Unknown Bergman (?) 8mm Rifle Cartridges

I found images of two 8 x ?mmR rifle cartridges while searching the Digitaltmuseum (Sweden) website. The information provided by the museum is somewhat confusing. In the accompanying museum descriptions for these cartridges, the rounds are attributed to: Bergmann, Theodor; Bergmans and Colonel W. Bergmans. Photos of the two rounds are shown below along with original museum descriptions and Google translations or at least an attempt at translations from Swedish to English.

No headstamp pictures and the case length is unknown. My guess from rough measurements of the bullet in the pictures and relating that to case length is a case length of 52 or 53mm. But that is only a guess.


Image webpage: digitaltmuseum.se/011024406186? … 1888&pos=9

Patron till gevär av Bergmans konstruktion, Tyskland
Cartridge for the rifles of Bergman’s construction, Germany

Tillverkare, säker: Lorenz
Tillverkare av kartong, ritning, stamp m.m.: Bergmann, Theodor
Tillverkare av kartong, ritning, stamp m.m., ort: Tyskland (DE)
Tillverkningsort, förmodad:Tyskland (DE), Karlsruhe

Manufacturer, certain: Lorenz
Manufacturer of board, design, stamping etc.: Bergmann, Theodor
Manufacturer of board, design, stamping, etc., location: Germany (DE)
Place of manufacture, presumed: Germany (DE), Karlsruhe

Patron till gevär av Bergmans konstruktion. Märkt 1888
Cartridge for the rifles of Bergman’s construction. Labelled 1888


Image webpage: digitaltmuseum.se/011024404634? … 6119&pos=0

Blindpatron till gevär av överste Bergmans konstruktion 1888
Dummy cartridge for the rifles Colonel Bergman’s construction 1888

Produktion 1888

Givare till museet, säker: Mariebergs ammunitionsfabrik
Donor to the museum, for sure: Mariebergs munitions factory

Blind patron till gevär av överste W. Bergmans år 1888 projekterat 8 mm magasinsgevär
Dummy cartridge for rifles Colonel W. Bergman’s year 1888 projected (project?) 8mm magazine rifle

Any information or corrections are welcome.


1 Like

Looks very similar to Austrian M88 Mannlicher Cartridge (8x50R or 8x53R; both versions pre-1893.).

The Austrian Cartridge was used by several GunMakers in the late 80s, early 90s for their “Experimental 8mm Rifles” eg, Emile Nagant 8x53R Bolt action ( contributor to the 7,62x54R and Mosin-Nagant M91 Rifle ).

Doc AV


Yes, these cartridges are similar to the Austrian 8 x 50mmR (8 x 53mmR) Mannlicher but according to the book Austrian Military Cartridges, Vol. 1 by Josef Motz, page 95, the Austrian M.1888 Cartridge was an internal Austrian development:

“The Austrian Military Committee tested various 9 mm and 8 mm cartridges of their own construction. In 1887 the new cartridge was ready; it had an FMJ-bullet of 8 mm cal.,…”

So that still leaves the question of who (Theodor Bergmann or W. Bergmans or ?) developed the cartridges shown above, in Germany, and by all appearances at or nearly at the same time the Austrians developed their 8mm cartridge .


Comparison of the Austrian 8 x 50mmR Mannlicher (above) and cartridge #1 (below)-

Description of the pictured Austrian 8 x 50mmR from Digitaltmuseum: 8 mm patron, Patroner till gevär m/1888, Österrike. Google translation: 8 mm Cartridge, Cartridges for rifle m / 1888, Austria
(Webpage: digitaltmuseum.se/011024405138? … 1888&pos=7 )

Looks that the two unknown cartridges have a tapered neck that leads to a different neck-shoulder joint than the Austrian cartridge

No-one is named Bergmans; in this context Bergmans is a possessive (genitive) construction, like “Smith’s dog” would be in English. Jack


Thank you for the clarification on “Bergmans” being the possessive form of Bergman(n). I was wondering if that might be the case and that helps to clarify some of museum attributions for the two cartridges.

The attribution for the cartridge #2 includes “överste W. Bergmans”, Google translation being Colonel W. Bergman’s. This raises the question does Colonel W. Bergman(n) = Theodor Bergmann (överste W. Bergman(n) = Theodor Bergmann) ?


To continue on Jack’s heads up: In Sweden the family name Bergman (one n) is very common.


Thank you for the additional clarification.


Theodor Bergmann (of Gaggenau, Germany) was a typical entrepreneur. Small arms were only one of his many activities. I am quite sure he never was a professional soldier raising to the rank of Colonel.

I recall that a Swedish officer of this name is mentioned (in connection with a machine gun) in the 9th edition of “Small Arms of the World”, but have my copy not available at the moment.

