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Created: 15/03/2002

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Identification

Pistol & rifle cartridges

Headstamps (small calibre)

Rifle clips

Howitzer & canon cartridge cases

Headstamps (large calibre)

Fuze types & markings








Small arms calibre markings on base of cartridge cases and rifle clips

8mm Lebel with 3-round Berthier clip

Here we put some of the most common shell body and base markings for you on paper which will finally enable you to understand some of these markings and establish its origin. The other marks could be a reference to the propellant, bullet type, date and month of manufacturing.


Dear Visitor,

Should you happen to have or know about a cartridge case which is dated before 1919 and have no longer use for it (dislike brass polishing !) or is just gathering dust in some forgotten corner, we would very much like to hear from you. A cartridge case which has been transformed into a vase, lamp or any other shape (socalled "trench art") is also more than welcome. The museum's collection can always use expansion.

Much appreciated.


These lists were put together once we had established the origin of most of the cartridges we collected over the years, and we are very much aware that they are far from complete. The other information which will help you to determine its origin are the shell's measurements (base, bottom, top and sometimes neck diameter and full length).
Please drop us a line if you happen to have additional information for us on the subject.

WARNING - WARNING - WARNING

Collecting socalled 'live ammunition' is in most countries forbidden. You need to have a special permit to do so (check with your local police-station). Illegal possession of ammunition is considered to be a criminal act. You might end up with a heavy fine, and the chance of going to jail (not to mention the confiscation of your whole collection). Also take in consideration that in case of a fire your insurance-company might simply refuse to pay out. It is not worth the risk. Be warned !


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Identification

First of all you need to understand that every type of wapen has most of the time its own specific cartridge, either as complete unit or as separate parts: shell, primer, charge and projectile.

For determination we use two basics: the case shape and dimensions.


Cartridge shapes

  1. straight & rimmed:
    parallel-sided or slightly tapered, rim is larger than the rest of the case (for example: Webley .455).

  2. straight, rimless, semi-rimmed:
    parellel-sided or slightly tapered, rim is the same diameter as the case and separated by a extraction groove (for example: Colt .45 ACP).

  3. necked, rimmed:
    a rimmed case with the case diameter reduced sharply towards the top of the case (for example: Lee Enfield 7.7 x 56R, Lebel 8mm).

  4. necked, rimless:
    the same as no.2 but with the case body reduced in diameter as no.3 (for example: Mauser 8 x 57).

  5. rebated, rimless:
    all cases as no.2 and no.4 but with the extraction rim somewhat smaller in diameter than the base of the case.

  6. belted:
    a belted case can either be rimmed or rimless, straight or necked but with a clearly visible raised belt around the case slightly forward of the rim.

Dimensions

  1. length:
    total length of the cartridge case measured from top to bottom.

  2. mouth:
    diameter at the top of the case.

  3. rim:
    diameter of the rim at the bottom of the case.

  4. body:
    diameter of the case itself.

Examples

7.7 x 56R7.7mm
56mm
R
= calibre
= length of the case
= rimmed
8 x 578mm (7.92)
57mm
= calibre
= length of the case
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Primers

We recognize two types of primer for use in small arms cartridges:
  1. Berdan

  2. Designed by Colonel Hiram S. Berdan of the US Army Ordnance Department in the 1860s. Destinctive feature of this type of primer is that the anvil forms part of the cartridge case. A number of flasholes alongside it permits the ignition flame to pass from the primer cap to the body of the case which contains the main charge. This type of primer is used in almost every military ammunition.

  3. Boxer

  4. Developed by Colonel Edward Boxer, Superintendant of the Royal Laboratory at the Woolwich Arsenal in 1866. This design makes use of an anvil which is a separate component forming part of the primer. The case itself has one single flas hole to allow the flash from the primer to pass. More difficult to manufacture but can easily be removed thus allowing the case to be re-used more easily. Often found in commercial ammunition.

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Pistol & rifle cartridges

A summary of some of the cartridges, shells and chargers currently in our collection.

