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help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

Article about: Dear all -- Completely new to this forum, not into firearms myself but am interested in getting some opinions for historical reasons. Here is my question: While working in southeastern Europ

  1. #1

    Default help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dear all -- Completely new to this forum, not into firearms myself but am interested in getting some opinions for historical reasons. Here is my question: While working in southeastern Europe recently I came across a bullet casing (right term?) from a spent cartridge that I suspect is WWII era. Other objects from the same site include a cartridge with a "WRA 1943 .303" headstamp and military debris that can be identified as German or British. I attach here a scaled drawing of the object. Can anyone help me identify it? My questions are:
    1) What is the manufacturing mark, and what does it tell me in terms of factory and year?
    2) What type of gun would have fired such a bullet?
    Many thanks, and apologies for my ignorance and any misuse of terms!
    Last edited by Rifleman; 07-08-2012 at 03:48 AM. Reason: problem with formatting

  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Looks to be the right size for a German 7.92mm bullet ..

    7.9257mm Mauser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Gary J.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Gary - too short for a 7.92x57.

    Rifleman - I am afraid we need a bit more info to identify your cartridge case, especially diameter of head (base) and neck. Also, the drawing does not make it clear whether that is an empty primer pocket in the head or..? Is there any chance of a photograph.

    Since you found it in SE Europe (Greece?) it could well be Italian (6.5x52 mm Carcano) or even Greek (6.5x54 Mannlicher). However I am still mystified by your drawing of the base!

    I expect you are already aware, but the .303 British case you found was made by Winchester on contract for Britain in 1943.

    Regards
    Tonye
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  4. #4

    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Quote by TonyE View Post
    Gary - too short for a 7.92x57.

    Rifleman - I am afraid we need a bit more info to identify your cartridge case, especially diameter of head (base) and neck. Also, the drawing does not make it clear whether that is an empty primer pocket in the head or..? Is there any chance of a photograph.

    Since you found it in SE Europe (Greece?) it could well be Italian (6.5x52 mm Carcano) or even Greek (6.5x54 Mannlicher). However I am still mystified by your drawing of the base!

    I expect you are already aware, but the .303 British case you found was made by Winchester on contract for Britain in 1943.

    Regards
    Tonye
    Dear Tonye and Gary,

    Many thanks for your responses. The bullet was indeed found in Greece at a place with WWII fortifications.

    Some more info -- I hope this helps with an identification! First, see the photo below -- unfortunately I dont have a shot of the headstamp. Second, the dimensions of the piece are 5.23 cm total length, 1.11-1.14 cm diameter head/base, 0.92 cm diameter neck. AS for your question, Tonye: I am sorry, but I dont know what a primer pocket is! If my memory serves me, the design on the drawing I sent before is a raised figure in the metal of the case, showing a pentagon enclosing a simple cross.

    I hope this helps, but please let me know your thoughts (and anyone else too!)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    It is probably an Italian 6.5mm Carcano, but could be a 6.5mm Greek mannlicher as I said previously.

    The choice is:
    6.5mm Carcano - case length 52mm, head diameter 11.31mm
    6.5mm Mannlicher - case length 54mm, head diameter 11.42mm

    Sorry for the jargon. The primer pocket is the circular recess in the base of the cartridge where the primer fits. In your case you say it is a pentagon enclosing a cross. This does not correspond in any way with what should be there! I can only presume it has been mis shapen somehow, but without a photograph it must remain a mystery.

    Regards
    TonyE
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  6. #6

    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Quote by TonyE View Post
    It is probably an Italian 6.5mm Carcano, but could be a 6.5mm Greek mannlicher as I said previously.

    The choice is:
    6.5mm Carcano - case length 52mm, head diameter 11.31mm
    6.5mm Mannlicher - case length 54mm, head diameter 11.42mm

    Sorry for the jargon. The primer pocket is the circular recess in the base of the cartridge where the primer fits. In your case you say it is a pentagon enclosing a cross. This does not correspond in any way with what should be there! I can only presume it has been mis shapen somehow, but without a photograph it must remain a mystery.

    Regards
    TonyE
    Many thanks for this Tonye, extremely helpful! Is it possible that the Germans had Italian ammunition?? Or can we assume that, if this is a Carcano bullet, then there must have been Italian troops there?

    Another clarification: isnt it possible that the pentagon/cross is a headstamp (in this case a symbol and not a text), or is such a headstamp unattested for the Italian Carcano and Greek mannlicher cartiridges?

    many thanks for the great help -- rifleman

  7. #7

    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Compare it with these cases found also in Crete-Greece (Greek mannlicher schonauer and Italian carcano). I believe that yours is from the Italian carcano.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Italian troops were in Greece from April 1941 to September 1943.
    aghs

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Sorry for the delay in answering.

    Assuming your case is from a Carcano (which I am sure it is) then the symbols shown in the drawing cannot be a headstamp because there is no primer shown. (That's the circular copper piece in the centre of the base if you are unfamiliar with cartridge terminology). Look at the pictures in the post above. Notice that the cartridges in the lower row have an annular ring between the primer and the edge of the head, which is typical of all Italian military Carcano cartridges. It looks to me that your drawing shows a similar ring or groove.

    As has been posted above, there were Italian troops in Greece so that would explain your find.

    Regards
    TonyE
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  9. #9

    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    Quote by TonyE View Post
    Sorry for the delay in answering.

    Assuming your case is from a Carcano (which I am sure it is) then the symbols shown in the drawing cannot be a headstamp because there is no primer shown. (That's the circular copper piece in the centre of the base if you are unfamiliar with cartridge terminology). Look at the pictures in the post above. Notice that the cartridges in the lower row have an annular ring between the primer and the edge of the head, which is typical of all Italian military Carcano cartridges. It looks to me that your drawing shows a similar ring or groove.

    As has been posted above, there were Italian troops in Greece so that would explain your find.

    Regards
    TonyE
    Thanks a lot TonyE, you have been a huge help!

  10. #10

    Default Re: help identifying bullet casing, WWII era?

    My Daughter found these from the Braunton burrows training ranges. They are from an area not used too much for training today.

    Just wondered if anyone knows their age etc..Click image for larger version. 

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