7,92x57mm Cartridge | 7,92x57mm Markings | 7,92x57mm Identification

Cartridge Type Identification

Courtesy Patrice Colmant

Cartridge Type Identification

Shortage of lead in Germany was responsible for development of 7,9 mm ball cartridges with mild-steel bullet cores. These cartridges were termed SmE (Spitzgeschoss mit Eisenkern) and SmE lg ( Sptizgeschoss mit Eisenkern, lang). Both had a lead sleeve between the core and jacket to ease the bullet's passage through the bore, and there was a small lead filler inside the point of the SmE bullet. The SmE lg bullet had a longer steel core than that the SmE. Instead of bullet jackets made from mild steel sandwiches between layers of gilding metal, steel jackets thinly plated with gilding metal or zinc were used.

Steel cases had a bonderized finish, and were coated with clear lacquer. They also had a thin layer of wax on the outer surface to help prevent corrosion and ease extraction. Many copper-plated steel cartridge cases were also used during World War II, but these were an earlier development than the bonderized type with lacquer coating. Copper-plated cases had a Roman numeral marking, while those with a lacquer coating were marked "St" or "St+". Case walls toward the base of St steel cases were slightly thicker than those of brass cases. The "St+" case had the same wall thickness and capacity as a brass case.

Many 7,9 mm steel cartridge cases produced during the latter part of WWII had only one flashhole which was adjacent to the anvil and slightly off center. This hole was somewhat larger than the twin holes most usually seen in German cartridges, and greatly facilitated manufacture by reducing breakage of flashhole.

Cartridges are identified as to functional type by the presence or absence of a colored primer annulus, bullet tip color, or other feature.

Several conventional munition types have been produced in a version "verbessert" (improved) on which the nitrocellulose was replaced by a more powerful element, the Nitro-Penta. These cartridges are of high-velocity type for maximum performance in aircraft machine guns and give higher pressure than other 7,9 mm rounds. (These are not recommended for use in rifles)

Cartridges packed for use in tropical areas are further identified by a band at the case mouth of the same color as the primer annulus, as well as by the abbreviation (trop) in cartridges nomenclature on package labels.

 

   

s.S. Patrone (Schweres Spitzgeschoss) Heavy pointed bullet.

S.m.E. (Spitzgeschoss mit Eisenkern) Pointed bullet with iron core.

 

   

S.m.E.lg. (Spitzgeschoss mit Eisenkern, lang) Pointed bullet with iron core, long.

l.S.(Leichtes Spitzgeschoss) Light pointed bullet.

l.S.L'Spur (Leichtes Spitzgeschoss mit Leuchtspur) Light pointed bullet, tracer.

s.S. Beschuss Patrone (Schweres Spitzgeschoss Beschuss) Heavy pointed bullet, test (high pressure).

 

   

N Patrone (Nahpatrone) Close-range cartridge (subsonic).

s.S. 30/40 (Schweres Spitzgeschoss 30/40) Heavy pointed bullet 30/40. For use in conditions of extreme cold weather (-40°CS).

 

   

S.m.K. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern) Pointed bullet with steel core (armor-piercing).

S.m.K.H. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern, gehartet) Pointed bullet with hardened steel core.

S.m.K.L'Spur (Spitzgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Leuchtspur) Pointed bullet with steel core, tracer.

S.m.K.Gl'Spur (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Glimmspur) Pointed bullet with steel core, night tracer.

 

   

S.m.K. Ub.m.Zerl. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern Ubungsmunition mit Zerleger) Practice, light pointed bullet with steel core and auto-destruction system.

S.m.K.L'Spur Ub.m.Zerl. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Leuchtspur, Ubungsmunition mit Zerleger) Practice, light pointed bullet with steel core, tracer and auto-destruction system.

PZ Patrone (Panzer Patrone) Massive steel core.

S. Pr. (Sptizgeschoss mit Phosphor) Light pointed bullet, incendiary.

 

   

S. Pr. (Sptizgeschoss mit Phosphor) Light pointed bullet, incendiary.

P.m.K. (Phosphor mit kern) Light pointed bullet with steel core, incendiary (API).

