7.92x57mm Mauser

7.92x57mm Mauser

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Encyclopedia
The 8×57mm IS is a rimless
Rim (firearms)
A rim is an external flange that is machined, cast, molded, stamped or pressed around the bottom of a firearms cartridge. The rim may serve a number of purposes, the most common being as the place for the extractor to engage...

 bottlenecked rifle
Rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

 cartridge
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

. The 8×57mm IS was adopted by the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 in 1905, and was the German service cartridge in both World Wars
World war
A world war is a war affecting the majority of the world's most powerful and populous nations. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theaters....

. IS stands for Infanterie, Spitz(geschoß) or "Infantry, Pointed (projectile
Bullet
A bullet is a projectile propelled by a firearm, sling, or air gun. Bullets do not normally contain explosives, but damage the intended target by impact and penetration...

)".

The cartridge on which it was based was adopted by Germany in 1888 as the M/88 8×57 I (I stands for Infanterie or "Infantry") along with the Gewehr 1888 service rifle. It was designed by the German Gewehr-Prüfungskommission (G.P.K.) ("Rifle Testing Commission") for the Gewehr 1888 and later used in Mauser
Mauser
Mauser was a German arms manufacturer of a line of bolt-action rifles and pistols from the 1870s to 1995. Mauser designs were built for the German armed forces...

 bolt-action rifles, machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s, and other ordnance weapons.

The 1888 pattern of the M/88 cartridge is currently known in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 as the 8×57 I (C.I.P.
Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives
The Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives is an international organisation whose members are 14 states, mainly European....

 designation). The 1905 pattern cartridge is currently known in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 as the 8×57 IS (C.I.P. designation) and in the United States of America as the 8mm Mauser, also known as 8×57mm (SAAMI
Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute
The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute is an association of American firearms and ammunition manufacturers...

 designations). The widespread use in German military Gewehr 98
Gewehr 98
The Gewehr 98 is a German bolt action Mauser rifle firing the 8x57mm cartridge from a 5 round internal clip-loaded magazine that was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, when it was replaced by the Karabiner 98k. It was hence the main rifle of the German infantry during World War I...

 and Karabiner 98k
Karabiner 98k
The Karabiner 98 Kurz was a bolt action rifle chambered for the 8x57mm IS/7.92×57mm IS cartridge that was adopted as the standard service rifle in 1935 by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles...

 service rifles designed and manufactured by Mauser
Mauser
Mauser was a German arms manufacturer of a line of bolt-action rifles and pistols from the 1870s to 1995. Mauser designs were built for the German armed forces...

 caused the "Mauser" tag, though Mauser had nothing to do with the development of this cartridge. Some sources list it also as "8×57 JS", as capital letters I and J were interchangeable in abbreviations at this time.

In some English-speaking areas, the cartridge is called 7.92×57mm IS. The British and Commonwealth forces used the 8×57mm IS cartridge in the BESA machine gun
Besa machine gun
The Besa Machine Gun was a British version of the Czechoslovak ZB-53 air-cooled, belt-fed machine-gun, which in the Czechoslovak army was marked as the TK vz. 37...

 mounted on their armoured vehicles during World War II and referred to this ammunition as "7.92".

Development of the IS variant


The government-developed 8×57mm IS cartridge was a development of the M/88 8×57mm I. The older cartridge used a round-nosed bullet and was developed to be top-loaded into the magazine of the Gewehr 1888 rifle via an en bloc clip. The M/88 8×57mm I replaced the 11×60mm Mauser cartridge in German military service and marked Germany's switch from black powder to smokeless powder
Smokeless powder
Smokeless powder is the name given to a number of propellants used in firearms and artillery which produce negligible smoke when fired, unlike the older gunpowder which they replaced...

 ammuntion. The new 8×57mm IS bullet
Bullet
A bullet is a projectile propelled by a firearm, sling, or air gun. Bullets do not normally contain explosives, but damage the intended target by impact and penetration...

 was lighter, pointed, and 8.2 mm (0.322834645669291 in) in diameter instead of 8.08 mm (0.318110236220472 in). With the improved ballistic coefficient
Ballistic coefficient
In ballistics, the ballistic coefficient of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the negative acceleration—a high number indicates a low negative acceleration. BC is a function of mass, diameter, and drag coefficient...

