchardt round with indentical characteristics. For a while, I had both rounds side by side in my collection in my .30 Mauser stuff and decided that was silly, and took one out, arbitrary as to the specimen, and threw it into my .30 Mauser dupes. Some would say that was silly, but if there is no way to tell the two apart, I could see no possible reason for keeping both in my collection any more. Someday, Maybe I will find another verified one.

Luckily, I do have a xerox of the box on which I drew the headstamp and noted the bullet jacket material and the primer cup material. Also, before that, I had reported in the Australian Cartridge Collectors Association Journal, Number 84, 4th Quarter 2000, on a REM-UMC full box I had seen at a Chicago cartridge show which contained the same ammo as the one I mixed up in my own collection later.

I guess it wasn’t a world-shaking ttragedy, since I still have the information, which is the important factor, after all. The hardware is pretty, but the information and knowledge is everything.

Since the box for the UMC 30 Borchardt with soft-nose bullet has been shown, I thought I might as well show the box for the FMJ-bullet version.

John Moss