Percussion Primer C/12 nA und Electric Primer C/22Contents

Classes of German Ammunition

German ammunition may be divided into the following classes:

Class No. 1 (fixed ammunition). Ammunition, the complete round of which, can be loaded into the weapon in one operation. The cartridge case, containing a primer and propelling charge is permanently crimped to the projectile.

Examples: 2 cm, 2.8/2.0 cm, 3 cm, 3.7 cm, 4 cm, 4.2/2.8 cm, 5 cm, 7.5 cm gun, 7.62 cm, 8.8 cm, 10.5 cm A. A. gun.

Class No. 2  Ammunition, the complete round of which, ist loaded in two operations.

The cartridge case, containing a primer and a propellant charge is not crimped to the projectile. The propelling charge is in bags and the charge can be varied at the point of firing.

The projectile is packed and shipped separatly, and the cartridge case and propellant are packed as one unit.

The Germans employ cartridge cases in all their artillery ammunition. The cases are em-ployed for the main purpose of preventing the escape of gas to the rear.

Examples: 7.5-cm Howitzer, 10.5-cm Howitzer, 15-cm gun and Howitzer, 17-cm gun, 21-cm, 24-cm ammunition.

Designation of Artillery Projectiles

The Germans designate a round of artillery ammunition by the caliber, type of ammunition (model number of the round), type of weapon fired from (model number of the weapon).

The caliber of German artillery ammunition is measured in centimeters. The Germans, refer to calibers approximately; for instance, the 10.5-cm gun is always known as the "s 10-cm K. 18" (heavy 10-cm model No. 18).

In naming the various types of projectiles, the Germans employ the word "Granate" (ab-breviated "gr." or "Gr.") "Granate" ist used as a base word for all the various types of rounds. By adding a prefix and/or a suffix to the word, the exact nature of the projectile is indicated.

Prefix Added to the Word "Granate"



Combined Word

Combined Abbrev.





H.E. shell





Smoke shell





A.P. shell

In order to differentiate between the various types of Armor Piercing Rounds, numbers are added the word Pzgr.

Panzergranate 39, Pzgr. 39–APCBCHE (Armor Piercing Cap, Ballistic Cap [Win-shield] [High Explosiv]).

Panzergranate 40, Pzgr. 40–A.P. Shot with a tungsten carbide core.

Panzergranate 41, Pzgr. 41–A.P. Shot with a tungsten carbide core for tapered bore gun (Gerlich round).

Sprenggranate 41, Sprgr. 41–H.E. Shell for a tapered bore gun.

Suffix Added After "Granate"




Combined Abbrev.

American Type



Granate Beton


Anticoncrete shell.



Granate Hl


Hollow charge shell

For the most part the Germans do not give model numbers to their artillery ammunition. In serveral of the old rounds model numbers are indicated.

The numbers used are the last two of the year in which the round was made standard. These are only used in the nomenclature when there is more than one model of any spe-cific type. In the case of the "Pzgr." (Armor Piercing) rounds, the number appearing after the word merely indicates the type of Armor Piercing round and are not model number.

Rot. or L'spur. (Leuchtspur) included in the designation indicates tracer.

This nomenclature is followed by the word "Patronen" abbreviated Patr., meaning cartrid-ge.

Figure 316 – Projectile Stampings

This is the German way of indicating a complete round. It is similar to the British nomen-clature, in that the British use the word "cartridge" to designate all their complete rounds.

Weapon Type. The Germans include the name of the type of the weapon in designating their ammunition. This nomenclature is given in the form of an abbreviation.



American Equivalent



Field gun.



Antiaircraft gun.



Tank gun.



Antitank gun.



Naval gun



Assault gun

Stu.G. (caliber)


Assault gun.

Geb.H. (model No.)


Mountain howitzer.

Geb.K. (model No.)


Mountain gun.


leichte Feldhaubitze

Light field howitzer
(British equivalent:
Gun howitzer).


schwere Feldhaubitze

Heavy field howitzer


leichtes Infanterie Geschütz

Light Infantery howitzer.


schweres Infanterie Geschütz

Heavy Infantery howitzer.

s. (cal.) K.

schweres Geschütz

Heavy gun.



Light recoilless gun.

K. (model No.) (E)

Kanone (Eisenbahn)

Railway gun.

Foreign Origin Designation. In some instances a letter in parenthesis is added to the no-menclature after the word indicating the type of projectile. These letters are used to indicate material of foreign origin. The following are some of the letters used for this pur-pose: (t) Czech, (f) French, (p) Polish, (r) Russian, (ö) Austria.

In some cases of the following may be included in the nomenclature:




New pattern.





Stenciled Code. The identification of German projectiles can be the following means:

Stenciled code figures on the ogive and body of projectile, the color of the projectile, and the stamping marks on the projectile body.

The following details of stenciling on projectiles are arranged in the sequence in which the markings are normally found commencing at the nose of the projectile.

Z.F.Hbgr. (in black) on the windshield of an H.E.B.C. projectiles the use of a nose fuze under the windshield.

R or Mr (in black near the tip) indicates the presence of a smoke box.