, the new IS cartridge had a flatter trajectory, and was therefore less critical of range estimation. It was used in rifle
Rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

s—like the Gewehr 98
Gewehr 98
The Gewehr 98 is a German bolt action Mauser rifle firing the 8x57mm cartridge from a 5 round internal clip-loaded magazine that was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, when it was replaced by the Karabiner 98k. It was hence the main rifle of the German infantry during World War I...

, Karabiner 98k
Karabiner 98k
The Karabiner 98 Kurz was a bolt action rifle chambered for the 8x57mm IS/7.92×57mm IS cartridge that was adopted as the standard service rifle in 1935 by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles...

, Gewehr 41
Gewehr 41
The Gewehr 41 rifles, commonly known as the G41 or G41, were semi-automatic rifles used by Nazi Germany during World War II-Background:...

, FG 42
FG 42
The FG 42 was a selective fire battle rifle produced in Nazi Germany during World War II...

, or Gewehr 43
Gewehr 43
The Gewehr 43 or Karabiner 43 is an 8x57mm IS caliber semi-automatic rifle developed by Nazi Germany during World War II...

—and in machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s—like the MG 08, MG 34
MG 34
The Maschinengewehr 34, or MG 34, is a German air-cooled machine gun that was first produced and accepted into service in 1934, and first issued to units in 1935. It accepts the 8x57mm IS cartridge....

, or MG 42.

The rimless cartridge cases have been used as parent cases for several other necked down and necked up cartridges.

The rimmed variants, the 8×57mm IR and the 8×57mm IRS, were developed later for break-barrel rifles and combination gun
Combination gun
A combination gun is a break-action hunting firearm that comprises at least two barrels, a rifle barrel and a shotgun barrel, often but not always in an over and under configuration; side-by-side variations are known as cape guns. A ' refers to a combination gun that has three barrels...

s.

Military use


Due to the cartridge's high performance and versatility it was adopted by the armed forces of various governments, including Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, former German African colonies, and the early Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

. Its military use continues today in the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 in weapons like the Zastava M76 sniper rifle and the license-built copy of the MG 42, the SARAC M53 machine gun.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 it was one of the few cartridges used by both the Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 and Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 powers, a distinction it shared with the 9×19mm Parabellum pistol round. Apart from being the standard rifle cartridge of the German armed forces, it was also used by the armed forces of Great Britain in the Besa machine gun
Besa machine gun
The Besa Machine Gun was a British version of the Czechoslovak ZB-53 air-cooled, belt-fed machine-gun, which in the Czechoslovak army was marked as the TK vz. 37...

, which was mounted in some of their tanks and other armoured vehicles—it was known as "Cartridge, SA, 7.92".

Civil use


The 8×57mm IS and 8×57mm IRS are common chambering offerings in rifles marketed for European sportsmen, alongside broadly similar cartridges such as the 5.6×57mm, 6.5×55mm, 6.5×57mm, and the 6.5×68mm and 8×68mm S magnum hunting cartridges. Major European manufacturers like Blaser
Blaser
Blaser Jagdwaffen GmbH is a firearms manufacturer mostly of hunting rifles in Germany.It was founded in 1957 by Horst Blaser, developing the Drilling Blaser Diplomat....

, Česká Zbrojovka firearms
Ceská Zbrojovka Uhersky Brod
Česká zbrojovka a.s. Uherský Brod is a Czech firearms manufacturer.-History:CZUB was established in 1936 as a branch of the Česká zbrojovka armament firm in the small Moravian town of Uherský Brod in Czechoslovakia, now in the Czech Republic....

, Heym
Heym (gun manufacturer)
Heym AG is a famous German gun manufacturer established in 1865. Heym manufacture shotguns and hunting rifles of a high quality. They are one of the few manufacturers of double rifles.-Company history:...

, Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH
Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH
Mauser Jagdwaffen GmbH is a German manufacturer of hunting rifles in the SIG Sauer group.- 1999–2003 :In 1999, the Mauser civilian gun segment was separated from the military segment and was purchased by the German investors Michael Lüke and Thomas Ortmeier...

 and Steyr Mannlicher
Steyr Mannlicher
Steyr Mannlicher is a firearms manufacturer based in the city of Steyr, Austria. Originally a part of the Steyr-Daimler-Puch manufacturing conglomerate, it became independent when the conglomerate was broken in 1990.-History:...

 produce factory new 8×57mm IS hunting rifles and European ammunition manufacturers like Blaser, RUAG Ammotec/RWS
RUAG
RUAG is a Swiss technology company, with its headquarters in Bern. It has production sites in Switzerland , Germany , Sweden , Hungary and Austria .-Structure:The RUAG has following subsidiaries:*RUAG Aerospace RUAG is a Swiss technology company, with its headquarters in Bern. It has production...

, Sako
SAKO
SAKO, Limited is a Finnish firearm manufacturer located in Riihimäki....

 and Sellier & Bellot
Sellier & Bellot
Sellier & Bellot is the name of a Czech company situated in Vlašim that manufactures ammunition for firearms.In 2005 Sellier & Bellot celebrated its 180th anniversary.- Foundation :...

 produce factory new ammunition. In 2004 Remington Arms
Remington Arms
Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. It is the only U.S....

 offered a limited-edition Model 700 Classic
Remington 700
The Model 700 series of firearms are bolt-action rifles manufactured by Remington Arms since 1962. All are based on the same centerfire bolt action. They often come with a 3, 4 or 5-round internal magazine depending on caliber, some of which have a floor-plate for quick-unloading, and some of which...

 bolt action hunting rifle chambered for the 8×57mm IS. The 8×57mm IS cartridge's performance is comparable with the American .30-06 Springfield
.30-06 Springfield
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge or 7.62×63mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and standardized, and was in use until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy, and .30 US Army...

 cartridge and makes it suited for the hunting all large European game
Game
A game is structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work, which is usually carried out for remuneration, and from art, which is more often an expression of aesthetic or ideological elements...

 such as deer
Deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

, chamois
Chamois
The chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra, is a goat-antelope species native to mountains in Europe, including the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, the European Alps, the Tatra Mountains, the Balkans, parts of Turkey, and the Caucasus. The chamois has also been introduced to the South Island of New Zealand...

, mouflon
Mouflon
The mouflon is a subspecies group of the wild sheep Ovis aries. Populations of Ovis aries can be partitioned into the mouflons and urials or arkars...

, wild Boar and bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

s.

However, it cannot be used in countries which ban civil use of former or current military rifle cartridges, like France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Beside the 8x57mm Mauser and 8×57mm IS rimless rifle cartridges rimmed versions for break-action rifles also exist. The rimmed 8×57mm IR and 8×57mm IRS variants are offered as a chambering option in European break-action rifles.

Cartridge naming



European designations


The mainly European arms standards body Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives
Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives
The Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives is an international organisation whose members are 14 states, mainly European....

 ("Permanent International Commission for portable firearms testing")—an organisation for standards in ammunition for civilian use—currently designates two 8mm cartridges of 57mm case length. Following the original military nomenclature C.I.P. assigned the 8×57 I and 8×57 IS civil nomenclature to these cartridges.

U.S. designations


The United States standardizing body for sporting cartridges Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute
Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute
The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute is an association of American firearms and ammunition manufacturers...

 (SAAMI) designates the 8×57mm IS cartridge as the 8mm Mauser, also known as 8×57mm.

The SAAMI (voluntary) pressure limitation for the 8×57mm IS cartridge is Piezo SAAMI Pmax = 241.317 MPa (35,000 psi) or 37,500 CUP
Copper units of pressure
Copper units of pressure or CUP, and the related lead units of pressure or LUP, are terms applied to pressure measurements used in the field of internal ballistics for the estimation of chamber pressures in firearms. These terms were adopted by convention to indicate that the pressure values were...

. This is considerably lower than the C.I.P. pressure limit and is done for liability reasons, in case the 8×57mm IS cartridge is fired in an 'I' bore rifle that has a narrower throat and barrel diameter, to avoid catastrophic firearm failures that could endanger users or bystanders. European ammunition manufacturers generally only load to the lower pressure limit for "I" bore cartridges; and the US based manufacturer Hornady
Hornady
Hornady Manufacturing Company is an American manufacturer of ammunition and handloading components, based in Grand Island, Nebraska.The company was founded by Joyce Hornady in 1949 and is currently run by his son Steve Hornady who took over after his father's death in a plane crash in 1981.Hornady...

 followed their lead in their (now discontinued) EuroSpec brand 8×57 JS load.

