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Boer 7mm Mauser ammunition, "kort nek" and normal. 9 years 5 months ago #7300

  • LinneyI
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Prior to the outbreak of the ABW, the OVS and Transvaal imported some 45k German made Mauser rifles and carbines of Spanish Pattern in calibre 7mm. Sources indicate that the main arsenal at Pretoria held about 17 million rounds of appropriate ammunition for the Mausers; together with considerable stocks of .45" MH, .303" and 8mm Guedes.
All, however, was not well regarding the 7mm Mauser rounds themselves. Complaints were made about "certain Mauser cartridges causing Mausers to burst" and that "men put the cause down to certain cartridges - and refused to take them". The rounds in question were described as having "short" cases.
(citation can be supplied). It certainly was not a Camp Rumour.
Observing the conflict from the Boer side was the US Military attache; who reported that special "short neck" Mauser ammunition was made for the Boers and that ruptured cartridge cases were common, bullets broke up frequently but all of this was "fairly overcome" by lubricating the bullets. Correct specification 7mm Mauser rounds had a cartridge case length of c.57mm; wheras the "short" cases measured 53mm.
What had gone wrong? Why had non-specification rounds been supplied? A clue seemed to be provided by the offending "short neck" rounds having the letters "F y A" included in their headstamp; the letters indicating "Rifles and Machine Guns" and this marking may have been appropriate for Mauser ammunition supplied to Belgium, Spain and Turkey in another calibre. That other calibre was 7.65mm and the cartridge case of that round was dimensionally similar to the 7mm Mauser round; save for it's length (53mm) and calibre.
It does seem highly probable that one or more ammunition makers contracted to make 7mm Mauser ammunition for the Boers had converted Mauser rounds in one calibre to another; perhaps during the production process and before the rounds had been finally assembled. No proof exists for any of this - just a shrewd guess. Not all Boer Mauser 7mm ammunition was of the offending sub type; the "short neck" rounds today are reasonably scarce here in OZ.
The Boer authorities got around the Mauser ammunition problem as best they could. Some were resized and reloaded by their Dynamite Factory, rounds were greased and the Dynamite Factory even used "red copper" as a bullet jacket material. It all came to nothing and Pretoria fell on 05061900.
The attached pics show examples of the two types of 7mm Mauser ammunition; as well as appropriate headstamps (base markings). I have had to take a few short cuts in presenting this litle contribution; if any forum member needs to know more, I would be happy to supply sources and citations.
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Boer 7mm Mauser ammunition, "kort nek" and normal. 9 years 4 months ago #8228

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Ian,
What are the headstamps, I can't get the second photo to expand to its full size, assume FYA is Spanish, fusiles y ametralladores, so would suggest a contract for Argentina or similar?
I take it, that many of these were made by DWM?
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Boer 7mm Mauser ammunition, "kort nek" and normal. 9 years 4 months ago #8258

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Ian,
I am thinking something like;
DM
18 96
AYF

Regards Frank

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Boer 7mm Mauser ammunition, "kort nek" and normal. 9 years 4 months ago #8259

  • LinneyI
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Frank
The round on the left was made by Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik at Karlshrue in 1899. The second and third rounds were made by the same concern and the "FyA" does mean rifles and MG's. Could be rounds intended for any Spanish speaking nation using Mauser rifles in 7.65mm; South American or of course, Spain. DM later became DWM. At one stage, I recall someone here telling me that he had a "kort nek" 7mm round marked "FyA" made by FN and dated 1900. Never saw it though. The full story behind the "kort neks" is likely never to be known.
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IL.

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Boer 7mm Mauser ammunition, "kort nek" and normal. 9 years 4 months ago #8261

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Many thanks Ian,
When I click on both pictures they will not expand, so I can't see them, was FN actually a subsidiary of DWM in those days?
Regards Frank

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Boer 7mm Mauser ammunition, "kort nek" and normal. 9 years 4 months ago #8262

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Frank
Yes, it was. A lot of the Continental firms had a tie-in with each other prior to WW1.
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IL.

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