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Any ammo experts out there?

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  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: Scotland
Any ammo experts out there?
Posted by Milairjunkie on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 5:59 AM

I've got a live round that was given to me many years ago by my Grandfather & had assumed it was a .303 round of his from WW2 or his fathers from WW1. It's been safely tucked away for years & when I had a look at it a few days ago I noticed that it was a  rimless round & couldn't be .303 - after a bit of measuring I'm pretty sure that it's a 7.92x57mm Mauser round.

The only British weapon to use the Mauser round was the Besa machine gun, but as far as I can see the rounds were manufactured in the UK & had quite specific headstamps.

My Grandfather was an AA gunner in London during WW2 & didn't serve overseas, so I'm trying to figure where this round may have originated;

It's a 7.92x57mm Mauser "S-Patrone" with a brass case & copper coloured Spitzer bullet, with a 4 segment headstamp of S67 / S / 10 / 17 & there is no discernible color around the primer - I believe that it's a Spandau manufactured machine gun suitable round that may have been made in 1917, but I can't match up the colors & headstamp to any references that I can find.

I appreciate that it's a long shot Embarrassed, but any insight would be much appreciated.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
Posted by F-8fanatic on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 7:29 PM

This is a rare instance...it is one of only a handful of calibers that were used by both the axis and the allies in WWII.  the British used them in the Besa machine gun, which was most often mounted on armored vehicles in place of the Vickers machine gun.  It was a very reliable weapon....but anyways, that probably isnt where this one came from.  

You surmised correctly that the "S" stamp is for Spandau, the manufacturer.  The "10" means that the round was part of Lot #10, and the "17" means it was indeed made in 1917.  The S67 means two things--the S is for Spitzer bullet, while the 67 shows the alloy mix of the cartridge case--in this case, 67% copper.  I would have to agree that this round was a machine-gun capable round made in 1917.  It is not the S-67J, which would normally predate 1905.  It also isnt the I, which would normally be used in infantry rifles.  There was also another specific round, known as sS, which was issued to snipers.  The bullet itself was a very different design when compared to the standard Spitzer bullet.  Hope this helps

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: Scotland
Posted by Milairjunkie on Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:10 AM

Thanks for the response F-8!

I've had a hard time tracking down what info I have so far, so it good to see I'm headed in the right direction. 67% copper sound spot on as the bullet is quite strongly copper colored in comparison to many pictures I've seen (the bullet also looks to be a standard Spitzer, nothing special).

I had initially thought that the "segments" were part of the original headstamp, but after a bit of searching it seems that quite a large amount of ammo was reworked with an annealed (or re-annealed) case neck to make it more suitable for machine gun use. Story goes that after the rework the already headstamped cases were additionally stamped with a large X to identify them, giving the appearance of the segments - does this ring true?

 

Thanks Again,

Martin.

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