What type of powder in 7.65mm Para in 1903


#1

Just got the following query from a friend.

[quote]Hello Lewis, this is Charles Whittaker of the Land of Borchardt site and I have some ammo related questions for you. I am writing an article on Abercrombie & Fitch and I noticed in the 1903 A&F catalog that had an ad for the 1900 commercial that they described the cartridge as rimless Walsrode powder.

Circa 1906 Hans Tauscher Luger ads describe the cartridge as rimless Rottweil powder.

I have been told that the A&F ad citing Walsrode powder is a mistake as the only Luger ammo available was period DWM export 30 Cal ammo was Rottweil.

Any help in clearing this up would be appreciated, Sincerely, Charles.
[/quote]

It occurs to me that UMC may have been making “30 Luger” cartridges as early as 1903, and perhaps other, so the use of Walsrode powder is possible. I suspect that DWM only used the Rottweil powder, but have no proof if this.

Can anyone help???

Cheers,

Lew


#2

Pretty much as usual, Lew Curtis seems to be right on with his information.

While I have no information on DWM production of the 765 mm Parabelum cartridge in its earliest years, a dealer like Tauscher would almot undoubtedly have been right, and as mentioned, they showed the powder in the ammunition they sold in this caliber as being
Rottweil. Their ammunition was very likely, in 1906, of DWM manufacture.

UMC began making the cartrdge the first of October 1901. By November 1901 they were making it on the same line as they were using for the 7.65 Borchardt and 7.63 Mauser ammunition. The first .30 Luger rounds were FMJ (full patch) with a jacket of 1-20 tin, and
were not crimped at the mouth. The mouth was “burred” on the outside but not the inside.

In December of 1901 they were making both FMJ and Soft-point bullets for this ammunition.

In April 1903, “demanded by the Pacific Coast Trade,” the began making a FMJ hollow-point bullet, with the HP cavity wax-filled. This sounds very much like a copy of the DWM early HP bullets.

There is no mention in the notes I have of the powder used. However, UMC had commenced making the 7.63 mm Mauser round and the 7.65 mm Borchardt round in April 1899, changing the name of both to simply “.30 Cal.,” and there is a note from April 1901 indicating that they had changed to Walsrode Shot Gun Powder. No mention was made of the powder it replaced. The
Walsrode powder continued to be used until May 1911, when they changed again to Bullseye powder.

This suggests that the brand of ammunition being advertised by Abercrombie & Fitch was that of the Union Metallic Cartridge Company, but of course, it does not prove that. I do not have that advertisement but assume from the Curtis posting that the ad did not specify the powder.

Hope this is of some help.


#3

According to the “Parabellum” pistol 1902 manual this cartridge was loaded with 0.33 g of Rottweil flake powder. A load of 0.30 g was also used for testing. Later, a 0.35 g load was finally adopted.


#4

Fede - thanks! This really “nails in” the answer. It was not my question, but I love getting info about auto pistol stuff and the 7.65 Para is a major interest caliber to me. Lew is probably enroute to Germany now, so I will take the liberty of thanking you on his behalf as well. I am sure he won’t mind me doing that.


#5

John, here you have a scan for your files:


#6

This is an excerpt from Schoverling, Daly & Gales 1903 catalog. The use of Walrsrode powder is also mentioned.

Bullet weight is listed as 1/5 oz. (5.66 g / 87 grs) and doesn’t match UMC production (93 grs). This is probably be a mistake, however.


#7

John, Thanks! this really answers the question. The A&F add specifically mentioned Walrsrode powder so the answer is that the A&F article was likely not a mistake in identifying the powder, it could have been (probably was) refering to UMC ammunition instead of DWM ammunition.

Thanks everyone!!!

Lew


#8

Here are the ads Charles Whittaker sent me, just to complete the thread. The top ad is from the 1904 A&F catalog, and the bottom is from an Circa 1906 Hans Tauscher Luger ad-note the reference to a .45 Caliber Luger-wish I had one and some ammo for it!!! Thanks everyone!

Cheers,

Lew


#9

Is the “c.” date for the Hans Tauscher catalog known to be pretty close? I ask in reference to the .45 Luger
that is mentioned, as some believe that a very, very few .45 Luger Pistols, chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge, were made c.1910.

Some definitely were made. The famous .45 Luger sold several times in the United States and touted as a pistol from the 1906/07 trials is not a military trials pistol. It cannot be. The grip angle, from pictures in the magazine that published an article on actually shooting it, does not correspond to the angle of the grip in the picture taken in the Trials and shown in a booklet on the Trials pistols. Further, the known, near-mint pistol is caliber .45 ACP caliber. That is the ammo shot in it and it was confirmed by an acquaitance of mine here in California, Mike Krause, who borrowed the original .45 Luger that was shown in that shooting article and reverse engineered it. He produces copies, perhaps better fitted and finished than the originals, of both that and the Baby Luger.

The trials Luger pistols were caliber .45 Model 1906, not .45 A.C.P. The well-known “FA 4 06” round was made for that trials, as was the “K DWM K 513” headstamped cartridge (the DWM .45 ACP rounds are 513A). Mike, a well-known Luger expert, reckons the .45 ACP commercial Lugers, probably only two or three of which were made, came out in 1910 or thereabouts. That might make that Tauscher ad a little bit later than 1906. Evidently commercial production of the .45 Luger was stopped almost right away due to military contracts pouring into the factory, and perhaps also for a lack of interest at the time. It seems everyone knew that WWI was not far off.

