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 Austrian Berdan Primers 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:42 am
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Post Austrian Berdan Primers
Hello,
I have been reading an article by John Moss about the 8mm Roth-Steyr cartridge. In the article John mentions the way in which Austrian Berdan primers were made; they had the flash hole through the anvil. I found this little bit of info very interesting. Do other Austrian cartridges use this type of Berdan primer? Did other countries use this as well? Thank you.
Ian B.

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IanB
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Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:40 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Like this?

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Polish 7,92x57 made by Zaklady Amunicyjne "Pocisk" S.A. from 1924

PJB


Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:21 am
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
The Czechs also used that style of anvil in Berdan primers.

When Royal Laboratory in Britain were developing the .256 and .276 inch rounds for what became the Pattern 13 rifle several of the case designs had this style of anvil. It was known as the "Continental" anvil in the UK.

Regards
TonyE

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Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:18 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Ian: This style of Berdan primer was generally employed for Austrian-made small arms ammunition from (perhaps) 1890 until after the first war. In addition to the countries already named it was also used in Norway, the Netherlands, and Portugal. These used it in large part because of their previous purchase of Austrian-made arms and ammunition. I imagine there's a very good chance these latter countries also acquired cartridge-making machinery from that source. Jack


Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:02 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Thank you Jack, Tony E and PJB for the information. Interesting.

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Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:28 am
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
The Georg Roth Patent Berdan primer was used in ( nearly) all Austrian-made Ammo up to the late 1930s, as well as in Portugal ( to 1937) Nederlands (WW II) Romania (?WWII) Poland ( 1919-1939) and Czechoslovakia(1919-1939).

AS shown in above Photos, the Gashed Anvil with central flash hole was used in
6,5 Dutch and Romanian ( .199") 8x50R Austrian (.199") .303 ( .250") 7,9mm ( .217") 6,5 Swede ( Norway .199") 8x56R Kropatschek (.250") and several Pistol calibres made in Austria-Hungary.
I don't know if the Bulgarian 8x50R was also Roth ( .199) primed, I suspect so, as early deliveries were from both Roth and other Austrian Factories. Deliveries from SFM were twin-flash holes ( 1904-05).

Most makers abandoned the .199" primer as they improved their manufacturing facilities, usually with German Machinery, in the middle to late 1930s.( Voluntarily or under German Occupation.) Austria began in 1930, with the introduction of the M30 (8x56R) cartridge, which from 1931 had a .217" "German" style primer ( twin flash holes). Portugal changed in 1937, when their ammo plant was re-set to make 7,9mm ammo, by RWS/DWM...they also changed the .303 Primer Pocket from Roth to Standard twin flash hole (still .250"). Portugal switched to .217" Standard Pocket in post-war .303 (by FNM)

Poland and Czechoslovakia changed under German occupation ( both in 1939) to normal German Berdan practice. On Romania I don't have any info when they changed to the "German "system...probably when they adopted the 7,9 calibre (late 30s); as they got ammo from both the Czechs ( .217" Roth) and Germany (.217" Standard)
Holland did not change, as WWII effectively obsoleted the 6,5x53R, and Post War the Dutch made only .303 and 7,9 ammo ( and then the US/Nato calibres).
Germany did make Steel 6,5x53R ammo for use within occupied Holland, but I have no info as to the primer used.
Greece which had used Roth-primed 6,5x54MS, after WWII used FN made 6,5x54 with .217" primers (Standard). WWII also effectively killed the Mannlicher Schoenauer cartridge in Greece, as they were re-equipped with .303 and .30 cal equipment.

The ammo made by Hirtenberg for Italy in the mid 1930s ( 6,5 Carcano and 8x50R) was primed with .199" ( assumed Roth) primers.

