I think, it is a cartridge for the German needelgun, but I have some questions.

There should be several models, which one is the one on the photo?

What does the text on the box means?

Any coments is welcome.


Further information:

Weight: 30 gram

Length: 56,6mm (C.O.L.)

Width: Max 17mm and min 16mm


This is a 15.43 mm Dreyse M. 1872 cartridge for rifles having Beck’s modification, and a very nice packet for the same. Markings indicates: “Infanterie Zündnadel-Patronen à 29 Centner” (powder load) and date 1872.


Thank you very much Fede, it was exactly this information I was asking for.


Fede: How does Centner describe the charge weight of this cartridge? A little googling didn’t seem to produce an answer which makes much sense in this context. Jack


I think it must be something else than “Centner”, because the Zentner was a very popular measure of weight, but corresponds to 100 Pfund (German version of pound) which is 50 kg. I looked up what I have available but cannot come up with an explanation.


Sorry, I realize how mistaken I was thinking that these were the same measurement unit, but this value is not in Prussian centner or zentner but in cent or zent (there are packets using both spellings). Then we have:

100 cent = 1 loth
1 loth = 16.666 g (neues loth, post May 27, 1856)
16.666 g = 257.20 gr

1 cent = 0.16666 g
29 cent = 4.83 g
4.83 g = 74.538 gr

The resulting powder weight matches perfectly with that measured from an specimen exhibited by Frankford Arsenal at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876:


Fede: Thanks for your explanation. This system of weights makes the English system of pound-ounce-grain a “lead pipe cinch” by comparison. Jack


Congratulations, Fede. What I had went only down to the Loth level and did not mention cent as a division further down.