The crate of German 7.92 x 57mm


I picked up a crate of 7.92 x 57 cartridges today that I mentioned in an earlier discussion, and as is often the case, things aren’t ever quite what they are described by the seller to be. This was described as a case of 15 boxes of 15 each (missing 2 boxes) of German-made 7.92 x 57mm cartridges, when in fact it is a crate of 25 boxes of 15 each, (missing 4) of British-made 7.92 x 57mm cartridges. The box labels are quite British, as is the headstamp. (K5 45 IIZ)

I think these are for the Besa MG but could easily be wrong. I am including pictures of the crate markings. Can anyone point out something in the markings that would indicate the weapon these are intended for? Perhaps the ‘B’ after the production date? What does the CTN indicate?

Both the inner metal liner and the wood outer box are present, and both are marked:


Guy–Not positive but I think the “CTN” just means the ammo is packed in cartons, not loose or linked.


That makes sense. I’m going to be disappointed if the B just stands for Birmingham.


K5 is Kidderminster


As previous posters have said, this is British Ball Mark IIz made at the Kynoch Kidderminster plant.

Ball Mark IIz has a 198 grn boat tailed proj. and has an observed velocity at 90 feet of 2480 fps. It was for the BESA tank MG, which was the only British service weapon chambered for the 7.92mm round.

The date stencilled on the container is known as the “Date of work” and the “B” is the lot code for that date, nothing to do with BESA or Birmingham. The “CTN” indeed means in cartons (as opposed to “BLT” for belted). ISAA is “inspector, Small Arms Ammunition”.

The metal tin is an H52, contained in the H51 plywood box, two of which fitted into an H50 steel crate.

Interestingly, the mark number in the headstamp is still in Roman numerals (IIz), despite the fact that from January 1945 mark numbers should have been in Arabic (2z).

If you can spare a carton label I would like one please.



Do you know which maker " HB&S " is that is stamped into the side of the metal liner?


I don’t. Tony?


Sorry no. I have been through the WW2 contractors listing for small arms and associated items but no firm that fits HB & S.



[quote=“TonyE”]Sorry no. I have been through the WW2 contractors listing for small arms and associated items but no firm that fits HB & S.


Bugger, I was hoping you would be able to enlighten me about the maker. They also made cleaning kit containers for the .303/SLR rifles (which is where my interest is).

I wonder if they had a WW2 code?

Do you have any info for the manufacturers with the codes:-

I have cleaning kit tins dated 1959 and 1973 made by HB&S


M617 was Illingsworth & Co. Ltd. of Mansfield. Notts.

Can’t help with S424 as my list, which is the one Skennerton uses, only goes up to S422.

I will try to find out elsewhere for you.



Head over to my web page and get my e-mail address so you can send me your address and I’ll get one of the labels off in the mail to you.

Regarding the picture of the box, do you suppose the stamp across the front 529 45B is a date, as in 5 29 45. If so, wouldn’t one expect it to be the same as that on the crate - 3 29 45?