West German 7.9mm headstamp question


#1

Normally an asterisk or star in a German 7.9mm headstamp would indicate a brass case, even for the East German cases. Did this hold true for West German cases also? If it did, why did some dates have the marking and other dates did not?


#2

More than likely, it indicate a Single berdan Flash hole, rather than the pre-1945 “S*” ( brass, 67/33 alloy) marking. Note the DDR 04 case (brass) with the single Flash hole… ( a hangover from the Czech/German improvement of late WWII ( since Berdan FH are Drilled, this measure saved on the usage of small drills – See Video of French case production ( 1938 or so)…a Berdan FH drilling machine is shown in operation, ( 7,5x54) doing two holes sequentially–also Balle “D” being turned from rod.).

It would be good to see the inside of the DAG* case as well.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.


#3

The following observations are true for the DDR made 7,62x25, 7,65 Browning, 9 Para, 9 Makarov, 7,62x39, 7,9x33 and 7,9x57, and I believe those are all SAA calibres they made own cases for:

  • All DDR cases with the asterisk are brass cases (except for a lacquered steel cased 8x33 with a very faint asterisk but else good and deep headstamp - I believe it has a 58 date)
  • There are DDR brass cases with the asterisk and 1 and 2 flash holes (04 * 61 and 62)
  • There are single flash hole cases without asterisk (like the 04 60).
  • There is however a new unfinished brass case without asterisk, pulled from 04’s garbage!

Hans


#4

I have never seen a West German 9x19mm case with an * to indicate brass case.

There is a Geco case from the late 1980s with a single * that reportedly was used on unloaded cases produced by DAG, and I have it in a number of loads that are clearly not DAG loads. The headstamp is Geco * 9mm Luger which is clearly a commercial headstamp.

There is a Geco * 9mm Luger * headstamp dating from the late 1990s and the 2000s which may be a later version of the headstamp above. At some of the loads in this headstamp were sold by a Sporting Goods firm as low cost ammunition in 2003. Again, the loads in this headstamp do not appear to be DAG loaded ammunition.

There is also a cartridge headstamped RWS 9mm Luger * which I first encountered in 2002. It is loaded with a soft point bullet. I have no idea if it is an original DAG load.

None of these cartridges appear to be reloads.

Based on DAG 9x19mm ammo, I do not believe the * was used in the West to indicate brass case ammunition post-1945.

Cheers,

Lew


#5

The label for the 1955 dated round has the designation S* (S-Hülse Messing /S-Case Brass) the same as on the labels for the Third Reich. I would say they are clearly a military type loading.

The star in the 1960 dated case headstamp possibly indicates that it was made for DAG by another factory, I sure don’t know. I thought maybe someone else might.

DocAV - The information that I have is that the copper content of the brass cases made from 1926-1945 was 72%.


#6

Just asked a fellow collector.

He told me that the star behind the DAG year means that the round was made in plant Grötzingen. The years 58 and 60 are known. You can also find this star in the .308 blank head stamp.

Rgds
Dutch


#7

Dutch – Thanks a lot for the answer to my question. I knew someone in the world of the internet had to know what the star was for!!


#8

[quote=“DocAV”]More than likely, it indicate a Single berdan Flash hole, rather than the pre-1945 “S*” ( brass, 67/33 alloy) marking. Note the DDR 04 case (brass) with the single Flash hole… ( a hangover from the Czech/German improvement of late WWII ( since Berdan FH are Drilled, this measure saved on the usage of small drills – See Video of French case production ( 1938 or so)…a Berdan FH drilling machine is shown in operation, ( 7,5x54) doing two holes sequentially–also Balle “D” being turned from rod.).

It would be good to see the inside of the DAG* case as well.

Regards,
Doc AV
AV Ballistics.[/quote]

Doc, it would be nice to see this video. You do not have a link by chance? I searched the net, but could not find anything.

joe


#9

Joe, here is the video: youtube.com/watch?v=WQqGTKdxzK0. The original title is “Femmes dans les usines d’armement” and was filmed on February, 1940. The flash hole drilling operation can be seen at 2:08. The turned bullet shown at 2:26 looks like a steel core, not a Balle D.


#10

Fede,

You are beyond awesome! Thanks.

joe