Variations on the 4.25mm Liliput


What, no armour-piercing or tracer? ;-)

Thanks Aaron.

Wish there was a way to differenciate this rounds as being made during the Erika pistol period (c. 1912-13 - 1926) or the Lilliput (1923 - 1929).

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No, Tony, No tracer or APT. Believe it or not, though, there is a factory dummy. I have one in my collection. It has a FMJ Brass-jacketed bullet, brass case and empty primer pocket, the pocket having the normal Berdan anvil and two flash holes. Basically an unloaded round with no primer. It is clearly factory made and clearly was never loaded. No tampering at the case mouth or marks on the bullet (you can’t pull one of these with an inertia bullet puller - not nearly enough bullet weight even if you had a collet that would hold a round this small in diameter).

Edited to correct a spelling only.

I have eight variations including the dummy, and they do not all seem to correspond to the seven shown on this thread, so evidently there are at least 10 or 11 variations in this caliber - maybe more. I have the “Erika”-marked box, but none marked specifically for the Lilliput.

Great and interesting picture Aaron, of a wonderful assortment of 4.25 mm rounds. Thanks for sharing it!

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I assume that the ones with a Berdan-Bloem primer pocket should be the earliest ones.

Another variation of the holed case dummy also exist (coreless cu-ni bullet jacket & empty Berdan two-hole primer pocket). Some “inert replicas” were also offered by the french firm "Le Hussard”.

Cartridges were produced by the “Franz Pfannl Waffen und Munitionsfabrik” and Hirtenberger Patronen. I also have a picture of an old box marked “made in france” but looks like Hirtenberger.

Maurice Megret Cartouches also produced some of these cartridges.

Here is a nice picture I had taken a the Royal Palace, Bangkok:

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Very nice 4.25mm AMMO collection. 👍🏻

I suspect that the cartridges in the picture from Thailand are not all separate variations of the 4.25 mm Pistol Cartridge. I do seem to see ones with CN and with GM jacketed bullets.

Fede - I think the box labels might differentiate between the Erika and the Lilliput. I base this only on the box in my collection, shown below with the 2.7 mm Kolibri tin at the top, and then the 3 mm Kolibri and 4.25 mm Erika boxes below it.

Note that the labels for the 3 mm Kolibri and 4.25 Erika are pretty much identical. On the Erika Box, you can just see the “E” in “Erika” at the end of the bottom line. The rest of the word is after the label folds over the right-side edge of the box. For size comparison, measured with a good quality digital caliper, the Erika box measures 2.119" (53.87 mm) in length and 1.091" (27.71 mm) in width.

All three boxes held 50 rounds each. Not much information on the labels; none on the 2.7 mm Tin. I have seen several of the 2.7 mm Kolibri tins, and none had a label.

The language on both the 3 mm Kolibri and 4.25 Erika labels seems to be French, which at the time, was pretty much the “Universal” language. It was even the official language of Postal Systems around the world, as I recall.

I have never seen a box labeled for the Lilliput Pistol, although I would think that they exist.

The 4.25 mm Erika came to me with two rounds in it - the one in the box is with CN FMJ bullet and a brass primer cup. The 2.7 mm box was empty, and the 3 mm box had just one round in it, which I neglected to bring up to the computer, and don’t feel like going down again to night, at 1:00 AM, to get it.

John Moss

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John, great boxes, thanks for sharing. You could be right about the Erika and the Lilliput; there seem to be much more cartridge variations than boxes and I’m not aware of a box marked Lilliput either. Odd that the same manufacturer used the words “Automat” and “Automatite”, since none of them are used in French.

Un saludo grande,


Fede - good point on the words “Automat” and “Automatite” (is there such a word at all as the second one, in any language? “Automat” could be a translation of the Russian word “Avtomat,” although it would not be an accurate transliteration). This point completely escaped me, as I am very ignorant of the nuances of foreign languages.

Thank you Amigo. Happy New Year.


Hi to all !

Can anyone help me with manufacturer identification , whether it is a newer production (after WWII).
It confuses me this “nipple” on top.
I have read various forum posts but i have not seen a bullet tip like this.

Thanks in advance :)

Nice Display.
I still get people with this pistols in the USA wanting to find ammunition to shot today.
I don’t think they will find any soon. :-)

I have eight variations of the 4.25 mm Liliput cartridge (also known as 4.25 mm Erika ad 4.25 mm Menz-Liliput) in my collection, including a dummy (no primer). All but two of them have some abnormality at the bullet tip, ranging from a “bump” exactly like you show, to others with smaller bumps and a couple with a very small diameter flattening of the bullet’s meplat. Bullet jackets can be found in cupro-nickel, gilding metal and brass.

I suspect that these irregularities have something to do with the difficulty of manufacturing a jacketed bullet of such small size, rather than done by design. Just a guess on my part.

The cartridge was developed c.1914. I am not sure for how long it was available, but I feel sure that there has been no Post-WWII production of this cartridge.

Since they are all unheadstamped, it is difficult - perhaps impossible - to tell who made the cartridges. I have only one box sample, already shown some time ago on this forum, and it is marked “4.25 Erika,” and is anonymous as to the maker.

John Moss

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I asked about the manufacturer because I thought that “bump” might be characteristic for one of the manufacturers.

Thanks a lot for help John :)


Jaromir - The “bump” might well be typical of one of the manufacturers. I don’t know how many companies made this cartridge, and as I mentioned, I have two specimens with no sign of any aberration at the nose of the bullet.

John Moss