Romanian 7.92 x 57

I have a Romanian steel cased 7.92 x 57 (Or that’s the closest round to it). Stamped “22 75”. I know the meaning of the headstamp, but is there any particular reason why the case measures 56mm instead of 57mm (I have heard of other people who have these rounds, so it has not been cut down). I suppose this cartridge should be referred to as “7.92 x 56 Romanian” or something similar. I found this case at a range in the USA last year, so I presume someone bought this ammo on the milsurp market.

The best answer I have heard as to why the neck is short on this Romanian ammunition is to help feeding in machine guns. Others have said it is a special sharpshooter cartridge, but reports here are that while it is o.k. ammo, there is nothing “special” about its accuracy. If anyone has real documentation about this cartridge, let us know, please. It is perfectly safe, by the way, to use in normal 8 x 57 m/m rifles, because the shoulder is correct for the 8 x 57m/m cartridge. Neck length, within reason, is not important to safety in a bottle-neck case that headspaces on the shoulder, as long as it is shorter than normal. A neck too long, of course, can be forced into the lead of the barrel and seriously increase pressures due to more difficult bullet-pull.

Thanks John, I knew there was a simple answer of some sort out there. By 1975, What 7.92 mGs would Romania have been using? I thought they would have switched to a Russian round eg. 7.62 x 54R.

  • Yes Falcon, the cartridge should be called 7.92X56. The reason why the Romanian State ammo plant “22” manufactured in 1970s 7.92mm rounds with steel cases 1mm shorter than normal is quite unknown. A slightly shorter steel cartridge case can help the extraction process when it is fired by an automatic weapon with no “fluted chamber” but I’m sure this isn’t the main reason the Romanians made the 7.92X56 ammo. Here in USA it was imported 7.92X56 Romanian ammo that had been manufactured in 1972-73-74-75-76-77-78. The bullet is “LPS” type [Light Ball with Mild Steel Core]. — Durind late 1930s, during WW2 and 1950s the Romanians manufactured 7.92X57 ammo with cartridge cases having the right length of 57mm. During WW2 the Romanian Army used the Czech made “VZ-24” bolt action-rifle, the Czech made [and Romanian made too] “ZB-30” LMG and the Czech made “ZB-53” [also known as “VZ-37”] machine-gun, all these weapons firing the 7.92X57 round. All these weapons were long time OBSOLETE in 1970s when the 7.92X56 ammo was manufactured. I know this very well because in mid-1970 I served in the Romanian Army 16 months in the ice and snow of the Carpathians Mountains in the “Alpine troops”. Liviu 12/27/06

What weapon firing the 7.92 round was still being fielded by Romania in the 1970s? They must have had something in this calibre if they made ammo with dates from every year of that decade.

  • NO weapon chambered for the 7.92X57 round was used anymore by the Romanian Army in 1970s. The reason of the manufacture of the 7.92X56 ammo is unknown to us even now but probably at that time in 1970s the Romanians had an important project in their mind. Those army & ammo projects were STRICT SECRET at that time in Romania when the country was ruled by the cruel communist dictator Nicolae Ceusescu [1918-1989] and his ugly and sinister wife Elena. In 1980s Romania was the 5th country in the world at the export of weapons and ammunition. Liviu 12/27/06

Hopefully it may one day come out as to exactly why this ammunition was made. It seems to me that it was possibly intended for export purposes.

It is fairly well known that this ammo was produced for scoped VZ-24’s that the Romaians were known to still be issueing in this timeframe as their DMR before the PSL was produced and issued.

  • @ me262: The Czech made 7.92mm VZ-24 bolt-action rifles remained in use for the Romanian army not later than 1960. These weapons were obsolete and not in a good condition since most of them had been used by the Romanian army in WW2 between 1941-45. Liviu 05/21/09

I do not think that it should be called 7.92x56 since there are many other calibers which have for what reason ever a shortened case and still are destined for weapons chambered in the “real caliber”. Shortly as long as there is no weapon chambered only for this cartridge solely it should not be called differently. As far as I can say I have nevver seen it practiced differently.