Other names


Sometimes, the cartridge is called 7.92×57mm IS, however, this seems to be a persevering misnomer by English speaking sources. This designation was not used in Germany and is not used by either the C.I.P. or the SAAMI. The British Besa machine gun
Besa machine gun
The Besa Machine Gun was a British version of the Czechoslovak ZB-53 air-cooled, belt-fed machine-gun, which in the Czechoslovak army was marked as the TK vz. 37...

 used in armored vehicles during World War II was chambered for the 8×57mm IS and the British referred to this ammunition as 7.92mm. US intelligence documents from World War II also refers to the cartridge as 7.92mm.

The letter "J" often mentioned by English speaking sources is actually an "I" for Infanterie (German for "infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

"). A stamped "I" at the cartridge bottom in writing styles used in the past in Germany
Sütterlin
Sütterlinschrift , or Sütterlin for short, is the last widely used form of the old German blackletter handwriting . In Germany, the old German cursive script developed in the 16th century, replacing the Gothic handwriting at the same time that bookletters developed into the Fraktur typeface...

 could be easily mistaken for a "J". Even in the 21st century the "I" is often substituted by a "J" in English speaking communities and German ammunition manufacturers often write "JS" instead of "IS" to avoid confusing customers. The letter "S" stands for Spitzgeschoß ("pointed bullet"), and the English word "spitzer
Spitzer (bullet)
A spitzer, also commonly referred to as a spire point bullet, is an aerodynamic bullet design used in most intermediate and high-powered rifle cartridges...

" for that style of bullet is derived from this German term.

8×57mm I


The 8×57mm I cartridge has 4.03 ml
Litre
pic|200px|right|thumb|One litre is equivalent to this cubeEach side is 10 cm1 litre water = 1 kilogram water The litre is a metric system unit of volume equal to 1 cubic decimetre , to 1,000 cubic centimetres , and to 1/1,000 cubic metre...

 (62 grains) H2O cartridge case capacity. The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s alike, under extreme conditions.



8×57mm I maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters.

Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 ≈ 19.1 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 240 mm (1 in 9.45 in), 4 grooves, Ø lands = 7.80 mm, Ø grooves = 8.07 mm, land width = 4.40 mm and the primer type
Percussion cap
The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzleloading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems which produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the...

 is large rifle.

According to the official C.I.P. guidelines the 8×57mm I case can handle up to 380 MPa (55114 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle and cartridge combination has to be proofed
Proof test
A proof test is a test wherein a deliberately over-pressured round is fired from a firearm in order to verify that the firearm is not defective and will not explode on firing. The firearm is inspected after the test, and if it is found to be in sound condition, then it is marked with a proof mark...

 at 125% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers.

8×57mm IS


The 8×57mm IS cartridge has a cartridge case capacity of 4.09 ml (63 grains) H2O. The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s alike, under extreme conditions.



8×57mm IS maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters.

Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 ≈ 19.1 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 240 mm (1 in 9.45 in), 4 grooves, Ø
Diameter
In geometry, a diameter of a circle is any straight line segment that passes through the center of the circle and whose endpoints are on the circle. The diameters are the longest chords of the circle...

 of the lands = 7.89 mm, Ø grooves = 8.20 mm, land width = 4.40 mm and the primer type
Percussion cap
The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzleloading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems which produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the...

 is large rifle.

According to the official C.I.P. guidelines the 8×57mm IS case can handle up to 390 MPa (56,564 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle cartridge combination has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers.

German military ammunition


In 7.92×57mm caliber, "there were many German military versions of the cartridge, and Germany never stopped its development of different variations until the end" of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. "The bullet lengths varied a great deal through the different types, but all were loaded to an overall length" of 80.5 mm (3.2 in). The Germans had started using steel cases in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, "and by the end of 1943, most German ammunition had that type of case."

