WW 2 7.92mm rds


There is for sale a belt of 14 rds of 7.92mm ammunition, said to be from a Messerschmitt Bf 109E shot down in August 1940 There are five types of headstamp; P163 S* 12 39 or P S* 18 40. There is also P154 P413 & P69.

Would there be five different headstamps in a belt of ammo only 14 rds long/short ?
I realise there could be a mix of ammunition types and maybe this belt has been refilled from rds scattered by the crash ?



While possible, it’s not real likely. Armorers would be loading a large number of belts from case-lots of similar ammo. A loose box or two could get into the mix, but I doubt the variety you describe.
I’m sure Walt Shumate had lots of experience loading belts, just had to be careful not to wind any mustache ends into the links.


Thanks for that, I too thought the mix was too high.

As you guess I’m not the Walt Shumate ;-) a great man.


Well, dead guys, no matter how great, can’t type!


[quote=“Walter Shumate”]There is for sale a belt of 14 rds of 7.92mm ammunition, said to be from a Messerschmitt Bf 109E shot down in August 1940 There are five types of headstamp; P163 S* 12 39 or P S* 18 40. There is also P154 P413 & P69.


P163 S* 12 39 was an SmK (A.P.)from Metallwarenfabrik Treuenbritzen GmbH, Werk Selterhof
P S* 18 40 was or a PmK (A.P.I.-black annulus) or a SmK L’spur (A.P.T.-red annulus and black tip) from Polte Werk. Magdeburg


Amico Vittorio, the headstamp P163 S* 12 39 is found in two loadings - S.m.K.L’spur and S.m.K.


It is right, my friend!


This MG 15 drum

contains 69 cartridges
P120 S* 17 39 (PmK Rfg schwarz)
P S* 136 35 (SmK)
P S* 61 38 (SmK Lsp)

This drum came from an plane (Ju52), crashed at May 1940 in Holland.
Surprisingly in this drum there was no bullet system at all. Not a serie like 1 x Pmk - 2xSmK - 1xSmK lsp or something like that.
Just 3 or 2 x SmK Lsp - 2xPmK - 1xSmK - 1 x PmK … or something like this.
The drum was jammed and no longer usable so they dropped it, where it was found 63 years later and restored more or less…


Nice restoration Jaco, are the soil conditions in Holland right as not to corrode the thin sheet steel too badly?


To have the right answer for the initial question, you would have to know the loadings of each round. It is absolutely possible, if the loadings are mixed, to have all of the headstamps shown on a a belt with 14 rounds left. If from a Messerschmidt, the belt was certainly longer and this represented the number of rounds left when it went down.

I have read many times that commanders at almost all levels of fighter squadrons, and perhaps even individual pilots (especially if “Aces”) had a tremendous amount of say in how the belts were loaded for planes (or the plane) under their control. It was not uncommon to have a mixture of S.m.K., S.m.K.L’spur., P.m.K. and B.patronen mixed in a belt. Each of these loads would have different headstamps, although all rounds of the same loadings would probably have the same headstamps.

If the lot number of each round was shown, and they are reported lots, we could probably sort out pretty close what they would have been, although there are lot numbers that show up in as many as five different loadings (or perhaps more).

Of course, the point is, the headstamps are mixed because loaded belts for fighter planes were often quite mixed with different loads.


Hallo John,
I know there are a lot of different ways of mixing rounds. I was therefore very carefully unloading this drum, just for the reason I was curious what this special mixtrure would be. But there was no repeating-style. It seems they took a handful of cartrigdes from a box PmK, then a handful of SmK and mixed this random with a handful SmK lsp.
For me, reconstructing the situation where this drum was found, I believe it was a drum from a Ju 52 landed 10 may 1940 near Ockenburg (South of The Hague) with the troops of General Von Sponeck. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e … _Ju-52.jpg
It was found near a lot of Dutch Mannlichers at a dept of about 2 meters.

Falcon, thats the reason it’s in a more or less good condition, the where below (ground-)waterlevel in clay. Lucky found…normally Dutch soil kills metal.


Jaco - I was actually referencing my answer back to the original question about the 14-round belt, not the drums. But, I agree very much with the scenario you described; I would bet that is what they did. After all, the idea of mixing rounds was to cause as many different types of damage to the opposition aircraft as possible, as well as observing your hits. S.m.K. rounds would puncture fuel cells and damage equipment, as well as pentrate into the crew-compartment or cockpit, while P.m.K. rounds and B.Patr. would set the fuel afire, as well in the case of B.Patr. of showing hits. S.m.K.L. would not only puncture, but perhaps help inflame the aircraft, as well as directing fire onto the target. With the possible exception of the tracers, I am not sure the order of loading these various rounds would be terribly important, other than to insure that a normal burst would include a good variety. Never had much to do with aircraft or aircraft weapons, but have read some on it due to collecting the 7.9 x 57. It was a marginal cartridge against aircraft armor anyway, compared to the Browning .50 MG or the aircraft cannons in use on many German aircraft, so it probably needed all the help it could get from the full assortment of ammunition available to Luftwaffe operations.


Hallo John
I understood your reaction (on the belt)
This drum was from may 1940, the beginning of the war. At that time this rounds where effective enough. Beside that, the German Army was supposed to capture Holland in a few hours, or days maximum. Wrong, they loss almost 300 planes, mostly Ju52, witch they needed badly for the trip to England. Not…



Jaco - doesn’t surprise me. I took a history course once from a teacher of Spanish birth, then a U.S. Citizen. He told us a Spanish saying in relation to Spain’s attempted conquests of Holland a few centuries ago. "Es m