Arabic numbers (in black on the head of the projectile just below the fuze hole, or on the body of the projectile) indicates the type of H.E. filler. The more common of these fol-low:




TNT in cardboard carton packed with magnesium putty.


TNT in cardboard carton packed with paper.


Picric acid in cardboard magnesium putty or wax.


TNT/Wax 95/5 in paper or cardboard carton.


TNT/Wax 90/10 in paper or cardboard carton.


Amatol 40/60, cast.


TNT, cast.


PETN/Wax 90/10.


PETN/Wax 60/40 or 65/35.


Cyclonite/Wax 95/5.



The following are some examples of German ammunition nomenclature.

4.7-cm Sprgr.Patr. Pak (t) – 47-mm H.E. projectile for the A.T. gun of Czech make.

3.7-cm Pzgr.Patr. 40 Pak – 37-mm A.P. Shot - tungsten carbide core for A.T. gun.

7.62-cm Pzgr.Patr. 40 Pak 36 (r) – 76.2 mm (3 inch) A.P. shot - tungsten carbide core for A.T. Gun 36 (Russian design).

8.8-cm Sprgr.Patr. Flak 36 – 88-mm H.E. projectile for the antiaircraft gun 36.

In the following instances the type of projectile, and to some extent the nature of filling, is indicated by 2.4-inch letters stencilled at two positions round the shell midway bet-ween the rotating band and bourrelet (See fig. 316).



A or LS (White)

Base ejection shell with flashproducing char- ge.


Filling includes aluminium powder to produce flash.

Bl (White)

Inert filling.

Ex (Red)

Drill projectile.

NB (White)

Smoke shell.

Üb (White)

Practice projectile, filled gunpowder.

Üb.B (White)

Practice projectile, filled TNT.

Vp (White)

Dummy projectile.

Bo (1-inch lettering midway between the rotating band and shoulder).

Indicates a rotating band of the bimetal type, iron convered with copper.

F (Black)

Shell to be fired with super charge F only.

Stg (2.4-inch lettering, in black, at a short distance from the rotating band).

Indicates a light case shell of cast steel.

KPS (White or red lettering above the rotating band).

Indicates a rotating band of the bimetal type, iron covered with copper.

FES (White or red lettering above the rotating band).

Indicates a sintered iron rotating band.

The place and date of assembly, followed by a lot number, are stencilled in 4-inch black or red lettering above the rotating band, e.g. "Lr 4.640 L."

Color of the Projectile. The following color scheme is always used:

Pzgr.–A.P. shot: Black.
A.P.C.projectile: Black.
A.P.C. projectile (H.E.): Black.
Sprgr.–H.E. projectile (execpt A. A. gun and Naval): Deep olive green.
Nbgr.–Smoke projectile: Deep olive green.
Gr.Be.–Anticoncrete: Deep olive green.
Gr. (Hl)–Hollow: Deep olive green.
Naval and flak (antiaircraft) H.E. projectile: Yellow.

Figure 317 – Projectile Stampings

3.7 cm. projectile with a two-compartment cavity, one filled H.E. and the other filled with tracing composition: Aluminum color – yellow band midway between the rotating band and fuze hole.

Projectiles of the latter type are sometimes painted white. This color appears to be used for projectiles in the experimental stage supplied for trial by the Army in the field.

Band marking is not common use except for a red band above the rotating band in some shells, indicating a tracer, and a yellow band for the 3.7-cm aluminum colered H.E. tracer shell.

The place and date of the filling of the projectile, followed by lot number in black, is on the shoulder of the projectile in the form of an abbreviation.

The weight zone of the projectile is indicated by Roman numerals, black in color near the the bourrelet.

Stamping on the Projectile. The following are stamped on the ogive in the order in which they appear. (See fig. 317.)

1. Acceptance test number.

Figure 318 – Fixed Cartridge Cases

2. Delivery number, firm and year of manufacture.

3. Firm's proof mark.

The following appear on the body of the projectile:

1. An acceptance stamp, water pressure test and an acceptance stamp, second test.

2. Acceptance stamp (Hardness).

3. Shell model number.

4. Delivery number, firm, year of manufacture, acceptance stamp of release.

The following appear on the base:

1. Delivery number, firm, year of manufacture.

2. Projectile model number.

3. Acceptance stamp for fitted base.

4. Acceptance stamp.

Identification of the Fixed Cartridge Cases and Charges

Stenciling on Side of Case. The following details are arranged in the sequence in which the Markings are normally found between the aproximate center of the case and flange at the base. (See fig. 318.)

1. The caliber, types, and model numbers of the weapons for which the round in suitable are penciled in the form: 7.5-cm KWK 40 (7.5-cm Tank gun model 40). Where the round is suitable for more than one equipment, the designation of the equipment is stenciled in sequence with the letter "u" signifying "and" as a conjunction.

2. The weight of the propellant charge in grams stenciled in the form of numerals, follow-ed by letter "g" below the nomenclature of the ammunition (e.g. "164 g").

3. The nature, shape, and size of the propellant are stenciled below the marking indicat-ing the charge weight.

The following markings are used to indicate the nature of the propellant:




Double base propellant of diethylene glycoldinat and nitrocellulose.


