Swiss 6.45mm Gewehr Leuchtspurpatrone 80

Shown here is a charger of ten Swiss 6.45mm Gewehr Leuchtspurpatrone 80. What is/was the rifle which these cartridges were made for. They exist, in quantity in ball, tracer, blank and drill. They can be seen packed in 20-round white cartons and were selling for 20 Swiss Franks per carton a couple of years ago.

The Swiss had continued to use the excellent 7.5x55mm GP11 cartridge in both rifles and MGs and still use this cartridge in MGs. Then along came the 6.45mm followed quickly by the 5.6mm Gw Pat 82 (in essence 5.56x45mm). I can understand the Swiss producing both 7.62mm and 5.56mm cartridges and weapons from a commercial point of view, these calibres can be exported. However I don’t see any advantage in them adopting either of these cartridges when the 7.62mm offers no ballistic advantage over the 7.5mm and the 5.56mm is overdue for a change.


Swiss experimental from 1979-80 "Gewehrpatrone 80"

Here are a couple of pictures from the museum and reference collection at Thun. There are also a couple of the 6.45 weapons (bullpup and LMG?, if I remember correctly) at the museum at the military base at Walenstadt. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of these.


On the left side of this photo shows boxes of 5.6mm Eiger ammunition.


Ho hum,

I cast mine eye upon that green charger clip with some covetousness.

Wherefore are’t thou?


It’s a pity they didn’t adopt the 6.45x48 – I can’t help but wonder how it might’ve influenced military cartridge development in other countries.


You can be sure that the Swiss approach would be superior to the “How many billions have we spent on trials and development so far? OK, let’s just knock half an inch of the case length of the original cartridge and go with that one!”

The 6.45mm looks similar to some of the attempts at a new cartridge by other countries.


The 6.45 cartridge is a very interesting failure, the Swiss deciding to go with the 5.56x45 NATO (GP90) instead. In my opinion, they selected too light a bullet to get a good long-range performance (97 grains at 2,950 fps).

ball GP80

blank GP80

tracer GP80

GP80 ball cartridges with the charger(no markings on it Peter!!!)

difference between the 6,45 GP80 and 5,56 GP90


green clip is from the 5,6mm GP 82 blank cartridge

green Swiss blank cartridges 5,56x45


One thing which slightly mystifies me about the GP80 is that the case diameter is often given as 10.8mm (for instance, in Huon’s standard reference work on rifle/MG ammo) yet my example measures 11.8mm. Can anyone explain?

To clarify my request, can anyone with examples of this round please tell me the case diameter?

from left to right

GP76 GP80 GP80 GP82 GP90
5,6mm 6,35mm 6,45mm 5,6mm 5,6mm

Tony case diameter GP80 6,35mm =11,8mm
GP80 6,45mm =11,8mm

Tony case diameter GP80 6,35mm =11,8mm
GP80 6,45mm =11,8mm
Thanks! I was beginning to wonder if I had the right one.

So this case is about the same size as a 7.62x51 necked-down and slightly shortened. Should be fairly similar in propellant capacity to a .260 Rem or a 6.5x47 Lapua?

Gyrojet, are the 6.35mm and the 6.45mm actually two different cartridges or is it just a case of a change in designation? Could you also post the headstamps of the five rounds in your picture please?


GP 76 5,6mm No headstamp
GP 80 6,35mm No headstamp
GP 80 6,45mm T T 5 81
GP 82 5,6mm T T 6 79
GP 90 5,56mm T 90

Jim the difference are the 6,35mm and 6,45mm bullet ,the case’s are the same.[Uploading:

Thanks Gyro, was the 6.35mm a prototype of the 6.45mm?
I wonder what would happen if a 6.45mm GP80 was fired through a 6.35mm barrel…

from left to right

7,62x51 - GP80 6,35mm - GP80 6,45mm

Are the swiss still using beeswax as a waterproofing for case-bullet joints?

I have not seen that wax on modern Swiss cartridges…

This round does, but it was the only caliber within the entire display case to have the wax seal.