Sellier & Bellot box 7.92mm


#1

Hello,

here is a Sellier & Bellot box only fitted with a round green label closing the cardboard flap over the box. The rounds are standard Vz. 23 balls dated 1938.

What is it ? pre-WW2 commercial export or post-WW2 surplus ?

Thanks in advance for any comment

JFL


#2

Pre-War Export Contract ammunition. Could be for Romania, Baltic States, or other “7,92” user. The Headstamp is typical of S&B ammo for export, as well as for Czech Army use, but the packet is an Export Packet. China is also a Possible export customer.

Similar Dated ammo ( 38, 39) headstamps have been found in ammo and spent cartridge cases retrieved from 1941 Russian Front battle sites known for Waffen SS presence (present-day Ukraine), indicating that stocks of this ammo was either seized in the Baltic States, or acquired by the SS after Mid-1939 Occupation of the remains of the Czech state.

Very nice Packet.What is the source (if known) of it?

Regards,
Doc AV


#3

Quite a lot of that hs were also found in Denmark after the war, but in original czech brown paper packets with light green paper seals and violet printing.
154 grain Bullet iirc, testshot some of it some years ago, fairly fast, 850-870 m/s.
-Soren


eta: hs picture.


#4

As we are on the subject, does anybody know when exactly S&B dropped the Austro-Hungarian eagle?


#5

[quote=“mausernut”]Quite a lot of that hs were also found in Denmark after the war, but in original czech brown paper packets with light green paper seals and violet printing.
154 grain Bullet iirc, testshot some of it some years ago, fairly fast, 850-870 m/s.
-Soren


eta: hs picture.[/quote]
Mausernut, The packets shown appear to be for the VZ34 (198 grain) not the 154 grain VZ23 (154 grain) A good amount of the VZ34 was imported about ten years ago here in the USA, good ammo. JH


#6

Thank you DocAV for your first comments.

The box posted by Mausernut has definitively a different shape from the one with the green round label. This box is very fragile and of most simple constitution very different from pre-war military Czechs cardboard boxes.

Can anyone confirm it is pre-war commercial contract ? however it is strange that there is no lot information provided.

Cheers,

JFL


#7

The Sellier & Bellot "Packet (More like a “wrapper”, shown, is similar to the “Z” factory Packets/Wrappers of the 1930s…“Z” was the HS in 1936 to the 1940s, of the Former Bratislava-situated Jiri Roth Factory of AH times, which was taken over by ZB,( Later the entire Plant moved to Povaschke Bystrica in Slovenia) for making mostly export ammunition in various calibres (7mm, 7,65mm, 7,9mm and 8mm (8x50R). IN the mid-1930s, before complete absorption by ZB, the Jiri Roth factory carried the headstamp “Circled M” ( or “part-circled M”) in the 1932/35 period.

The similarity of the packets and Label seals is striking. Whilst the “Z” Factory
had the typical “ZB Logo” ( 4-groove Rifling picture) with “Z” in the centre, and the cartridge description around the perifiery (similar to the S&B “Mauser 7,92” ( in the “Z” and Circle M factory case, it was “8mm Manlichera” (in Bulgarian Cyrillic, for a 1935 order of 8x50R ammo), the layout and colour of the Label (Pale apple green) was identical ( Roundel packet/wrapper seal, same type of paper, etc.
One could say they were produced by the same Paper /printing concern.

The other (Danish sourced) “Military” Czech 7,92mm packets, are from ammunition produced for the Czech Army, before the Sudeten and 1939 outright annexation of the Czecho-Slovak state by the IIIrd Reich, and so would have found its way to Denmark by most probably confiscation by the SS for its own use.,… In 1939, the “Rump” of “Bohmen-Mahren” ( Bohemia and Moravia) was given virtually as a “Feudal fief” to the SS, with the installation of Heydrick as “Gauleiter” (overlord) based in Hradcany Castle in Prague.

The SS had a free hand to exploit Czech military assets in 1939 and 40, whilst Czech factories were converted over to German-specification ordnance Production for the Wehrmacht (But any rifles, ammunition etc, which had been “Czech Issue” went straight into SS inventory.)

A Lot of Czech-made , pre-1939 ammo ( and some “commercial” post-1939) went to areas of the Eastern front, where the SS was active, and also to other “Occupied Countries” where the SS also maintained large Units ( whether of a “Police” Nature, or as an active Waffen-SS nature.
Most of this transfer of Czech ( and other “captured” Ammo (FN, Polish, etc) occurred prior to the Invasion of the USSR in 1941. It continued until Speer’s re-organisation of the Supply chains to both the Wehrmacht and SS occurred in 1942-43, where all services received “German Military” ammo without any “separate supply.”

Of course, Germany continued (for Political/Strategic reasons) to supply countries such as Sweden, with “Commerical” ammo such as S&B-made “M39” 7,9 ammo for the recently-transferred M39 Kar98ks ( in exchange for Swedish iron ore and SKF Ball bearings, amongst other goods). The quantites involved, were, small, in the greater scheme of things in WW II ammo production, but help explain these “Commercial” HS on 7,9 ammo produced in the former Czech state.

