German Drilling

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by catman, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. catman

    catman New Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    I am trying to find out when and where this gun was made and its value.

    It is stamped on the side of the barrel: fluss stahl krupp essen

    On top of the barrel it is stamped in gold: K. Kormes, I think, hard to read

    The (2) 16 ga barrels have the proof stamps: B over Crown, Crown over S, Crown over U, & Crown over N.

    The Rifle barrel has the proof stamps: Crown over N, Crown over U, & Crown over G. Also StmG/12.7gr

    The rifle barrel is also stamped: 7.8mm/57 This, I believe is the caliber, and I don’t know what this means.

    On the flats were the gun breaks, it is stamped: 87 I believe this is the s/n because the barrel has this number also.

    The gun is missing a screw for the hammer, the recoil pad is dry rotting, and the finish has a patina look to it.

    Thanks for your help,


    Attached Files:

  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    >fluss stahl krupp essen< Fluid steel, Krupp, Essen. Fluid steel, as opposed to Damascus, Krupp is the maker, in the town of Essen.

    >The (2) 16 ga barrels have the proof stamps: B over Crown, Crown over S, Crown over U, & Crown over N.< Crown over S, German shotgun proof, 1891 -1939. Crown over U, German definitive proof, 1891 - 1939. Crown over N, German Nitro proof (nitro is smokeless powder, instead of black), 1912 - 1939. I can't find a B over a Crown, but a Crown over B is proofed for Mauser powder, around 1891.

    >The Rifle barrel has the proof stamps: Crown over N, Crown over U, & Crown over G. Also StmG/12.7gr< Crown over N and U, see above. Crown over G, German rifle proof, 1891 - 1939. 12.7 grams is 195 grains. I figger that's the bullet weight it was made for.

    >The rifle barrel is also stamped: 7.8mm/57 This, I believe is the caliber, and I don’t know what this means.< Never heard of a 7.8mm/57, but 7.9x57mm is the standard 8mm Mauser German military round from 1898 until the end of WW2. I suppose that 7.8 could be the older round, that used a .318 bullet instead of the .323 bullet.

    Germans seem to be able to understand that 7.9x57J (with the smaller bullet) and 7.9x57JS (with the larger bullet) are two different rounds, and made guns in both calibers. It appears, though, that Americans are too stupid to know the difference, so they only load JS ammo in this country, but they load it to very low pressures so when morons shoot it through J barrels they won't blow the gun up.

    But I digress. :p

  3. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    catman: What a great example of beautiful old world art you have. I think the patina that you refer is actually case coloring of the frame and while it might be a bit faded it appears to be in very nice condition. As for Alpo he is a wealth of information but I don't necessarily agree that Americans are stupid or that they are morons to shoot .323 bullets in a .318 bore. For one, shooting 323 bullets in a 318 bore assuming you could chamber it, really wouldn't hurt a thing. P.O. Ackley proved this by re-chambering a 30-06 barrel (.308) to accept .323 bullets making an 8mm-06 and even opening it up to .358 bullet (35 Whelen) with no sign of increased pressure all using 180 grain bullets and the same powder charge. Secondly I think I would seriously have to question the reasoning why anyone (the Germans) would make two cartridges with a bore diameter of only .005 difference.

    As for a value I don't know for sure but if it were mine $5,000.00 would not buy it.

    Now if Alpo wants to refer to those Americans who helped put Obama into office as morons or stupid I have no choice but to concede to that notion.

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Oh, c'mon. That was sarcasm.

    But, American ammo makers do not make .318 bullet loads in 8mm, and do not load 8mm to the correct pressure for the reason I said, that they were afraid someone would shoot the bigger bullet in the smaller bore and blow their gun up and sue the ammo maker.

    Now, I don't understand how you can relate increasing the bore size (which is what an 8/06 or a 35 Whelen is) with shooting an oversize bullet down a barrel.

