Unknown 7mm Mauser?


Can anybody this ‘cartridge’ which closely resembles the 7mm Mauser dimensionally and is pictured alongside a 7mm Mauser for comparison?

It is machined from mild steel and has one large hole in it’s side through which is visible some sort of piston device. This appears to be made of brass and does not move although it may well be rusted in position.

As you can see there is no extractor groove or any other obvious means of extracting this item from a weapon. The inside of the base is smooth and has no signs of threading to take a removeable screw-in head.

Help please…as I haven’t got a clue!



I think that it is part of a belt feed system/starter, I think I have one similar and I asked the same question on here awhile ago.


added: municion.org/curiosidades/curiosidades.htm scroll down and there is a picture of some.


This is a MG 15 machine gun (7,9 x 57 mm S-Patrone caliber) drum magazine guide false cartridge. This all steel variation with hollow base is positioned on the 7th position. The first position is occupied by similar example with solid base and 2nd to 6th positions cartridges are made from aluminium with hollow base.

There is also a MG 15 drum magazine with only two aluminium false cartridges in the middle. I don’t know the reason for this variations.

7.92mm mauser inert odd

This is a part of the drim magazine for the MG34/42 series of German MGs, I believe. When I was collecting that caliber, I classified it as a special purpose dummy round caliber 7.9 x 57, regardless of its dimensions. My understanding is thaqt the design of some drum magazines would preclude them from feeding the last two or three cartridges. Therefore, rather than having live rounds in the magazine basically forever, the magazines were designed with the appropriate number of “dummy” rounds built into the mechanism. That way, all live rounds feed properly. I believe that in some of the magazines, all of the “dummy rounds” are not necessarily identical to each other. Unfortunately, while I had several of these taken from destroyed magazines in my collection, I have no experience with these German MGs, other than having once fired an MG34, or with their magazines, and since I could never own one being in California, I have never studied them. Therefore, consider the above answer as a gross over-simplification of the subject.

I said that they are part of the MG34/42 series of drum magazines. In truth, I don’t even know if the magazines for those two MGs are interchangeable with each other, nor do I know if
these “dummies” were used in other magazines for other German MGs.

I am sure someone far more conversant with these things than am I will chime in here with a better explanation, but I thought I would get the ball rolling.

I see that Fede answered while I was writing this. Perhaps he can tell us how one identifies these as being for the MG15, and whether or not the MG34 mags used them also, and if they did, how one tells them apart. All three of mine had differences. One was made of aluminum.


Why were these position in various positions. I had heard they were the first (in a sense, the last) two or three in the magazine - that is, with all the live rounds above them in the feed sequence. I am not challenging the answer - I don’t know as I have never even held one of these magazines in my hand, or seen the inside of one. The gun I fired had only metal belts.


Hi John,

       The drum magazine for MG34/42 is just a container of belt feed ammunition and doesn't need any false cartridges inside.


There is a 75 rd. drum magazine for the MG-34, very similar to the one for the MG-15. The main difference seems to be that the drum spring tension on the “PatronenTrommel-34” is adjustable whereas that of the “PatronenTrommel-15” is not. This is due to the different rate of fire between the two weapons. Apparently one can use the PT-15 on an MG-34, but it can be unreliable. The MG-34 also requires a different top cover when using the PT-34, so quickly switching between belts and drums does not seem practical.

Is the drum-shaped belt carrier used with the MG-34 and MG-42 a “Drum Magazine” or simply a drum or belt carrier?

In my Soviet 75 rd. Drum magazine for the RPK, there are three of these “dummy” cartridges that function the same way as those seen here in the PT-15. Personally, I do not consider them to be any sort of cartridge at all.
They are just a unique sort of magazine follower, and just a part of the device.
In my humble opinion of course.

I have seen a drum magazine follower from the Soviet DP machingun that appeared to have actually been made from a real cartridge, so that I would consider to be a cartridge…



Well, I’d have never identified that one! Thank you all.