With the help provided by all who responded to this thread and new information it appears the mystery is partially solved. In the museum description of cartridge #2 shown above W. Bergman is William Oscar Bergman based on the following information.

digitaltmuseum.se/011024386782? … 1888&pos=5
Magasinsgevär fm/1888 = Magazine rifle fm/1888
fm = Försöksmodell = EXPERIMENTAL MODEL

Bergmans projekt 1888.
Produktion- Tillverkare av kartong, ritning, stamp m.m.: Bergman, Oscar William
Tillverkare av kartong, ritning, stamp m.m., ort: Sverige (SE)
Givare, ort, säker: Sverige (SE)
Tillverkningsnummer hittas under slutstyckshandtaget och på slutstyckets högra sida. Det går inte att avgöra om det är 6 eller 9.

Bergman’s project 1888
Production- Manufacturer of cardboard, drawing, stamping etc.: Bergman, Oscar William
Manufacturer of board, drawing, stamping, etc., Location: Sweden (SE)
Manufacturer, place, for sure: Sweden (SE)
Serial number found under the bolt handle and bolt right. It is not possible to determine if there are 6 or 9.

digitaltmuseum.se/011024387602? … man&pos=23
Gevär 1888 = Rifle 1888
Magasinsgevär, Gevär 1888 Bergman projekt, Försöksmodell = Magazine rifle, rifle 1888 Bergman projects, experimental model

Produktion 1888
Tillverkare av kartong, ritning, stamp m.m.: Bergman, Oscar William
Givare, ort, säker: Sverige (SE)
Serienummer, tilverkningsnummer, säker: 4

Production 1888
Manufacturer of cardboard, drawing, stamping, etc.: Bergman, Oscar William
Manufacturer, place, for sure: Sweden (SE)
Serial number, tilverkningsnummer, safe: 4

Included with the information accompanying the photo of the second rifle is a short letter by Bergman:

Avskrift: Stockholm den 6 december 1911. Herr Major. Med anledning af brefvet af den 4. dennes, har jag äran meddela: att konstruktionsåret för mitt gevär rättare bör angifvas till 1888, emedan patentet löpte från detta år; att de skarpa patronerne, som användes till det gevär, som finnes i Artillerimuseum, äro lika patronerne till Manlichers österrikiska gevär. Gevär konstruerade för öfrigt till flera olika patroner, var ibland Lebelgevärets; att jag icke kunnat återfinna någon chargeur ehuru jag har all anledning tro att jag har sådana förvarade någonstädes. Om jag framdeles återfinner någon, skall jag skicka den till museet; samt att mitt gevär på sin tid försöktes i Brasilien, Spanien, Holland och Rumänien. Detta skedde åren 1889-1992.

Med utmärkt högaktning. William Bergman

(f. 1860, överstelöjtnant vid A 9, chef för Artilleri Ingenjör högskolan)

Google translation:

Transcript: Stockholm 6 December 1911. Mr. Major. In view of the letter of the fourth of his, I have the honor: the year of construction of my rifle rather should angifvas until 1888, since the patent expired from this year; the sharp cartridges, used to the rifle, which is at the Artillery Museum, are equal cartridges to Manlichers Austrian rifles. Rifle designed moreover to several different cartridges were sometimes Lebel gun; that I not been able to find any charger though I have every reason to believe that I have such stored somewhere. If I henceforth once find any, I will send it to the museum; and that my rifle in his time was tried in Brazil, Spain, Holland and Romania. This happened years 1889-1892.

Yours faithfully. William Bergman

(B. 1860, Lieutenant Colonel at the A 9, head of Artillery Engineering College)

So from Bergman’s statement in his letter that he used cartridges equal to the “Manlichers Austrian”, it appears that DocAv may well be correct with his reference to the Austrian M88 Mannlicher Cartridge in 8x53mmR. The unknown cartridges do not match the Austrian 8x50mmR cartridge as shown in the photo comparison, see post above, but to say they are Austrian 8x53mmR would require actual measurement and headstamps information. Note that Bergman in his letter also says “Rifle designed moreover to several different cartridges were sometimes Lebel gun…” which implies he not only chambered rifles in 8 x 50mmR Lebel and 8mm Austrian Mannlicher but other cartridges as well.

Some questions remain such as can the unknown cartridges be confirmed as Austrian 8 x 53mmR?

Why the reference to Theodor Bergman?

The production of ball ammunition by Lorenz in Germany (headstamp?) and did Lorenz also produce the dummy cartridge or was that produced in Sweden at Amf Marieberg? Charger types and the manufacturer(s)?

Bergman also designed and patented a machinegun (Kulspruta m/1899, Nordenfelt-Bergman) and sold the patent rights to Nordenfelt & Co. of Paris, for more information see: digitaltmuseum.se/011024394713? … man&pos=26

Box and cartridge belt for the Kulspruta (machinegun) m/1899:


Hi, i just searching in my SFM draws and found this one, i’l happy to found some datas about in these part of forum from 2016 .

Bsrg, Dan



Great info, thanks for posting the drawing.