    In 1888 a group of people designed a gun and a bullet for it. It is normally referred to as the "Commision Mauser". It was chambered for a round nose .318 bullet. In 1898 Peter Paul Mauser designed a rifle. Much stronger. He chambered his for a .323 Spitzer bullet. The 1888 gun was considered pretty much of a disaster (a prime example of why you should not have things designed by committee), so Germany adopted the 98 Mauser, and Herr Mauser's version of the 7.9mm.

    Notice this gun. Says in the blurb about it that the barrel is marked with an S, which means it was rechambered for the larger .323 bullet. You might want to read this thread. It is explained nicely there. Then look at this page, and go down near the bottom and read "Safety Notice".

    Governments do stupid stuff like that. Our government adopted a rifle in 1903, and a new 200 grain round nose bullet for it. The 30/03. Three years later they redesigned the ammo, making it slightly shorter, and using a lighter bullet, and making it a spitzer instead of a round nose, and increasing the velocity. The 30/06. Just because you don't understand why does not mean it didn't happen.
  5. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    Alpo: I think government and stupid stuff are synonymous with most any government. What I was referring to making my point that firing a 323 bullet in a 318 barrel will not raise pressures was proven out by P.O. Ackley when he re-chambered (not re-barreled) a 30-06 to 8mm-06 and using the same powder charge fired a 180 grain 323 bullet in a 308 bore with no sign of increase pressure. He then re-chambered the same barreled action into essentially a 35 Whelen and again using a 180 grain 358 bullet with the same powder charges as the 180 grain 30-06 and 180 grain 323 bullets shot the 358 180 grain bullet through the 308 bore. I hope I did a better job of explaining my reasoning.

    Thanks for those links and again as always I enjoy your knowledge.

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  6. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    There's a book. Actually a series, I believe, called Gunsmith Kinks. I think Brownells prints them. Stories of stupid stuff various gunsmiths tell them.

    One of them is about Japanese rifles. The Type 99, 7.7 Jap, was a common war trophy. Since the ammo was rare, a common thing was to just shoot 30/06 in it. The dimensions of the cases are similar enough that they would fit and fire. You'd be shooting a .308 bullet in that .313 bore, but they weren't after target accuracy. Minute of deer was considered to be acceptable.

    One of the gunsmiths told about a man that brought in his Jap rifle, complaining that the bolt would not open. When asked he said that he had been doing that - shooting 30/06 in it. He said it was hard to get the bolt closed, and he had fired five shots. The first four were harder to get the bolt open than it had been to get it closed. After the last shot the bolt would not open, so he had brought it in. Thing was, this was not a Type 99, in 7.7 Jap, this was a Type 38, in 6.5 Jap. He was shooting a .308 bullet down a .257 bore. He said it did have a rather stout kick.

    I used to work with a boy whose father had bought an 1892 Krag from the NRA, back in the 60s. He insisted that it was chambered in 303 British. He took me to his house and showed me. The only ammo they had in the gun cabinet was 303 Brit. He said they'd been shooting it in that gun for 30 years. 303 Brit uses a .313 bullet, while 30/40, the correct caliber for that gun, uses a .308. Apparently it didn't hurt it. With both of those cartridges being rimmed, the fact that the shoulders weren't in the same place didn't matter, and the 303 Brit is just enough shorter that the bullet did not get stuck in the front of the chamber.
  7. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    The fact that this drilling can handle smokeless powder loads does stand in its favor. However drillings which achieve really high prices are the more modern hammerless types produced in the thirties. These are the ones which are worth thousands, while the hammer types go for far less.
  8. laconian

    laconian New Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    Hello All ... help please

    I have a German drilling from about the 1930's. Made in Suh.
    Its a quality gun with blitz action.

    16g 2.5" shotgun barrels and the riffle is what im having a problem with.

    The numbers on bottom of the barrel for the riffling are faded. I am trying to figure out the caliber.

    What i can make out is 6,3 or 6,5mm (this is what the top number looks like).