The whole area of German use of Other countries’ 7.9 ammo stocks and production in the 1939-1942 period is interesting, and under-researched.

regards,
Doc AV


#8

[quote]Mausernut, The packets shown appear to be for the VZ34 (198 grain) not the 154 grain VZ23 (154 grain) A good amount of the VZ34 was imported about ten years ago here in the USA, good ammo. JH[/quote]I believe You are right Jim… Completely overlooked the text on the boxes. In fact I only have those two (still sealed) boxes and the other cartridges came loose in a cigarbox some years ago together with a smorgasbord of german 7.9. I cleaned up 10 for the test and dissembled one rusted specimen and this might have been a Vz24 since it is obviously the shorter 154 grain bullet:


Or am I mixing up the two types?
Soren


#9

@ DocAv. Also think it was an export box.

[quote=“DocAV”]The SS had a free hand to exploit Czech military assets in 1939 and 40, whilst Czech factories were converted over to German-specification ordnance Production for the Wehrmacht (But any rifles, ammunition etc, which had been “Czech Issue” went straight into SS inventory.)

A Lot of Czech-made , pre-1939 ammo ( and some “commercial” post-1939) went to areas of the Eastern front, where the SS was active, and also to other “Occupied Countries” where the SS also maintained large Units ( whether of a “Police” Nature, or as an active Waffen-SS nature.
Most of this transfer of Czech ( and other “captured” Ammo (FN, Polish, etc) occurred prior to the Invasion of the USSR in 1941. It continued until Speer’s re-organisation of the Supply chains to both the Wehrmacht and SS occurred in 1942-43, where all services received “German Military” ammo without any “separate supply.”[/quote]

This ammo was inspected or repacked before it was shipped. See label.

These are “German” style head stamps.

Rgds
Dutch


#10

[quote=“mausernut”][quote]Mausernut, The packets shown appear to be for the VZ34 (198 grain) not the 154 grain VZ23 (154 grain) A good amount of the VZ34 was imported about ten years ago here in the USA, good ammo. JH[/quote]I believe You are right Jim… Completely overlooked the text on the boxes. In fact I only have those two (still sealed) boxes and the other cartridges came loose in a cigarbox some years ago together with a smorgasbord of german 7.9. I cleaned up 10 for the test and dissembled one rusted specimen and this might have been a Vz24 since it is obviously the shorter 154 grain bullet:


Or am I mixing up the two types?
Soren[/quote] The shown cartridge is certainly a VZ23 154 grain “S” ball. I believe “VZ24” is for the Mauser rifle. With good storage, the Prewar CZ ammo has always worked well. At least up till now. JH


#11

Does not the vz24 actually refer to the propellant? Jack


#12

Of course you are right Jack. Now I am the one who should be looking at the labels, not the text! My bad. JH


#13

Hello,

in the thread on Czechs export packings, here is a wrapper for 10 rounds of 8x50R Mannlicher dated 1935 for export to Bulgaria. Unfortunately this wrapper was found empty. I think these are available as surplus in the US.

Any idea if the rounds were on strippers ?

Cheers,

JFL


#14

Dear JFL, the 8x50R packets (Circle M for Bulgaria, 1935) are loose 10 cartridges in packet (No clips).
The Label is the 1936 “Z” label, so the contract may have been 1935, and the cases made then, but the ammo was (packed) and delivered 1936, when ZB had taken over the Plant ( Circle M headstamp changed to “Z” in 1936)

I have a steel ammo tin full of those Packets ( with ammo) which came with a 8mm BSA Lee-Enfield “Indian” Express rifle i acquired about 20 years ago (Rifle came from India, ammo ? (probably through USA).
Cartridges are “Roth patent” primers ( .199"/5.0mm) with central anvil flashhole.
brass is excellent, even after 77 years, and reloads well ( RWS #5005 primers).

Regards,
Doc AV


#15

Thanks Doc AV for these information.

JFL


#16

DocAV, just a minor correction, the “Z” logo was used since July 1st, 1935.


#17

Thanks, Fede,
That explains the use of “Z” Labels on 1935 Circle M dated ammo, in a clearer manner.

Regards,
Doc AV


#18

Fede, can you elaborate on where you got that date of July 1st, 1935 for the use of the “Z” hs.

I always thought that for sporting ammunition the dates for the Zbrojovka Brno factories headstamps were:

JR (monogram) 1923-1928 (note this factory always used six-pointed stars in the hs even when it was previously under G.Roth control and used the same GR monogram hs)
M (in incomplete circle) 1928-1934
Z 1934-1939

Also the Z (in full circle) primers are commonly found on M (in incomplete circle) hs sporting loads to such an extent that I doubt whether they are all reloads and therefore the Z symbol should have been in use before 1934 ?


#19

Brad and DocAv, sorry, it was just a typo, I meant to say July 1st, 1934.


#20

WEll then, there must have been some "circle-M and Z "over-run, as the “8mm mannlichera” cartridges, although with a “Z” packet seal, had a Lion-1935-circle-m headstamp (the Lion being “Bulgaria”) despite the factory ownership having changed as stated.

AS I said earlier, I have not seen any “Z” marked export cartridges dated earlier than 1936, nor any “circle M” dated After 1935. Which led to my natural assumptuion, the the change-over of ownership happened sometime between 35 and 36.

Nothing much turns on the different dates, except maybe the expectation of a headstamp existng when it actually did not…

regards,
Doc AV