Double base propellant with the addition of nitroguanidine (Gudol).


Double base propellant of nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose.



Figure 319 – Semi Fixed Cartridges Cases

These letters, in the case of double base propellant, are following by figures or letters which also appear to relate to the composition. The shape of propellant is indicated the following letters added to those used to indicate the nature:

Bl.P. – Blättchen Pulver: Flake.

Rg.P.: Perforated Disk (resembling a washer).

R.P. – Röhren Pulver: Tubular.

Str.P. – Streifen Pulver: Strip.

In the case of a double base powder the number cutside the brackets indicates the per-centage of explosive base added to nitrocellulose. The size of the propellant is given by a statement of the dimensions in milimeters following the letters used to indicate the shape. The dimension figures are enclosed in a bracket and are arranged as follows, with commans serving as decimal points:

Flake (length-breadth-thickness) (

Perforated disk (thickness, external, diameter/internal diameter) (1,9 x 15/4).

Tubular (length with minus tolerance, external diameter/internal diameter) (175-2/0,85). An "x" is sometimes used instead of the "–" between the length and the tolerance (length-breadth-thickness, e.g. (125 x 5 x 0.5).

Examples: Digl.R.P. 8, 2 (175-2, 2/0, 85). Gu.Bl.P.A.O. (4,4, 0, 6). Ngl.Bl.P. 12.5 (40 x 40 x 0,2). Nz.R.P. (135–5, 5/2). Digl.Str.P. –9.2– (125 x 5 x 0,5).

4. The place and year of manufacture of the propellant, followed by a lot number are stenciled below the marking relating to nature, shape, and size. The following is a typical example:

dbg 1942/3

5. The place and date of the filling of the propellinge charge, followed by a lot number are stenciled below the marking relating to the manufacture of the propellant:

(on 17.642 xv)

6. The red stenciling used to indicate porpellant charge of a reduced weight for hot cli-mates may be found near the base of the case, just above the flange, or higher up the side of the case, above the other stenciling. The marking used:

Tp – -25° C.

Indicates that the normal or standard charge temperature on which the weight of the charge is based is 25° C (77° F.). The German standard charge temperature for normal European temperatures is 10° C (50° F.).

7. In some instances cases are stenciled:

"Abgebr Ldg" in red.

This marking is found near the base (corresponding to the position of the Tp -25° C. marking) and probaly refers to the propelling charges of low stability which are to be gi-ven priority in expenditure.

Stenciling on the Vase of Fixed Cartridge Cases. Type of the projectile is stenciled in white or black to the left above the primer hole.

In some instances the Roman numerals indicating the weight classification of the projec-tiles are stenciled in white to the right below the primer hole.

Stampings on the Base of Fixed Cartridge Cases. Model number of case:

St. – after model numbers of case – indicates a steel case.

Model, cal., and type of weapon.

Manufacture's initial.

Delivery number.

Year of manufacture.

Markings on Cartridge Bags in Fixed Rounds. The markings are the same as those stenci-led on the side of the case except that the caliber, type and model number of the equip-ment are not included.

Identification of Semifixed Cartridge Cases and Charge

A cardboard or leatherbord cup is used to close the mouth of the cartridge case in a round where the cartridge case is packed separately. (See fig. 319.)

A label, found on the closing cup, contains information corresponding to the stenciling on the side of the fixed cartridge case. The information is as follows:

Details of the weapon.

Charge weight.


Type (size and shape of the charge).

Place and date to manufacture of propellant.

Place and date of filling.

Indication of propellant charges for hot climates.

Cases with steel covers for packing and tranpsort, which are removed before loading, have neither labels nor stenciling relating to the propellant charge execpt the stenciling "Tp 25° C." imprinted on the base where applicable. Details of the propellant are availab-le, however, from the stenciling on the charge bags.

Stamping on the base of the case is the same as that on the base of a fixed round, execpt that the caliber of the equipment is sometimes omitted.

Markings on the Cartridge Bags of a "Semifixed" Round. These bags are marked similarly to the marking in fixed bags, execpt that the designation of the weapon is included. In some cases the caliber is not included. Bleidraht im Beutel indicates lead wire is included in the bag as a decoppering agent.

The number indicating the charge is marked prominently in black. The letter D often fol-lows this number and in some instances the marking is encircled by a red ring.

Sonderkart – Supercharge. With certain weapons additional charge sections, to be used for long ranges in place of those in the cartridge case, are supplied in cylindrical card-board packages. These section are numbered in continuation of those supplies for use at normal ranges in the case. Card-board packages containing these additional charge sec-tions are marked "Sonderkart" followed by the numeral of the section.

Marking of Primers for "Fixed" and "Semifixed" Ammunition

Designation – C followed by number.

Example: C/33

NA – New Pattern

St – Steel

Markings of Flash Reducing Charges

This charge is found in a flat circular silk bag and is identified by the words Kart.Vorl., followed by the abbreviation indicating the weapon with which used and the weight of the charge in grams.

Percussion Primer C/12 nA und Electric Primer C/22Contents