Otherwise we’ll need plenty of new caliber designations for 8mm Korpatschek and all those 7.62x54R the Finns shortened because they had neck cracks from relaoding their blanks.

  • @ EOD: Calling these cartridges, let’s say “Romanian 7.92X56” it would make it easier to distinguish them from the ordinary 7.92X57 rounds with the cartridge case length of 57mm. This is the only reason I can see. => Note: It had to be an experimental project or something important to make those Romanians to manufacture in 1970s 7.92X57 ammo with steel shell cases a little shorter. I’ve seen the years of manufacture 1972-73-74-75-76-77-78, nothing after 1978. Some guy from Europe mentioned a few years ago the year of manufacture 1971. Liviu 05/21/09

Check your bullet diameter; I have yet to see one that measures the full 0.323"; most are 0.321" or 0.322" and out-of-round. This does not help accuracy in a class of rifle known to be variable in bore dimensions.

On this note, if this production of 7.92mm is suspected to not be for the VZ-24’s with IOR scopes that were in use as Designated Marksman Rifles (said to have been used up until the introduction of the PSL), then what are some examples of the ammunition that was used for these known Czech contracted Vz 24 DMR’s? It is my understanding that the PSL was designed and issued to replace this aging stock of existing Scoped Vz 24’s and that they were not pulled from use untill the PSL’s were issued in the late 1970’s
I just have a hard time believing that the Romanians simply stopped utilizing the DMR concept no later than 1960, and had nothing in that role until the PSL was issued in the late 1970’s
I find it highly likely that these Mausers were still in use, if not highly visible and issued/trained with by the Civil Guard and the like. If the cold war were to have gone hot in this timeframe before the PSL they would have been what was used, and im pretty sure this said ammunition is what would have been used in them. Bolt action Mausers do not really wear out, true they were from the 40’s and 50’s, but a propperly cared for Vz. 24 from the 30’s or 40’s is still fully usable in its role today, and will be for some time.
There is also simply too much of this ‘late’ Romanian ‘7.92x57’ for it to have been some type of experimental use, obscure enough for nothing to be known of. There is a whole lot of this stuff.

As stated my belief is simply that is was made for the Vz 24’s which were shortly thereafter replaced and hence it was never used. The 1mm if that case length being shorter does not interfere with the function at all, and while i do not have a theory about it, i simply chalk it up to a result of some production or tooling technique. If it was done intentionally it would achieve very little to nothing.

me262, when you say there is a lot around you may like to know that Romania also destroyed a couple of million rounds of them. So for one reason or another they must have had huge stocks of these cartridges.

Did Romania probably hold old mauser rifles (and variations) in stock for in case of a war to issue them to the “civil guard”?

