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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up 1938 dated Nazi marked 8x56R ammo & boxes

    I was talking to a friend this morning about the Nazi marked 8x56R ammo I used to have, and that I thought I had shot all of it before I knew that it was collectible... later in the morning i went down into my gun room and started looking around, and came across a box of odds & ends, ammo that I had put away, etc. and found these full boxes.... Needless to say, I will NOT be firing any of this ammo :D.
    Last edited by gunhorde; 10-11-2008 at 06:52 PM. Reason: changed wording
    Gunhorde [:D]

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  2. #2
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    Did anyone notice that ALL Austrian ammunition from 1938 is marked VIII at 12 o'clock? According to my ammo books that's where the month of the manufacture is stamped - so it was all made in August? Hm... Has anyone seen a number other than VIII?

    DocAV, what's your theory on this "magic eight"?
    Last edited by Nick; 10-13-2008 at 09:47 AM.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

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    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

  3. #3
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    I don't get it. I've got a 20mm ammo can full of that stuff. Is it a rare year or something?

  4. #4
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    No, it isn't rare, at least now. I've got 10 ammo cans full of this ammo. Bulgarian brass-cased is rarer and Hungarian is even more rare. The rarest is Bulgarian steel-cased (made in 1944).
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

  5. #5
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    I can't find ANY in my area, and the last batch that was local (Sportmans' Guide is local to me) was 1941 dated Austrian in 150-round solder sealed zinc-plated rectangular ammo cans with leather handles. That source is gone now, and nobody else local has any that I know of.

    I know it's not rare, but there WILL come a day when the Nazi marked ammo will be harder or impossible to get. So I'm keeping this small lot unfired and will continue to look for shootable ammo.

    Nick, I'd LOVE to have two boxes of the Hungarian 8x56R on clips, I've got the boxes. If you can spare any and would consider parting with 4 clips full, please contact me offline. Many thanks for all of the info gentlemen!

    Best regards,
    Last edited by gunhorde; 10-11-2008 at 08:59 PM. Reason: added comments.
    Gunhorde [:D]

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  6. #6
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    Hi Nick, you do seem to be on top of 8x56R ammo. I always value your input. Anyway, I was a given a box with two clips of steel case 8x56R ammo made in '42 with L over M stamp opposite the date. Any idea who, what, when, where? The clips are marked with the same L over M. Here are some pictures. Also, one of the clips look like it was only partially heat treated. Thanks, Steve
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  7. #7
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    Nick, I'd LOVE to have two boxes of the Hungarian 8x56R on clips
    Sorry, man, I only have two boxes, that's all.
    L over M stamp ...Any idea who, what, when, where?
    LM = Magyar Loszermuvek (former Manfred Weiss). Hungarian ammo made in 1942. And yes, clips were heat treated as they needed to be springy being part of the magazine.
    Last edited by Nick; 10-11-2008 at 10:25 PM.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

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    So aside from Milsurp.com, where can you find this stuff? The Milsurp.com boxes have all been opened, and their clips removed.
    This is *My Rifle*

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    Thanks Nick, is this ammo rare as I've never seen any other 8X56R steel case ammo....or do I need to get out more?

    LM = Magyar Loszermuvek (former Manfred Weiss). Hungarian ammo made in 1942. And yes, clips were heat treated as they needed to be springy being part of the magazine.[/QUOTE]
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  10. #10
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    Hungarian ammo is rare, both brass & steel cased. I have never seen it in quantity, only single cartridges and boxes.
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

  11. #11
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    So what's the origen of the stuff J&G Sales is selling these days? Lion headstamp, 1940's vintage, shoots great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by my-rifle View Post
    So what's the origen of the stuff J&G Sales is selling these days? Lion headstamp, 1940's vintage, shoots great.
    Bulgarian..

  13. #13
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    Default 8x56R ammo "VIII" month.

    The VIII month ( August) seems to be the most prolific of Austrian ("Ostmark") Made 8x56R
    ammo out of Bulgarian inventory...probably because that is the major production of this ammo for Bulgaria.
    I have in my collection, almost all the months of every year from 1931 ( firstly the Wollersdorf Eagle from 1931 to February-March 1938, then the "stick-bird" from April to July 1938, then the properly engraved "Nazi Eagle" from August 38 to January 39.

    I also have packet labels from 1931 to 1939, with the variations noting "MfW" with Hapsburg Eagle, (Munitions Fabrik Wollersdorf) to P635 with Nazi Eagle ( Hirtenberger Patronenfabrik, who "ran" Wollersdorf, and other facilities in Austria.).
    Also some "overstamps" at the change of contol (March to August 38.)

    To note that the majority of this ammo has been repacked in Bulgaria, using original cartons and labels, which MAY NOT actually match the contents as to Month/Year dates ( Usually all is 1938, with occasional previous years.)
    I have not found any "letter code" headstamps ( 1940 onwards), although several board members have noted both 1940 and 41 production of Hirtenberger with the German three letter code.

