WW1 German 7.92 s.S Introduction Date

I am trying to establish the earliest date that the 7.92 s. S round was introduced during WW1. I have various references stating 1916/17 and 1918.

Does anybody have any solid proof of the actual date or perhaps the earliest referenceable examples known.
Help much appreciated.

There are two months known (September and Oktober) from 1914

Thanks Dutch. that’s really early! I am particularly looking at early 1917 or late 1916 as well.

I just found the box label in my files.
Cartridge “S” mit schweren Geschoß


Picture, Courtesy Woodin Lab.

Brilliant! Thanks!

The first made in 1917 has a “C” Cassel head stamp from the month 10. (October)
They have a black annulus colour. In February 1918 it changed to green.


Cool - thanks!

if you asked because you wanted to know when Germany introduced sS for long range and indirect >ground< machine gun fire, please consider the following.
The 1914 label shown by Dutch refers to cartridges made for use in airship machine guns (L.Mun., Luftschiffmunition), having a different propellant (834) with an additive for reduced muzzle flash (NO = Natriumoxalat, sodium oxalate). The heavy, slower bullet also contributed to reduced flash by ensuring more complete propellant burning.
Therefore the purpose of these 1914 cartridges (air use) was different from the sS cartridges that started being produced, as Dutch wrote, at Cassel (today Kassel) in October 1917.

Thanks. Yes, it was ground use I am looking at. So we can say Oct 1917 as earliest date for this.
Many thanks.

Khanmak, it depends how you look at history.
You are only looking to the German 7,9 Mauser or also to other calibres.
The Germans had a lot of 8mm Lebel MG’s.

They had so many that they start making ammunition for them.
First made with French cases, later with German made by Polte Magdeburg.

As you see loaded with an sS (heavy ball) bullet with cases made in February 1917.

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That is really interesting Dutch.
I am looking at a particular occurrence relating to the Battle of Bullecourt in May 1917.
A German account relates that a machine gun company ’ fired 1200 rounds of IS and SMK’ at a British tank.
The ‘IS’ is apparently how it is recorded in the original record. This allegedly represents ‘Infantrie Spitz’. I am attempting to determine if this could be either s or s.S.
You raise a very interesting point in your post relating to what gun the German machine gun company were using. The assumption being (and perhaps not necessarily so) MG08/MG17.
The aim of establishing the correct ammunition type is an aspiration to perform a modern test to ascertain the penetrating ability of the correct ammunition on equivalent armour plate (as recovered from the tank site during archaeological excavation).

Dutch - do you know if the Germans also utilised 8mm Armour piercing - smk equivalent?

In my opinion you can exclude sS from your considerations. sS is useless against armour.
I also assume that “lS” very probably was intended to mean LS (Leuchtspur, tracer), which also, as in WW2, had a steel core.
SmK (Spitzgeschoss mit Kern) was the designation of the armour piercing round, Kern meaning a hardened steel core. The quality of SmK bullets, which originated already before WW1, varied very much, starting with tungsten alloyed high quality steel and finally deteriorating to useless non-hardened plain steel cores. I therefore consider it very difficult to to find the correct quality for a modern test.

They made Armour piercing (SmK) amunition.
The first WW1 SmK has a September 1914 head stamp.
I can show you one from November.

I think in all probability regarding the s.S ammunition this is very much the case JPeelen. The meaning of ‘IS’ is very much conjecture at the moment. The original source (document) is not available. The interpretation is that of a German historian who is not conversant with ammunition. My original thoughts included L’Spur (LS) rather than ‘IS’) ‘Infantrie Spitz’ which certainly sounds a bit odd. Certainly mixing AP & tracer would be a much more logical combination! The use of IS in relation to the meaning of ‘Infantrie spitz’ needs clearing up. It could be the equivalent of British ‘Ball’ of course. I wonder if anybody here has come across the use of ‘Infantrie spitz’ in German records?

Dutch - thank you. Great photo!
I was thinking 8mm Lebel rather 8x57. I can see on http://www.municion.org/8x50r/8x50r.htm
AP is listed in relation to 1886 model.
Thinking in relation to the original reference ’ fired 1200 rounds of IS and SMK’ if this might have been referring to being fired from a German gun firing 8mm Lebel ammunition (as a mix). The MG08 belt is 250 rd, the Hotchkiss feed clip is 24rd I believe. The total (1200 rounds claimed) - if recording an exact amount does equate to 50 Hotchkiss feeds clips or a 100rd MG08/15 belt, but necessarily divided equally to the MG08 250 rd belt.
Dancing on the head of a pin perhaps trying to cover all bases! :-)

The 7,9 mm (popular “7,92” mm is the Czech designation introduced after 1918, never used in Germany up to 1945) standard bullet since 1903 had been designated “S” (for spitz). I am not aware of the use of lS in the literature of the time.
Interpretation as LS for Leuchtspur, particularly in connection with firing at a tank, looks more plausible to me.

If it is a non German document it would say tracer.
In German the official name, also during WW1 was SmK Lspur. (Spitz mit Kern Leuchtspur)


I have just checked using Google.de and ‘IS’ it seems it is a colloquial form relating to what we might equate as ‘ball’.
The excellent - Die Militärpatronen Kaliber 7,9 mm - Ihre Vorläufer und Abarten. By Brandt. Hamaan. Dr Windisch. have images of Ammunition box labels from the First world War period detailing both s. & s.S ammunition. The s.S box is dated 24.8.18. The labels are in Fraktur script.
I also have a copy of a British 'Report on NEW GERMAN S.A.A for use with ‘08(heavy) Machine Gun (new sights)’. Dated 7-11-18.
So (still factoring all information as previously related by everyone - thank you immensely) ‘IS’ = s (opposed to s.S and S.m.k being fired at the tank. I wonder what the mix of type (ball/AP) was!