Ammunition Evaluation: Ethiopian 7.92x57mm Mauser

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Shared December 6, 2018

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Century International Arms has imported a quantity of Ethiopian ammunition, and asked me to do a video on it. So, I have a three-part evaluation here: appearance and packaging, live fire testing (including velocity and consistency), and teardown and bullet weight consistency. This ammunition was produced (as best I can tell) at the Emperor Haile Selassie Ammunition Factory, established with Czech technical aid in the late 1940s in Addis Ababa. This ammunition is all headstamped 1955, made for a variety of rifles and machine guns including the ZH-29, ZB-26, and FN BAR.

Velocity:

I tested velocity using a 7.92x57mm Yugoslav reworked K98k Mauser rifle (barrel length 23.6 inches). Measurements were taken at 10 feet from the muzzle, with a sample size of 15 rounds fired. I found an average velocity of 2460 fps, extreme spread of 81 fps (max 2505, min 2424), and standard deviation of 22.69 fps. At least half of the rounds fired exhibited a very brief hangfire, and two required a second primer strike to fire.

Bullets:

I tested the weight of 10 bullets using a calibrated Lyman electronic scale. I found an average weight of 197.4 grains, extreme spread of 1.6 grains (max 197.8 gr, min 196.2 gr), and standard deviation of 0.47 grains. Bullet construction is boat tail with an open base, lead core, and gilding metal over steel jacket (these bullets do attract a magnet). I found a seeming random mixture of silver and brass colored jackets in the boxes I opened.

Century advertises this ammunition as using corrosive primers, and I took them at their word and did not test for corrosivity.

Raw data:

Velocities (fps): 2465, 2475, 2440, 2464, 2468, 2433, 2460, 2484, 2424, 2437, 2429, 2474, 2472, 2465, 2505

Bullet weights (grains): 197.5, 197.7, 196.2, 197.1, 197.6, 197.6, 197.3, 197.7, 197.8, 197.4

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