7.92 x 57 cartridge identification

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by stoatman, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. I was rummaging through the ammunition draw at the club on Friday, and I came across the following unidentified 7.92 x 57 cartridges. Can any of the spotters on here help me to work out what on earth they are?

    Firstly (and probably the most simple, since I think I've work this one out already):

    Brass case, tombak/copper jacket.
    Head stamp: above primer -- K44
    below primer -- 8IIZ
    all text oriented in the same direction.

    I suspect that this is BESA ammunition, Kynoch 1944, nitrocellulose propellant.


    Copper-washed steel case, jacket is presumably also copper-washed steel (since it has exactly the same tint as the case so is probably not pure copper)
    primer is staked in 3 places 120° apart, and there is a green lacquer around the primer.

    Head stamp: text is arranged around the primer with the foot of the characters pointing towards the primer, and reads -- 38 38 P370 VIII w1
    the roman numerals and the number 1 have a very heavy serif.

    The cartridges are on a Mauser-type but phosphated clip marked P32769 with the letter P having a heavy serif and being moderately ornate.

    Any ideas?
  2. I would agree with your estimate of the first round.

    The second one could be German, however copper wash signified a proof round in some marking schemes I seem to remember..

    Are there lines between the markings, and is the top of the primer rounded or flat?

    I will try and get into the historical library this weekend and have a look...
  3. Off the top of my head I seem to remember that the top of the primer was flat, particularly as it was staked in 3 places rather than crimped.

    There are no lines between the markings, which are not arranged in obvious quarters or thirds (there is a reasonable gap at the bottom directly opposite the P370 but it is not a full quarter of the circumference)

    Would the clip not suggest that they are not proof rounds, although of course they could have been clipped up later?.
  4. I have a manufacturer now for the mystery 7.92:

    P370 = Hugo Schneider A.G., Werk Berlin-Köpenick (wb)

    No idea what the leading "38 38" or the trailing "VIII w1" mean though...
  5. Surely as long as it goes Bang when required it doesn't really matter?
  6. Apparently the P-code dates it to 1937-1941.

    Could "38 38" then be 1938 week 38?
    Would "VIII” logically mean 8mm (although didn't the Germans call it 7.92?)
  7. I've also found a reference to "3 39 VIII” with the same manufacturer's code, so I would wager that it is actually week-year.

    And yes, smudge, it does matter -- for a start it pleases anoraks like me, secondly the cartridges could have collector value, and thirdly they might be proof rounds so not a good idea to rattle through a wartime rifle in rapidfire...