CALIBRE

DESCRIPTION

COUNTRY

6.5 x 52.5Carcano M.1891Italy
6.5 x 53.5RMannlicher M.95The Netherlands
7.5 x 53.5Schmidt-Rubin Model 1889Switzerland
7.5 x 55Schmidt-Rubin Model 1896/11Switzerland
7.62 x 53RMosin-Nagant M.1891Russia
7.62 x 63Springfield P.17 (.30-06)USA
7.63 x 25 Mauser C96Germany
7.65 x 17FN M1900 (.32ACP)Belgium
7.7 x 56RLee Metford/Enfield/P14 (.303)England
8 x 50.5RMannlicher M.1888, M.1888/90 and M.1895Austro-Hungarian
8 x 51RLebel M1886/Berthier Model 1890/1916France
8 x 57Mauser M.1888, M.1891 and M.1898Germany
9 x 19Parabellum P.08Germany
9 x 21FN M1903/Husqvarna M07 (9mm Browning Long)Belgium/Sweden
9 x 23Steyr 1911 (Steyr 9mm)Austro-Hungarian
9 x 25Mauser C96 'Rote Neun' (9mm Mauser Export)Germany
10.4 x 38RVetterli M1867-71/78Switzerland
11.2 x 60RMauser M1871Germany
11.3 x 50RBeaumont M1871/88The Netherlands
11.4 x 22RWebley (.455)England
11.5 x 58RWerndl M77Austro-Hungarian
11.35 x 23Colt M.1911 (.45 ACP)USA
13 x 92HRMauser Tankgewehr M18 Germany

Don't be confused by designations like .303, .455 or .30-06 which simple needs to be read as 303/1000 of one inch (or 455/1000 or 30/100). The '06' in .30-06 refers do the introduction date 1906.

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Headstamps

6.5 Carcano - Italy

6.5 x 52.5 Carcano

Marked: T.R and C - 11 (1911)

TR = Pirotecnico di Capua, Italy
6.5 Carcano - Italy

6.5 x 52.5 Carcano

Marked: B.P and B - 03 (1903)

B.P = Pirotecnico di Bologna, Italy
6.5 Carcano - Italy

6.5 x 52.5 Carcano

Marked: L.N and C - 14 (1914)

L.N = Pirotechnia di Capua, Italy
6.5 Mannlicher - The Netherlands

6.5 x 53.5R Mannlicher

Marked: 15 and U (1915)

Hembrug (NL)
U = lot number brass case
6.5 Mannlicher - The Netherlands

6.5 x 53.5R Mannlicher

Marked: 16 and X (1916)

Hembrug (NL)
X = lot number brass case
6.5 Mannlicher - The Netherlands

6.5 x 53.5R Mannlicher

Marked: 17 and U (1917)

Hembrug (NL)
U = lot number brass case
.30-06 - USA

7.62 x 63

Marked: R A and H 18 (1918)

RA H = Remington Arms Co. Inc, Hoboken, New York, USA
.303 - England

7.7 x 56R British

Marked: W 14 and VII (Mk. VII Ball) (1914)

W = Winchester Repeating Arms Co., USA
.303 - England

7.7 x 56R British

Marked: K15 and VII (Mk. VII Ball) (1915)

K = George Kynoch, England
.303 - England

7.7 x 56R British

Marked: B 16 and VII (Mk. VII Ball) (1916)

B = Birmingham Metal & Munitions Co., England
Lebel 8mm - France

Lebel 8 x 51R, Model 1886D with solid brass Ball D boat tail bullet (post 1912 design with deep grove around primer to keep point from the primer when stacked in a tube magazine)

Marked: VE P and 4 16 (1916)

VE = Cartoucherie de Valence, France
P = Société anonyme des Mines et Fonderies de Pontgibaud (brass factory)
Lebel 8mm - France

Lebel 8 x 51R, Model 1886D with solid brass Ball D boat tail bullet.

Marked: ATS.R. ART.D and 4 12 (1912)

ATS = Atelier de Construction de Tarbes, France
R = Trefileries et Laminoris du Havre, de Rugles (brass factory)
Lebel 8mm - France

Lebel 8 x 51R, Model 1886D with solid brass Ball D boat tail bullet.

Marked: VE.BS ART.D and 2 12 (1912)

VE = Cartoucherie de Valence, France
BS = Atelier de Laminage de l'Ecole Pyrotechnie de Bourges (brass factory)
8mm Mannlicher - Austria

8 x 50.5R Mannlicher

Marked: V H and 19 15

H = Hirtenberger Patronen- Zündhütchen- und Metallwarenfabrik, Austria
V = 5th. month of the year
8mm Mannlicher - Austria

8 x 50.5R Mannlicher

Marked: VIII H and 19 14

H = Hirtenberger Patronen- Zündhütchen- und Metallwarenfabrik, Austria
VIII = 8th. month of the year
8mm Mannlicher - Austria

8 x 50.5R Mannlicher

Marked: GR IX and 19 14

GR = Georg Roth (monogram), Austria
IX = 9th. month of the year
9mm Steyr - Austria

9 x 23

Marked: SB and 1917

SB = Sellier & Bellot, Austria
.45 ACP - USA

11.35 x 23 (.45 ACP)

Marked: REM - UMC and 18 (1918)