    It seems that the "lettercode" 8x56R was for internal use by German auxiliary forces in Ostmark, whilst the pre-1940 manufacture was for export to Bulgaria (along with the almost totality of M95/30 type Rifles done in 1938/39). Bulgaria had started making its own (Brass) 8x56R in 1936, mostly for MG use, with some of its M95 rifles being converted by Austria the same way the Austrians were converting their own...after the Anschluss of March 1938, the Germans decided that all the Austrian inventory of M95/30 rifles could be shipped to Bulgaria after conversion (most were already converted) as the Austrian Divisions were re-armed with 7,9mm Mausers etc. Only a small number of the M95/30 were retained by Police units etc for internal use.

    Steel cases: I have in my collection, several cardboard boxes of clipped steel Bulgarian (1944) packed in of all things, G.Roth export M1888 clips (solid sided, long guide ribs)...obviously the Bulgarians never threw clips away.

    ML steel cases: ML made steel 8x56R for the Hungarian Army, using German technology, from 1941 on, and also made 8x50R using Steel cases AND the 31M BT bullet ( Hungary had stopped making 8x50R RN ammo back in them mid-1930s.).

    For such a short production history, the 8x56R cartridge has three countries,( four if you count post Anschluss "Ostmark" as part of Germany) two case metals, a variety of Powder loads, was used as the basis of two other cartridges (Hungarian factory modified 8x50R(1943-45) and in 1946, first production of 7,62x54R in Bulgaria)....all from 1930 to 1946, and then a short run in the 1950s (Austria again) and also Hungary ( 1955-56).

    Combat use: Balkans( German and Bulgarian "Police" Action) Hungary ( internally in 1945, and also Russian front; Bulgaria: After turned over to Soviet Army(1944) against Hungary and Germans in Romania etc. After WW II: clearing up remaining "Freedom fighters" in some of the Eastern nations over-run by the Soviet Army, and in the 1956 Hungarian Uprising.
    1980s: Supplied to various civil war groups in Mozambique, photographed by an Italian Journalist, who recognised them as the same "Mannlichers" of the Austro-Hungarian Empire of his grandfather's time ( WW I).Photos distinctly show large "S" on barrel shank, and "S" type ammo.

    Disposition: Nearly whole of Bulgarian "Strategic Reserve" of M95/30 type rifles and carbines surplussed off in late 1980s to Century and its associates in Europe, as well as all the Bulgarian Ammo inventory.

    regards,
    Doc AV
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocAV View Post
    ...I have in my collection, almost all the months of every year from 1931 ( firstly the Wollersdorf Eagle from 1931 to February-March 1938, then the "stick-bird" from April to July 1938, then the properly engraved "Nazi Eagle" from August 38 to January 39...
    Thanks Doc, that's what I thought also.

    Could you please - please! - show pictures of Austrian head stamps from 1938 other than the ubiquitous VIII? Thank you!
    "It's impossible to grasp the boundless" - Kozma Prutkov

    "Бросая в воду камешки, смотри на круги, ими образуемые; иначе такое бросание будет пустою забавою." - Козьма Прутков

    "A який чоловiк горилку не пье - то вiн або хворий, або подлюка." - Невідомий українець

  15. #15
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    Thanks Nick, DocAV, et. al. for all of the info - FASCINATING STUFF !!
    Gunhorde [:D]

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  16. #16
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    Doc and Nick, I have to second the thanks to both of you for so freely sharing your knowledge.

    Thanks, Steve
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  17. #17
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    I just bought 2,000 rounds of that Bulgarian 7.62mm ammo today. Brass-cased and beautiful it's the best Mosin-Nagant ammo I've ever used. Accurate as I've seen, and it extracts like butter. Never once have I experienced sticky bolt when shooting brass-cased Bulgarian ammo.

    I'll be adding 2000 rounds of the 8x56r next week. I'm starting to like the Bulgarians more and more every day.
    Last edited by my-rifle; 10-13-2008 at 08:29 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Default My 8x56R ammo

    Here are a few pics of some of my 8x56R ammo. Most is 1940 and 1941 Bulgarian in the 250 round cans in paper packets of 20 rounds. The 150 round cardboard box has a mixed lot of loose ammo with various headstamps from early 1930s.
    Regards
    Peter.

  19. #19
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    There was some variation of materials used on the 8x56R cartridge case, as previously stated. When I was a teenager in the 1960's, surplus ammo in this caliber was fairly easily obtained (@ .05 per). I bought ammo of several different dates and origins of manufacture to shoot in my M95 and 35M. Other than the typical German/Austrian ammo of circa 1938, I don't recall all the different headstamps. Some of this ammo made circa 1943 was made with a steel case, but it was copper washed on the outside so as to have a reddish, coppery color. I also used to get some steel cased ammo that must have been made a little later; it was also headstamped 1943 (AH case), but was the typical gray color with a lacquer coating similar to German military 7.92x57mm steel cased ammo.

    When I was that age, I used to look forward to scrapping the brass cases. This was kind of a rebate on the price of the ammo, and we used to get .16 or .17 a pound for it. The steel cases were a big disappointment as they cut into the brass money. 20 years after firing, I would go out to locations in the California desert where I had fired the 8x56R's and I could still find my steel cases littering the ground. In the meantime, they'e probably been over-whelmed by 7.62x54R.

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