    The bottom number is hard to make out the first number may be a 5 or it may not be a number at all but a symbol instead (maybe an S) . The second bottom number may be an 8 or a 6 or a 0 . What is clear on the bottom number is that at the end it has 1/2 (a small number 1 over the number 2).

    Also the S.t.m.G is 8gr.

    Any information you can provide me would help dearly.
    Thank you
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    A few comments. The 7.7 Jap will fire in a .30-'06 rifle, but not vice versa; the .30 round won't even go all the way into the 7.7 chamber.

    The change from the German J bullet to the JS did not involve bore size, which remained at .311". They deepened the grooves to allow barrels to last longer and bullet size is determined by the groove diameter, not the bore diameter.

    But when those 1888 Commission rifles were converted to use the new "JS" ammunition, they didn't rebore or re-rifle the barrel, they just ran in a chambering reamer to enlarge the chamber throat. Had that not been done, the case neck would not have had room to expand and pressures would have gone sky high. It is that situation the American ammo makers try to avoid with low pressure ammunition, not the bullet size issue.

    Krupp didn't make drillings or any other small arms. They provided the steel billets for the barrels and part of the purchase agreement was that the gun maker would mark the barrels as being made from Krupp steel.

    The marking on the barrel of the first drilling may be the retailer, not the gun maker, a common practice in Germany. But, inlaid in gold on a high value gun, it could also be the name of the owner. German sporting arms without manufacturers' markings are common, as often such guns were made by a group or consortium (sometimes called a "guild") of shops rather than by a single gun maker or a factory.

    The caliber would appear to be 8x57j, though I suspect it is actually 8x57JR, the rimmed round made specifically for drillings and vierlings.

    The Germans didn't change the caliber from 7.8 to 7.9 when they adopted the new bullet; oddly, the military changed the terminology from "8mm" to "7.9mm", even though the bullet size increased. The "7.8" is part of the proof mark and is the diameter of the largest plug gauge the barrel takes. That would be .307", a tight bore, but probably within specs for the 8mm.

    St m.G stands for Stahlmantel Geschoss (steel jacketed bullet), and 8 grams is 123 grains, about right for a 6.5 caliber bullet. What 6.5? I don't know; it could be one of several. You would need to make a chamber cast to determine the actual cartridge.

  10. CHW2021

    CHW2021 Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2009
    No idea of value, $5,000 to 7,000 would be a bargain!!!!!!
    As far as the bore/chambering for the rifle barrels, play it safe, get the bore slugged and measured by a gunsmith and have the chamber cast in cerrosafe to check all dimensions. Don't take chances with a beautiful (and valuable) rifle like that.
  11. Max Donovan

    Max Donovan Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    A little detail on the .318"/.323" groove diameters on "8mm" German rifles: The M'88 used a 195
  12. Max Donovan

    Max Donovan Member

    Mar 1, 2010
    Oops! I tried to insert the plus-over-minus symbol and it posted my incomplete reply. ...195 grain cylindrical round-nose bullet. It had a long bearing surface for the rifling to bite into. When the went to the S patrone - spitzer bullet - it had much less surface for the rifling to bite into, so they cut the rifling .005" deeper and enlarged the bullets .005". This is the S-bore. The bore size was not changed, just the rifling was cut deeper. Many sporting cartridges were made in both J-bore, .318", and S-bore, .323". I shoot an 8x57JR drilling with cast bullets, but some of my friends use the .321" jacketed bullets intended for 32 Winchester Special. They say that the jacket is so thin on these low-velocity bullets that they squeeze down without any problem. Get some brass and have fun shooting it. Save money by getting regular 8x57 loading dies and polish down the expander.
  13. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Hammer drillings go for $700 for a beat up one to $2000 for one in mint condition.
  14. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    What a beautiful gun--I'd replace that missing hammer screw ASAP--would be a shame to lose the hammer at this point in time.
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