 

   

B Patrone (Beobachtung Patrone) Observation cartridge. In fact an explosive-incendiary.

S.m.K.-v. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern, verbessert) Pointed bullet with steel core, improved.

S.m.K.L'Spur-v. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Leuchtspur, verbessert) Pointed bullet with steel core, tracer, improved.

S.m.K.Gl'Spur-v. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Glimmspur, verbessert) Pointed bullet with steel core, night tracer, improved.

 

   

P.m.K.-v. (Phosphor mit Kern, verbessert) Light pointed bullet with steel core, incendiary, improved.

B Patrone-v. (Beobachtung Patrone, verbessert) Observation cartridge, improved.

s.S.-Trop. (Schweres Sptizgeschoss-Tropen) Heavy pointed bullet, Tropical.

 

   

S.m.K.-Trop. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, Tropical.

S.m.K.L'Spur-Trop. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Leuchtspur-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, tracer, Tropical.

S.m.K.Gl'Spur-Trop. (Spitzgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Glimmspur-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, night tracer, Tropical.

 

   

P.m.K.-Trop. (Phosphor mit Stahlkern-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, incendiary, Tropical.

B-Trop. (Beobachtung-Tropen) Observation cartridge, Tropical.

 

   

S.m.K.-v.-Trop. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern, verbessert-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, improved-Tropical.

S.m.K.L'Spur-v.-Trop. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Leuchtspur, verbessert-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, tracer, improved-Tropical.

S.m.K.Gl'Spur-v.-Trop. (Sptizgeschoss mit Stahlkern und Glimmspur, verbessert-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, night tracer, improved-Tropical.

 

   

P.m.K.-v.-Trop. (Phosphor mit Stahlkern, verbessert-Tropen) Pointed bullet with steel core, incendiary, improved-Tropical.

B-v.-Trop. (Beobachtung, verbessert-Tropen) Observation cartridge, improved-Tropical.

 

 

    

   16. S.m.K. Ub.m.Zerl. ; 17. L.S. ; 18. L.S.L'Spur

 

    

   19. S.m.E. ; 20. S.m.E.lg. ; 21. Duplex Patrone

 

    

   22. Ex. Patrone S (K) ; 23. Platz Patrone 33

 

Packaging

Cartridges are packed in cardboard cartoons that bears a printed paper label indicating contents. The colors of the papers label indicates the functional type.

For 7,92 x 57 cartridges :

- a white label indicates ball and armor-piercing cartridges

- a yellow label indicates tracer cartridges

- a green label indicates, armor-piercing incendiary

- white with a black strip at the top, explosive cartridges

- white with a vertical green stripe, light practice tracer cartridges

- divided diagonally in red and white, armor-piercing (hard-core)

- a red-mauve, blank cartridges.

 

Label Markings

- 1st line : indication of the bullet type (ex : s.S., S.m.K., ...) the color of the trace (ex : gelb, yellow, ...), the mention Trop (for the Tropics).

- 2nd line : code of the loading factory, lot number and date (ex : P120 5. L. 40).

- 3nd line : type of powder (ex : Nz. Gew. BI. P. for Nitrozellulose Gewehr Blättchen Pulver), name or code of its manufacturer, date.

- 4th line : type of the case (ex : *, S*, St, St+), mention of its manufacturer, lot number and date.

- 5th line : bullet manufacturer, lot number, date.

- 6th line : manufacturer's code of the tracer composition, type of primer and its manufacturer (ex : Zdh 88 SKD or Zdh 30/40), lot number, date.

 

 

An overprint indicates a special pack or restricted guns

- i.L. or In Ladenstreifen : indicates that the cartridges are packed in stripper clips.

- ohne Ladestreifen : packed without stripper clips.

- Für Gewehr or Für MG : this lot is special loaded for rifles or for machine gun.

- Unbekannts or Lieferung Unbekannts : mixed cartridges or unknown producer

Twenty boxes of 15 cartridges were packed in heavy tagboard intermediate packs or in sealed metal liners. Five of these were packed in a hinged wooden box carrying a similar but larger label. A lot included 1.020 wooden boxes.

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