REM-UMC = Remingtom Arms - Union Metallic Cartridge Co., USA

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MARKING

DESCRIPTION

REMARK

COUNTRY

VIIMk. VII bullet.303England
VIIGMk. VII bullet with tracer.303England
S67S = Spitzer (Bullet) & 67 indicates the case alloy of 67% copper8x57Germany
AAPirotecnico di Capua, Adamo Aldo (Chief Inspector) Italy
ABSAtelier de Construction de Bourges France
APEtablissements A. Pouvesle, Arcueil France
APXAteliers de Construction de Puteaux France
ARSAteliers de Construction de Rennes France
ATSAtelier de Construction de Tarbes France
BBirmingham Metal & Munitions Co., Birmingham England
BPPirotecnico di Bologna Italy
CAPirotecnico di Bologna, Alfredo Cavalli (Chief Inspector) Italy
CACColonial Ammunition Co., Auckland New Zealand
DALDominion Arsenal, Lindsay Canada
DMDeutsche Metallpatronenfabrik, Karlsruhe Germany
GR (monogram)Georg Roth, Vienna Austria
HRheinische Metallwarenfabrik, Düsseldorf8x57Germany
HHirtenberger Patronen- Zündhütchen- und Metallwarenfabrik8x50.5RAustria
HNational Brass and Copper Tube Co., Hastings, New York USA
JBirmingham Metals & Munitions Co. Waltham, Essex England
KNKings Norton Metal Co. England
KGeorge Kynoch Ltd., Birmingham England
LN CPirotechnia di Capua, Nicola Leggiadore (Chief Inspector) Italy
MNobel Explosives Ltd., Glasgow England
MWMunitionswerke Schönebeck am Elbe8x57Germany
Npossibly RWS contract8x57Germany
PPolte, Magdenburg8x57Germany
PPeters Cartridge Company, Kings Mills, Ohio USA
PVPirotecnico di Capua, Vincenzo Puscarella (Chief Inspector) Italy
RARemington Arms (RA H = Hoboken).30-06USA
R/|\LRoyal Laboratories, Woolwich England
REM-UMCRemingtom Arms - Union Metallic Cartridge Co., Bridgeport USA
RRRoss Rifle Co., Quebec Canada
RWRudge Whitworth Cycle Co, Nottingham England
S67Model S case made by Spandau, the 67 is the percentage copper8x57Germany
SFMSociéte Française des Munitions France
TEAtelier de Construction de Toulouse France
TRPirotecnico di Capua Italy
TSAtelier de Construction de Tarbes France
USUnited States Cartridge Company, Lowell USA
VECartoucherie de Valence France
VISAtelier de Construction de Vincennes France
WWinchester Repeating Arms Co.,New Haven, Conn. USA

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Rifle clips (chargers)

F r a n c e

Berthier rifle Model 1890, containing three 8 x 51R Lebel cartridges.

Steel clip has no markings.

F r a n c e

Berthier rifle Model 16, containing five 8 x 51R Lebel cartridges.

Steel clip has no markings.

Wanted Mk.I (depicted is a Mk.IV). Please help.
E n g l a n d

SMLE (Short Magazine Lee Enfield) clips Model I, containing five 7.7 x 56R cartridges. Also used in P.14.

Steel clip has the Mark number on it and makers code.

G e r m a n y

Mauser rifle Model M.1888 clip, containing five 8 x 57 I (I = Infantry) cartridges.

No markings known.

G e r m a n y

Mauser rifle Model M.98, containing five 8 x 57 cartridges.
Clips were either made out of one single strip of brass or a combination of a steel strip with a separate spring.
Clip has either no markings, or maker's code and date (last two digits).

A u s t r o - H u n g a r i a n

Mannlicher rifle M.1888, 1889/90 and 1895, containing five 8 x 50R cartridges.

Steel clip with maker's mark (GR monogram).

I t a l y

Mannlicher-Carcano rifle M.91, containing six 6.5 x 52.5 cartridges.

Brass or steel, maker's code and date (last two digits). For example: B.P. with B-15.

T h e N e t h e r l a n d s

Mannlicher rifle M.95, containing five 6.5 x 53.5 cartridges.

Steel, maker's code and date (last two digits). For example: H with 18.


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Reference list

  • The Cartridge Guide, by Ian V. Hogg (Arms and Armour Press, London 1982).
  • Identifizierung von Handfeuerwaffen Munition, by Jakob H. Brandt and Horst H. Hamann (Journal Verlag Schwend GmbH, Schwäbisch Hall 1971).
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ammunition, by Ian V. Hogg (Apple Press, London 1985).
  • Patronen, by J. Lenselink, H.E. Wanting and W.D. de Hek (Delfia Press BV, Rijswijk 1983).
  • Small Arms of the World, by Joseph E. Smith and W.H.B. Smith (A & W Visual Library, 1973).
  • Small and Medium Caliber Military Cartridges, by J. Lenselink and W.D. de Hek (Delfia Press BV, Rijswijk 1986).

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