TELL 9.3x57m/m. E.?

Hello IAA people. Glad to have found you.

I’m an engineer/history enthusiast/firearms collector. I’ve gone down a rabbit hole on this one… Maybe you can help.

I have a Sauer & Sohn single shot Tell rifle in my collection and I have been interested in learning more about the obsolete cartridge it is chambered for. The rifle was produced sometime around 1920 (I’m guessing) based on it having a “newer” slide-style safety design. The barrel only has a crown/B proof mark and no nitro proof mark. The rifling is cut in a Henry style which would lead me to believe that this cartridge would have been loaded with a lead bullet. The bore slugs out around 0.364" but is difficult to be sure because the 7 sided rifling is challenging to measure exactly with calipers.

The top of the barrel is marked “TELL 9,3x57m/m. E.” From a chamber cast this round appears to be similar to the 9.3x57 rimmed Triebel drawing that I found in Ken Howell’s Custom Cartridges book. One glaring difference is that the shoulder on my chamber cast is 60-70 thousandths further back than indicated on the 9.3x57mm Rimmed drawing.

I’m very interested in learning more about this cartridge, its performance and history. Any insight or information would be appreciated.

This is most likely to refer to the 9.3x57R E Express and here are my latest notes on that cartridge:

*******************9.3x57R E Express (EXP10)
This caliber is effectively the German equivalent of the English 360 2-1/4in Express and they are considered interchangeable. This became popular in continental Europe and lead to the production of a whole family of 9.3mm Express cartridges. It is difficult to distinguish from the 9.3x57R D (EXP4) without a specific hs or measuring the rim thickness (which should be 1.2mm or greater).

Shortly after the 9.3x45R, still c1878, Lorenz introduced case #77 which was listed as a 9.35x57R being the German equivalent of the 360 2¼in Express generally referred to in continental Europe as the “9.3x57 E Express” where E refers to “English” although in early documents this was sometimes interpreted as “Eley”. DWM examples of this case exist and have the typical “E” type rim thickness of c1.2mm. They also have a c12.5mm rim diameter (as shown in both DWM catalogs and the DWM casebook). This is considerably larger than the English 12.0-12.3mm diameter typical for the “E” case although it is unlikely to be critical for chambering purposes. Utendoerffer also produced this case length probably around the same time. Utendoerffer showed this as the only 9.3mm E Express in their c1884 catalog.

This was produced by most German, Austrian and Czech sporting ammunition manufacturers. It was listed in RWS catalogs till 1936 and HP catalogs until WW2. Geco listed a 9.3x57R Express cartridge in their 1933 catalog (but not their 1939 catalog) which is likely to be RWS production but it is unknown whether this was the “E” or “D” type but the “E” is most likely as it was produced later in Germany.

The 9.3x57R produced by the G.Roth company is confirmed as the “E” type although rims can vary from 1.0-1.2mm. This was subsequently produced by the Czech JR-Z-M-PS series of companies. PS continued to produce this caliber after WW2, till the end of sporting production by PS in 1954. SBP took over the production of most PS cartridges after 1954 and the 9.3x57R was no exception sales must have been slow and this was not listed in a 1958 SBP catalog.

Examples of ex-9.3x72R Normal cases (EXP17) with “.RWS. 9,3x72R” hs having been reshaped to this case type are known to exist.

**Hülsen Horneber recently began the production of the 9.3x57R which is more likely to be the “E” type but this is unconfirmed.


This has a tapered case which means it has a neck but no shoulder.
There are four “E” Express cases as shown below:

The cartridge I’m looking for has a shoulder. This is not the 9.3x57R E Express that you reference.

The cast looks like a 9.3x57rimmed (mauser-style) but the shoulder is further back as I mentioned above.

The 9.3x57R Mauser is even scarcer than the 9.3x57R E. It is even possible that it was converted to this as I have never seen the Mauser case type referred to as the “9,3x57m/m. E”

Please shown an image of the cast with dimensions so we can be sure which it is.
Please show the dimensions in mm (as this is an ‘International’ website).

Thanks

I appreciate your assistance and expertise on this subject.


Craig, that is very similar to the 9.3x57R Mauser M88 (see below) which you first mentioned. It uses c1.0mm larger case diameter than the 9.3mm Express cartridges. Why the “E” title was used could only be explained as a mistake or the the chamber was modified to this M88 case type which I would think is possible ?? But why - because it would be even harder to find ammunition for the rimmed 9.3x57 Mauser !?!

Here is information on that caliber

********************* 9.3x57R Mauser M88 (M67)
This virtually unknown cartridge is a rimmed version of the 9.3x57 Mauser (M40). Collectors may possibly have examples of these but have mistaken them for the 9x57R Mauser (M37).

A DWM factory drawing exists that shows that DWM case #491C is a 9.3x57R based on the M88 Mauser case, effectively a rimmed version of the 9.3x57 Mauser (#491 M40). The date on this drawing is not clear but is believed to be 6 June 1906. An actual case is shown in the DWM 1908 supplement to the 1904 catalog - see images. A DWM example is known to exist in the Heinz Held collection and it does have the expected “DWM K 491C K” hs, similar to others of the series but it is believed that no full DWM commercial production has occurred for this cartridge. Will Reuter believes that “fakes” have been produced with the “DWM K 491C. K” hs which is what you would expect such DWM production to have - see headstamp images. Such a genuine cartridge would be very rare and worth hundreds of dollars.

The only RWS catalogs that this was listed in were from 1924-1932 (“as stocks last”) catalogs. An RWS factory drawing is known dated 12.11.1929 (possibly February 12, 1924.) that shows this case type with an “RWS 9,3x57R” hs but only “H.UTENDOERFFER NÜRNBERG” hs examples exist. G.C.Dornheim (GECADO) also listed a “9.3x57R” which is most likely this case type (rather than the Express) but these were likely RWS production. RWS production may well have been quite a lot later than DWM despite the “Utendoerffer” hs. It was also shown in the c1926 Steigleder catalog (page 61) as “9,3x57 ohne und mit rand” similar to the RWS listings which probably indicates that this was RWS production.

There are slight differences between the RWS and DWM drawings, mainly at the shoulder (DWM = 10.65mm RWS = 10.95mm) but this wasn’t unusual back around the beginning of the 20th century. Also the rim thickness seems to vary from c1.2mm for the DWM version to c1.4mm for the RWS type. However, it does appear they were intended to be the same cartridge - a rimmed version of the 9.3x57 (M40).

Note that the DWM 491C hs appears to be for a rimless case (ie it is smaller and closer to the centre) but is actually on a rimmed case. Which leads us to the following comment:

In late June 2008 at Sörmland, Sweden, two guys (Anders Lindell Sörmland and ? Sparreholm ?) thought that they had ‘invented’ this ‘new’ casetype by combining the 9,3x57 and 8x57JRS but they were over 100 years too late. They called it the 9,3x57R.SE Sparreholm Express (see Headstamp images and www//93x57r.se/index.html).

Reputable source “Fede” (IAAForum) states: “For what is worth, this caliber was listed for years by Quality Cartridge although I don’t know if any cases were actually produced.” This has yet to be confirmed by me.

That comes pretty close. The only major difference I notice is that the shoulder on the drawing is ~1mm further forward when compared to the chamber cast.

For the record I’ve attached an image of the rifle and the caliber marking on the top of the barrel.