German military standard ball evolution

Name Year Caliber Bullet weight Length Rim Base Shoulder Neck OAL Muzzle velocity Muzzle energy
8×57mm I 1888 8.07 millimetre (0.317716535433071 in) 14.6 g (226 gr) 57 millimetres (2.2 in) 11.95 millimetre (0.470472440944882 in) 11.94 millimetre (0.47007874015748 in) 10.95 millimetre (0.431102362204724 in) 8.99 millimetre (0.353937007874016 in) 80.5 millimetres (3.2 in) 639 metres per second (2,096.5 ft/s) 2983 joules (2,200.1 ft·lbf)
8×57mm IS 1905 8.2 millimetre (0.322834645669291 in) 9.9 g (154 gr) 57 millimetres (2.2 in) 11.95 millimetre (0.470472440944882 in) 11.94 millimetre (0.47007874015748 in) 10.95 millimetre (0.431102362204724 in) 9.08 millimetre (0.35748031496063 in) 80.5 millimetres (3.2 in) 878 metres per second (2,880.6 ft/s) 3857 joules (2,844.8 ft·lbf)
8×57mm IS 1934 8.2 millimetre (0.322834645669291 in) 12.8 g (197 gr) 57 millimetres (2.2 in) 11.95 millimetre (0.470472440944882 in) 11.94 millimetre (0.47007874015748 in) 10.95 millimetre (0.431102362204724 in) 9.08 millimetre (0.35748031496063 in) 80.5 millimetres (3.2 in) 760 metres per second (2,493.4 ft/s) 3697 joules (2,726.8 ft·lbf)

  • The data for the 8×57mm I and the 8×57mm IS of 1905 is for Gewehr 98
    Gewehr 98
    The Gewehr 98 is a German bolt action Mauser rifle firing the 8x57mm cartridge from a 5 round internal clip-loaded magazine that was the German service rifle from 1898 to 1935, when it was replaced by the Karabiner 98k. It was hence the main rifle of the German infantry during World War I...

     rifles with 740 mm (29.1 in) barrel length.
  • The data for the 8×57mm IS of 1934 is for Karabiner 98k
    Karabiner 98k
    The Karabiner 98 Kurz was a bolt action rifle chambered for the 8x57mm IS/7.92×57mm IS cartridge that was adopted as the standard service rifle in 1935 by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles...

     rifles with 600 mm (23.6 in) barrel length.

German cartridge variants during World War II


The German standard sS (schweres Spitzgeschoß—"heavy pointed bullet") ball bullet was 35.3 mm (1.4 in) long, boat-tailed, and very well made. It was lead filled, had a gilding-metal-plated jacket, and weighed 12.8 gram (1.1520115201152E-06 gr). It offered the best aerodynamic efficiency and external ballistic performance of any standard rifle bullet used during World War II, with a G1 ballistic coefficient
Ballistic coefficient
In ballistics, the ballistic coefficient of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the negative acceleration—a high number indicates a low negative acceleration. BC is a function of mass, diameter, and drag coefficient...

 between 0.593 and 0.557 (ballistic coefficients are somewhat debatable). When fired at the typical muzzle velocity of 760 m/s (2,493 ft/s) out of a 600 mm (23.6 in) barrel the sS bullet retained supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 velocity up to and past 1000 m (1,094 yd) (V1000Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 1.07) under International Standard Atmosphere
International Standard Atmosphere
The International Standard Atmosphere is an atmospheric model of how the pressure, temperature, density, and viscosity of the Earth's atmosphere change over a wide range of altitudes. It has been established to provide a common reference for temperature and pressure and consists of tables of...

 conditions at sea level (air density
Density of air
The density of air, ρ , is the mass per unit volume of Earth's atmosphere, and is a useful value in aeronautics and other sciences. Air density decreases with increasing altitude, as does air pressure. It also changes with variances in temperature or humidity...

 ρ = 1.225 kg/m3). Even by contemporary (2010) standards 1000+ m (1,094+ yards) effective range is quite remarkable for a standard military rifle round.see Sniper rifle#Maximum effective range For recognition the circular groove between cap and brass was green, and it had a yellow colored bullet.