  • @ me262: Have you served in the Romanian army??? Do you speak Romanian??? Have you visited Romania??? I’m asking these questions because you posted things which are completely wrong. —> After 1945 the Russians forced the countries which were under their control [Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc.] to give up to the existing calibers and weapons and to adopt the Soviet calibers. This process did not happen over the night, it took many years. Romania after 1945 had to adopt officially for military use these Soviet cartridges: 7.62X39, 7.62X54R, 12.7X108, 14.5X114 and larger rounds. The Romanians were forced to manufacture in 1950s the Russian 7.62mm Mosin-Nagant Mod.44 bolt-action rifle which was already obsolete in order to replace the existing old Czech made 7.92mm VZ-24 bolt-action rifles. By very early 1960s, the old 7.92mm VZ-24 rifles were taken out of service from the Romanian army. => I served in the Romanan army between 1974-76 and NO weapon firing the 7.92X57 round existed anymore for military use. The 7.62mm so called “PSL” [“Pusca Semi-automata cu Luneta” - in Romanian language] was already issued for military use in 1974. At that time in 1970s it was too late for an obsolete 7.92mm bolt action rifle like the VZ-24 to be used for military service even in a country like Romania. When you serve in the military, you know what type of weapons are in use at that time and I have to repeat again that NO 7.92mm caliber weapon was in the Romanian military service in mid-1970. => The Romanian made 7.92X56 ammo manufactured in 1970s had to be something experimental or for export. The 7.92X56 round had to be for a semi-automatic rifle or a machine-gun [both experimental] but if this was correct, none of these projects ever materialized in Romania. It is not unusual for an experimental cartridge to be manufactured more than 5-6 years, a good example is the experimental 0.6-inch [15.2X114] round manufactured in USA. If the Romanian made 7.92X56 ammo was manufactured for export, probably the destination could be the former Yugoslavia which was still using the 7.92mm calibre for the Mod.53 / “Sarac” machine-gun. => During the late summer of 1968 in Romania was formed the so called “Patriotic Guards” [“Garzile Patriotice” - in Romanian language] a kind of civilian national guard and territorial defense as a direct response to the Soviet military invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. It was a complete waste of time and money since the members of the “Patriotic Guards” were bored and tired workers who only did enjoy a day off [once or twice a year] to go to the range or to drill for a few hours. Yes, there were 7.92mm Czech made VZ-24 rifles issued to the “Patriotic Guards” in 1970s but these old weapons had no scopes, the barrels were full of rust inside, real pieces of junk after too many yers of use, abuse and no maintenance, someties even unsafe to be fired. By 1980 the “Patriotic Guards” were issued only with Romanian made 7.62mm Kalashnikovs. The only 7.92mm VZ-24 rifles you could see in Romania during late 1970s and 1980s were in the military museums and a sniper 7.92mm VZ-24 bolt-action rifle with turned down bolt handle is a scarce item. Liviu 05/24/09
  • On page 9 [see IAA Journal issue #433, Sep/Oct 2003] there is printed my drawing showing the markings stamped on the wooden crates and the green painted tins which contain Romanian made 7.92X56 cartridges manufactured in 1970s. The meaning of most of those markings is also shown in my drawing which is part of my article named “Romanian Headstamps Since the Beginning of World War Two”. => Please note the mark “MD71” which I assume is just the ammo index meaning “Model 1971”. This may show that the Romanian made 7.92X56 cartridge was of a new design having a shorter cartridge case made of green lacquered steel. The fact that the cartridge case is approx. 1mm [0.039-inch] shorter than normal, it is NOT a manufacture accident or a gross miscalculation or negligence like some people may think. All this makes me to believe that the Romanian made 7.92X56 cartridge was an experimental round for some “hush-hush” project which unfortunately NEVER materialized. It did happen in many other countries, not only in Romania. Liviu 05/24/09 P.S. This is the second part of my reply which is posted at the end of page 1 of this topic.

Experimental cartridges by the millions for a “hush-hush” project?

  • @ EOD: Everything was possible. How many .60" [15.2X114] experimental rounds do you think were manufactured during 1940s and early 1950s for projects that never materialized??? No military project developed in a communist country was advertised, it was kept secret and if it did fail the responsible people could end facing a firing squad at dawn. Liviu 05/24/09

  • @ Fede: Very nice pictures, thank you!!! On top of the box is the number “2” inside of a triangle showing the “cargo classification”; it also should be stamped the crate “weight” in Kilograms [Kg] and let’s remember that 1 Kg = 2.205 lbs. => The markings are: “7,92” [caliber in “mm”]; “LPS” [Bullet type -> “Light ball with mild steel core”]; “GS” [Cartridge case material -> GS - “Steel cartridge case”]; “Md71” [ammo index -> “Mod.1971”]; “S28-78-22” [Lot number / “S28”, year of manufacture / “78” for 1978 and ammo plant #22 for “Sadu” factory from Bumbesti-Jiu, Gorj county, Romania]; “VT 9/78 U” is the “propellant data” [type of propellant “VT”, propellant lot number “9”, year of propellant manufacture “78” for “1978” and propellant factory code “U”]; “340 buc” [number of rounds in the green metal box]; “PE LAME” [the rounds are on stripper clips]. Those red markings stamped on the wooden crate [I cannot read them] are probably Romanian storage and inventory markings. Liviu 05/24/09