Lew, you can buy a .45 Luger if Mike is still making them. I have not seen him in several years. They were last priced at about $15,000.00, and probably worth every penny of it as an investment, and for the labor of one at a time production. You can also get ammo for it at any gun shop! :-)


#10

John, I only know the date for the article provided by Charlie. Since the article says .45, and not .45 ACP I think the date of 1906 is pretty close and this is an announcement for the future sale of the pistol of the style offered in the 1906/1907 trials with the .45 M1906 cartridge (DWM 513). I wish I had the 1906 trials Luger and a box of the DWM 513 cartridges. I would prefer them as a gift because I couldn’t afford either of them at a price that didn’t constitute robbery.

Cheers,

Lew


#11

Lew - I am inclined to disagree with you this time. By the 1906 trials - for the most part done in 1907 due to illness on the part of Georg Luger, the 1905 Colt was already available in .45 A.C.P. Personally, I have always considered it the usual Government insanity that they felt compelled to design a very slightly different round in the Model 1906 when UMC had already pretty much perfected the .45 ACP cartridge. I don’t think that after the trials, it would have made any sense at all, since the Model 1906 cartridge was not adopted, to make a commercial run in that caliber. The fact that pistols exist in caliber .45 ACP is indication that they decided at DWM it was better to make the gun in that caliber, as is the fact that they apparently never made the DWM 513 cartridge after the trials, based on the fact that only two specimens of that cartridge, both in the United States, are known to exist. Even the DWM 513A is rare - I believe only a partial box, or a couple of boxes were found, and they were found in Europe.

I suspect the difference in grip angle on the later .45 ACP caliber Luger was to correct some of the deficiencies found in the trials, as it may have been necessary to correct the angle of the magazine, and that would involve a change in the pitch of the grip-frame itself.

Just my humble opinion. I know you often find my logic flawed. But that was in the old days - I am MUUUCH BETTER NOW! :-•


#12

John, I got back to Charles on the dating of the ad mentioning the .45 Luger and this is his reply.

[quote]The 4 page Tauscher flier with the 45 Cal statement I got, along with other Tauscher correspondence, enclosed in a 1908 dated Hans Tauscher logo envelope. So I suspect the flyer was printed in 1907, though more likely 1906 based on Luger correspondence discussed below. The actual statement of 45 Cal commercial production by Tauscher is typical Tauscher blather or irrational over exuberance, based on the successful conclusion of the 1907 tests and subsequent US army orders, which never came to pass. I own the original 2-page January 1907 dated letter, typed and signed by Georg Luger to Crozier discussing the success of his personal testing of the 45 Cal Luger at Springfield. In that letter he stated that due to urgent matters requiring him to leave immediately to Germany he had to cancel his visit with Crozier. The urgent matter for his return to Germany was required that he be present to conclude the contract with the German army for the P.08. The acquisition of that contract was the end of all efforts to sell the 45 Luger to the US Army which were still not happy with the 45. (Although they changed their mind with an additional order for 200 pistols which were declined by DWM) Most of the info is presented in Scott Meadows book US Military Automatic Pistols.
[/quote]

This is all I know!!!

Cheers,

Lew


#13

All that is correct, as far as I know. I would, though, guess that the letter discussed was more likely from the
time it was mailed in 1908. By that time, Luger and DWM would probably have made a decision whether or not they were going to contemplate any further production of the .45 Luger at a later date. Considering there was some fairly major design changes to the pistol (in the context of Lugers, that aside from sights and barrel lengths are pretty much the same - grip safeties or not, changes to the length of the sear bar, changes to the shape of the cocking knobs and elimination of the goggle lock, stock lugs, etc. were all, in my opinion, pretty minor compared to a complete change in the pitch of the grip and the shape of the area of the frame that the grip screws are in, which also means the magazine was dramatically changed) late 1907 or early 1908 would conincide pretty well with an actual production, although in a tiny amount, c. 1910.

John


#14

On March 10, 1900 UMC mentioned that the powder used to load the Borchardt and Mauser cartridges was Laflin & Rand Bullseye.


#15

Considering that the owner of the Rottweiler Pulverfabrik, Max Duttenhofer, was one of the financial backers of Ludwig Loewe & Co., it would make sense that his products were used in the production of ammunition components by DWM, who were a full subsidiary of Loewe.

Interestingly, Mauser once complained about the quality of the Rottweil powders and even made gun powder themselves in order to have some control over the quality of powders used during military acceptance trials. Paul Mauser and Max Duttenhofer shared a love of target shooting and attended quite a few competitions together. Rottweil is not far from Oberndorf, so both would have been in regular contact also.

Duttenhofer was also one of the financial backers of a small company that did something with gasoline engines. Which would become Daimler-Benz and is currently Daimler A.G.

The Rottweiler Pulverfabrik would merge into a larger chemical corporation, producing paints and synthetic fibres, as well as other chemical products, under the name IG Farben.