During World War II German snipers were issued with purpose manufactured sniping ammunition, known as the 'effect-firing' sS round. The 'effect-firing' sS round featured an extra carefully measured propellant charge and seated a sS full metal jacketed boat tail projectile of match grade build quality, lacking usual features such as a seating ring or cannelure to further improve the already high ballistic coefficient.

Special ammunition included:
(SmK tracer)—red circular groove, black bullet point
German tracer bullets "were the best put out by any country — streamlined and with excellent ballistics". ("Spitzer with Core")—steel cored projectile for use against targets behind thick covers, tanks, or airplanes. Red circular cap groove, yellow bullet. There was also a version with a black projectile which had a tungsten carbide instead of a steel core.
German Spitzgeschoss mit Kern
K bullet
Also: Patrone SmK 8x57mm ISThe K bullet is a 8x57mm IS armor-piercing bullet which has a tool steel core and which was designed to be fired from a standard Mauser rifle. It was used by the German infantry against the first British tanks in World War I...

 armor-piercing bullets were also very good, being very stable and accurate at long ranges. The most common type of armor-piercing round had a hardened-steel core with plated-steel jacket and weighed 11.5 gram (1.0350103501035E-06 gr). Other types appeared which used tungsten carbide
Tungsten carbide
Tungsten carbide is an inorganic chemical compound containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. Colloquially, tungsten carbide is often simply called carbide. In its most basic form, it is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes for use in industrial machinery,...

 and combinations for cores. Sintered iron and mild steel cores also came into use in ball ammunition. ("phosphorus with steel core") German Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

(Air force) 7.9 mm high velocity machine gun ammunition loaded with the 10.15 gram (9.13509135091351E-07 gr) PmK (Phosphor mit Stahlkern—"phosphorus with steel core") ball bullets, featuring a higher muzzle velocity than standard ammunition due to a more powerful smokeless powder
Smokeless powder
Smokeless powder is the name given to a number of propellants used in firearms and artillery which produce negligible smoke when fired, unlike the older gunpowder which they replaced...

 charge. These rounds were designated as V-patronen, with 'V' being short for improved . This cartridge can be recognised by the black circular cap groove, yellow bullet. ("observation") — The German Luftwaffe 10.85 gram (9.76509765097651E-07 gr) B (Beobachtung—"observation") HE incendiary ball bullets contained phosphorus and "had a pellet in it which exploded on contact with any target, however frail". The B ball bullet was like any other high-explosive or incendiary bullet, illegal for anti-personnel use according to the Hague Conventions
Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907)
The Hague Conventions were two international treaties negotiated at international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands: The First Hague Conference in 1899 and the Second Hague Conference in 1907...

. It featured a higher muzzle velocity than standard ammunition due to a more powerful smokeless powder
Smokeless powder
Smokeless powder is the name given to a number of propellants used in firearms and artillery which produce negligible smoke when fired, unlike the older gunpowder which they replaced...

 charge. These rounds were designated as V-patronen, with 'V' being short for improved . "The Germans maintained that it was used mainly for observation and range-finding, but observers report having seen them in rifle clips and machine gun belts". The regular German infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 units were not allowed to use this round; however German sniper
Sniper
A sniper is a marksman who shoots targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the capabilities of regular personnel. Snipers typically have specialized training and distinct high-precision rifles....

s sometimes used this high velocity round to gain an extra 100 metres (109.4 yd) effective range and cause horrendous wounds. The standard issue Karabiner 98k
Karabiner 98k
The Karabiner 98 Kurz was a bolt action rifle chambered for the 8x57mm IS/7.92×57mm IS cartridge that was adopted as the standard service rifle in 1935 by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles...

 rifles handled these higher pressure cartridges without issues. This cartridge can be recognised by the black circular cap groove, yellow bullet. (S incendiary)—black circular groove, clear or black bullet (blank cartridge)—two cannelures in the brass, red wood- or cardboard-bullet, cardboard plug (Fließpappe-Pfropfen) between bullet and propellant powder. Safe distance given at 25m. ("drill cartridge")—two variants:
    • S-Punkt ("S-dot") with vertical grooves in the brass for aiming exercises.
    • Werkzeug ("tool") with the same weight as a sS ball cartridge for examining the functioning of firearms action. A horizontal ring of small holes above the extractor grooves differentiated the Werkzeug round from the sS ball cartridge.