The main advantage of the Roth primer is that it allowed a simple, American system of decapping a fired case ( which many countries did in the Pre-WW I era, for Depot Reloading, for Practice, Gallery and Blank manufacture)

I have a set of custom-made dies for 8x50R ( my Lee Express Rifle, BSA) which has a very fine decapping Pin ( rounded end) to gently push out the .199" primer from Czech (1935) Bulgarian contract ammo. I suspect the Dutch would have used the same system ( they reloaded a lot of ammo, especially the KNIL ( East Indies Army). After WW I, the need for "Reloadable" Berdan primed ammo sort of disappeared, ( but the Dutch persisted). Economic necessities of war ended the Roth primer's utility by the late 1930s. ( if it was ever a factor)

Also the standardisation to a .217" cup with more priming compound for large cartridge powder charges also nailed the Roth Coffin down.

An interesting dead end in primer development over the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Doc AV


Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:45 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Little correction for Polish ammunition with primer type Roth:

1) Only one firm used this type primer: Zakłady Amunicyjne "Pocisk" S.A.
2) This primer was used only in two types ammunition: 7,92x57 and 8x50R Mannlicher (made by "Pocisk")
3) And was used in only to year c. 1925/26

PJB


Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:01 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Doc AV, the German steel cased variation of the Dutch 6.5 mm used ordinary primers 88 or 30/40.
(cartridge drawing in Bundesarchiv, dated 5th Jan 1943)


Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:40 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Czechoslovakian 7,92x57 Mauser. Photo by PashaM (from: reibert.info)
ImageImage

Greek 8x50R Lebel (no.5 on picture). Photo by treshkin (from: reibert.info)
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6,5x53,5R Mannlicher. Photo by chejen (from: reibert.info)
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Austrian 8x50R Mannlicher. Photo by Мося (from: reibert.info)
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Bulgarian 8x50R Mannlicher. Photo by valo (from: reibert.info)
Image
Image

German 8x50R Mannlicher. Photo by valo (from: reibert.info)
Image

French (?) 8x50R Mannlicher. Photo by valo (from: reibert.info)
Image


Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:10 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Dear PJB,
Thanks for showing your extensive Roth primed Case collection.

The German-made 8x50R cases (during WW I) and the Romanian Contract DWM 6,5x53R M93 cases must have been made "to buyer's Specs" ( ie with Roth primer), rather than using the "off the shelf" (standard twin hole) priming method used by Germany at that time.

Also, the Info that Poland only used the Roth system up to 1925 for 8x50R M93; BTW, did Poland also make their own 8x51R lebel ammo??? (given the large qty. of French rifles in the 1920s?)

And, the examples of 1940 S&B 7,9mm ( "Export" and "non-Wehrmacht" use ammo), still with the Roth primer...even though by 1940, S&B was wholly controlled by the nazi munitions organisation, and had implemented German standards for ammo production for Wehrmacht use.

Very nice collection...
Doc AV


Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:50 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Nice pictures of the Austrian single flash hole primer pockets PJB. Anybody know if the "flash channel" was punched or machined? Some pictures look like they were machined or maybe just a rough die.
Gourd

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Herschel Logan's cartridge book depicts an 8 m/m Lebel cartridge with a Polish headstamp; book not presently at hand. Jack


Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
I have 4 Polish Lebel in my collection:
Pk 27 D 67
Pk 28 DZ 67
Pk 28 E 67
Pk 27 NW 67
The first 2 are blanks, the 3rd is ball, and the last is balle D/heavy ball.

Hans

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:02 am
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
Thanks for the photos PJB and for everyone for the info. The pictures show it very nicely.

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:33 pm
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Post Re: Austrian Berdan Primers
The first cartridge adopted by Austria using a case with the axial hole primer anvil was the "8 mm scharfe Patrone M. 1888" (8 x 50 R M. 1888) and the Berdan primer for it was designated "M. 1888 Patronenkapsel". I'm not aware of a Roth patent covering this design.

In 1917, when DWM made 7.9 x 57 cases using this design, it was designated "Spezial-Zündung Mannlicher-Art".


Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:49 pm
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