British military ammunition


British cartridges included "Ball", "Armour-Piercing", "Tracer", and "Incendiary". Blanks and a Drill round were also available for instruction purposes. The Drill round was an aluminium bullet fixed in a chromium-plated case which had three deep lengthwise recesses painted red to identify it. Ammunition was supplied in belted form with 225 rounds per belt.
Designation Marks Annulus colour Notes
Cartridge, SA, Ball, 7.92mm Mark I.Z, Mark II.Z dark purple if present Mark II.Z bullet has "flatter" nose and longer parallel portion to engage with rifling
Cartridge, SA, Armour-piercing, 7.92mm Mark I.Z, Mark II.Z Green hard steel core, lead-antimony sleeve, steel envelope
Cartridge, SA, Tracer, 7.92mm Mark I.Z, Mark II.Z Red red tracer composition in unstreamlined bullet. Effective for 900 yards.
Cartridge, SA, Incendiary, 7.92mm Mark I Blue


The Ball case was filled with a charge of around 45 grains of nitro-cellulose.

The British cartridge was used in only one weapon—the "7.92mm BESA machine gun
Besa machine gun
The Besa Machine Gun was a British version of the Czechoslovak ZB-53 air-cooled, belt-fed machine-gun, which in the Czechoslovak army was marked as the TK vz. 37...

". This was a Czech design adopted shortly before the war as a move towards rimless ammunition across the armed service. However the move was disrupted by the lead up to war. The BESA was only fitted to tanks and armoured cars of British design (the original Czech design was also produced for German use following the occupation of Czechoslovakia
German occupation of Czechoslovakia
German occupation of Czechoslovakia began with the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia's northern and western border regions, known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's pretext for this effort was the alleged privations suffered by...

) and captured German ammunition was used when available.

8mm cartridges compared


Maximum muzzle velocity comparison in % of the probably most proliferated European and American 8 mm rifle cartridges out of 650 mm (25.59 in) long barrels loaded with relatively light to heavy 8 mm bullets to their C.I.P. or SAAMI
Saami
Saami or SAAMI can stand for:*Sami people*Sami languages*Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute...

 (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) sanctioned maximum pressures.
Bullet weight gram (grain) 8.23 g (127 gr) 9.72 g (150 gr) 11.34 g (175 gr) 12.96 g (200 gr) 14.26 g (220 gr) Case capacity (%)
8×57mm IS 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
8×64mm S 102.7 102.7 102.8 102.9 102.9 110.3
.325 WSM 108.7 109.1 109.0 109.3 111.1 131.7
8×68mm S 108.4 108.5 108.7 110.5 112.3 136.5
8mm Rem. Mag. 111.9 112.3 114.5 115.3 116.0 157.1


This comparison is not totally objective since the 8mm Remington Magnum and .325 WSM
.325 WSM
.325 Winchester Short Magnum is an 8 mm caliber rebated rim bottlenecked centerfire short magnum cartridge that was introduced in 2005 by Winchester...

 operate at 448.16 MPa (65000 psi), the 8×68mm S at 440 MPa (63817 psi), the 8×64mm S at 405 MPa (58740 psi) and the 7.92×57mm Mauser at 390 MPa (56564 psi) maximum chamber pressure. Higher chamber pressure results in higher muzzle velocities.

The 8×57mm as parent case


This was the parent case for many other later cartridges, such as:
  • 5.6×57mm
  • 6×57mm Triebel (wildcat)
  • 6.5x57mm
  • 9×57mm Mauser
  • 9.3×57mm see 9×57mm Mauser article
  • 10×57mm
  • 10.5×57mm

See also


Contemporary military rifle cartridges
  • 7.62×54mmR
  • 8mm Lebel
  • .303 British
    .303 British
    .303 British, or 7.7x56mmR, is a .311 inch calibre rifle and machine gun cartridge first developed in Britain as a blackpowder round put into service in December 1888 for the Lee-Metford rifle, later adapted to use smokeless powders...

  • .30-06 Springfield
    .30-06 Springfield
    The .30-06 Springfield cartridge or 7.62×63mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and standardized, and was in use until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy, and .30 US Army...


External links